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18' Old Town SN 132006

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Christopher W. Roe, Jul 25, 2020.


Buy at $900?

  1. Yes

  2. No

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Christopher W. Roe

    Christopher W. Roe New Member

    Hello! I have an opportunity to purchase an 18' Old Town Guide (?) I'm interested in any additional resources available to learn about it--specifically the availability of a sailing kit (OEM or aftermarket) that might work.

    Seller states that he is second owner. Condition wise she looks ok. There are 10 scarf joints on the ribs that appear to have been professional repairs. Hull is sound and not spongy anywhere. All fittings intact. Would welcome any additional advice about things I should be looking for. I'm an avid paddler, but I have never had the opportunity to own one of these beautiful pieces of history before. I don't want to overpay, and I also want to be in the best position to preserve and restore it.

    C. 00b0b_ff4KXb8c0kU_0ak07K_1200x900.jpg 00l0l_c0yDmCqoxzE_0ak07K_1200x900.jpg 01010_im4L5kSiWO_0ak07K_1200x900.jpg
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the Old Town canoe with serial number 132006 is an 18 foot long, CS (Common Sense or middle) grade, Guide's model with open spruce gunwales, ask decks, ash thwarts, ash seats, a keel, and sponsons. It was built between March and June, 1941. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on June 11th, 1941 to Roscommon, Michigan. The back side of the record indicates the paint blistered and canvas split so a new canoe was sent with a $15 allowance. A copy of this record was sent in May, 1985 to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Scans showing both sides of this build record 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. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details. I hope that you will donate, 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.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer this description doesn't match the canoe. The information at should help your value it. A $900 price isn't bad if it doesn't leak too much. Original sail rigs show up occasionally but you will probably need to buy a canoe with it. You may need to buy a few to get everything you need. Feel free to reply if you have any other questions.



  3. OP
    Christopher W. Roe

    Christopher W. Roe New Member

    Thank you so much! I'm sold. Owner #3.
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I would say no at that price. A couple of things against it are the fact that it appears to be fiberglassed. That in itself knocks the value down considerably. As a result of the glass, the repairs that needed to be made were not done properly. With the glass on it, you will not be able to do most of the common repairs needed such as rib replacement or repair, planking replacement or repair, inwale, deck, and stem repairs.
    The paddles, however are going for $125 on eBay, so good score there.
    It’s a great candidate for restoration.
    Looks like a floater....go use the heck out of it.
  5. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    $900 is a very ambitious for a fiberglassed hull. It has a few things working against that valuation.
    1) Fiberglass
    2) Sponsons
    3) Improperly repaired damaged ribs and a need for complete restoration
    4) 18 foot length. Most buyers want a shorter hull even though the longer ones paddle better.
    You should read this before you make an offer:
    The paddles are worth as much as the boat.
    If you can get the boat at a more reasonable price you could use it as is or invest the time and effort to make it right.
  6. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    I would agree with all that is written above, except to note that people who sail canoes often prefer a somewhat longer canoe, and often like sponsons -- e.g., see Benson's avatar above.

    If you are considering buying a canoe that needs repair/ restoration, whether you plan to do it yourself or to hire a professional, there are three good sources of information about wood/canvas canoe restoration that you would do well read before making any decision about how to repair or restore your canoe, or indeed, whether to buy a particular canoe:

    The Wood and Canvas Canoe: A Complete Guide to its History, Construction, Restoration, and Maintenance by Rollin Thurlow and Jerry Stelmok

    Building the Maine Guide Canoe by Jerry Stelmok

    This Old Canoe: How To Restore Your Wood-Canvas Canoe, by Mike Elliott

    The first is often called the "bible" of canoe repair, restoration, and maintenance; the second is an excellent study of the wooden/canvas canoe and its construction. The third is the most recently published and has been well received.

    Also, Wooden Canoe, our journal, has a wealth of information in its back issues, and back issues are available through the online store, or the collection is available on a USB flash drive through the store --

    Of course, you can always ask questions here on the forums. There is a good deal of information here on removing fiberglass.

    These books are all available from the WCHA store, are often on eBay, or from Amazon.

    And you might consider getting in touch with the Michigan local chapter or the WCHA -- lots of friendly, knowledgeable folks -- contact info is on the home page.

  7. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    You are correct to point that out however my comments were specifically related to the valuation. The question asked was is the boat worth $900...and I'd say absolutely not.
    I've purchased very nice useable and unrestored sponson canoes for less than $500.00 and almost always paid between $300 and $450. The most I ever paid was $500 for a very clean Carleton.
    For sailing a longer hull is often better to sail and the sponsons can be helpful in keeping the boat upright. My sponson-less centerboard sailing canoe went over a few times that may have been avoidable otherwise. I also prefer a longer hull even for general paddling. 17 feet seems to be a perfect length for Old Towns.
    But, one further point to consider that also detracts from the value...a sponson canoe is heavy. With fiberglass and sponsons that boat likely weighs about a hundred pounds.
    Its been my experience that the heavier the canoe, the less it gets used.
  8. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Mike --

    I did not, and do not, disagree with anything you or the others above have written. But I did add two things to what you said -- I directed him to resources he might draw upon (as he asked for) and I pointed out that sponsons and 18' length might be assets for his intended.

    I merely pointed out that someone interested in sailing a canoe might prefer sponsons and an 18' long boat. Indeed, such a hypothetical person might not be interested at all in a boat without sponsons, and indeed, such a hypothetical person might not pay anything for a smaller, more easily- swamped canoe.

    Canoes are not sold by the yard -- they are built for, and sold for, specific purposes, and usually a canoe designed to meet a specific purpose will be worth more to a buyer than one that doesn't.

    Why would anyone wanting a 16' canoe without sponsons even look at this canoe -- it has NO value to such a person except possible resale value -- and the OP does not seem to be interested in buying a canoe for resale.

    But a person looking for a sailing canoe might actually pay a premium for a sponson over an otherwise similar canoe, given that sponson canoes are not all that common. As to weight, well some people regularly buy much heavier boats, including heavier canoes -- "war" canoes and Grand Lakers, for example, and pay the going price for such awkwardly heavy boats, and devise ways to deal with the weight, which is part of the package they buy. (They don't usually car-top such canoes -- some exceptions, of course -- but use a trailer or truck.)

    As the link you give makes clear, there are many variables going into the price of a canoe. Sponsons are not generally desired, are often removed, and can detract from the price of a canoe. But generally, someone who does not want a sponson canoe simply buys one without sponsons -- there are a lot around. And not so generally, some folks actually want a sponson boat, and go looking for one. The exception (of course there are always exceptions) is someone who primarily is looking for a boat to restore and may not pay much attention to unwanted sponsons, because they are fairly easy to remove during the course of restoration.

    I agree that this canoe is not worth $900 (or even $650, taking into account the putative value of the paddles). The chief negative factor most of us would consider is the fiberglass covering, which most of us would want removed -- usually a messy, hard job. And for most, that is an overriding consideration, no matter the intended use. And further, without a fiberglass covering, I, like you, would expect to be replacing those repaired ribs so near the turn of the bilge -- they are probably done with a very short scarf, if any, and would need to be replaced.

    If I were interested in a sailing canoe, and if I were considering canoes that needed restoration, and if I were to consider this one at all (not likely), it would only be for a substantially lower price, and (another variable) I would not pay much attention to the value of the paddles much at all, having more paddles than I need already (well in excess of 20).

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