Oiled wood vice varnishing


New Member
To All,

I recently acquired a 1954 Old Town Square Stern Lapstrake boat. This boat was delivered new with oiled decks, seats and interior. I would like to continue maintaing the boat this way, and was wondering if anyone out there knows what type of oil Old Town used in the 40s and 50s to oil finish the raw wood on their boats (and/or canoes?).

Thanks and Regards
tony, as i can see no one has answered you. i don't know the answer either but why not contact oldtown directly? they still build some wood canoes.
Pick Your Formula?


I have chased this before and when you look at the build records, there have been many formula's referenced. "Smith's Sealer" was one that I was focused on and nothing could be determined by Old Town except that it was used during a certain time frame. Smith was probably an employee and came up with this new concoction...hence Smith's Sealer. There were others also but my guess is that all were a form of linseed oil with other ingredients. For example, 50% boiled linseed, 50% turpentine...other additives could be japan drier, varnish and even pine tar. Linseed can turn the wood black in time if that is the look you want. I personally use Watco Exterior Oil or the Marine Deks Olje, a light sanding and apply...the wood stays the color of wood and it's real easy to fix up a scrape/scuff.

Hope this helps!

Ric Altfather
polymerized tung oil

For the record, I've used their product (from Lee Valley) on walnut and maple gunstocks with excellent results, and in all weather.