trying to date my canoe and find out gunnel material


New Member
I've just started working on a 15' oldtown canoe #119673. I'd love to know when it was built and the secret to it's suprising lightness. Plus, do you know what wood the gunnels are made of?
Ot #119673


Thanks for contacting the WCHA...the canoe you inquire about was shipped on 6/14/1937 to Ashland, NH., as a 50# model in CS (common sense) grade. This accounts for the light weight as compared to the standard 70+ pound models. Further, it was built with spruce gunwales and oak seats, thwarts and decks. A keel was added and the original color was dark green. The build record is attached.

If you are not already a member, please consider joining the WCHA to help support this and other valuable services for identifying, restoring and preserving these fine canoes.


Ric Altfather


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The 50# model (advertised as 55#) was lighter due to 1/4" ribs and 1/8" planking, in each case shaving 1/16" of material off versus standard models. OT also used #10 canvas to save on a little weight.

Hope this helps,

model #50 oldtown

Thanks a million. I may try to build one of these after I restore mine.
David Wakefield