Robert: The Old Town canoe with serial number 161432 is a 16 foot long, CS grade, Yankee model with a keel. It was built between December 1953 and March 1954. The original exterior paint color was Design #37, red with a black stripe. It shipped on March 4, 1954 to Dearborn, Michigan. A scan of this build record and the Design paint scheme can be found by following the links at the attached thumbnail images below.
This scan and several hundred thousand others were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/join.php to join.
It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.
Thank you for your response. Your response indicates that serial no. 161432 16 is a Yankee CS with red paint, etc. Although almost all the description is correct for my canoe, it appears that my canoe is about 32 inches instead of the 36 inche beam which appears to be most common for the Yankee. Also, during removal of the paint, it appears that I have red associated with the outside planking and green on the stems. The gunwales were also closed style. I'm not confinced the outside hull has not been renovated along the way with red and green colors.
I have looked hard at my serial no. and it appears I cannot identify one number with much confidence. I thought is was a four, but now I think it is the wood grain pattern. I photographed the stem and and enlarged it and I now think it is a No. 3. Therefore, the serial no. is 161332. I spent several hours trying to figure the number out.
Will you look at serial no. 161332 and let me know the building record. Based on my latest research I think that may be the correct number for my canoe. I appreciate your help.
It seems Old Town 161332 is a 15 foot AA grade Lapstrake Outboard model boat, not a canoe.
It may help if you post pictures of your canoe... sometimes folks here can identify an Old Town model by sight-- or at least narrow it down some. Also, it's often easier to identify a serial number from a digital picture... clean it off, wet it, and snap. Then post it here and many eyes can help decipher.
It's common for canoes to change colors, and evidence of original color can be lost if a canoe has undergone re-canvassing. If your canoe has closed gunwales, it would be a much earlier canoe-- with fewer digits in the serial number-- unless that was modified by someone. Open gunwales became the standard with Old Town earlier-on than some of the other old companies, and closed gunwales were phased out in the 1920s (Benson probably has more exact information on that).