Old Town 173881 16

You may want to check your serial number again. The Old Town canoe with serial number 173881 is an 18 foot long square end model with half ribs, a keel, outside stems, sponsons, a rowing seat, narrow 2 3/4 inch planking, and a bang plate along the full length of the keel. It was built between May, 1964 and March, 1965. The original exterior paint color was white with the name "RIPPLE" on the right and left sides of the bow. It shipped on March 12th, 1965 to Harbor Island in the Bahamas via Miami, Florida. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

This scan was created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. A description of 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 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.html to join.

It is likely 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.

Benson
 

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Ahh Benson, you are, of course, correct once again. I apologize for the error and have no excuse. The real number is 173681. 16' with sponsons and half ribs.

Dan
 
This looks much more likely. The Old Town canoe with serial number 173681 is an 16 foot long Otca model with half ribs, a keel, and sponsons. It was built between February, 1964 and September, 1968. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on September 29th, 1968 to Bangor, Maine. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

Benson
 

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Long Delay

HI Benson

One thing I couldn't help but notice about the above build order was the 4 year delay between start and finish. Do you think this was an incorrect stamp date or were the boats being warehoused this long? While I understand the delay between filling and finishing I can't think of why there would be a delay of that long. Did the Old Towne Company work on an always in stock basis and it took this long for them to receive an order for a 16' OCTA c/w sponsons?


David Hobden
 
David,

Good observation.

I see that this canoe was ribbed, canvased, filled and painted in '64.
The rails and sponsons in Apr 68 and final varnish in Sept 68,
with shipment in Sept 69.

Even with an order they took a long time. maybe they finished it on spec in their spare time and finally an order came in.

Dan
 
Taking another look at the work order there are actually three places were 1968 or 1969 stamps are used so it is not an issue of a stamping mistake. I guess Old Town warehoused the canoe for stock! Interesting, there comitment to having product in stock must have been great.

David


PS. mmmmm actually i've taken longer to fix up some of the canoes i have!
 
David Hobden said:
HI Benson

One thing I couldn't help but notice about the above build order was the 4 year delay between start and finish. Do you think this was an incorrect stamp date or were the boats being warehoused this long? While I understand the delay between filling and finishing I can't think of why there would be a delay of that long. Did the Old Towne Company work on an always in stock basis and it took this long for them to receive an order for a 16' OCTA c/w sponsons?


David Hobden

It was not unusual for several years to elapse between filling and finishing. The horizontal spread on the serial number chart at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/oldtown_chart.html is another indication of this delay. Old Town always tried to build enough stock in the winter to supply the next summer. They would usually overestimate a bit to be optimistic and make sure that they did not run out. The storage areas were also be packed wall to wall and floor to ceiling so the first canoe placed in the back corner might not get out for a long time. This was clearly a 'last in, first out' situation. The late 1960s was also an era when demand for wooden canoes was falling rapidly so this would have compounded these problems. Let me know if this doesn't answer your questions.

Benson
 
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