New member w/new(to me)canoe


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I'm new to wooden canoes/kayaks. I'm having a gentleman build a kayak for my wife'd bday now(can tell you what site the build thread is on if its not against the rules)and I am about to start my first build. I came across this old canoe when I was talking to some friends and one of them knew about this wooden canoe hanging in a friend of a friends barn.....I made a spur of the moment buy and now am trying to identify. I read the how to find serial # sticky so I will look for that when I get home from work. Here are some pics. Thanks in advance.......Texmullet canoe5.jpgcanoe1.jpgcanoe3.jpgcanoe6.jpgcanoe2.jpg
It looks to be a nice Old Town. I'm certain someone here will be providing you with a build record shortly. It amazes me how quickly they do that. Looking at the pictures I'm wondering if the boats been fiberglassed? I also noticed from the pictures that the stem band looks like steel. The 1945 Otca that I restored had very similar looking stem bands that I ended up replacing with brass.

The restoration process is a lot of fun and a lot of work at the same time. It's very satisfying! This is a great site and resource as you go through the process of restoring your boat! Lots of helpful and knowledgeable people here!

Good luck with your restoration!
Welcome to the WCHA forums--

OldTown 142350 is an 18 foot Guide model canoe that was finished June-August of 1945. It has red Western cedar planking, ash decks, ash thwarts, ash seats, half-ribs, and a keel. Originally it was painted guide special green. It was shipped to Beaumont, Texas, on September 18, 1945.

Rolf made a good call when he compared it to a 1945 canoe, because that's what it is! This record seems to match the canoe, from what I can tell. The plank seats are possibly original because cane wasn't available until about 1947, and you can see the plank seats in this canoe have the diamond head bolts. War-era canoes commonly have slatted seats, but perhaps for the Guide they were plank, such as this one. ot142350.jpg

If you use the "search" function, there are old discussions regarding the war era Old Towns and how to go about restoring them. Some are in fine shape, as yours appears to be. Some need a bit more attention because they weren't put together with brass.

The scan of this record is attached below-- click on it to get a larger image. 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 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 to learn more about the WCHA and 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.

Wow! I never I thought I would get this much info!! Absolutely incredible....I got the canoe from Beaumont and was told from the gentleman I got it from that he received it from the original purchasers widow as a gift and his dad paddled in the canoe as a kid on Village Creek w/the original purchaser. I will post mpore pics soon...I also think it may have been fiberglassed. Could the original green have faded????
P1120877.JPGP1120879.JPGP1120881.JPGP1120876.JPGIt is very dusty/dirty and I want to do an initial cleaning but I stopped myself. Didnt know if I should follow some initial cleaning procedure since it has been hanging in a barn for sev years. Was gonna wet it down wipe it with an old rag and rinse it off.....
More pics...


  • P1120874.JPG
    157 KB · Views: 492
I think it would be safe to wet it down and hose it off. I'd avoid a pressure washer. Looking at the pictures you added I see that the seat slabs are actually mahogany and likely not the original ones since the build record indicates ash. I've added some pictures of my 1945. One of the original seat and one of the replacement I built. My replacement departs a little from the original in construction technique but the dimensions are the same. I also added a before and after of the whole thing.

I would recommend searching the threads here for more info on removing the fiberglass. I know it's doable but I have not had the pleasure....

Here's where I jump in and post a link to the award winning (well, not quite) video:

There are many old threads discussing fiberglass removal, and the video presentation shows the most tride-and-true of the methods, on fiberglass that was "average" to remove-- the best-case possibly being glass that's on top of canvas that comes off in huge pieces, and the worst-case being a very good glassing-job that really wants to hold-tight and lots of epoxy sticking in cracks between planks.

It never hurts to wash a canoe by hand as long as you don't leave the water sitting in the bottom and the kids think you got them a swimming pool. As Rolf said, no pressure washing.

Various methods of stripping varnish have been discussed before, too, and the consensus is to let someone else do it for you, otherwise do the job outdoors using methaline chloride. Or, just clean it up and re-varnish.

Your canoe looks great, Rolf!
Thanks for your replies. It is split about 4" wide in one spot on the hull and it is not stuck very good at all around the split. From looking at the pics would ya'll say that it is definitely fiberglass? Sorry for the noob questions...gonna do the search now.

Rolf...did you strip the old varnish or clean and re-finish?

What would canvas material cost for this canoe?
Looking at your last picture in post #8 it's definitely fiberglass...hopefully a bad job. When I did my canoe I completely stripped the finish. Much of it was gone already so it was not to bad but still a lot of work. In hind site I wish I had done some more staining to get the interior to look a little more uniform.

As far as the canvas and filler, nails, stem bands and other goodies I got mine from Northwoods canoe They were easy to deal with and sent nice material. From what I've read here I'm going to guess that other suppliers recommended on the website are also great to work with. I actually don't remember the dollar amount but the web site has the prices on it.

I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!
Is there anyone that lives near SETX(Beaumont area)on the forum? Someone that has restored wood canoes???
Steel Stem Band

If no one has mentioned it yet, the steel stem bands are likely original and are a result of a war time shortage of brass. I think it is good to keep them on after restoration as they tell part of a story. I had them on an OTCA I did for my father and just sanded the rust off and painted them with rustoleum. They worked great.

When you get the skin off you may find steel canoe tacks were used as opposed to brass too. Check these for deterioration.

I'm surprised that whoever did the possible glass job actually bothered to put the keel and stem bands back on.

Good luck with your project.
Thanks for the info! I appreciate it...I really will need all the help I can get!
I jumped into my very first canoe restoration(actually 1st restore of any kind). Pulled off the steel stem,keel and outer gunwales and then pulled off the glass. Well 99.9% of it. Took about 2 1/2 hours total. My glass came off pretty easy from what I have read about it. Really not sure what to do next and not sure what I'm gonna have to replace. I do have an obvious prior patch job and I know the ends need some good wood,just not sure if I need to replace more planks or a couple or ribs that have cracks in them as well. Anyway, here are some pics.


  • P1120998.JPG
    162 KB · Views: 479
  • P1120995.JPG
    164 KB · Views: 483
  • P1120994.JPG
    164 KB · Views: 461
  • P1120992.JPG
    166 KB · Views: 483
  • P1120988.JPG
    169.5 KB · Views: 478
  • P1120986.JPG
    168.5 KB · Views: 479
More pics....if someone would like a close-up of a certain area I will get it!


  • P1130008.JPG
    164.5 KB · Views: 459
  • P1130007.JPG
    167 KB · Views: 453
  • P1120999.JPG
    164.5 KB · Views: 467
  • P1130006.JPG
    169.5 KB · Views: 470
  • P1130004.JPG
    157 KB · Views: 455
  • P1130003.JPG
    101.3 KB · Views: 457