Old Town Sailing Dinghy

Mark Adams

all wood nut
Hello all,

Does anyone out there have a larger (11'6" or 14') sailing dinghy with the retracting centerboard? I am getting a 14' dinghy, but it is missing the centerboard as well as the pulley system to retract and lower the board. I am hoping someone has one and would be willing to make a tracing of the centerboard for me. (Benson, would Old Town still have that kind of info?) This is the one that was on eBay. It was 30 miles south, and I went to look at it. It is a nice boat, with very minor woodwork required, mainly strip and revarnish. The sail is shot also. The seller thought the planking was shot, but it is all sound, just well stained from muskrat pee.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Old-Town-Canoe-1938-14-foot-sailing-dinghy_W0QQitemZ330283632330QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item330283632330&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A3|39%3A1|240%3A1318
 
Congratulations Mark,

You may have suffered in some previous canoe purchases but this time you found a real gem. Your new sailing dinghy was designed by John Alden for Old Town in 1931. It is identified as his design number 0512. The original plans are still available from http://www.aldendesigns.com/ and you may also want to register this one in their Alden's Owner Registry at http://www.aldendesigns.com/ownerboatinfoform.html since there is only one other known to still exist. The Alden plan numbers are:

0512009 0512 09 Lofting - Table of Offsets 1931 CAA

0512010 0512 10 Lofting - Lines 1931 CAA

0512020 0512 20 Construction - Hull Deck Plan. No Scantlings 1931 CAA

0512023 0512 23 Construction - Centerboard Centerboard trunk 1931 CAA

0512091 0512 91 Deck , Rigging Hardware, Incl. Rigging Fittings 1931 CAA

0512097 0512 97 Outboard profile Incl. Deck plan 1931 CAA

0512098 0512 98 Sail Plan, Marconi Rig SA=116Ft^2. Incl Block & Rigging List 1931 CAA

and the full set can be purchased from Niels C. Helleberg at aldendesign@worldnet.att.net for about $80. I have a set if you just want a detail scanned.

The original prototype was Old Town serial number 109409 as shown below in the build record and on the water. More pictures are at http://www.canoehullabaloo.com/sailing/alden-512.jpg now and in the background at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=6208&d=1222825989 during the 1930s.

I suspect that no more detailed information is available from the factory in Old Town. More background about John Alden is available in the book titled John G. Alden and His Yacht Designs by Carrick and Henderson. The appendix indicates on page 430 that his designs 540, 544, and 545 were also done for the Old Town Canoe Company in the early 1930s.

Let me know if you have other questions or want more details since the original prototype is available for reference although it is stored about 150 miles north of me. This is a really fun boat to sail.

Benson
 

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Hi Benson,

Thanks for your reply. I must say though, the one I bought doesn't look anything like the one in the picture you included. It looks simply like a 14' dinghy with a factory sail rig added on. I tried to go check it on my copy of the build records again, but my CD drive seems to have taken a crap. The bow profile is vertical like the other 2 dinghys I have worked on, not that sleek swept back look in the picture. Am I missing something?

Mark
 
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I suspect that you will find that the hull shapes are very similar and that yours simply has smaller deck and no gunwale enclosure. The 14 foot dinghy was introduced at about the same time as this Alden so I suspect that they may have been based on the same form although the stem line and other things could have been changed. The centerboard and trunk are probably the same as well. A copy of your build record is attached below (but I will spare you the rest of the speech since you probably know it by heart).

Benson
 

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Hi Benson,

So, the 14'ers were all based on a John Alden design? Should I still register it? I am kinda excited if it is indeed 1 of 2 known! The sail rig looks like it is a gunter rig, without the sprit sail. I saw 2 booms as well as the mast.

Could you scan in the centerboard plans for me? That I think will be the hard part of the restoration. The woodwork is minor, 3 cant ribs, and a seat ledge. One of the rudder gudgeons is missing as well, but I think I can get that cast locally.
 
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Yours is the only fourteen foot open dinghy that I have ever seen with a sail rig so it may actually be unique. It is my belief that the 14 foot Old Town dinghy is based on the John Alden design number 512 because they were both introduced in 1931 but I don't have any other documentary proof of this. The Old Town with serial number 109409 does not match the original Alden plans exactly and your dinghy is even more different. I don't know what the policy of the Alden's Owner Registry is for including boats that are based on Alden's designs but have substantial differences from the original drawings. My guess is that they would be happy to add your boat to their list.

The 11.5 foot Old Town sailing dinghy was available with a 72 square foot sliding gunter rig and galvanized steel centerboard in 1938 so yours probably had both. The rudder gudgeons are one of the major differences between the prototype and the Alden design drawings. I will try to get you a copy of the centerboard drawing plan.

Benson
 
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Hi Mark,
I am about to acquire my older brother's 11.5 Sailing Dinghy 1938 #121427. It is all intact except rub rail rope and oar brass. Email me and I can help out with the center board. I am also about to acquire a SeaLion from bradenton Fla 'Old Wooden Boat Works' company - defunct. The Sea Lion is prefect -10 footer gaff with jib ... stay in touch

terry jacobs 952 567 4708



Hello all,

Does anyone out there have a larger (11'6" or 14') sailing dinghy with the retracting centerboard? I am getting a 14' dinghy, but it is missing the centerboard as well as the pulley system to retract and lower the board. I am hoping someone has one and would be willing to make a tracing of the centerboard for me. (Benson, would Old Town still have that kind of info?) This is the one that was on eBay. It was 30 miles south, and I went to look at it. It is a nice boat, with very minor woodwork required, mainly strip and revarnish. The sail is shot also. The seller thought the planking was shot, but it is all sound, just well stained from muskrat pee.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Old-Town-Canoe-...3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66:2|65:3|39:1|240:1318
 
Hi Terry,

Wow! a thread retrieved from the depths! I was able to get the centerboard worked out, and had one water jet cut. I am still up in the air on the pulley/rope arrangement to haul the board up. I'd love to see pics!
 
I'll be able to send more pic's as time goes on - please send an email ( to: xk140@frontiernet.net) ... as for the board rigging, we can solve that for you. The boat is upside down and 14 ft off the ground. In time, i will get more details for you as I get access to it. Keep in touch. Terry 952 567 4708 tele (where do you live?)
 
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