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Fiberglass - Old Town Serial number 204498

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Old_Paddler, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Old_Paddler

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    I bought this fiberglass canoe last night - running to get it because of what came with it.
    It came with 3 vintage Old Town Paddles and the Old Town seat back.

    But I'm curious what this 14' canoe model is. I'm guessing 1975-1977 vintage. That would be about at the end of the scanned serial numbers.
    It's in surprisingly great shape - garage kept and it doesn't look like it ever hit a rock.

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    Sorry, after posting I realize it is in wrong forum...
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Old Town canoe with serial number 204498 is a 14 foot long fiberglass Carleton model with a keel that weighed 73 pounds. It was built in October, 1974. The original exterior gelcoat color was red. It shipped on April 15th, 1976 to Holderness, New Hampshire. 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 others were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/about-the-wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://store.wcha.org/WCHA-New-Membership.html to join.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good find,

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

  3. OP
    OP
    Old_Paddler

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    That's the boat

    Benson,

    For some reason, now that it has a model and a build sheet, it becomes more than just an old fiberglass canoe.
    I only bought it because of the stuff that came with it and would never have given the canoe a second look without the paddles and seat back.

    Now I have to figure out what to do with it.

    It's not in the same league as the 14' 8" EB White Featherweight I picked up last week and converted to solo, but it's not a throw away canoe either - or is it?

    Thanks,
    Russ


     
  4. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Throw away? No. The Carltons were designed to be a line of very stable, predictable recreational canoes, aimed mostly at flat water use. They aren't specialized or high performance canoes, but they're decent in the water with few surprises. As a former dealer, they were fairly easy to sell to new paddlers, being better finished than many similar boats and bearing the Old Town name. The floor is a fiberglass end-grain balsa sandwich, which will take a pretty good shot and survive, gunwales are rigid vinyl, seats and decks ABS. Whether or not it will do the things you want your canoe to do or not is up to you, but if not, it's worth some money on the used market. When new, that boat sold for around $350. You could probably get at least close to that out of it these days, if not more. By comparison, their Royalex boats with the same trim were selling for around 10% more back then, and a wooden Guide or Otca was selling for about $800-$900.
     
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I agree with Todd that you shouldn't throw it away. These are good canoes and commonly sell for a few hundred dollars. I have an FG model which has the same hull form as shown at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=4616&d=1209335424 and http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=1336&d=1143576684 with the breakout design. It is nice to have a plastic canoe available that can be used on occasions when you don't want to risk damage to an old wooden one. Let us know what you decide.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  6. OP
    OP
    Old_Paddler

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    Thank you for the information

    Todd,

    I didn't realize what I had until I got it home and really looked at it the next day. It was in a crowded garage and I loaded it on the truck in the dark. The only reason I went there was for the paddles and seat back. Looks like I really scored with this deal.

    I pick canoes up over the winter - rehab them and trim the fleet in the Spring for use with Scouts keeping 6 or 7 canoes through the summer. Doing this helps pay for the ones I keep for use by the Scouts - and for my personal canoes. There are 11 canoes in my garage and yard - 3 wood, 6 Royalex, 1 Polylink and now this fiberglass. I keep moving to lighter boats.

    I used to have fiberglass kayaks but got tired of fixing them when I smashed them on rocks - back in my younger, crazier days. I tend to give away the fiberglass canoes I pick up - after repairing them - for people who are starting out and just paddling on ponds or lakes.

    This boat has minor surface scratches, but is otherwise in excellent condition. I will see if one of the other Scout leaders wants it so that it will be available for the boys.

    Lines look very similar to my 1977 Hunter that I turned into a solo.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Russ Padden

     
  7. OP
    OP
    Old_Paddler

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    Benson,

    My Scouts don't touch my wood boats - except on flat water - with me in the stern.
    I have 6 Royalex Old Town boats they can use - 3 tandem, 3 solo.
    The fiberglass Great Canadian we used last year I gave away in the Fall to my niece and great-nieces for use in the small lake near their house. I had repaired a break in the keel and a couple of cracks, so I didn't trust it for rivers.

    My feelings on fiberglass is due to the damage I've done to fiberglass kayaks in the past.
    I will find a nice home for the Carleton - on a quiet pond.
    I didn't realize what a great deal I got when I bought the package. I saw the canoe as a bonus above the price of the paddles and seat back.

    Thank you and Todd for your advice.
    You wouldn't happen to have a scan of the Carleton's page from a mid-70's catalog?

    Thanks,
    Russ

     
  8. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I once maintained a "fleet" of 20 of these. They were pretty tough canoes but they did have some consistent issues.
    With careless or hard use the seats will crack in the corners. The decks are also prone to the same failure.
    I also had to replace the outside rails on a few of them.

    If the seats and decks are OK now, the scouts may be able to finds a way to compromise them :)D) They did a few of my glass and Oltonar beaters in over the years.
    OT used to sell replacement parts for fairly reasonable prices but you can also put wood/caned seats in as replacements.
     
  9. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The fiberglass and Carleton pages from the 1976 catalog are attached below. More information like this is available from http://store.wcha.org/The-Complete-Old-Town-Canoe-Company-Catalog-Collection-CD-ROM.html in the Old Town Canoe Company Catalog Collection. This 14 foot long Carleton in fiberglass and the 14 foot long Hunter in ABS came from the same design.

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

  10. OP
    OP
    Old_Paddler

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    Benson - thank you for the scans. My Hunter is Oltonor (Royalex) and still has the sticker. I thought it looked very similar.

    MGC, - Yes, if there is a way to wreck the seats, the Scouts will find it. Any caned seats have been flipped and webbed. My Penobscot and Packs all had cane and now have webbing - both Campers have molded plastic seats.

    Only my wood boats have caning. I also have a spare set of seats from my Hunter which I converted to a solo boat - and put a web seat in - a good beater for when I want to go camping by myself for a couple of days and am not out to set any distance/speed records.

    The 2 Packs I see as very limited - good for when my wife wants to go paddling but doesn't want to be in a tandem boat. Hers is set up with the seat very low - closer to center for kayak like paddling. When I gave my son my kayaks she missed them.

    Thank you all for your help.

    Russ
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  11. npres15

    npres15 New Member

    Hello all!
    I realize I am reviving a several years-old conversation, but I really appreciate all of the info and research you have done on this thread! This looks to be a very cool organization and community. My wife and I are canoe newbies (canewbies??) looking for our first canoe to purchase together. I used to canoe frequently in Boy Scouts growing up and have done the occasional canoe camping and "float trip" as an adult. However, that is the extent of our experience, and we have never owned a canoe (just borrowed and rented). So, I have been keeping an eye out for a quality used option in good condition to keep things affordable (confession: our first canoe will probably not be a wooden model, at least as we are "testing the waters").
    Anyways, I came across a used Old Town canoe that looks to be a similar model/vintage to the one discussed in this thread. Pictures (including serial number) are attached. Dimensions supposedly 17'Lx35"Wx13"D. I was wondering if the kind folks on this thread could help me out with confirming:
    1) If this is indeed an OT Carleton-17 model (c. 1973)
    2) If so, is this a good all-around/starter canoe (for use on rivers and flatwater, for recreation, fishing, and occasional overnight trip)?
    3) Is the $700 asking price (including original OT motor mount) reasonable, or too high for what it is (i.e. based on Todd B.'s comments)? FYI, it would need some minor coating repairs, as there is apparently just a couple of small chips in gel coat and one couple sq. inch patch worn through from repeated beaching
    Thanks in advance for your help!
    -Nathan
     

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  12. OP
    OP
    Old_Paddler

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    Nathan,

    $700 for a 47 year old fiberglass canoe is way too high and I would not suggest it for a first canoe unless it was really cheap, like $200.

    A lot of factors go into determining what is the right canoe - as in buying a vehicle. A Ford Mustang and a Ford F-350 are both great vehicles but serve different purchases.

    Going to send you a message.
     
  13. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the Old Town canoe with serial number 192073 is a 17 foot long fiberglass Carleton Voyageur model that weighed 90 pounds. It was built in November, 1972. The original exterior gelcoat color was avocado. It shipped on January 22nd, 1973 to Chicago, Illinois. A scan showing this build record can be found 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 your canoe. More information about this canoe is available from http://www.wcha.org/store/complete-old-town-canoe-company-catalog-collection in the scanned catalogs from the 1970s. I agree that $700 seems like a very optimistic asking price. Similar canoes have been selling on eBay recently for about half that much. It should work fine for your purposes if you do decide to get it. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions,

    Benson



    192073.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  14. npres15

    npres15 New Member

    Benson - That description certainly matches the listing /pictures, so pretty sure that's the one. Thanks very much for pulling that info!
    Old Paddler & Benson - Thanks to you both for your help. This is great work you do and super helpful and informative for someone like myself who might be feeling a bit overwhelmed as we try to wade into the waters of old/vintage canoes.
    Best,
    Nathan
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Old_Paddler

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    Many incredible people in WCHA have helped me over the past 6 years. Without them I wouldn't have my bucket list canoe - they provided information, parts, skill and the former President of WCHA even drove my canoe down from Maine for me.
    Great bunch of people.
     
  16. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    That makes me think, in today's terms, this is a gathering place for canoe "superspreaders". Russ, I believe that you might be one. The canoe that is currently curing in my garage has your name all over it;):)and I know I am not the only one served.
    Nathan, my in-laws gave me an Old Town canoe of the same vintage. If I decided to sell it I probably would ask for about $200 or so and not more. These old glass boats tend to be a bit heavy and the hulls are a bit clunky. That's not to suggest that they aren't good canoes. I've put many hundreds of miles into these old glass boats and caught bucket loads of fish from them.
    But, for 7 hundred dollars you should be able to get into a bit newer hull with better lines. If you are located out here on the East Coast Russ is the guy to see about that. Or, let Craigslist or FB Marketplace be your friend.
     
  17. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Yes, that's awfully pricey, and also awfully heavy. The only older fiberglass Old Town That I would consider dropping $700 on would be a 17' Canadien model (starting from the late 1970s-1980s or so) and only if it was in pretty nice shape. The Canadien is a very nice design to paddle and the weight will be better.
     
  18. npres15

    npres15 New Member

    Thanks to you too, MGC and Todd! All of your feedback and advice has been most appreciated. We are not opposed to pushing the budget slightly for our first canoe, as long as we know we are making a solid investment and not throwing money away. So, getting your perspectives on a model like this one is extremely helpful! My wife and I are down in TN, but yes, Russ has already helped narrow down our search and given me quite a few pointers (and pitfalls to avoid) to help navigate the used canoe market especially in this years' apparently tight market. Here's to hoping my wife and I can find the right fit and get out on the water soon!
     
  19. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Check your PM's. I sent you a link to a canoe that might be priced right if it's still available. If you open up your search (you will need to drive to get the canoe) it looks like there are a few other options for you including one that has never been used.
     

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