Old Town Wooden Row Boat - Value?


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Brand new to this forum and hoping this is the right place for this type of question.
I have been eyeing this old Town wooden row boat at a marina where I keep my boat trailer for the summer. It has been covered over with shrink wrap that is starting to deteriote. I asked the marina what the deal was on it. Told me this guy who owns it sends him a check for $20 every month to store it. Now going on 8 years and still gets a check every month like clock work. I thought it would be a good winter restoration project to keep me busy during the cold winter here in NH.
Do a lot of furniture woodworking but never tried my hand on this kind of project. (Tried a piano once but that is another story) Looks like it is in decend shape with little or no rot. Painted on both sides, looks like over the years someone added some cheap screws that are now rusted out. Has two seats in the square stearn, parallel with the gunwales. All hardware looks original, still has the bow sticker but pretty hard to read, Old Town plate on side.
My questions are - Anyone know what a resonable value would be to offer him, about how old is it, what type of wood is it, estimated hours to restore it back to decent shape, can a small motor be installed on the stearn?:confused:

I'm looking to use it occasionaly, not just display it.
Any info would be appreciated.
Start by locating the serial number and putting that in "serial number search" on these fourms... that'll give you the timing of the various stages of construction (dates), the wood species, model, date shipped and where. We can provide you a copy of the build record scan.

Old Town canoes have the serial number on the stems, at each end... on boats the serial number may be found on the transom or the bracket that holds the transom.

There's a good discussion of "value" here:


Note that your own labor and materials will go into restoring the boat... don't discount that when thinking up an offer. As you are a woodworker, you can probably determine the amount of time you'd have to put into it as well as anyone!

Perhaps the fellow who owns it has a reason for keeping it (maybe it was his dad's boat), but if he knows you plan to restore and use it, he'd be happy to let it go to such a good home... and be off the hook for the monthly bill.

Post pictures, and ask specific restoration questions, and you'll get lots of help and encouragement.

I don't know about the motor... but assume it was designed for using one. Once we know the boat's model and year, we can check the Old Town catalog for that year and see what it says.

It's worth whatever you will pay.

Kind of a rule of thumb... how much do you want to spend? That's what it's worth, to you. To the owner, only one way to find out. ;)
There are several sites that specialize in wooden boats and there are some adds here in the classifieds that can give you a ball park price for one of these. The Old Town name tends to amplify the value largely because the name is so well branded.
And yes, you can put a little motor on one of these boats.

I just bought a cute little Thompson Car Topper with an old Evinrude motor for less that what a canoe in lousy shape would have cost.

Finally getting down to negotiating price and I think we have a deal. More on that when boat is in hand.

I was trying to find the plate on the transom that had the info and cannot find it. Although the boat is under shrink wrap and hard to see thru I looked for it and cannot find it. Does anyone know more specifically where it might be?

Found out the boat is actually an old town sail boat (?) The owners told me that they have the mast and other items that go with it. Didn't know OT made sail boats?

Trying to post photos, but again under shrink wrap and hard to see thru. Will see if I can get some pics posted.
Old Town didn't put their serial numbers on plates-- the numbers are stamped right into the wood, and that's why they can be hard to find if the boat has layers of varnish, paint, gunk or whatever. A razor blade can help... and wetness... and a digital camera... but seeing the serial number through the shrink wrap may be impossible.

I looked through the Old Town catalogs on CD... only one boat is referred to as a "sail boat", and it's a lapstrake... but several of Old Town's boats and canoes were commonly rigged for sailing. The best bet for knowing exactly what it is you have is by finding the build record... although there are probably several people who read these forums who could diagnose your boat's species by sight. Great that the sail rigging exists!

It's fun to explore a mystery... keep the clues coming!

Decal and inside pics

OT project Decal small1.jpg

old town project 1 007.jpg

Thanks for the info, I guess I will have to wait and do more investigation after I can take the wrap off of it. Notice the decal says OT "Boat". I saw the store had decals just like it except it says "Canoe"
Looking through the catalogs on the Old Town catalog CD, I thought you'd enjoy this image of the 1955 Whitecap Sail Boat. It seems Old Town made this sailboat from 1940-1967, and it could be what you have. Looks like lots of fun! (Image courtesy The Old Town Canoe Company Catalog Collection, edited by Benson Gray and Dan Miller, published by Dragonfly Canoe Works and available at www.dragonflycanoe.com.)



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More likely an Outboard Skiff - notice the flat bottom.


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Sailboat questions

So I finally have the boat. Found out it is a 1955 old town. Haven't found any boat numbers on it, yet. Looks like the white cap above but with a few differences. Someone fiberglassed the underside of the boat and also the floor of the boat, so it is in pretty poor shape. Some of the edges are soggy, probably need a full replacement. The rest seems pretty solid. Came with all original pieces, oars, rudder, mast, floor boards.
Any other specifics where the # may be located?


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raptor99 said:
Any other specifics where the # may be located?
The three places to look for the serial number in an Old Town boat like yours are on the inside of the bow stem, the top of the center transom brace, or on the top edge of the transom. This boat may have been numbered in a different series from the canoes so you may have to send $3 to the factory for a copy of the build record. Good luck,

Found the numbers. Came across a OT boat for sale on the classifieds and the seller mentioned in the ad that the sn was on the stem. Found it under a couple layers of paint, looks like 05358.
Will post in the other forum to see if can be found.
Thanks all for the ideas and help, now the real fun begins.