Old Town serial # 175720 16

boono

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I just bought this Old Town canoe and was hoping to find a little information about it.

serial # 175720 16

Thanks,

Noel
 
Hi Noel,

Old Town 175720 is a 16 foot Otca model canoe that was completed February-March of 1966. It has outside stems and a keel and was originally painted "lemon chroma" yellow and shipped to Cranford, NJ, on March 14, 1966. A copy of the scan of this record is attached below--- click on it to produce 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 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.

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 your canoe still has the original canvas on it, you may be able to do some archeological excavating and discover what shade "lemon chroma" is!

Kathy
 

Attachments

  • ot175720.jpg
    ot175720.jpg
    316.1 KB · Views: 225
Hi Kathy,

Thanks for such a quick and thorough reply. I'm sure excited about this boat. I'm not sure if it still has it's original canvas, but it is still yellow (repainted as the keel has been painted over). I'm still learning about the cedar/canvas construction, but I suspect I'll need to re-canvas sometime soon. When re-canvasing/re-painting, what are your thoughts about trying to retain the original color vs. choosing a different color (i.e. I'm not crazy about the yellow with the darker aged woods)?

Looking forward to getting out on the water:)

Noel
 
Noel --

Before undertaking a restoration, you might try to get your hands on one or more of the following books:

"The Wood and Canvas Canoe" by Rollin Thurlow and Jerry Stelmok, and/or "Building the Maine Guide Canoe" by Jerry Stelmok, and if you have an Old Town canoe, you will find "The Old Town Canoe Company" by Susan Audette and David Baker of great interest.

The first is often called the "bible" of canoe repair, restoration, and maintenance; the second is an excellent study of the wooden/canvas canoe, and the third is a great history of the company and its canoes. These are available from the WCHA store, are often on eBay, or from Amazon. Sue Audette also sells her book directly ( http://www.thebaglady.tv/ ).

You could check out the web site of Bearwood Canoes, where builder Pam Wedd gives a lot of useful information she has learned in some 20 years of building canoes -- http://users.vianet.ca/bearwood/pages/articles.html

There have been a number of discussions about whether to restore an old canoe to its original appearance/condition. The general opinion is that it’s your canoe, so you can do what you want. And especially as to color -- it is often difficult, if not impossible to determine just what the original color was. But you might want to take a look at some of the earlier discussions – two are found at:

http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=7096&highlight=restore

http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=2869&highlight=renovation

Don’t be bashful about asking questions here on the forums – lots of us are happy to pass on tips and lessons we have learned -- often the hard way.

And most important – post pictures of your canoe – as is, in use, under construction/renovation, whatever. We all like to see pictures of canoes other than our own.

Greg
 
Hi Greg,

Thanks for your informative reply. I do want this boat to be used and as it's not rare or even very old (built in '66, it's a relative baby in the w/c world), I'll enjoy the freedom of the "it's your canoe.." philosophy. I do have "The Wood & Canvas Canoe" -- lots of information to digest there.

We did take the boat out for a short paddle yesterday and it seems I'll need to start my work on it as soon as possible if I'm to get some use out of it this summer. We had some water make it's way in along the keel line and of course the old dried out cane seats couldn't survive. Also found a nice birds nest under the deck plate.

A few questions already bubbling around in my mind:

--Varnish? I'd love to hear folk's thoughts on when it's ok to clean up (scape/sand) old varnish and add new coats vs. stripping the old varnish (sounds toxic).

--Filler? Does it really take a month or more for the filler to dry/cure? Are there some alternative fillers that set up more quickly?

--Keels and outside stems? I gather that when re-canvassing, that many folks choose to leave off the keel and this would probably be my preference (although it was nice in a strong quartering wind yesterday). How are the outside stems dealt with in this case?

Thanks to all for the wealth of information and for making the forum/website such a welcoming place:). I'll try to get some pictures posted soon.

Noel
 
Hi Greg,

A few questions already bubbling around in my mind:

--Varnish? I'd love to hear folk's thoughts on when it's ok to clean up (scape/sand) old varnish and add new coats vs. stripping the old varnish (sounds toxic).

--Filler? Does it really take a month or more for the filler to dry/cure? Are there some alternative fillers that set up more quickly?

--Keels and outside stems? I gather that when re-canvassing, that many folks choose to leave off the keel and this would probably be my preference (although it was nice in a strong quartering wind yesterday). How are the outside stems dealt with in this case?

Thanks to all for the wealth of information and for making the forum/website such a welcoming place:). I'll try to get some pictures posted soon.

Noel

Noel,

If you have the canvas off it's not a bad job to strip the old finish. There are lot's of posts on this site about the best ways to do it. At the end of the day, the most aggressive stripper, some good brushes and a day of your time can get your canoe prepped for a really nice varnish finish. It's not a bad job, especially for such a "young" canoe.
However, if the varnish in your boat looks good and if you are sure that it is not a polyurethane finish (most likely not) then you can just as easily achieve a nice result by lightly pre-sanding and applying several coats of nice quality spar varnish.

Fillers do take 4 plus weeks to cure. If you are not patient, you may pay a price later on when your paint finish fails due to moisture from the filler. I leave the filler in place for 6 weeks. Others may comment on alternatives. I have never experimented with any "non-traditional" for filler.

I agree with you about the keel and prefer to leave them off. That said, how will you use the canoe? A keel can be useful in some situations.
If you leave the keel off, then you will also leave off the outside stems. It's your call to decide how to deal with the holes in the ribs.

As you note, you plan to use the canoe so how fussy you decide to be is in your hands.

Good luck and do post some pictures. We never tire of looking at canoes of all types.
 
Noel --

The basic issue with keels is that they make the canoe somewhat less maneuverable. If you are going to do a lot of canoeing on fast, narrow, very winding rivers, or on rivers with much white water or lots of rock gardens, a keel can be a hinderance. On the other hand, if you are mostly going to be paddling on quiet rivers, wider rivers, or lakes, where sudden turns are less likely to be needed, a keel can provide a welcome element of stability -- as you note, a keel can be useful in a quartering wind.

I have a 15' OT 50 pounder, with outside stems and a keel. I find it more than adequately nimble for the canoeing I usually do, although there are a few submerged rocks in the Piscataquis River with yellow paint from the keel. I have a 16' Royalex canoe, no keel, should I have a mind to do any white water.

The canoe (see my avatar) needs new canvas and some wood replacement/repair. (It was all bright yellow when I got it -- toned the yellow down a bit when I repainted it.) When I do the repair/restoration, I don't know what I will do about a paint job, but will be leaving the outside stems (after stripping the paint from them) and the keel, in large part because I like the look of bright-finished outside stems, and because I don't find the keel e problem.

I image the outside stems could be kept without keeping the keel, by tapering the underwater end of the outside stems -- much as keel ends are tapered on canoes without outside stems. But5 I don't know -- haven't actually seen that done.

The real solution is two canoes, one with and one without a keel.
 
Noel --

There are other options for fillers, some of which are reputed to dry faster and/or be lighter in weight -- use the search function. And maybe someone with direct experienced will chime in.

Also, some have used dacron to cover their canoe instead of canvas -- to save weight. As I understand it, regular filler is not used with dacron. Again, the search function will turn up some information. When I do restore my 15' OT, I am seriously considering using dacron to save, I am told, perhaps 5+ pounds.
 
Old Town serial # 175720 16

"The real solution is two canoes, one with and one without a keel."

And remember, you always need just one more canoe....
 
Hi All,

Thanks for all the great info and advice. I suspect that this boat will mostly be used in flat water, so the keel is probably ok. If I want to paddle whitewater, I'll just go kayaking--although, I'd love to be able to take this boat down some very mellow class II stuff, but I guess that'll only happen if/when I take the keel off.

Greg, I like how you've done enough work on your boat to use it, but haven't felt compelled to do a full on restoration just yet--it's more fun to paddle than to sand and paint, etc eh?. I'd like to consider a similar treatment for my boat--maybe the forum can help me come up with a game plan. I still have the canvas on but a few issues:

--I took on a little water when I took the boat out for a test paddle (maybe a pint or so in 30-45 min--noticed the leak right away but it almost seemed like the rate at which it leaked slowed down--wood swelling up??).

--This boat is painted bright yellow (sound familiar Greg?) and it appears to have definite adhesion issues with the most recent coating of paint. I'm guessing that this could be the main culprit in the leaking? But could be related to the keel and fasteners I guess.

If it seems feasible I thought I might:
--scrape/peel/sand the most recent paint layer off.
--do a little smoothing/filling of the canvas and old paint layer (if it's not too far gone--how do you tell?)
--scrape/sand interior and gunwales/decks, then add fresh varinsh(not a full strip and re-finish, just a refresh)
--re-paint (good enough to get through a season or two?)
--new stem bands and cane, but that should be straightforward enough

Thoughts?
Should I be looking for problems/leaks along the keel?
In my situation, can I do a bright finish on the keel or would it be best to paint over the keel (as it is now, but hopefully w/o the adhesion issues)?

thanks everybody,

Noel
 

Attachments

  • HPIM1921.jpg
    HPIM1921.jpg
    109.7 KB · Views: 227
  • HPIM1931.jpg
    HPIM1931.jpg
    153.5 KB · Views: 237
  • HPIM1925.jpg
    HPIM1925.jpg
    67.2 KB · Views: 214
  • HPIM1932.jpg
    HPIM1932.jpg
    118.2 KB · Views: 216
  • HPIM1934.jpg
    HPIM1934.jpg
    128.4 KB · Views: 218
Hey Greg,

I think I'll be looking carefully at fillers when the time comes. I like the sound of shaving 5 pounds off the canoes' weight with Dacron--and I was just reading about using micro balloons instead of the more traditional silica as a component of the filler for a weight savings of 5-7 lbs! That could really add up to substantial chunk. I wonder what the downsides are?

Noel
 
Back
Top