Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Kevin Costner Canoe?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by monkitoucher, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I have a friend looking at a canoe that is said to be one of two Old Town canoes bought by Kevin Costner in 1989.
    The seller's claim is...
    "This is one of two canoes built for Kevin Costner. It was the only two canoes they built in 1989 using the molds and forms from old town."

    The price is $300. I didn't think that was too bad but it looks like there is a lot of plank puckering going on under the fiberglass. I'm wondering if there can be any provenance established from the Island Falls folks.

    Comments?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I believe that Old Town was still building wooden canoes in the original factory during 1989 so this is likely to be before Island Falls started contracting for them. There should be a hull identification number on the starboard stern and serial numbers on the inside stems. I may be able to get more information if you can provide both of those. The information at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/12713/ may be amusing if you like canoes that belonged to movie stars. Thanks,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  3. OP
    OP
    monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Thanks Benson! My buddy will send me a photo of the SN. The only canoes that I've been able to dig up of Kevin Costner in canoes are of a Merrimack and another that looks more Canadian than American.

    [​IMG]

    This is probably shot at his place just outside of Aspen.

    They used the same canoe for his wedding photos.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. OP
    OP
    monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The scanned records stop just over 250,000 from the early 1980s so I can't easily provide the build record for one that high. The chart at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/oldtown_chart.html indicates that this number is in the right range for a canoe from 1989. They started keeping serial numbers in hull identification number (HIN) order during this time so that may also be required to locate the build record. Can you provide the HIN also so I can look in the paper records on a future trip to the factory?

    It isn't likely to have belonged to Kevin Costner since the pictures you provided and the article at http://www.crossville-chronicle.com/article_b412f55d-055e-53f9-9d9d-a8b7d2e92c5a.html indicates that he was buying them from other builders. Thanks,

    Benson
     
  6. OP
    OP
    monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Thanks Benson.

    He just sent me the HIN. It is XTC15645E989. The canoe is located in Oregon now.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    The is the latest in the story that my friend was told...
    "In 1989, old town was not building wooden canoes at their property. They're owned by Johnson products and specialized in plastics and such. When Costner ordered two canoes, they were built by Island Falls, one was supposed to be green canvas, the other one clear fiberglass. When the clear fiberglass took on a strange color, they decided to paint it. These are the two canoes island falls built in 1989."
     
  8. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    If I'm not mistaken (again) Jerry did not start building canoes for OT until they moved into their new "plastic" factory...that was in 2009.
    In 1989 he was building off his own forms. Though the 80's there was still WC production in the old brick building...at a much reduced scale and as I recall it had all been squeezed into a much smaller area...but they were still making them.
     
  9. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Sam Johnson of Johnson Wax purchased Old Town in December of 1974. There was great concern at the time that he would make major changes including eliminating the building of wood canoes. Sam said that they would continue to build wood canoes in Old Town as long as he was alive. A series of new managers came through during the 1980s and 1990s and they all considered outsourcing wooden canoe production. It was decided in 1994 that Old Town was going to transition the building of wooden canoes from the original factory to Island Falls Canoe. Three of my sisters and I all purchased new wooden canoes in 1995 to have 'one of the last wooden canoes made at Old Town.' Sue Audette interviewed Sam Johnson during this period as part of her research for the book about Old Town. The decision to subcontract was temporarily rescinded after the manager learned of Sam's comment about wooden canoes in the 1970s. Jerry and Island Falls Canoe started making model canoes, dinghies, and helping out with other small projects. Island Falls Canoe gave me a copy of their Old Town serial number records several years ago. This shows that four full sized canoes were built in 1994 starting with serial number 405060 but full production didn't transfer until 2010 starting with serial number 787030. This was after Sam had died and the factory had moved as MGC mentioned. I will see if I can find a build record for it on my next trip to the factory in a few weeks.

    Benson
     
    monkitoucher likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Thanks again St. Benson. :)

    I spoke with Jerry Stelmok from Island Falls this morning. He said that he produced a run of E.M. White canoes in 89. He went on to say that the canoe was one of four 15’ canoes produced in 95. 2 Guides and 2 trappers. The canoe was built in the first run. Old Town provided Jerry with the fiberglass fabric and it turned green. So they painted it. To fill the order Jerry had to build another canoe with different fiberglass fabric that ended up shipping to Kevin Costner.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
    Dan Lindberg and MGC like this.
  11. OP
    OP
    monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    So it would look like the particular canoe in question that my Buddy got his hands on doesn't fit in the puzzle with the stem numbers and time line taken into account.
     
  12. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The XTC prefix on the HIN indicate that it was numbered as an Old Town canoe. The serial number fits in the correct range for an Old Town canoe serial number in that period as shown at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/oldtown_chart.html based on other build records. Old Town purchased White in 1984 but Jerry had the original wooden canoe forms from White. It is not surprising that Old Town might have asked Jerry to build some wooden White (or Old Town) canoes in 1989, even if they were numbered as Old Towns. I'm not sure what you feel doesn't fit.

    Benson
     
  13. OP
    OP
    monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Oh... Sorry trying to sew together a couple lines of inquiry. The canoe that my friend bought (#315645 / #XTC15645E989) doesn't sound like it's a part of the run that Jerry did for OT in 94 or 95 (two guides and two trappers of which, one each were going to Mr. Costner (Jerry's information)). So I believe we can put the idea that #315645 was Kevin Costner's to bed. Or am I still missing something?

    The canoe that was purported to by my friend's canoe (but doesn't sound like it is), was the painted fiberglass canoe mentioned in the conversation that I had with Jerry today. Where it was probably sold on by OT because it didn't pass Quality Control.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  14. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I agree that your friend's canoe with serial number 315645 is not from 1994. Those canoes started with serial number 405060 as I mentioned previously. It seems like it could have been part of a run that was made for Mr. Costner but hopefully the build record will have more information.

    Benson
     

Share This Page