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Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Richard Fredenburg, Feb 14, 2020.
I remeber this canoe from my youth in the 1960s. I would love to know its pedrgree.
Welcome, the Old Town canoe with serial number 119066 is a 15 foot long, CS (common sense or middle) grade, fifty pound model with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, oak decks, oak thwarts, oak seats, and a keel. It was built between September, 1936 and January, 1937. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on February 17th, 1937 to Watertown, New York. A scan of 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 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 the canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.
Thank you. This means a lot to me.
I am including a picture taken today of this canoe. The first thing you may notice is that it is red now. I will probably restore the dark green color, unless you think that unwise for some historical reason. Also, can you suggest a place to see what the OT dark green looks like. Lastly, for now, what type of paint is receommended for painting a canoe. It is likely that the original paint is no longer available. I would think that a good exterior paint (latex?) would be a good choice.
Your canoe looks to be in very nice shape based on the one photo you posted. Just to confirm the ID as correct you might post a couple more pictures especially of the bow deck, carry thwart and stem profile (side view). Assuming the canvas is still tight and the canvas filler and paint intact you can sand the exterior and recoat with any good oil based paint. Latex should be avoided. The old paint and filler was loaded with lead back in the day so sand it outside with a respirator. The health risks of lead exposure are well documented. There are a couple books that are often recommended, "This Old Canoe: How to Restore Your Wood Canvas Canoe," and "The Wood Canvas Canoe, Complete Restoration Guide." You should also spend time going through the threads on this site. A world of info is available. As far as what did Old Town green paint look like you can again search this site. The question has been asked and answered many times. But the best answer is paint it any color you want. Back in the day people got to choose what they wanted and so should you. There were likely several shades of Dark Green used by Old Town over the years so there really is no firm or correct answer.
Good luck and have fun.
Old Town built many memories and also many canoes. Except for an occasional old or rare model with original parent, original color is not particularly important. Canoes were made to be re-canvased and repainted. Considering all of the paint color options offered from the factory you can feel 100% comfortable painting it any color you like without concern for it's history or authenticity.
Here is a link to an older discussion about the OT color chips. You can see the challenge of even trying to replicate the OT colors correctly. http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/old-town-color-chart-circa-1920.7345/
There was a recent thread here about the paints we use and prefer. Here is a link to that.http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.ph...-time-for-varnish-and-paint.16726/#post-85502
Personally I prefer to use paints and varnishes that I have had the best success with... cost not the determinant. By the time I'm ready to paint and varnish I want the job to look as good as possible and last. I personally prefer Epifanes. I used to use Petitt's and still would if they had not reduced their color pallet. I've also had good results with Captains Spar but it's (IMHO) best for new hulls, not restorations as is very bright in appearance.
From what I have seen of OT canoes, they have a decal that says Old Town on the side near one end,probably both sides, and a decal on the short deck at the bow. I have a picture of the deck decal and it's partly legible. Are these decals available for owners to apply to their repainted or refinished canoes? I can provide a picture of the deck decal, but not tonight.
OT deck decals are available from the WCHA store http://www.wcha.org/store See pp. 2 and 3 http://www.wcha.org/store/decals There are three different deck decals, depending on what year your canoe was built.
I believe that OT canoes from the thirties did not have OT decals on the sides of the hull -- that is a much more modern conceit. but just as you should feel free to paint you canoe any color you wish, you can put any decal or design on the hull that you wish.l See http://forums.wcha.org/index.php?threads/build-sheet-request-for-ot-154488.16627/#post-84978 for what some of us done in that regard, both replicating original designs and painting their own original ones.
I agree with Greg's comments but let me offer a few more specifics. You can get a reproduction of the deck decal at http://www.wcha.org/store/old-town-deck-decal-1906-1954 for a 1937 canoe. The side decals in the middle of canoes were first shown in the 1958 Old Town catalogs so a canoe would not have had one when it left the factory in 1937. Modern decals are available from https://oldtowncanoe.johnsonoutdoors.com/parts/hull-deck/old-town-decals if you want one. Good luck,
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