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Need Some Help and Maybe Advice

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by EJSteele, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. EJSteele

    EJSteele New Member

    Good afternoon,
    I just came from looking at an Old Town canoe at an estate sale. It appears to be in good condition, but this would be my first wooden canoe - if I buy it. I understand you can help with the serial number, which is 166751. I tried to figure out the model from the curve of the bow and stern, but couldn't really tell from that. Any information you may provide would be much appreciated, and would help me make a more informed decision concerning buying the boat. Thanks!
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the Old Town canoe with serial number 166751 is an 18 foot long, CS (Common Sense or middle) grade, Otca model with a keel. It was built between November, 1957 and November, 1958. The exterior paint color was bright red. It shipped on March 13th, 1959 to Glouster, Ohio. A scan showing this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.


    This scan 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 possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match the canoe. The information at may be helpful if you aren't sure about the pricing. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck,

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  3. OP

    EJSteele New Member

    Thanks for the quick reply, and the scan. It is a bigger canoe than what I had in mind, but the condition is such that I may not be able to pass it up. After all, I have had two Royalex canoes and one fiberglass - this could be a whole new adventure. Thanks again!

  4. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    You are definitely a canoeist. That's a great place to start. A wooden canoe paddles differently than glass or rubber. There is a whole different feel to the way the hull responds to the paddle and the way it enters or exits a wave. You will never enjoy paddling anything else as much as you will the wooden canoe.
    18 feet is actually not a bad length for one of these. The lines tend to be much nicer on the longer hulls. I have wooden canoes ranging from 14 to 20 feet in length and except for solo paddling, I prefer to paddle a 17 or 18 foot canoe. They track well and can handle the extra weight of camping gear, a moose or wood stove... I also own several rubber canoes and Kevlar. They serve a purpose but are not as nice under paddle.
    If you decide to buy this canoe please feel welcome to come back to this site with pictures and also to ask for restoration advice if you need it.
    Try not to over-pay. Folks tend to ask new canoe prices for used canoes. It does not work like that. In the current market even a perfect used canoe will not approach the cost of a new one. A perfect used one (no restoration needed) is normally going to sell for about 25% to 35% of the cost of new. If restoration is required (planking, gunwales, canvas etc.) the value is half or less that...
    Canoes are great impulse buys so go back and get it. Make sure that you ask for the paddles. That said, they are super hard to sneak into the house/garage. You'd best be ready with a story.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    pklonowski and Benson Gray like this.
  5. OP

    EJSteele New Member


    Thanks for the advice; particularly about the differences in the case of the canoe. As for the price, the asking price is right around $700, but I haven't been able to look closely enough at all the possible hazards to jump on it. It is a pretty canoe for its age, but my experience and age have made me more cautious than I would have been 20 years ago.

    Plus there is the fact that it is 18' long! Granted, my first canoe was an old Mohawk Blazer 17, however as you well pointed out, the feel of each boat and how each one paddles is totally different. Speaking of paddles, there are two Old Town's that come with the Otac. So I am going to sleep on it, and in the morning I will decide. If I get it, I will definitely post some pictures...right after I figure out how to sneak it into the garage.


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