old town HW model

Attached are images of the HW and GS models from the 1935 Old Town catalog, courtesy of The Complete Old Town Canoe Campany Catalog Collection, 1901- 1993, available on CD from http://www.wcha.org/catalog/ and http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/cdrom.htm on the web.

I chose the '35 catalog because the text is the same for many years. The very early HWs and GSs will appear somewhat different from these... and the HW model disappears from the Old Town catalogs after 1953. So 1935 seemed a good, average year for comparison.

As you can see from the pictures, the HW has higher stems and more recurve. In profile pictures, it can be confused with the Otca-- but for the fact that the older Otcas have long decks with coaming. I mention this because some folks think of the Otca as "the pretty canoe"... and the HW is just as pretty.

Not that a GS isn't a pretty canoe... but it is a utility boat, and while the HW can be used for fishing, it's more of a pleasure craft. It looks nice in solid green, but wouldn't look silly painted like a courting canoe. It's my idea of an all-purpose canoe-- the one most likely to be fitted for sailing or to have sponsons attached to its sides... and even though it's for "heavy water", it does okay on the lightweight stuff too.

You'll notice that the GS comes in 18 and 20 feet... while the HW comes in 16, 17 and 18. So, the GS is designed for holding a lot of people and stuff and a couple dogs too. Those who want a utility canoe that comes in smaller sizes and is more easily portaged may prefer the fifty pounder.

Notice also that the GS was available in three grades.

Others here may have thoughts to add, from personal experience. If you're curious about canoes of a specific year, any of us who have the catalog CD can look it up for you.



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Thanks for the compliment, but everything I appear to know I learned here in Forums and through reading the books offered in the WCHA store and from back issues of Wooden Canoe... and the catalog collections on CD were the best resource for your answer.

The theme for next year's WCHA Assembly is Guide Canoes... should be some great examples by a number of builders... and there'll be "other stuff" too-- an opportunity for face-to-face comparison.