Old Town


Trout Bum
Wrote to a nice lady and asked for more detail on a canoe she had for sale in the classifieds. Here is what she wrote back. Any assistance would be very much appreciated.


Thank you for asking about the canoe. We just looked for the numbers' and we found these. It has been varnished many times but this is the closest we can come .
either 18328 18 or 16 or 13328 18 or 16. We didn't even know they were there, learn something new everyday. It is 16 ft.
The last two digits of an Old Town serial number indicate the length so that should be 16 in this case. Their serial number 18328 went on an 18 foot long canoe, 13328 went on a 16 foot canoe with closed gunwales, and 118328 went on a nine foot long dinghy. Your pictures show open gunwales so these are probably not the correct numbers. My guess is that a preceeding "1" digit is hidden and you have the Old Town canoe with serial number 113328. This is a 16 foot long, CS grade, Yankee model with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, oak decks, oak trim, and a keel. It was built between December, 1933 and May, 1934. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on May 24th, 1934 to Detroit, Michigan. The back side of the scan shows that someone from Sunapee, New Hampshire inquired about this serial number in August, 1973. Scans showing both sides of this build record can be found by following the links at the attached thumbnail images below.

These scans 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.



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That's gotta be it. Looking at the photos I see traces of dark green under the peeling blue paint. It is living in a Detroit suburb now, and has been with the same owner since 1966, according to the nice lady. Any idea what the word on the keel line is that looks like, "Haucette"?

Great job of detective work!

Thanks for your able and speedy assistance!

Canerodz said:
Any idea what the word on the keel line is that looks like, "Haucette"?

The names after the dates on most Old Town build records from this period are presumed to indicate the person who did the work. Many tasks were paid on a 'piece work' basis so it was important to know how many keels (or rails, etc.) a given person had done. Good luck with your possible purchase and restoration,