Old Town serial number

Billm

Canoes & Guideboats
Hello,
I have an Old Town 16 ft. canoe with a serial number that appears to be 21815524. Can someone check the build records for this boat?
Thank you.
Bill
 
Hi Bill,

You might want to recheck that number. Old Town serials are usually 6 digits, followed by a space, then the length.
 
Bill,

As Mark said, Old Town serial numbers are 6 digits... and in addition, our records only go through 210XXX (about 1975). Pictures may help us identify your canoe, if the s/n doesn't appear Old Town.

Kathy
 
It looks like the number has been altered by adding a 2 at the beginning and 4 at the end. So the original number was probably 181552, followed by 16.
 
Hi Bill,

Old Town 181552 is a 16 foot fiberglass model canoe that was finished September-October of 1968. I think the original color was turquoise-- that's my interpretation, and if your canoe isn't turquoise don't necessarily think this isn't the correct record if everything else matches what you are seeing. This canoe was shipped to Ole Amundsen, Inc., of Riverside, Connecticut, on December 17, 1968. 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.

Kathy
 

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I'll have to go back and recheck the number. This is a wood/canvas canoe. The person that I bought it from acquired it in 1970 and it appeared to have much more than two years use at that time.
At some point, someone drilled many small holes into the pattern of the serial number and added two digits. It looks like the serial number was made with a large, defective dot matrix printer. The impression of the original numbers is barely visible among the tiny holes. The numbers on both stems were modified in the same way.
The lighting is very poor in the area where the boat is being stored. I'll move it out of the barn and perhaps shed some light on the matter.
BTW, I'm assuming it's an Old Town because it has diamond head bolts. It has 4 thwarts and no seats.
Thanks for your help so far.
Bill
 
Wow-- what was done to the serial number reminds me of what criminals do to handgun serial numbers!

You might want to check the information on Old Towns found at www.dragonflycanoe.com/id/ (scroll to Old Town on the left) and compare the deck styles with what you have... or simply post pictures to verify that it is an Old Town. We have a 1905 Gerrish with diamond-head bolts...

With pictures, we could confirm that it's an Old Town and might be able to determine the model and era of your canoe.

Good luck!

Kathy
 
Here's a thought:
Since it seems the original serial # has been messed with, but parts of it could have been copied over, I decided to look up OT 81552. This is an early 16 ' model, and should be fairly easily recognizable ... if it matches.

81552 is a 16' CS grade Double-ended boat built between Nov. 1923 and July 1924, and shipped on 9 Aug. 1924 to Hammond & Cooke, Monticello, NY. Made with Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, birch decks, seats and thwarts, it also had a keel, outside stems and floor racks as well as being equipped with rowlocks and a rudder. The original color was dark green.

Hope this may help. If it doesn't, then someone has been very creative in trying to make up something that looks like an OT number, as well as to disguise it.

I'll try to attach a scan of the build record which is folio 12623 in the 81000 series.

Best to all,
Roger
 

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And to be even more complete on checking out some of the 'core' numbers you seem to have, I also looked up OT 18155.

This is a 16' CS grade Charles River with western cedar planks, closed spruce gunwales, birch decks, ash thwarts, with spruce finish rails. It was painted dark green. It shipped on 17 July 1911 to E D Murdoch in Tunkahannock (?) PA.

The scan of the build record is attached. file 2087 in the 18000 series

Roger
 

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Again, thanks for your help.
I'll try to get some photos posted this evening or tomorrow.
I'll also try to contact the previous owner and see what he knows about its history before 1970.
Bill
 
To round out the 'possibles' even further, OT 15524 is also a 16' CS grade CR model with western cedar planking, closed spruce gunwales, ash decks, seats and thwarts with finish rails of spruce. Originally painted dark green. Built in late 1910, it was shipped on 27 Feb. 1911 to Jos. A Marks Co., Detroit, MI.

OT 5524 (once again assuming that some of your core numbers may be correct) is a 17' CS grade CR model from 1907.

These are very early canoes. The scans of their build records are attached.

Roger (with apologies to Kathy for hi-jacking the answer; I had some extra time and thought I`d just run some numbers. I was curious about the 'alterations'.)
 

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When I get the boat into better light I should be able to tell which numbers are authentic and which ones were added later. That should clear things up a bit.
 
I've noticed the canoes rarely stray far from their original destination, so wherever it is now (or has been most of its life) is important to consider when connecting it to a record.
 
I pulled out my Official C.S.I Junior Detective Manual and found this method for lifting serial numbers from old canoes. It's pretty clear that the original number is 181552.
Since this canoe doesn't match the description that Kathy listed for an Old Town with the same number, I guess it's not an Old Town.
Does anyone have any additional thoughts?
Bill
 

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another try...

Ask if the canoe came from a Scout camp in New York...

Old Town 131552 is a 16 foot CS grade low-end HW model with open spruce gunwales, ash decks and thwarts, and no seats (as was frequently done with Scout canoes). Original color was aluminum. This canoe was shipped May 31, 1941, to Warren Cutler Scout Reservation in Webster, NY. 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.

Kathy
 

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You nailed it, Kathy.

Camp Cutler is owned by the Boy Scout Council of the Rochester, NY area. Webster is a suburb of Rochester. In the early '50's, the Council opened a new camp called Massawepie near Tupper Lake in the northern Adirondacks. It's likely that canoes and other equipment were moved from the old camp to the new.

The previous owner of this canoe was a camper and counselor at Massawepie in the '60's. He confirmed that he purchased the canoe from Massawepie.

Mystery solved! Good eye on seeing the 8 as a 3.

This also confirms your observation that canoes don't stray far from their original home.

Thanks for your help on this.

I'll post some more pictures when I've finished the restoration.

Bill
 
Glad to have found it! I'm also glad you know how much we like pictures... especially those of beautiful canoes that have made it back into the water!

Our Annual Assembly next year (July 2011) will be at Paul Smith's College in the Adirondacks--- hope you will consider showing off your canoe, or at least coming to enjoy some time others who appreciate wooden vessels!

Kathy
 
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