18' OT Guide
Thank you Benson, for supplying the build record
I can report a few things about this canoe, though I was only 5 when it arrived. Nevertheless it was a big family event. My father ordered it with the shoe keel, to aid maneuvering in white water use. We also had a 16' Chestnut canoe, and I remember that the Old Town was a better built canoe. A few years after purchasing the Old Town, we bought a factory sailing kit, with the 55 sq. foot lateen sail. We had some good times sailing with the thwart in the water, probably going at about 3 kts, but seeming like 10kts! My father is still using the sailing rig on a Mad River canoe in North Carolina. I am surprised that sail rigs are not more popular, or available, today. The Old Town served well over the years, surviving years of whitewater use on the Housatonic River in Connecticut, and later on various rivers in North Carolina, as well as Schoodic Lake in Maine. The canoe is now in Colorado, but it will be restored in MN before serving many more years under sail and paddle in mountain lakes.
In this age of plastic boats, instant messaging, and disposable technology, the wood canvas canoe is a real treat. Out on a lake, paddling along under a blue sky and huge pines, one can retreat back to simpler times.