Old Town Serial# 131481


New Member
Hi: All
I own a Old Town 17ft canoe serial # 131481 This canoe was purchased by my father new and has been in the family the whole time.
Can anyone give me any deeper information about it.
Thanks for any help. :)
It's great to have a "family canoe"-- please share pictures.

Old Town 131481 is a 17 foot AA (top) grade Otca model canoe that was completed January--> April of 1941. It has open mahogany gunwales and mahogany decks/thwarts/seat frames, a keel with full-length bang plate, additional bilge keels, and a floor rack. Originally, it was painted garnet red. it was shipped to a fellow named Sam in Royal Oak, MI, on April 28, 1941-- not long before WWII.

I'll attach images from the 1941 catalog, courtesy of "The Complete Old Town Canoe Company Catalog Collection, 1901- 1993", available on CD from http://www.wcha.org/catalog/ and http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/cdrom.htm on the web.

The scan of this record is attached below-- click on it to get a larger image. 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 and anyone else reading this will join or renew membership in 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 renew.

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.

More information on the Old Town Company can be found in Sue Audette's book, "Old Town, Our First Hundred Years", which is available through the WCHA store and most booksellers, eBay, Amazon, and public libraries.

If you have any specific questions about your canoe-- restoration questions, where to paddle, etc. -- please ask.



  • ot131481.jpg
    473.9 KB · Views: 226
  • ot 1941.jpg
    ot 1941.jpg
    280.4 KB · Views: 237
  • ot otca 41.gif
    ot otca 41.gif
    172.7 KB · Views: 234
Thank You and another question

Hi: Kathyrn
Thank you for the fast and detailed responds. I have another question, there is a engraved brass plate on the floor that has my father's name and "Royal Oak" which is were he lived at the time. Was this something Old Town did when a canoe was ordered, or did he do it for indentification.

There is also a removable metal triangular bracket used to attach a small outboard motor to the side of the canoe. Is this a Old Town accessory?
It appears to be a custom fit for this canoe. I can remember as a child
(were going back to the 50's now:)) riding at the bow and going across a lake faster than 10 people could paddle. with maybe 1 to 1.5 hp Evinrude.

I will post some pictures when the weather warms up (too much snow here also). I know that this canoe is a time capsule from "1941", thanks to you. If someone needs a picture for restoration details I would gladly oblige. even the came on the seats are the original. There hasn't been any repairs made to the canoe to my knowledge.

Thanks again.
Your canoe is a treasure, and I'm glad you know that-- an old canoe holds many happy memories, which can be important to the family that used the canoe... especially as the years go by.

It wasn't a routine-thing for Old Town canoes to have a nameplate on them, but perhaps Old Town had a source and provided name plates if the customer requested one. There's no mention of name plates in the Old Town catalogs.

I don't see outboard motor brackets in the 1941 catalog either, but these may have been available through sporting goods dealers, or maybe someone custom-made the one on your canoe.

The little Evinrude motors are beautiful. Do you still have yours?

Glad you found this place!

Thanks again

Hi again:
Thanks for the feedback about the brass plate and the motor bracket.
Yes I still have the Evinrude, I don't know if it will run. They were very interesting because it was designed to run on "white gas" (low compression ratio), this was before the days of "Eythel", i.e. lead in the gas. The engine would run on "Coleman Fuel" so you only needed one fuel to run a lantern, stove, or your outboard, how handy if you were in the backwoods.
Best regards and thank you for all your help...