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12' OT Square Stern # 118640 and 17' OT #198834

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by ReedLeb, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. ReedLeb

    ReedLeb Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Benson, looking for build sheets on 2 of Tom Whalen's canoes.
    12' Square stern canoe # 118640, sweet little thing in great shape.
    17' OT #198834 also in very nice shape, needs canvas.
    Thanks, Reed

    Attached Files:

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Old Town with serial number 118640 is a 12 foot long, AA (or top) grade, special square stern model that was built on the fifty pound model's form. It has red Western cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, mahogany decks, mahogany thwarts, a keel, and a floor rack. It was built in July, 1936. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on July, 28th, 1936 to Peterborough, New Hampshire. I remember looking at this for a long time but couldn't decide how I would ever use it.

    The Old Town canoe with the serial number 198834 is a 17 foot long Otca model with a keel that was built between January and March, 1974. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on March 27th, 1974 to Madison, Wisconsin. The back side shows that it was damaged and came back for repairs on March 22nd, 1976. It was fixed and shipped to Newbury, Massachusetts on December 16th, 1976. It was purchased on March 12th, 1977 and the warranty card was returned from Haverhill, Massachusetts. Scans showing these build records can be found below.

    These scans and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. 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 renew.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if these descriptions don't match your canoes. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.




    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
  3. OP

    ReedLeb Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Benson, having the dates is very helpful. Both build records match perfectly. The 12 footer is sweet, but like you say how would you use it? Seems like a rather unusual boat or did OT do this a lot? I noticed the hackmatack knees, classic Maine boat building. I will be putting these into the classifieds for Tom in the next day or so.
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes, custom built specials like this were made periodically. See and for two other build records with special modifications. They were usually happy to build almost anything that a customer was willing to pay for. Some specials like the Molitor model became very popular and were eventually listed in the catalogs. See for more on that topic.

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020

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