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Old Town Killer!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by chris pearson, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    I recently acquired a canoe significant in canoe history. Its a Grumman 13 foot aluminum!! Hold on, stay with me wooden canoe geeks! Like it of not, many have heard the story about a higher up from Grumman, William Hoffman, and his canoe trip in the Adirondacks and his wanting to have a lighter canoe to replace his Old Town. Yes Benson, you may chime in here if I'm incorrect with facts! Anywho, he made a prototype, 13 feet long and the story goes. Grumman made I believe around 90 canoes the first year in 1945 and in '46, they made in excess of 10,000. I also know that they only made canoes with airtight chambers in the bow and stern for only 3 years. I'm guessing my canoe was made in '46 due to its tag number being 199. Now for the fun part.
    I saw the canoe for sale about 2 hours from me in Indiana. I messaged who would be the origional owners granddaughter and came up with a price. She then told me that he bought the canoe straight out of WWII with his last combat paycheck, another reason I think its from 1946. Only .030" thick and painted various shades of green, I was very careful stripping, sanding and buffing her back to "fighter plane glory"! It has dents and scrapes in it but you can tell it wasnt abused. I love the history behind this canoe due to its tie with the war effort and the people that touched it. Its a nice contrast having this chrome piece of art hanging along side my 1911 Old Town. You may now disown me if you'd like....keep paddlin!!
     

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    Dave Wermuth and Benson Gray like this.
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    See http://pineypaddlers.com/PP-Info/A-HTML/grumman-history/grummanhistory.htm and http://aviationtrivia.blogspot.com/2010/10/aircraft-manufacturer-goes-into-boat.html for additional information about the history of Grumman canoes. They are now called the Marathon Boat Group as described at https://marathonboat.com/about/ in more detail. It is also interesting to note that while aluminum canoes quickly displaced wooden ones, fiberglass canoes displaced aluminum, ABS / Royalex displaced fiberglass, and wood has become popular again. Old Town lost that battle but they adapted and may have arguably won the war.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Thank God!
     
  4. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I dunno, Chris...I think it's an early E.M.White prototype with that typical EM stem band ! It is a WOW boat and you have brought it to jewel status. A great save a better piece of history.
    Dave
     
  5. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Makes me think about the time that I dropped an hatchet through the bottom of a buddies Grumman...not on purpose. It slipped out of my hand and made two perfect spins before piercing cleanly through the hull.
    And, it makes me recall the time a buddy of mine bought a brand new light weight Grumman for a race here in Western NY. We decided to run the creek the day before the race. He brought his dog along (?). We reached a spot where I told him to hit a line on the left side of the creek. He went right instead and we ripped the bottom of the boat open on a knife sharp ledge. I was able to retrieve my paddles. I don't think he ever used the boat again....
    Which leads to my comment about the perfect boat to use for running rapids... the answer, someone else Grumman.
    Which makes me think about one other thing....and I'm trying to remember which river it was on??? Maybe on the East Branch of the Penobscot? There was an aluminum canoe perfectly wrapped around a boulder. And....isn't there half of one just above Racquette Falls?
    Ah yes, Grumman, ye old thunder bottom.
    That's a good one....you need an Airstream to go with it.
     
  6. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Chris WHO???
     
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  7. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    A major crack has been found in the time/space continuum.... wp6 (2).jpeg
     
  8. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    I had a customer who decided to polish his aluminum canoe to a mirror finish. He then wanted a sail rig which was equally outrageous, so we stuck a pair of junk-rig-inspired Chinese lugsails on it. He eventually built a rudder, but for a while they just used sail trim for steering.

    Chinese-Lugsails-3.jpg
     
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    The 1st boat we got, in about 1973, was a used, early 70's Grumman 17', paddled and portaged that canoe many a mile.

    Nice save and work.

    Dan
    btw, this canoe is still "in use" and laying at the shore at the cabin where it now lives.
     
  10. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy

    I too am a recovering Grummanite. My first canoe was a 15 foot Grumman. Bought it used in 1966 for $175. It survives to this day at our place on the French River. Built a sliding gunter sail rig for it and steered with a paddle. It was a pretty decent sailer. It made several trips to Algonquin and Temagami.
    That's a very impressive restoration job. It probably never looked that good in its first life.
     
  11. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I already have enough on you for when I blackmail you. So, nice work my friend.
     
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  12. OP
    OP
    chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Dave W...understatement. ;)
     
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  13. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Chris, You are the only person that I know crazier than I am.
     
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