Seats & Thwarts

Good Cookies

Hi Gang-
Could get some help with the Measurement (positions) for both seats & thwarts for my 18' old town CS HW #58613. The boat did not have much of the interior left.
Thank You,

Mic Meyer
The Old Town canoe with serial number 58613 is an 18 foot long, CS grade, HW (Heavy Water) model with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, 20 inch birch decks, birch trim, a keel, and outside stems. It was built between March and June, 1920. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on May 1st, 1920 to Buffalo, 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 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 to learn more about the WCHA and to join.

I have an 18 foot long Guide's model from 1931 that should have the thwarts and seats spaced similarly to yours. The middle thwart is obviously in the middle of the canoe. The bow thwart is 34 inches ahead of the middle thwart. The stern thwart is 34.5 inches back from the middle thwart. These were probably supposed to be symetrical so you may want to adjust yours to match each other. The bolt holes for the stern side of the bow seat are 39 inches from the middle thwart. The bolt holes on the bow side of the stern seat are 61 inches from the middle thwart. All of these distances are from the centers of the bolt holes measured along the top of the inside rail.

You can add an avatar picture under your log in name here by clicking the User CP option from the title bar above and then clicking on the Edit Avatar option in the left column to add your picture.

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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Thanks for the awesome info, I'll set up the interior using those mesurements, and see how it looks and balances out. How wide are the seats generally? I was also looking for 14-20 antique diamond-headed thwart and seat bolts.?

We are restoring this boat as a project with my 7 & 8 grade students @ A Buffalo Public School. The kids are digg'n it.

Thanks so much,
Mic Meyer


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I just completed restoring a '43 18' OT Guide. From the looks of your canoe, mine was in the same (or worse) condition. I decided to replace all the spruce and ash, gunwales, decks, and seats etc. with mahogany. So now I have 2 ash seats (with cane) and 2 ash thwarts that I'm not using. They should fit your canoe at the locations Benson mentioned, (not a center thwart). If you guys are interested you're welcome to the extra parts. Just let me know if you want them, and where to send them. The only charge will be........keep us posted on you progress.
Keep up the good work

Wow! That is a generous offer! We would be thrilled to get those seats. Only if your sure. Send them to Mic Meyer,193 Richmond Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222. You are the man! I will have my students write to you through the WCHA site from the School Computer Lab.




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The information at and indicates that the extreme width of your HW model may have been 1.5 inches less than the Guide's model parts that are being donated so you may have to cut them down slightly. I would suggest that you make a new center thwart in a length that will give your canoe a 34.5 inch overall width (including the outside gunwale) using the other thwarts as a model. Then you can adjust the other thwarts and seats to give the gunwales an even and fair curve to the decks. The picture at the bottom of the page at should give you a good example to follow.

The original 20 inch decks on your canoe probably looked more like an Otca deck as shown at rather than the traditional 16 inch HW deck as shown at on the Dragonfly Canoe Works site. More information about building Otca decks can be found at and if you decide to go this route.

I don't know of anyone who is selling old antique diamond headed bolts but brand new ones are available from the factory as listed at along with the Northwoods Canoe Company at and many of the other restorers listed at will sell them. It was also common to put wing nuts on the middle thwart so it could be easily removed. This probably explains why that is missing from Joe's generous donation.

Good luck with the rest of the restoration and please keep us posted on your progress. Thanks,

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I'll send the seats and thwarts on Monday. Maybe they can be modified and fit to your project. I also replaced the diamond head bolts. I kept the old ones and they are in fair shape. (4@4", 2@2 1/2", 4@ 2"). I'll throw them in the box, BUT they are all steel or iron, something other than brass. I'm guessing OT used steel during WWII. My canoe is a '43. Benson would have more information regarding what materials OT was using and when.