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AA grade Old Town sailing canoe with centerboard from 1927

Discussion in 'Canoe Photo Index' started by Benson Gray, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This is an AA grade Old Town sailing canoe with a centerboard and four foot long decks from 1927. I dropped by the Smallboat Shop ( to visit with Dan and Linda Eaton before the Maine Canoe Symposium last weekend. They are restoring this very unusual canoe for the Lovell Historical Society ( More pictures of the canoe before the restoration are available at and the article at has some information about the original owner. The sail is a traditional lateen rig and the tiller was probably not installed at the factory.


    94284.jpg 94284.jpg Overall.jpg Trunk.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  2. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Now that's a fascinating Old Town! Thanks for sharing, Benson. The build record doesn't indicate a trunk or centerboard; is there any indication that these are original vs. added later? In any case, it's a spectacular canoe. Sure would make a nice story for Wooden Canoe... just sayin...
  3. OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I believe that the centerboard trunk is original from the factory. These were listed in the Old Town catalogs as shown at from 1923 to 1927. The pictures and plans for them shown at are from the factory. Kevin Martin restored one for me as described at with pictures. The threads at and show Chris Pearson's restoration of one. There is a lake in the Adirondacks with a fleet of these but they would prefer to remain anonymous. However, the internet makes it very difficult to maintain complete anonymity. This is the only Old Town Special Sailing Canoe with Centerboard that I've ever seen with long decks.

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  4. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    That thread back in 2008 about these canoes was very interesting and I never forgot it; loved the photos of Kevin's canoe. Same for Chris' canoe and the photos of his gorgeous restoration of it. Just now I noticed Kevin's build record reads "Special Sailing canoe with centerboard". Apparently the "Sailing Canoe" model on this one's build record (the one in this thread) is shorthand for the same thing. In any case, what wonderful work from Old Town... these sailing canoes anyway, but with those long decks... wow! Hopefully we can see more photos when this restoration is complete. Nice work, Dan and Linda, and thanks for sharing, Benson.

  5. smallboatshop

    smallboatshop Restorers

    Delivery Day 2.jpg Delivery Day.jpg
    Delivered the Sailing Canoe today to the Lovell Historical Society.
  6. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    From my experience and to my eye that canoe is true to the correct factory construction including the beastly heavy brass center board.
    The ones that I am familiar with are constructed with shorter decks.
    The long decks are exceptional and make this a one of a kind of an already quite rare boat.
    They are fun to sail but a real bugger when they swamp.
    The long decks could really complicate getting the boat righted and emptied out.
  7. OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The centerboard alone weighs 16 pounds on mine. These are not canoes that you would ever want to portage very far.

    MGC likes this.
  8. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    When I was (a lot) younger I used to cartop mine. I have no idea how I ever did that. I hauled it on a 57 VW bug.
    I also used to carry it, but not far. I think the farthest I ever carried it was about 100 feet.
    I would take it from the boat house I kept it in to the river, launch and sail it and then put it back....
    If someone asked me now I would not hesitate to say that it could not be launched by one person even knowing that I somehow once did it.
  9. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

  10. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    of course, in some obscure French Canadian way that probably should not be discussed...

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