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Serial Number - Old Town Canoe

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Hope Giles, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Hope Giles

    Hope Giles New Member

    Hello Canoe People,
    My Dad bought this Old Town Canoe in the mid-sixties, and after enjoying many years of river trips and adventures, passed it on to me; SN 176223. I know it started as a wood and canvas model, and that he had it fiberglassed in the seventies, but was wondering about its origins. It is also rigged for sailing, and I have the sailing kit. I have subscribed to WCHA, and look forward to learning more.

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town canoe with serial number 176223 is an 18 foot long Otca model with a keel, sponsons, and the stern seat 31 inches from the stem. It was built between May, 1966 and March, 1967. The original exterior paint color was similar to the image shown at which was known as design number 4. It shipped on March 3rd, 1967 to Madison, Wisconsin and returned for repairs on April 3rd, 1967. Some work was done and it was loaned to the Penobscot Indian Pageant on July 21st, 1967. (See for another canoe that was in the same event.) It was then sold to a dealer in Damariscotta, Maine who delivered it to Wiscasset, Maine on August 22nd, 1967. 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 if you want more details. I hope that you will donate or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to renew.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Canoes with a family connection are always extra special. The sailing rig is not mentioned on the build record so that was probably added after it left the factory. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions,



    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  3. Mike Gowens

    Mike Gowens New Member

    I have an Old Town canoe, 17' serial number 5910290. I'm curious about its age any notable information and how much it worth. Would be interested in any information you can share.
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, I suspect that you may have at least one extra digit in that serial number. The information at indicates that Old Town issued serial number 1,000,000 in 2003 after more than a century in business so it doesn't seem likely that they have gotten close to 6,000,000 yet. Modern canoes have a hull identification number on the starboard stern and the information at may help you interpret that. The information at can help value wooden canoes but most of those principles will also apply to plastic ones. The price ranges are much lower for non-wood canoes. Feel free to post some pictures of the numbers and the canoe here if you are still not sure.

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  5. Mike Gowens

    Mike Gowens New Member

    Thank you for your prompt reply. Please see pictures below. Thanks your assistance.
    535BFEF1-37CC-4AB3-93BB-AB964A5A4285.jpeg 535BFEF1-37CC-4AB3-93BB-AB964A5A4285.jpeg 4026C92D-EA4C-4855-8CA6-F9D27D9EFA15.jpeg 4026C92D-EA4C-4855-8CA6-F9D27D9EFA15.jpeg C668ED1B-6EBA-400D-B70B-3DEBFFAF0111.jpeg 535BFEF1-37CC-4AB3-93BB-AB964A5A4285.jpeg 4026C92D-EA4C-4855-8CA6-F9D27D9EFA15.jpeg C668ED1B-6EBA-400D-B70B-3DEBFFAF0111.jpeg
  6. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Old Town canoes will have the serial number stamped into the stems at both ends, so you might take a look at those locations, and see if anything is there. The number on the inwale isn't an Old Town format. It could be a livery number, or possibly from another manufacturer, and somebody stuck an Old Town decal on it?

    The USCG lists "LZA" as the manufacturer ID for Lazer Power Boats, Opa Locka, FL.

    They also list "ILZ" as the Illinois home made boats code, which may be what you actually have.
  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I agree with Paul that your canoe's number was probably issued as part of an Illinois home made boat registration. The 0290 on the end probably means that this number was issued in February of 1990. An Old Town factory hull identification number would begin with XTC and be on an exterior brass tag as shown at for example. You might normally be able to get more information from the Illinois page at but it says "Due to the CO-VID 19 situation, IDNR staff will not be available to answer questions through this form at this time." I would also encourage you to look at the inside stems for a number as Paul mentioned. The page at has some suggestions if you don't know where to look or if these numbers aren't easy to read. Some pictures of the numbers and surrounding areas would also help. This canoe appears to have had some extensive modifications so it may not be easy to tell who made it originally. Good luck,

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  8. Mike Gowens

    Mike Gowens New Member

    Thank you both for the information. I’m unsure of what a “stem” is to look for the serial number, hmmm
  9. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Inside each end of the canoe, there is a bent piece of wood that runs vertically from the tip, down onto the bottom surface. The ends of the planks are nailed to it, but you can't see that since the canoe is covered in fabric and paint. Those are the stems. On their most easily visible surface (faces up, when the canoe is upright), Old Town stamped their serial numbers. There are pictures of this all over the Serial Number requests on this forum! I'll scare one up...
  10. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

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