OT Serial 47177 18'


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I just became the proud owner of OT 47177 18'. A friend of mine purchased it from the Local Boy Scout Camp back in the 50's when they were getting a new batch of canoes he paid the whopping sum of $25 for it and took it to the boundary waters 8 times. It needs quite a bit of work, but the price was right, and I always wanted a wooden boat so I took it off his hands.

Any info on OT 47177 18' would be greatly appreciated

Located in Central IL


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It seems you've found a nice canoe! Old Town 47177 is an 18 foot AA (top) grade Ideal model canoe that was finished between December 1916 and May 1917. The Ideal is essentially a tricked-out Charles River model--- your canoe has red Western cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, mahogany decks, thwarts, and seat frames, half ribs, and a keel. It was originally painted dark green. The mahogany trim, open gunwales and half ribs on the Charles River model are what makes it "Ideal". Not your typical Scout camp canoe! The canoe was originally shipped to Morehouse and Wells Co. of Decatur, IL, on June 19, 1917.

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 anyone reading this will join or renew 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 renew.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description don't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.



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Thanks for the info.

Is there a way to determine from the currently transcribed records how many Ideal, 18', AA canoes were built?

Taking the number of 764 (Ideal 18') from the build chart and factoring for 23% AA would give leave only 176. Is there currently a way to get a closer number at this time?

I believe the only way to determine how many of any of the Old Town models were built, is to get the Old Town build record CD and count them (at the risk of harming your vision-- literally!).

My guess is that hundreds of Ideals were built... Benson may have a better idea... but how many of those actually exist today would be anyone's guess. You could use the "search" function at the top of the page and plug in "Ideal" to see how many requests have been made in recent years.

The table at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/models.html shows that an estimated 764 Ideal models were built in the 18 foot length and the chart at http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/grades.jpg shows that about 23% of the overall production was AA grade as you have discovered. However, all of the Ideal models in this sample are AA grade so you can't reasonably multiply these estimates together in this situation to get a closer number. The only accurate solution is to manually count them as Kathy also mentioned. A quick search for "Ideal" in the serial number forum here as Kathy suggested shows 29 threads where this term has been used so there are still a few around. Good luck with your restoration and feel free to post any additional questions here.

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