Serial Number: 025705 (first character might be an "0" not a "C" as posted below)


Curious about Wooden Canoes

If anyone could help me identify when and where this canoe was made I'd be highly grateful. I have spent many hours restoring it. The first character looks more like a "C" but on closer inspection it looks like it may have been an "0" at one time.
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I didn't recognize a serial number starting with C. Perhaps someone else on the forum might know what company used that kind of serial number. If you have pictures that you can post here, that would help a lot. Especially photos of the decks, seats, inside stems, and the lines of the canoe.

If it is an Old Town canoe and the number is 025705, it probably would not have had the initial zero. The number 25705 was built in 1913 and shipped to Pennsylvania. That's an old boat, but it had open spruce gunwales and birch decks, seats and thwarts. It was a 16-foot CS (or common sense) grade OTCA. If you think the boat is that old, please post some photos.

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 if you want more details. I hope that you and anyone else reading this will join or renew membership in the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to renew.

If you are selling your canoe and plan to use this build record information as part of an ad, please consider giving the WCHA credit for this information on eBay or craigslist or wherever your canoe is listed.

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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Chestnut canoes sometimes had serial numbers starting with the letter "C" followed by 5 digits. Penn Yan canoes also started some serial numbers with "c", but the next character was also a letter. Your canoe is likely a Chestnut.

Sorry, I should have thought of pictures in the first place. I have included a close up of the serial number in case someone can help determine for sure whether the first character is a "C" or a "0". I am more than willing to take other close ups if necessary.
As you can see, I have not quite finished repairing the canvas yet. I am open to
recommendations on how I should paint it. I was thinking of covering a cheaper paint up with spar varnish. The edge is lined with a rubber hose to protect the canoe as the only part that was beyond repair (for my skill level anyway) was the outter piece of wood that runs the perimeter of the canoe.


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After a little digging and reading the site, it definitely appears that this is a Chestnut. It is also more probable since Chestnut is Canadian. Its too bad that it appears there is no way to trace a Chestnut canoe!