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Old Town Carleton ID?

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Max Smiley, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Max Smiley

    Max Smiley Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi, great forum and site! I came across a craigslist ad for a "Coleman" canoe, but saw right away this is an Old Town and scooped it up right quick as it was in decent shape. Further research and I can tell it is a Carleton, and would love more specifics as I want to do a bit of restoration. The only numbers I could make out (registration plate from starboard stern has been removed/lost) are from starboard bow and read " I 94527". Not sure if that is truly a leading "I" , as there is a space between that and the first number, which may also be an "8", can't really tell.

    Took her out already on a lake and rides really nice. Thwart was rotten so I removed and will replace. Gunwales and decks have a couple cracks and wondering how to properly fix? Also missing the floor, which is a bummer, and wonder how to replace or find a match? Love that end grain bamboo look!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town canoe with serial number 194527 is an 16 foot long fiberglass Carleton model with a keel that weighed 81 pounds. It was built in April, 1973. The original exterior gelcoat color was yellow. It shipped on April 18th, 1973 to Malvern, Pennsylvania. The back side of the record indicates that it needed a patch on the keel which was sanded and buffed. Scans showing both sides of this build record can be found below.

    These scans 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 http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ 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 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. More information is available from http://www.wcha.org/store/complete-old-town-canoe-company-catalog-collection in the scanned catalogs from the 1970s. The Old Town with serial number 184527 is an 11 foot long Junior Kayak so that isn't a good match. The gunwales and decks are frequently replaced with wood if you can't repair the current ones or find similar plastic parts easily. The end grain balsa core on the floor is prone to rot when continuously exposed to water over an extended period. This can also be replaced but that can be more of a challenge. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck with the repairs,

    Benson



    194527.jpg



    194527-b.jpg
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Max Smiley

    Max Smiley Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you so much! That's the one, I'm in PA and it's a yellow hull! Is the floor necessary for anything besides looks? I can't tell how it was inlaid to the hull originally and wonder if I can come across something suitable how to bond the floor to the hull? Apparently OT is on a Covid shutdown so can't get any info from them right now.
     
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The diagram at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/33959/ shows how the balsa floor was embedded in the middle of the hull to make it stronger. The effect of this spacing is what makes an "I" beam or truss beam stiffer and lighter than a similar solid beam. A proper repair would require removing half of the fiberglass, replacing the rotten core, and then putting it all back together again. This is done occasionally on motor boats but it is not easy or inexpensive. A local fiberglass boat repair shop may be able to give you a better idea of what is involved. It might be easier for you to just find another canoe in better shape and use this one as a flower pot or other decoration. Sorry,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  5. OP
    OP
    Max Smiley

    Max Smiley Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the diagram, real helpful. It actually looks like the floor is intact, I see faint markings of it. I don't notice that the inside of the canoe has been otherwise distressed, perhaps a case of rot like you mention above.
     
  6. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Could you post pictures of the canoe and the floor? I have never seen a floor fail on one of these and I have repaired dozens of them.
    The ABS decks and seats were prone to cracking as were the rails. If the rails (gunwales) are good you can simply replace the seats with wood and cane replacement seats. They will be easier to locate a and less costly than finding ABS seats that will fit. They will also be more comfortable. The decks are a different story. My preference has always been to replace these rather than repair them. They serve a structural purpose. The challenge is to find the proper parts. Along the way the deck and rail designs changed and parts have become literally impossible to find for these older hulls. Due to the noted changes a deck change also requires changing the rails. That job is simply not worth the effort. So....post up a few pictures of the decks so that we can offer up some suggestions for how to repair them. Plan on buying some West Systems G-Flex.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Max Smiley

    Max Smiley Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hey thanks MGC, a few pics below, only really looking for a family pleasure craft, and canoes are hard to find around here. I used to live on the Alton/Old Town border and OT canoes were pretty familiar lawn ornaments, as Benson alluded to, just hoping to be able to enjoy some slow family time on this one. Seats are good, and comfy, had her out on small lake last week and tracked nicely in wind and current.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/aBuJ8tv
     
  8. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Soooo......typical deck cracks but insignificant. You could remove the decks (drill out the rivets) and repair the cracks with the G-Flex. Bond the cracks and reinforce from the backside. Or, you could leave them as is. The seats do not look broken. They almost always crack.
    More of a problem is the broken rail. These original rails were not very good. I can't tell you how many I replaced...lot's of rivets and lots of holes that don't line up are in your future if you can find a replacement. As previously mentioned, the design and material changed and when it did the original decks no longer fit correctly..so to properly repair it you would end up replacing both rails and both decks. In your case you might try locate a piece of angled ABS and bonding that to the rail...or you might get lucky and find the correct replacement parts. I was unable to last time I tried about 5 years ago so good luck.
    The floor of the boat looks fine. Perhaps the photo does not show the damage?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Max Smiley

    Max Smiley Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the tips. Regarding the floor, I was expecting to look like the picture below, from a Craigslist post (post says 20 years old and selling for $350!?!).

    https://imgur.com/gallery/gHfRWzn
     
  10. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Those floors are actually slabs of balsa wood. The canoe in your attached photo also has a broken rail...
    There was a recent thread about these old glass canoes. One in pristine condition might bring $300 on a good day. If I were to sell the one I own I would ask about $200 or so for. Mine is actually in pretty good shape if that helps you value one of these. Mine is original without any cracks or breaks. My FIL had me repaint it many years ago using paint that has since peeled.
     
  11. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    My guess is that your canoe spent more time out in the sun so the resin has darkened and become less transparent. The balsa core may be fine, just less visible.

    Benson
     

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