serial number 43071 17

WAYNE DOUGLAS

Curious about Wooden Canoes
There is a space between the first 5 digits and the 17 (17-foot Old Town). The canvas has been stripped off. The original floor rack is intact. I was wondering what year this canoe was made and if there is any additional information available. I would like to restore it to its original color. Thank you, Wayne Douglas
 
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The build record for Old Town canoe #43071 indicates it was a 16-foot CS (or common sense) grade C.R. model (Charles River) built and shipped in 1916 to Shelton, Conn. This does not match your serial number with 17 as the last two digits. On this canoe, those last two digits would have been 16. Could you check the serial number again? A picture might help.

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 you and anyone else reading this will join or renew membership in 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.

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.

Norm
 

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Hello Norm, and thank you for your MUCH-appreciated assistance. It's incredible that Old Town has its build records going back to this early era. I will double-check the serial number when I get back home in 2 days. When I checked it the first time, I was lying upside down with a spotlight trying to read the numbers in the canoe, which is covered and sitting upside down on tall saw horses. I was wondering if the build record that you sent is for 43071 or 48071? I looked at it and first it looked like a 3, and then it looks like an 8, but it may be that I'm just seeing the lines in the photostat which is making it appear like an 8. I'll double check the numbers on the boat and get back to you. Again, I really appreciate what you are doing.
Thanks,
Wayne
 
Wayne,
That scan is hard to read, but better than a lot of the other ones in that folder. Every build record in that folder starts with 43---. I checked the build records on both sides of it. One was a 17-footer sent to New London, Conn. But take another look at the canoe when you get a chance. Sometimes cleaning the number with a little water, shining a light at an angle, or taking a digital photo improves readability.

If this is close to the correct number, it would be an old one. But look closely to see if there are any extra digits. Does the canoe have closed gunwales?

Norm
 
Hi Norm, I just got home and went out and sprayed the serial numbers with water. 43071 17 is correct, BUT it's possible there is a '1' in front of it. If there is, it's extremely light, and could very well just be a blemish or nothing at all, depending on the viewing angle. Is there a 17-foot with the serial number 143071? If so, then this must be correct. From the data base pie graph, it appears this canoe would have been built in the mid-1940's. For some reason, I doubt this canoe would have been from 1916. It just seems wrong. If there is no 17-foot canoe with this serial number, then I could send photo attachments if I can figure out how here.
Once again, Norm, many thanks.
Wayne Douglas
 
OT 143071 is a 16 foot CS grade Yankee, so it isn't your canoe either unless the "17" could be wrong. If you post a picture of the canoe, we may be able to say yup, that's an HW or an Otca, or that isn't an Old Town but is a [whatever], and appears to be from the '30s or '40s. You probably are correct about your sense of its age.

I think there's a description re how to post pictures in the "FAQs" section of the forums. Basically, you click "go advanced" in the lower right, and scroll to something mentioning attachments.

Meanwhile, I'll poke around the records too.

Canoes from "the war era" don't have brass or copper and seats from about 1943-47 don't have cane, unless they were replaced. Old Town canoes after about 1920 will have bolts with diamond shaped heads holding the seats and thwarts.

Love a mystery---especially if we solve it!

Kathy
 
SERIAL NUMBER 43701 and photos

Someone shoot me. It's amazing how the numbers changed position when I turned the canoe over today. Now they read 43701, and not 43071. My evil cat Scabby obviously had something to do with this. I still can't tell if that is a one in front of the 43701. Here are some photos.
 

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Hi Wayne-- It's their eyes, y'know: they only have to stare at things, and stuff changes. I have a cat, and know what she can do.

This appears to be a good match for your canoe: Old Town 143701 is a 17 foot AA (top) grade HW (heavy water) model canoe completed January-March of 1946. It has red Western cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, and mahogany decks, thwarts, and seat frames (AA grade means mahogany trimmed). It was fitted with a keel and a floor rack and was originally dark green. It was shipped to Philadelphia, PA, on March 25, 1946. A copy of the scan is attached-- click on it for a larger picture.

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. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

Kathy
 

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Thank you, Kathy, and Norm also, for taking all this trouble from me. However, under bright lights, Scabby finally broke down and confessed. Although I come from a long line of village idiots, I just KNEW I couldn't have been so stupid. I paid $125.00 for this canoe many years ago, and when I drove off with it, I heard the guy with the banjo yell, "So long, Sucker!".
 
That canoe would likely dress up really nicely. Unless you were the one saying, "So long, Sucker!", you probably didn't do too bad. Give it a chance and maybe a little wood bleach...:)
 
Wayne,
It's a gorgeous old canoe. With some fresh varnish and new canvas, it can be a beautiful boat. It was a top-of-the-line canoe when it was made, and the mahogany still looks great. Thanks for the pictures.

Norm
 
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