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Value of my 1923 Old Town sailing canoe?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Rich D, May 29, 2015.

  1. Rich D

    Rich D New Member

    I just joined with the hope of eventually listing my canoe for sale in the classified section. I know nothing about wood canoes and, therefore, I apologize for my ignorance and for possibly posting this to the wrong forum area.

    I acquired the canoe when I purchased my home. The canoe was hanging in the garage for years according to the previous owner's family. I have never used the canoe myself.

    I found out today from Old Town Company records that my 16 foot canoe was completed March 3, 1923, s grade CS, model HW. I sent them the serial number of the canoe, 76966, and they emailed me a copy of the record slip. W.C. is listed for planking. Gunwales are Aspen Spruce. Decks are Birch.

    On July 1 1958, the following were purchased by the owner and shipped by Old Town to the address where I now live: sail, mast, boom, leeboards, crossbar, rudder, and keel. I have these parts and their original shipping cartons with labels that list the date of order and date shipped.

    One of the 2 cane seats has a circular space to receive the mast.

    I am moving to a tiny apartment and must sell this canoe and sailing items. I did look at the classified section, but I don't know what I might ask for my canoe. I would appreciate it, if anyone could advise me on the value. A range perhaps. Again, I apologize if asking about advice on prices here is wrong but I figure I need advice from this in the know before I can list with intelligence and price under or over a fair listing.

    If I need to post this somewhere else on the site, please let me know

    Thank you very much.

  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    There's a great description of how to value on old canoe here on these forums:

    It won't give you an amount to charge for it, but it discusses many things to think about, for this topic. Condition of the canoe (which is hard to assess through pictures) and location are just two of those things. What it boils down to, though, is simply that it's worth whatever someone's willing to pay for it.
  3. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Sometimes reading an Old Town build record take a little deciphering.
    76966 - 5800.jpg
    The WC on the planking line indicates that the canoe is planked with western red cedar. And your gunwales are open (not aspen) spruce gunwales -- as opposed to closed gunwales, where the rib ends are covered by a cap rail.

    Because a mast seat is not shown on the build record, it is almost certainly a modification to the canoe, likely made about the same time the other sailing gear was ordered. It is possible that other alterations or modifications were also made during the 90+ years of this canoe's life. Photos might show any modifications, and could give some idea of the canoe's condition. But photos usually do not show everything, good or bad, about a canoe, which is why most knowledgeable people are loathe to put a value on a canoe without actually inspecting it.

    The Adirondacks and surrounds is a region where canoes are used, and there should be a market for your canoe, if it is still there. Checking local ads and Craig's List can give you some idea of the market and what other canoes in that are selling for, and the WCHA classified ads can give you some ideas of pricing -- look at canoes similar in length, noting their age and condition.

    The WCHA classified ads have 72 canoes for sale. On the first three pages, there are perhaps 14 canoes between 15 and 17 feet long, priced between $450 and $4995, that can give you a sense of how canoes are valued. Reading the descriptions is necessary -- old canoes needing much work are at the low end of the range, very new canoes in good shap, or older canoes with recent, high-grade restorations are at the high end. The canoes in the mid-range of prices have various pluses and minuses. Your canoe is likely not exactly the same as any one of these, but your canoe will have some of the same pluses and minuses, and you can learn how these affect price.

    People selling in the WCHA ads generally (though not always) have a pretty good sense of what their canoes are worth. Many sellers advertising on Craig's list overvalue their canoes considerably, thinking that their canoe is special when it isn't, or has "antique" value just because it is old. Many eBay listings suffer from the same flaws, but even more so.

    You may wish to consider selling the sailing rig separately -- there are more people who want just a canoe than who want a sailing canoe, and there are some people who have a canoe but would like to add a sailing rig.

    Post some pictures here -- we love to see pictures of canoes, even when, like me, we are not shopping for another canoe.

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