Old Town Canoe build year


New Member
Hello, I'm looking to find out the original color and the build year of this canoe. I have inherited from my grandfather after he pasted away. The canvas has been gone for a number of years but there appears to be green canvas at one time. I have also noticed in the removal of some screws that there is yellow paint behind some of them. The keel also seems to have been or was painted yellow. I'm in the process of stripping the many layers of paint from the inside of the canoe and am having trouble with the number, so I will give you a few options.
First choice - 12286 18
Second - 112286 18
(I cant tell if there is a 1 or not, the back half of the canoe is still heavily covered in paint, and in the front it is warn)
Third and least likely - 72286 18
I also have attached a picture of canoe as I am not sure of the type.

Minneapolis, MN


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The Old Town canoe with serial number 12286 is a Charles River model and the one with number 72286 had sponsons so my guess is that you have number 112286. This is an 18 foot long, AA (or top) grade, Otca model with red western cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, mahogany trim, a keel, a floor rack, mast seat, and mast step. It was built between February and August, 1933. The original exterior paint color was white with red and blue triangles as shown at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/designs/design04.gif and know as design number four. It was shipped on August 10th, 1933 to Altona, Illinois. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

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 http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/ 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 http://www.wcha.org/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/join.php to join.

It is also possible that they could have another number or manufacturer if this description don't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.



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Thanks for the quick turn around on the information. That is some really cool information and I am glad that I know the year now. Do you happen to know if there is a pattern out there so that I can get it repainted in the original form? Maybe there is another part of the site that would be better to post this at? Also, I am short some hardware, diamond screws actually, might there be a place to pick them up at? Thanks again, Charlie
Use the "search" function at the top of the page to learn more about re-creating design 4. Basically, the size of the triangles is based on the shape of the canoe but it can be worked out mathematically. I will attach an image from the canoe catelog collection available on CD from http://www.wcha.org/catalog/ and http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/cdrom.htm on the web.

Diamond head bolts come up on eBay from time to time, and I believe Robert Ross may have some: http://www.rossbros.com/ ... and Rollin Thurlow: http://www.wooden-canoes.com/staff.htm And maybe someone else will pipe-up with a source.



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Do you happen to know if there is a pattern out there so that I can get it repainted in the original form?

There is not a pattern for this design since the compound curves of a canoe and different sizes of the rails mean that each one has to be done by hand and eye. The messages at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=1967 should get you started. Even after you have worked out all of the geometry there is still a fair amount of time required to just stand back and gaze at it so you can then adjust things to make it look right. It gets even more exciting when you are working with sponsons as shown at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=8099&d=1248028261 for example.

Diamond headed bolts are available from Northwoods Canoe at http://www.wooden-canoes.com/pricelist.htm and Island Falls Canoe at http://www.islandfallscanoe.com/old-town-canoe-materials-repairs.asp along with many other sources as Kathy mentioned. Good luck with the restoration,