Request for Two Serial Numbers


LOVES Wooden Canoes
Good Morning!! I was hoping you would be so kind as to provide me with the build sheets and information for the following two canoes:

128076 18

183734 15

Thank You very much, this website is great, look forward to discussing the wooden canoe hobby with fellow enthusiasts!

Todd Alving
Hopkinton, MA

Serial number 128076 returns on an 18' OTCA AA grade with a keel, floor rack and sail rig. The color was gray and red, edged in black. It was shipped on May 3, 1940 to Hartford, Conn. It was returned having incurred some damage on July 2, 1940.

183734 is a 15' Light Weight built with a keel. The color was yellow and it was shipped on May, 11, 1970 to South Lancaster, Mass. Scans of the build records are attached.

Scans of approximately 210,000 records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. Additional information about the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details.

Please join WCHA or make a tax deductable contribution so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to join. If you are already a WCHA member, THANK YOU!

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.

- Al


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Additional on 128076

Attached is the repair record for this canoe. It was apparently initially damaged in shipment (stern end crushed) , returned and replaced with a new canoe (126571). The replacement boat was virtually identical, including the custom paint job. The original boat (128076) was repaired and resold to a Howard Chaffee in Portland ME.


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Thanks Al and Mike for your excellent responses, I like this site already!!! I now have a question, knowing that the AA Octa had a "custom" paint job, which we will never know what it looked like (the boat was stripped of its canvas and fiberglassed(!) when I got it, fiberglass is now thankfully history), is it ok from a restoration standpoint to simply pick my own color scheme now??? Personally, It's not sure it makes a diffence to me, the boat will otherwise be restored faithfully and accurately, what would the purists say???
Hey, it's your boat - paint it any color you'd like! While the scheme doesn't sound like any of the stock paint scheme OT offered, take a look at the following for ideas.
Design # 27 might be close, though the "to match" note may have some color variation. [EDIT - Scratch that, the description on the build record is vague enough that I don't want to point you toward any particular design.]

BTW, I don't know where you are located, but if you are anywhere within driving distance of the NY Finger Lakes, stop in at our annual Assembly next weekend (Thurs-Sat) at Keuka College. You will find Al, myself and about 300 wooden canoe folks and their boats. Wanna see how an Otca is put together, there will probably be 10 or so there!
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hopkintoncedar said:
do you think these designs are still copywrited by Old Town???

Many of the Old Town catalogs that contained these designs were copyrighted but I am not aware of any individual designs that were copyrighted. You can always contact the company and simply ask permission to reproduce one if you are concerned. Let me know if you have any trouble with this and I may be able to help.

My guess is that your canoe originally looked like the design number 25 as shown at but with a gray body and a red stripe edged in black. This particular combination of colors never appeared in any catalog so you would have no copyright issues if you decided to reproduce the original design. Paint can easily be replaced so I wouldn't worry too much about "what would the purists say" as Mike suggested. Paint it in the way that looks best to you and enjoy it. The design number 27 that Mike mentioned would usually have been described as having "turned down ends" on the build record.

Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck with the rest of your restoration.

And Benson is the man on Old Town! I looked at the record for the replacement boat (126571) and it offered a bit more detail on the design - namely the 3/4" stripe pointed at the ends! Attached.

One note: The replacement boat was an AA HW instead of an Otca. Another difference - the replacement had 30" mahogany decks instead of the 20" on the Otca. Huh!


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Thanks to all who helped on my questions regarding the Octa, I will contact Old Town and discuss paint/design with them, and perhaps flush out the question of old canoe design and permission to replicate issues.

On the other canoe I'm doing , which is the lightweight, are there paint code references??? I assume the yellow paint noted in the build sheet is the bright yellow I remember seeing in the Old Town catalogs in the 1970's, other there Old Town color charts I could access so that I can try to match up a currently available marine enamel????
hopkintoncedar said:
I assume the yellow paint noted in the build sheet is the bright yellow I remember seeing in the Old Town catalogs in the 1970's, other there Old Town color charts I could access so that I can try to match up a currently available marine enamel????

Yes, there is one at but I always try to encourage people not to agonize over finding the exact original shade. You may want to try some paint archeology but this is not an exact science. Look for areas where the original paint might have been hidden out of the sun light under the rails, keel, bang plate, etc. My general advice in these situations is to pick a color that you like because no one is ever likely to be able to prove that it is not the original shade. More information is available from the Old Town Canoe Catalog CD which can be purchased from and but keep in mind that the printer's inks may not accurately reflect the original colors. Good luck,