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Can You Help Me Identify My Canoe?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Paddler, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I obtained a wooden canoe covered with canvas approximately 40 years ago. I obtained the canoe from some friends of mine who purchased it from a woman that was about 90 years old and she said that it belong to her deceased husband. I think I remember my friends telling me that the woman said her husband had it "forever"! So I'm thinking that her husband probably had it for 40 years before my friends bought it. Which would make it about 80 years old or so. For some reason I always thought it was an Old Town Canoe but after seeing all the different canoes online I'm not sure what brand canoe it is.
    40 years ago, (I was in my mid 20's then), I removed the old canvas and replaced it with the green canvas you see in the pictures. I also replaced some of the seat framing and installed some deer hide leather in place of the cane webbing. I do not see any serial numbers on the canoe but there may have been a number on it when I first obtained it and I removed it to sand the wood or something.
    I remember my friends telling me that when they originally picked up the canoe it was laying upside down in the lady's backyard on the ground. That's why the tips are rotten. At the time I tried to restore it 40 years ago I didn't have any wood working tools or skills and just left the rotten areas. Now that I'm retired and have more tools and patients I would like to restore the canoe to as close to original as possible.
    I need to replace the gunrails and not sure how to replace the rotten ends near the top. I'm hoping to get lots of advice here and maybe one of you can identify what type of canoe I have. I will appreciate any help you can throw my way. Thanks!

    DSCN2469.JPG DSCN2467.JPG DSCN2468.JPG DSCN2476.JPG DSCN2478.JPG DSCN2471.JPG
     
  2. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    It has OT decks, look at the tops of the inside stems, there should be a S/N stamped on each end.
    With that number the details of your canoe can be told.

    Dan
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Dan,
    Thank you for the information but I'm not sure what a OT deck or an inside stem is. Sorry, I'm pretty green when it comes to boat or canoe jargon. Are you talking about the flat piece of wood shaped kind of in a triangle in the front and back of the boat that I have an eye bolt attached to?
     
  4. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    First job is to get a copy of 'The Wood and Canvas Canoe: A Complete Guide to its History, Construction, Restoration and Maintenance' by Jerry Stelmok and Rollin Thurlow and / or 'This old Canoe' by Mike Elliot. These have taught me most of what I know. When backed up by the knowledge on here, there is little you won't be able to attempt.

    Sam
     
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  5. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan

    Paddler,

    OT is short for Old Town Canoe Company. You'll find lots of info on Old Town on this site.
    Yes, the decks are the triangular shaped flat wooden pieces that attach the gunwales to the stems and maintain the shape at the ends.
    The stems are the curved wood rising from the bottom of the canoe to meet the deck at the extreme ends of the canoe. They give the ends of the canoe its profile as well as ebow andjoining the robs, decks and gunwales.

    Sam's suggestions of resources are very good- Mike Elliott also has a lot of his info online via his blog:
    https://canoeguybc.wordpress.com/about/

    Cheers! and welcome aboard.
    Bruce
     
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  6. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Nice Triumph - lets see some pics of that. Makes me miss my Nortons.
     
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  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
    Paddler likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Dan, Sam, Bruce, Andre, and Benson, thank you all for responding with great advice and links to good books and online information.

    PS: Andre, It's a 1970 Triumph Bonneville that I finished putting together about a year ago from a basket full of parts. 06-22-13 004.JPG 06-22-13 006.JPG DSCN2174.JPG
     
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Nice bike, I also wish I still had my Norton.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Two of my friends recently bought Nortons. One was a 74 850cc Commando and the other guy bought a 75 850cc Commando. They are becoming more desirable.
     
  11. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    You guys are making me wish I still had my Trophy or my Bonneville ...and my longing for a Norton has returned.....
    My marriage came with a termination clause...one more motorcycle and she gone...I haven't use it yet but this does not help. She hasn't found out about me riding an Enfield last time I was in India.:D
    Nice job on the trumpet. Andre, Dan..new respect!
     
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  12. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I had a 1975, 1st year with the "elec" starter, it was more of an assist.
    Had the red/white blue John Palmer paint.
    I looked all summer and bought the best bike I found.
    It was fun to ride.
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Found the serial numbers! However, having a real hard time reading them. I think they read 73071 16 or 78071 16. Thank you Benson for giving me the link to locate the numbers. I really thought they were gone forever.

    I ordered the two books that Sam recommended. Found them (used) on Amazon in paperback. Hope I won't need a magnifying glass to read it.
     
  14. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    The Old Town boat with serial number 78071 16 is a dinghy -- so not your boat.

    The Old Town canoe with serial number 73071 16 is shown as 16 feet long, CS (common sense or standard) grade, Yankee model with western red cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, ash decks, seats, and thwarts, and equipped with a keel. The canoe was built between July and September 1922. The original exterior paint was dark green, oil in japan. It was shipped to Fryeburg, Maine on May 18, 1923. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link behind the thumbnail image attached below.

    73071 - 16453.jpg

    This scan and several hundred thousand others 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 http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ 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 http://www.wcha.org/about-wcha to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/store/membership to join.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. If you think this is not the build record for your canoe, post some pictures of the serial number from both ends. More eyes may come up with another number.

    Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

    Greg
     
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  15. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Greg,
    Thank you very much for the information! I do think the numbers are 73071 16 because it fits the time period of how old I think the canoe is. Those numbers are very hard to decipher but pretty sure they're 73071 DSCN2479.JPG DSCN2480.JPG DSCN2481.JPG
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Greg,
    I bought a membership earlier today. WCHA is a really awesome site thanks to people like you and the others here. So glad I found it and can't tell you how happy I am to have that build record! Thanks again.....Gary
     
  17. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Great looking bike, so much nicer than the 71 and later oil in frame models. Had one briefly and sold it. Now I wish I’d kept the 700 enfield constellation, but the 70 commando was really the nicest of the bunch i thought.
     
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  18. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'll bite....As a lonely freshman at a Maine all-men's school I managed a solution to hit the road on weekends....I bought a college mate's '58 , 650cc TR6 hardtail. It worked. Then I met my wife. It worked again. Then we married and it stopped working. Then I restored the Blue Bell canoe.....It worked ! ".....and the beat goes on "
     
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  19. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    It may be worth taking a harder look at that serial number. The carry thwart suggests to me that it might be a Carleton.
     
  20. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Can you provide some pictures of the serial numbers from the other end of the canoe? I agree with Fitz that this may be a Carleton but it is hard to tell from these pictures. Thanks,

    Benson
     

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