Old Town Model and Serial# search


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I recently purchased a 16 ft Old Town with a 32" beam (including gunnals). It has mahoghany gunnals, seats, breasthook, and thwarts. The serial # is 14325 or 14329 . I need the model and year of manufacture. Thanks;
Ed Dehors


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Ed: The serial number is probably 14325 on a AA grade Charles River. It is 16 foot long with mahogany decks, thwarts and seats with half ribs. The canoe was built between May and July 1910. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on March 16, 1911 to Seattle, Washington. 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 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.

- Al


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Thank you for help

Thanks Al. She fits this description perfectly, except for the half-ribs. She originally had a floor-board because the hold-down brass twist things are still there.
Ed Dehors
If yours does not have half ribs, chances are this isn't the right record. They are a pretty permanant part of the canoe and should still be there. It may have also had a rack. Make sure your number is correct.
half- ribs

Thanks Mike -
If you look at the photo I put on my inquiry you'll see the 5 is sort of on top of a 9 - like it was stamped twice. What do you think ?

Ed Dehors
Looks to me like 43295 - It's wrong of course! 43295 is an 18' CS Grade HW!

Is there a better number on the other stem? Sometimes you have to look at both and try to figure out what the correct number is. You keep trying - we'll keep looking them up until we find an answer!
bad stempiece

The other stem has a few bolts through it that held who knows what, but the serial number is not ledgible on the other stem. To read this number I had to strip the grey paint, covering the whole interior,from the bow stem. Can you make any sense of the photo ??
Ed Dehors
How 'bout

I played around with the image on a photo editor and I think I see 143295.

That is with my x-ray glasses on too:cool: .
serial # is GOOD - BUT NO 1/2 RIBS !!!!!

Thanks for your observation, but the 5 was definetly put on OVER the 9, as if the 9 was a mistake. Today I stripped the paint off the other stem piece and the other stem has bolts and big washer impressions over the serial number.
Could the notation on the build card be a mistake ??????????

Ed Dehors
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Ed: In my experience the build records tend to be pretty accurate. That's not to say we don't have an issue here. Let's start from the beginning and try to identify features that would at least put us in the ballpark.

Does the canoe have open or closed gunwales? Are the bolts securing the seats and thwarts diamond-shaped? Are the ribs tapered as they approach the inwale? How are the seats caned; are there individual holes in the frame or is the cane pre-formatted? etc. Answers to these questions will narrow it down roughly to pre-1920, 1920 to WW2 and post WW2. Let me know. - Al

Al, thanks for your help. In stripping both stems completely she doesn't have that '16' I expected to find. Secondly, her seats are correct, but no classic Old Town bolts on the seats or the thwarts - bolts & mahoghany 3/8" bungs.

I have a 1926 Charles River CS grade in lovely shape. Lynn Miller, my old friend, brought this canoe to the assembly last week to have something to paddle. You may have seen it. My Charles River model and this canoe could be twins, except for the mahoghany. She has the same high bow & stern, thin steam-bent breast hook deck. Yesterday Lynn and I measured both canoes and they are identical in beam, length, etc.
She's a mystery !! Any help would be appreciated MUCH.
Ed Dehors

Kinda looks to me if it was a mistake, the 9 was stamped over the 5, so what does 14329 yield.