Old Town 13677 18


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
I have what I think is an Old Town canoe but need help verifying. From what we can read, the serial number is 13677 18. The overall length is about 18'-4". The depth (amidship) is 12 1/2" measured from top/rib to top/gunwale. The clear width between ribs (amidship) is 34 1/2". The inwale measures 1" wide so the clear width between inwales is 32 1/2". The thwarts (original) and seats (replacement) are attached to the inwale with diamond head bolts.
Can someone help in providing a positive ID.
The Old Town canoe with serial number 13677 is 16 feet long and number 113677 is 17 feet long so they are probably not your canoe. My guess is that you have a Carleton canoe. The Carleton canoe with serial number 13677 is an 18 foot long, AA grade, Old Town HW model which was listed in the 1917 catalog as being 34 1/5 inches wide and 13 inches deep. This canoe was originally given the Old Town serial number 49918 but was changed to the Carleton serial number 13677 before it shipped. It has Western red cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, mahogany decks, mahogany trim, and sponsons. It was built between July and August, 1917(?). The exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on June 18th, 1918(?) to Baltimore, Maryland(?). A very light scan of this build record can be found by following the link under the thumbnail image attached below.

These scans were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. Additional information about the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will join or contribute 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.html to join.

This is a bit early for diamond headed bolts so those may have been added when the seats were replaced. 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.



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Thanks for the speedy reply. And thanks for the information. This is my first restoration project so I'll be making plenty of inquires to the WCHA forums.
I just picked this canoe up yesterday. This canoe has had some repair work by a previous owner.
The top half of the bow stem has been replaced with 4" x 3/4" piece of hardwood screwed to the lower portion of the stem, and held in place by the planking and inwales. This repair does not look very attractive. I'll work on replacing the entire stem.The aft stem is ok except for some softness at the top.
The inwales and thwarts are mahogany as noted on the build sheet. The aft deck is missing, but the bow deck is in place. It has some soft spots and needs to be replaced but it does look like mahogany. Can't be sure until I clean it up a little.
The outer part of the gunwale looks like a replacement, full length, both sides. It looks like some sort of 1/2 round molding. I'll replace them with mahogany.
The previous owner did not mention sponsons but that dosen't mean they were never there. They were probably removed during the previous renovation. How can I tell if there were sponsons. Should a renovation include installing new ones?
Also, it looks as if the canvas has been replaced. Currently the canvas comes up over the top of the inwale and is tacked to the inside of the inwale. The outwale (1/2 round molding) is screwed to the inwale over the canvas. The canvas and outwale were painted and give the apperance of a closed gunnel.
The seats and thwarts look like they are in the original location. Where can I get additional information regarding dimensions, plank widths, stem material, etc. I'm looking toi restore this as close to the original as possible.
One more note. I removed a portion of the canvas and did find evidence of green paint on the planking at several locations. This is consistent with the information shown on the build record regarding the original color.
How can I tell if there were sponsons.

Look for evidence of screws through the ribs a few inches below the gunwales. The sponsons were screwed on from the inside of the canoe.

Should a renovation include installing new ones?

Only if you are a glutton for punishment! :D Really, the only reasons to put them on is if you are a fan of sponsons, plan to sail and want the reserve stability the sponsons provide, or if you want to be historically accurate. Any of these is reason enough to do so...

Where can I get additional information regarding dimensions, plank widths, stem material, etc.

Old Town (and hence Carleton) stems were almost always ash. For plank width and other dimensions, use the original fabric of your canoe for the definitive answer. In the complete absence of data, these forums are your best bet. Start with a search, some of this has been posted in the past. The way the canoe was recanvassed is definitely not factory-spec. Not the first time thats been done though!

One more question......
Where are the basic dimensions measured?
overall length.......
Width amidship........is it clear between inwales or clear between rib faces or out to out of gunwales?
Depth amidship.......is it top of rib to top of gunwale.......or top of the bottom plank to top of gunwale?
I need to clear up the basics before I jump right in.
Thanks again
Where are the basic dimensions measured?
Length overall is measured from the farthest protrusion of each stem. I.E. if the canoe is level, the LOA is the distance between perpendiculars that just touch the outer curve of the stem. Do not include outside stems, if present.

Beam is measured to the widest portion of the outside of the hull (not including outwales). The easiest way to do this is to use a pair of framing squares set on top of the gunwales. Usually the outwales are less far apart than the maximum beam, due to tumblehome. Since canoes are usually symmetrical end-to-end, you can usually assume maximimum beam is at the mid-point of the canoe.

Depth is measured from the outside bottom of the planking to the top of the rails, excluding the keel. This is again taken at the midpoint of the canoe. Since this is hard to measure directly, measure to the inside of the planking, then add 5/32" for the plank and approximately 1/8" for the canvas. If you measure to the top of a rib, add another 5/16".

Finally, bear in mind that the various canoe manufacturers tended to round dimensions, twist numbers to their advantage on occasion, or use non-standard measurements. In other words, just because your measurements don't match the catalog exactly doesn't mean you aren't right-you may very well be. Then again, maybe not ;)

Dan Miller,
Would this canoe show up in the Old Town catalog for 1916/17? Did Carletown have their own catalogs? If so are thay available through Dragonflycanoe?
I'll jump in for Dan here. The short answer to all of your questions is yes. The Old Town HW model is listed in their catalogs from 1901 to 1953 including 1916 and 1917. Carleton had their own catalogs from the early 1900s to 1941 although they do not have a description of your canoe since it was originally built as an Old Town HW model. Old Town and Carleton catalog reproductions are available from http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/cdrom.htm on the Old Town and Historic CD-ROMs. Good luck with your restoration,

Regarding the information shown on the build record for Carleton 13677 18:

Things that match:eek:verall dimensions match, inwale, remaining deck and thwarts are mahogany, there is evidence of dark green paint. There are no half ribs or outside stems.

Things in question:Seats and outwale have been replaced.

Things that don't match:
There is a floor rack but it could have been added. It may be cedar and appears to be stapled together.
There is a keel. It is attached with 7/8" long round head screws (and washers) at alternate ribs. The keel looks to be oak or ash. This too could have been added, but looks original.
There is no evidence of screw holes for the sponsons. I took a good portion of the canvas off and no holes were found.

So can you take a look at the serial number again? We got a third set of eyes to take a look. The is some doubt as to the first digit being a 1, although it appears to have a vertical leg. so we have ?3677 18 for sure.

The ? could be 1, 4, or a 9. I does not appear to curve like a 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, or 8. I guess the 9 could be in question, not sure if the 9's were printed with a vertical leg.

Thanks for your help
Joe Manning
Bel Air, Maryland
It sounds as though your canoe may have been extensively rebuilt at some point so a positive identification may not be possible from the serial number alone. You may want to spend some time at http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/id/ in the Wood Canoe Identification Guide to see if you can identify it from any other characteristics.

It is probably not the Old Town with serial number 93677 since this went to a very unusual William English model canoe that was 16 foot long. The Old Town serial number digit nine is an inverted six so this would not have the long vertical leg that you described. It might be the Old Town with number 43677 since this was an 18 foot long Charles River Model. It had maple decks and trim though. These two build records are shown below.

The Kennebec canoe with serial number 13677 was also 18 feet long to further confuse things. It was also dark green and shipped to Abercrombie and Fitch in New York City on May 15th, 1920.

The information at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=791 may help you confirm all of the digits in the serial number. Good luck and let us know what you find. Thanks,



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The remaining deck has the Old Town shape. I guess what I have to do next is determine what original components remain, verify the wood types used and try to match up the information you have provided and take a look at the dragonfly site. You've been a great help. I'll keep you up to date on what I find. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
By the way, is it possible that the serial # is only a 4 digit # "3677 18"
Thanks again.
It is probably not the Old Town with serial number 3677 since this went to a 17 foot long canoe as shown below. This serial number is not in the existing Carleton or Old Town repair records either.

Could it be 143677? This went to an 18 foot long, AA grade, HW model as shown below. Let me know if you need anything else.



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Well I guess the number is 13677 or 43677 or 143677. The 3677 part is clear, and so is the 18. I'll get another set of eyes on the serial number. I doubt it's a 6 digit number.
Next step is to clean up what I have and determine diminsions, determine what's original and what's been added/repaired/replaced. I'll try to verify the wood types and then compare everything to the build records you have provided and the Dragonfly website. I've ordered the Old Town catalog CD, I hope that will help.
Have things like plank size, rib size/spacing, fastener size/type changed over the years? If so where might that information be available? Would the seat and thwart locations and dimensions be available, or is that estimated from catalog drawings?
Hello again,
I took the canoe in question to the Chesapeake Boat Builders this evening. Several experienced builders agreed on the digits X3677 18. We could not talk ourselves into what the X digit is. So could you please check the following:

23677 18
33677 18
53677 18
73677 18

Thanks again

Joe Manning
Bel Air, Maryland
These canoes were all hand built so just about everything has changed over the years. However, none of these changes were consistent enough to be of much use in dating your canoe. My guess is that you have serial number 143677.

One more bit of information. The inwale is probably spruce and not mahogany as I originally thought. The thwarts could be maple, but the're not mahogany either. Tha deck is either maple or ash.
Well, 73677 is 15 feet long and 33677 is 16 feet so they don't match. The other two are 18 feet long as shown in the build records attached below. The IF model with number 23677 may be the best match since it has spruce gunwales with ash decks and thwarts.



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At this point I can't be sure where the known four digits (3677) fall in the complete SN. There are about 30 additional SNs with the 3677 combination that we haven't looked at yet. This may be asking alot but if I post the numbers could you research them and post the 18 foot build records? I don't know what the restored canoe will end up looking like, but I would sure like to know what it looked like originally. I realize this may take a bit of you time but I certainly would appreciate it. Let me know if it can be done and I'll post the Nos 5 or so at a time.
If I recall correctly, the Chesapeake Boat Builders purchased a set of the Build Record CDs. It might be possible for you to arrange to use them sometime and do the search yourself...