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Bet you've never seen an Old Town like this!

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Howie, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I call it my Old Town Chimera. It looks like maybe a Guide from the first pic. But look closer. The front deck is on Old Town coaming type; but there's an ogee type deck at the rear! I figure the decks have to be original as there are no breaks in the rails where decks from two different canoes could have been spliced together. Plus the rails & decks each have the same amount of wear.
    20170930_154912.jpg Reduced (2).jpg Reduced (1).jpg 20171001_110536.jpg 20171001_110546.jpg
    The canoe came from a family in Newberryport Mass. The owner contacted me asking whether I would want it (silly question). Apparently he found me via a WCHA thread I had written about canvassing canoes. Plus not only did he travel an hour to deliver the canoe to me he also gave it to me for free! I must live right!

    The fella told me it was his dad's, and that he (the father) was an Old Town rep years ago. The father told him it was a special order, and I can believe it! He also said that 4 ribs were damaged in a white water trip and that the father had the canoe repaired by Old Town - perhaps in the 60's? At the same time (he thinks) the rear seat was replaced and moved forward by a few inches. The holes left in the rails by the old seat position are filled with diamond head screws cut just short enough to pass through the rails and take a nut.

    Mr Benson sir, some info please? The serial # is 174644-18.
  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Howie...that one is clearly intended to become book shelves... you will get two nicely unique pieces when you saw it in half.
    I just filed the chain on my saw...let me know if you want me to stop over and do the deed.
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    You have one of Johnny Whitney’s canoes. He managed much of the Old Town Canoe dealer network from the 1960s until he retired. His picture from the 2000 catalog is attached below. The Old Town canoe with serial number 174644 is an 18 foot long guide model built on the Otca form with a keel and narrow two and 3/4 inch planking, half ribs, and no keel. It was built between February and March, 1965. The original exterior paint color was G. S. (Guide's Special) green. It shipped on April 14th, 1965 to Boston, Mass. The additional pages indicate that it came back for repairs in September, 1967 and the twenty inch bow deck was added. More repairs were done starting on October, 1969 and again in October, 1972 when the stern seat was moved. This is probably the best repaired Old Town canoe known. Scans showing all of the pages attached to this build record can be found by following the links at the attached thumbnail images below.

    PAGE-41.JPG 174644.jpg 174644-b.jpg 174644-c.jpg 174644-d.jpg 174644-e.jpg

    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 but this doesn't seem likely. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

  4. OP

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Thank you Benson - much appreciated. I've forwarded the link to this thread to Randy - he'll be very much interested in your reply.

    And Mike - you're just trying to get your hands on my M&M guy.
  5. Scott Rowe

    Scott Rowe Random Adventurer

    Nice find Howie!

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