OT Serial Number 139732


Curious about Wooden Canoes
My uncle bought (and still owns) this canoe in 1944 for somewhere between $75 and $90 (gotta love inflation, huh?) I've been privileged to take it on a couple trips during the summers (small Adirondack lakes and slow rivers). It is apparently something called a "Fifty-Pounder", and is 15' long, 11" deep and about 36" wide in the center, as slightly upcurved ends, and no seats (just thwarts. he ordered it that way special). He refinished it in fiberglass when some scouts (he was a leader for years) punched a hole in it on the Delaware (wasn't me!)

I love how this canoe handles, how stable it is, how little it weighs, and how it just feels 'right' on the water, like it wants to 'go' on it's own. Unfortunately, it's in Syracuse, and I'm usually in Louisiana. All our water here is pretty flat and calm unless you get some waves on a big lake, which isn't often.

I have built a Eureka 155 stitch and glue canoe. I cut it down to 14'-6", eliminated the seats, and it weighs about 50-51#. But I would love to recreate my uncle's canoe as a cedar stripper. I like my Eureka, but it's a little tippy, and the dog has too much of an impact, good as he is. I'd also like a little more cargo space.

Does anyone know what this particular body style is called? I'm pretty ignorant, design-wise. I know there's something popular called a prospector, and I've heard of a couple other types (though I have no idea what they mean, and can't recall them right now.) Cheo-something comes to mind...

Someone on another forum suggested I just copy the canoe's cross sections to build a form/strongback, and gave a very helpful method to do so, but evidently didn't realize i can't just walk over to NY to do it some weekend.

Is there an existing plan for building something like it, or very similar, as a strip canoe? I'm thinking that the Bear Mountain Boats 'Ranger 15' is close, but again, I'm clueless when it comes to designs, and may be missing a key design point.
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here are some pictures of the canoe.


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The Old Town canoe with serial number 139732 is a 15 foot long, CS (Common Sense or middle) grade, fifty pound model with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, ash decks, ash trim, a keel, and no seats. It was built between April and June, 1944. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on June 30th, 1944 to Syracuse, New York. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

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 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. There is a good list of plans at http://wcha.org/build_restore/plans.html which has several canoes that should fit your needs although none for this exact model. There are some used ones available at http://classifieds.wcha.org/ and this model was renamed several times so you may also want to consider a Lightweight, Featherweight or Trapper. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.



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and some of my Eureka 155 stitch and glue...


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i've seen the trapper on the current OT site, and thought it looked similar. thanks so much for the input!
Maybe try a Bob's


The Bob's Special was Chestnut's lightweight version and it is similar in size, shape and characteristics to the Old Town. I have attached a picture of both. The Chestnut is on the left and the Old Town on the right.

Bob's Special plans are available at Bear Mountain and probably other places.



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thanks Fitz.

your photo of the Bobs Special next to the CS makes an excellent comparison.

i looked at the Bobs Special plan at the Bear Mountain site, then saw something called a Prospector Ranger that also looks similar. Your Bobs Special looks a little narrower, but the Bear Mountain design says it's about 35", which, while similar to the CS's 36" isn't enough to account, visually, for the difference in your picture. so maybe the original Bobs was a little narrower.

Any idea what the difference between the two plans is? I already inquired of Bear Mountain, and they didn't know.

Any technical experts out there want to weigh in on this? the biggest difference in the numbers that i can see is that the bob's bow height is 19.5" while the ranger's is 22".