Old Town Serial No. Mystery


Canoeist & Collector
I just picked up a canoe and a build sheet that cannot be right.
The build sheet is for no. 64812 - 18. That sheet describes it as having a floor rack - this one has half ribs. The sheet does not specify outside stems - this canoe has them.
Close scrutiny of the all but obscured middle number seems to look more like a 5 or a 4 - 64512 or 64312. I hate to ask anyone to go through all nine integers for the obscure middle number but I am curious about the provenance.
What is clear is the length, 18.
What might be the best way to restore the build number if ever found?
I forgot to say it is fit out for sailing. I has a block with a hole (round) on the floor and a mast hole in the seat thwart.
Hi Jim-- Seems we need to keep trying for the correct record-- 64512 is a 17 foot Ideal and 64312 is a 20 foot Guide Special.

Was this canoe on eBay? I recall contacting a seller to point out that the build record didn't match the canoe as pictured... I always try to be a helpful WCHAer, so I did a slew of number combinations at the time and didn't find a match-- and the seller didn't reply, giving me anything to go on.

Benson is great at this game... we'll find it! What else might the numbers be?

Kathryn, good to hear from you again. I knew someone had asked a question. Didn't know it was you.
Gil, thanks for responding.
I was questioning it OldTowness, but the decks are distinctly Old Town. There also seems to be a decal spot on the bow deck which is Old Town shaped.
I have not checked the stern to see if numbers are there as well.
Interesting thing. Most Old Towns with sailing rigs, seem to have a bronze bezel on the seat thwart. This one is just wood. Had I bought this on the street in NYC, I would say it's a counterfit.
But there's too much genuine detail, and not enough. Interesting.
Thanks for your efforts. May be an impossible mystery to solve.
I looked again. Maybe the six is really an 8. The stem has been weathered so only the compressed grain of the stamp is apparent. Barely legible.
84812 is a war canoe-- I'll try the 8 in the front position with some other combinations... tried all numbers in the #3 position and nothing fit your canoe.
Tried these: 84512 (16' Ideal); 84312 (17' Otca); 84317 (17' Otca)--

Can you take a picture and post it? I've found that sometimes things come out in a digital picture which I can't see looking at the stem in-person... and others here may see something different too.

We can solve this!

/Users/jamessnyder/Desktop/Stem1 w #.JPG/Users/jamessnyder/Desktop/Stem2 w #.JPG/Users/jamessnyder/Desktop/OS Stem.JPG/Users/jamessnyder/Desktop/Sail Harness.JPG

I hope you can open these. I've tried to do this before without success.
Doesn't work for me... can you right-click on any pictures and send to me in email?... or post here? Sometimes others have a better eye than I do and could suggest what numbers to try...
I'll try soon. I'll send images from mac to pc, then try the right click method you suggest. Dual platforms are frustrating but a fact of life for me.
I scrolled down a little more and found "manage...." I'll try again. I want to send the maximum definition so one at a time, perhaps.
can't upload photo but

took the canoe off the truck this morning. There is also a number stamped on the stern stem. Somewhat more legible: 64313 or 64318. Maybe one of these has sailing rig and half ribs...
Sorry Kathryn photo upload not cooperating. I'm sure it's operator error.
64313 is a 16' HW and 64318 is a 17' HW. Both are CS grade and don't have half ribs or outside stems or mast seats... but we can't give up!

The sail rigging could have been a later addition... but the half ribs and length of the boat are what I'm focusing on.

If you can email me pictures directly, maybe I can post for all to see.
I checked all numbers between 64310 and 64320 and none seemed to fit. Looked at 64370-64380 and only 64378 came close, in that it's an 18 footer with OS stems but it doesn't have half ribs.

Is your canoe a HW model? I seem to recall that it appeared to be so. Does it have open gunwales? If you can post the eBay listing, the pictures may still be available and I can put them on this thread so others can dive in with thoughts and opinions and use this as a valuable future reference :).
If you could send your email addy, I'll send you ebay listing and photographs. I just can't seem to do it here. I can go take more pics this afternoon.
Checked 64810-64820 and also 64578, 64378, 64373, 64818, 64813... any other ideas or number combo possibles, anyone?
Pics from eBay

The attached pictures are of the canoe discussed here, which was recently listed on eBay with a build record that didn't appear to be the correct one. I've been searching through different number combinations to find the accurate record.

When this canoe went up for auction on eBay, I was drawn to the listing because the canoe was referred to as an Old Town "Indian Princess"-- as Carleton's AA grade is-- and wanted to check the build record to see if this was mentioned. I then noticed several things about the canoe that aren't mentioned on the record.

The canoe looks like an HW to me, not a Guide Special as is stated on the record. The canoe has half-ribs, outside stems, a rub rail, and a mast seat and step... none of which are on the record.

Anyway, Jim-- you have a canoe that should be very nice, and you got it for a good price. Let's keep looking for the correct record... tracking down a canoe mystery is a great way to learn!

Thoughts, anyone? Other number combos?



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Interesting canoe.

FWLIW, I also don't think it's a Guide, not flat enough.

And aren't those deck the older style? I can't tell for sure but they look it.
Meaning the canoe is somewhere in the '25 to '35 range? (open rails but with the older deck)

And are there holes in the sides, maybe from sponsons?

I have a HW that has sponsons and a sail rig, a bit similar to this canoe.
Is there evedence of a rudder attchment on the stern?