Old Town Issue?


I'm a rank amateur at all this, but I'm determined to get my newly acquired 1940 Old Town Yankee repaired and on the water before I drop over from old age.

I need to replace both inwales/outwales, upper 6 inches of inner stems etc. I have no wood working equipment other than my own two mitts.

My problem is that I can't find any Old Town dealers in NE Ohio willing to serve as a go-between to receive the prebent pieces/parts that Old Town offers. Chardon, Ohio (25 miles east of Cleveland) is not exactly the center of the wood/canvas canoeing universe.

Does anyone know of a reponsible dealer within 100 miles (Pittsburgh area would also be acceptable) that might help me out? Any info or suggestions for alternative sources would be greatly appreciated!
OT parts


Check your private messages. I ordered Old Town parts and they were truely awful. You could dig up roots that would look and fit better. Truck over to Gil Cramer's in Bryan and he'll fix you up, just don't mention 'book shelves' -Chuck
I ordered parts too.

Chuck, I ordered pre bent stems and Decks from Old Town for a 13' '51 trapper. they fit well. My only thought was that the grain on the decks ran parallel to one edge of the deck and not to the centerline. I specified the stems NOT be notched. For stem tips, INwhales, outwhales. I would make my own or have a woodorker make them locally. With limited tools I would then make long thick mil plastic socks and pull them over the gunnel and put the steam to it. then I would attach the gunnel and bend it at the same time workijng from the mid to the end.

Even better. Take it to Gil. He does great work.

I've noticed this on quite a number of old factory decks, I "assume" that they were trying to use the wood as efficiently as possible.

Now that nobody is building a lot of boats, pros or hobbiests, I would assume that most builders run the grain with the centerline, with the exception of historic restorations.


"the grain on the decks ran parallel to one edge of the deck and not to the centerline."
I would think that if you own no woodworking equipment you might have considerable difficulty getting the job done. The parts you describe are not difficult to make by someone who has the basic shop tools needed. If you are only replacing part of the stems, you'll probably have to fabricate the pieces you need. Perhaps the best approach would be to get in touch with someone in your area who has some experience with w/c canoes. Ric Altfather of this group lives in the Cleveland area. He can be found in the member's list link above under "R." You might want to send him a private message to see if he can help you. Also in the Pittsburgh area there is a WCHA chapter called the Three Rivers Chapter and includes Ohio. We are meeting this Saturday in Pittsburgh for a hands on demo of hollow mast building for canoes. You might like to hook up with us as there are lots of experienced friendly folks involved. If you're interested send me an e-mail and I'll get you directions. Failing all that, you must get a copy of Stelmock and Thurlow's book on building and restoring before you do anything else. It's available at this website's on line store.
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