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  • Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

    Howdy,

    I'm getting ready as in a few days I'm going to go take a look at potentially, my first watercraft, and first canoe.

    I'm 100% giddy as a schoolgirl.

    It's a 1 or 2 decade old Old Town Guide 18' canoe.

    I am expecting it to look something along the lines of this:

    http://www.woodshed.steveambrose.net...5/img_7579.jpg

    It is a canvas and wood frame canoe apparently in good condition requiring some minimal work. I'm a 27 year old graduate student and amateur carpenter, a cabinetmaker with no boat building experience. However, I desperately want a canoe. I realize it may be more worth my while to get a new, fibreglass one, so I'm fully willing to go that route. But, depending on the price, and if the amount of TLC this thing requires (and if it's along my skill level), I would love to own this and call it my own. Look at it, it's a piece of art.

    I was wondering if anyone could offer some preliminary advice: i.e., if this already sounds like an awful idea for a first timer, please let me know. In four or five days time, when I check this thing out, I plan to take pictures and I'll let you guys know the price as well,

    Please let me know what I should look for, what I should take pictures of, and what I should ask.

    Thanks in advance, as I have ZERO idea what I'm doing.

  • #2
    Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

    I would avoid a 20 year old canvass and wood frame canoe, if you actually want to get on the water quickly. They are not all that light, and 10-20 year old canvas is likely to have problems. If the canvass is fraying in several spots, you may be looking at replacing the entire canvass and sealant. The last thing you want to do is head out on the water on a weekend trip, to find that it is leaking.

    If you want a restoration project, then this may be interesting to play with, but be aware there can be more work than you initially expect.

    I don't know your local market, or your budget, but $500 will buy you an inexpensive camp canoe from a mass retailer like wal-mart. If you want to get out on the water, I would be more inclined to do that. If you want to do portages, or longer trips, you may be better of keeping an eye out for a second-hand kevlar or other light-weight canoe.
    Peter
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    1968 Starcraft Holiday, 2012 Yamaha F90
    1974 Starcraft Chieftain 25'

    The Yellow Submarine
    14' Lone Star Transom Replacement
    1955 Johnson QD-16 10hp restoration

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

      For an idea of what might be involved, just google - canvas canoe repair. This will give you an idea of what would be involved.
      Peter
      Northern Ontario, Canada
      1968 Starcraft Holiday, 2012 Yamaha F90
      1974 Starcraft Chieftain 25'

      The Yellow Submarine
      14' Lone Star Transom Replacement
      1955 Johnson QD-16 10hp restoration

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

        Originally posted by pckeen View Post
        For an idea of what might be involved, just google - canvas canoe repair. This will give you an idea of what would be involved.
        I had a feeling this would be the reply - thank you for both your promptness and your honesty. Still, if he's going to put it up for $200 I'd like to acquire it for the project reasons you mentioned.

        Portaging is exactly my primary goal, so I'm glad you mentioned that. Kevlar, you say? Is that the type of canoe I should be looking for? Where can I find a proper resource?

        I read that I should expect a canoe to reasonable weigh probably 70lbs regardless so I was surprised (I'll be honest that in my ignorance I was expecting super modern lightweight materials etc etc).

        My true dream ambition is a birchbark canoe, but after seeing exactly what's involved, I realized that I'd rather go with a mass-market one to get on the water within a reasonable amount of time.

        So, let me ask you this, since you're from my neck of the woods (I'm an Ontario boy) and in fact where I'd like to get started: how would you recommend getting into portage?

        My goal for a new canoe is probably $500-700 to start for now considering my current economic scenario.

        Thanks for all your help so far and in advance for any more.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

          Hey MJ, welcome to iboats!

          Yah, I'm with pckeen up there ^^^.

          If you are looking for a canoe for portaging, go as light as possible, kevlar no doubt.

          That canvas Old Town is a beautiful boat but a little heavy and a major project. Kind of expensive too. I think that would be the perfect boat for a guy who really likes the history of those boats and wants to enjoy the build aspect. Then, taking her out on lakes now and then for a paddle to enjoy.

          As a heavy use boat that you'll carry often, nah. There are better options. Take a look at what the outfitters use up in the Boundry Waters area - mostly kevlar....


          Durable (relatively speaking), and light. About 1/2 the weight of your polylink/royalex/canvas/wood strip canoe. Makes a big difference when it's up on your shoulders hiking through the woods.
          1983 26' Starcraft Sportfisherman 261V Rebuild
          1976 22' Starcraft Islander Rebuild - SOLD
          1984 16.5' Sea Nymph Ski Sport Rebuild
          1980 16' Sea Nymph SS 165 Rebuild (swapped)
          1968 15' Starcraft Jet Star Rebuild (sold)

          115' of Beach on Lake Huron

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

            Originally posted by MJExcess View Post
            Howdy,

            I'm getting ready as in a few days I'm going to go take a look at potentially, my first watercraft, and first canoe.

            I'm 100% giddy as a schoolgirl.

            It's a 1 or 2 decade old Old Town Guide 18' canoe.

            I am expecting it to look something along the lines of this:

            http://www.woodshed.steveambrose.net...5/img_7579.jpg

            It is a canvas and wood frame canoe apparently in good condition requiring some minimal work. I'm a 27 year old graduate student and amateur carpenter, a cabinetmaker with no boat building experience. However, I desperately want a canoe. I realize it may be more worth my while to get a new, fibreglass one, so I'm fully willing to go that route. But, depending on the price, and if the amount of TLC this thing requires (and if it's along my skill level), I would love to own this and call it my own. Look at it, it's a piece of art.

            I was wondering if anyone could offer some preliminary advice: i.e., if this already sounds like an awful idea for a first timer, please let me know. In four or five days time, when I check this thing out, I plan to take pictures and I'll let you guys know the price as well,

            Please let me know what I should look for, what I should take pictures of, and what I should ask.

            Thanks in advance, as I have ZERO idea what I'm doing.
            Ayuh,.... Welcome Aboard,.... Bein' an ole Maineiac, born, 'n raised in Old Town Maine, I've seen a few Old Town canoes,....

            In Pristine condition, that boat is worth 'bout $3500.00.... Pristine bein' the key word,...(with the data plate intact)
            Most are Not,...

            If yer lookin' for a "Wall Hanger", that's the 1 yer lookin' for,...
            Beautiful boats, but somewhat fragile, compared to the fiberglass, 'n plastic canoes We all use today,...

            Yer budget oughta get ya a nice used plastic canoe, from Old Town,....(for yer purposes, probably the Best bet)
            An ole Coleman would be well under 1/2 yer budget,...
            A Mad River, while very nice canoes, 'n comparable to the quality found in Old Towns, as they use(stole) the Old Town roto-moldin' process,...
            I'm of course, prejudice to Mad Rivers, vs. Old Towns,...

            The standard plastic canoes usually run 'bout 60/ 80 lbs, dry,...(cross-link Poly, Royalex, 'bout 1/3rd less)
            The standard lay-up fiberglass, 'bout the same weight, but more fragile to rock impacts,...
            The boat yer lookin' at, in Pristine condition, is listed as 86 lbs,...

            As far as fixin' up this canoe ya found, dependin' on the condition ya find it in,....
            Any rotten wood, will need replacin',.....
            They're steam bent, cedar strips,... Lotsa work,...

            If the wood is Ok, 'n the canvas coverin', is goin' to 'ell,...
            Standard practice to to strip the canvas off, 'n cover it with fiberglass,...
            Fiberglass, 'n resin is much stronger, 'n more durable than canvas, 'n oil paint coverin',...

            The Old Town Canoe website is Very informative,....

            Good Luck,....

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

              I will agree with others that if your sole interst is to get out on the water for cheap money, you can do better. (although $200 if it is in anything like usable condition is pretty much a steal.) -------- IF however you do have a real interest in a wood & canvas canoe there is really something different about being in one. They are not as fragile as people think, and are still very useful. (True, they can't be overtly abused and be expected to hold up well.)
              I must politely disagree with Bondo and his statement "Standard practice to to strip the canvas off, 'n cover it with fiberglass". Yes, this is the standard way to ruin a good canoe and ruin it's value. Canvasing is not that difficult, and 40 years does not automatically mean re-canvasing (I have three canvas on frame kayaks (much more delicate), and one is still fine with it's 40 year old original cotton canvas.)
              I will say that even though this forum is a good resource, it is NOT the place for you to get the best answers for your W&C canoe questions. you really need to go over to the Wooden Canoe Heritage website & their discussion forum.
              Oh yes, and if it is an Old Town there is no "date plate". The serial number will be stamped on the inside of each stem (down on the flat near end on the bottom). If you post the S/N in the appropriate place on the Wooden Canoe Heritage forum they will post a copy of the original build card so you can find out EXACTLY when it was built (to the day) the color, options, when and where it was shipped to.
              Last edited by Ned L; February 26th, 2014, 11:59 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

                Originally posted by Ned L View Post
                I will agree with others that if your sole interst is to get out on the water for cheap money, you can do better. (although $200 if it is in anything like usable condition is pretty much a steal.) -------- IF however you do have a real interest in a wood & canvas canoe there is really something different about being in one. They are not as fragile as people think, and are still very useful. (True, they can't be overtly abused and be expected to hold up well.)
                I must politely disagree with Bondo and his statement "Standard practice to to strip the canvas off, 'n cover it with fiberglass". Yes, this is the standard way to ruin a good canoe and ruin it's value. Canvasing is not that difficult, and 40 years does not automatically mean re-canvasing (I have three canvas on frame kayaks (much more delicate), and one is still fine with it's 40 year old original cotton canvas.)
                I will say that even though this forum is a good resource, it is NOT the place for you to get the best answers for your W&C canoe questions. you really need to go over to the Wooden Canoe Heritage website & their discussion forum.
                Oh yes, and if it is an Old Town there is no "date plate". The serial number will be stamped on the inside of each stem (down on the flat near end on the bottom). If you post the S/N in the appropriate place on the Wooden Canoe Heritage forum they will post a copy of the original build card so you can find out EXACTLY when it was built (to the day) the color, options, when and where it was shipped to.
                Hey guys, I have more to say, but I have to wear the grad student hat tonight. For the record, one I can actually answer, apparently it HAS been fiberglassed. Again, I'll be seeing it and taking pictures for you all - sorry, let me try my Southern here - y'all this saturday and getting a price.

                Sure enough he told me about $3000 was what he paid, and that thing is a work of art, just from a woodworking standpoint, so yeah, it is a wallhanger even if I never get it seaworthy.

                How much or where could I find a good kevlar then, or something to get me started for around $700 (new or used I suppose), or would that be possible? Even if not for getting directly into portage then? Would getting one of those colemans or something be acceptable, or how should I get started in canoeing?

                Thanks for all the kind words and greetings, I've never taken an interest in watercraft or boating till late, now I can feel the ache in my blood.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

                  Originally posted by MJExcess View Post
                  Hey guys, I have more to say, but I have to wear the grad student hat tonight. For the record, one I can actually answer, apparently it HAS been fiberglassed. Again, I'll be seeing it and taking pictures for you all - sorry, let me try my Southern here - y'all this saturday and getting a price.

                  Sure enough he told me about $3000 was what he paid, and that thing is a work of art, just from a woodworking standpoint, so yeah, it is a wallhanger even if I never get it seaworthy.

                  How much or where could I find a good kevlar then, or something to get me started for around $700 (new or used I suppose), or would that be possible? Even if not for getting directly into portage then? Would getting one of those colemans or something be acceptable, or how should I get started in canoeing?

                  Thanks for all the kind words and greetings, I've never taken an interest in watercraft or boating till late, now I can feel the ache in my blood.
                  Ayuh,.... Go rent 1, 'n Try it,...

                  Scour craigslist for anything that floats, 'n Go for it,...

                  Search the Old Town Canoe website, 'n Learn which canoes do what, better than another type of canoe,...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

                    A new Kevlar canoe can run $1700-$3000. A good second hand one....depends on what's out there.

                    I would suggest renting one first, and getting some experience before you buy. Head to an outfitter, for a course or a weekend, and take some canoeing lessons. Do a google search for "canoeing lessons virginia", and see what comes up. You might start with the American Canoeing Association. In general, guides and outfitters are happy to put you in touch with anyone they know who has a second hand canoe for sale. In addition, they often sell off their older stock. Keep an out out for canoeing conventions and sales.

                    Your university probably has a canoeing club....
                    Peter
                    Northern Ontario, Canada
                    1968 Starcraft Holiday, 2012 Yamaha F90
                    1974 Starcraft Chieftain 25'

                    The Yellow Submarine
                    14' Lone Star Transom Replacement
                    1955 Johnson QD-16 10hp restoration

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

                      Yah, I'm with these guys, rent for a while and take a class or two before you jump into buying one. Of course unless you can find one for a couple hundred bux just to get rolling. Canoes come in such a huge variety that what kind of paddling you are into will dictate what kind of canoe to buy. When you are ready, craigslist is a good route. When I sold off my whole fleet of canoes (and kayaks) I used paddling.net, they have a pretty good classified section (along with good forum discussions), check there.

                      And yup, a class is a great move. The canoe class I took way back my freshman year in college......my canoe partner, she was smoking hot.......later on down the road she let me marry her
                      1983 26' Starcraft Sportfisherman 261V Rebuild
                      1976 22' Starcraft Islander Rebuild - SOLD
                      1984 16.5' Sea Nymph Ski Sport Rebuild
                      1980 16' Sea Nymph SS 165 Rebuild (swapped)
                      1968 15' Starcraft Jet Star Rebuild (sold)

                      115' of Beach on Lake Huron

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

                        This might interest you...Vintage 1927 Old Town Canoe
                        1961 Lonestar Flamingo - SPLASHED...Kinda!!
                        Fabricating Decks, Stringers, and Transoms
                        Paint Your Boat with Tractor Paint...Say What!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

                          Originally posted by Woodonglass View Post
                          This might interest you...Vintage 1927 Old Town Canoe
                          That thing is an absolute work of art. And Tulsa - I've been out your neck of the woods. You ever head out to Swan Bros Dairy? or the JM Davis Gun Museum?

                          First I'd like to offer an apology as a young ruffian popping in here and to be honest, ignorantly flapping his gums about "HEY BOYS GONNA BUY A BOAT AND BE A SAILOR." Clearly I've underestimated the amount of time, effort and skill needed in this. Next I'm going to buy a set of clubs from Walmart and be Tiger Woods.

                          Here's my new game plan. I'm going to go check out this Old Town Guide on the weekend on the merits of possibly acquiring a work of art, and a multi-year woodworking project that could end out with me learning about canoes and having a working watercraft and something incredibly beautiful. But if it's outside my price or skill range, I'll turn it down.

                          And I'm going to pursue a club, or classes to find out what to do next. That makes the most sense and I don't know why I thought something like boating or canoeing would be as simple as buying a car ( Because everybody is a good driver, right?). Especially because neither I nor anyone I really directly know knows a single thing about it, or boating, or the sea or any of that. I have no maritime in my family whatsoever.

                          Thanks everyone. I think I have a much more realistic view, and a much more manageable one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

                            Bah, no apologies necessary!

                            Rebuilding an ancient canvas canoe would be a great project. But for sure something like that takes some pretty serious skill along with a well stocked carpenters shop, a whole bunch of time and a small pile of cash.

                            Now, learning to canoe? That's nothing really. Find a partner and go for it! I as a canoe/kayak instructor for many years. If I can give a canoe, paddles and PFD's to two 10 year olds and within 5 minutes they are having a blast, anybody can. Now, if you learn an effective J Stroke, the Draw, and basic self rescue, you should have a lifetime of fun in a canoe. Going from there, learning expedition canoeing, big water, quick water, white water, stuff like that, additional instruction and experience would be a wise move.

                            All the while, you'll figure out what kind of paddling you like which will in turn guide you on what kind of canoe you ought to purchase.

                            All the best and have fun!
                            1983 26' Starcraft Sportfisherman 261V Rebuild
                            1976 22' Starcraft Islander Rebuild - SOLD
                            1984 16.5' Sea Nymph Ski Sport Rebuild
                            1980 16' Sea Nymph SS 165 Rebuild (swapped)
                            1968 15' Starcraft Jet Star Rebuild (sold)

                            115' of Beach on Lake Huron

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Re: Buying an old canoe (Old Town Guide 18')

                              I will say that in the world of "wooden boats" a W&C canoe is simple construction, and if you are a decent woodworker / cabinet maker it should not be beyond your skills. If it has been 'glassed, that may help to explain the $200 asking price, as it would be worth that needing work with no canvas on it. If it has been 'glassed, that can sometimes be removed IF polyester resin was used (can be ripped off in sheets). If epoxy resin was used that is a different story and is MUCH more difficult to remove if a real restoration is in mind.
                              In later years Old Town did offer some wood canoes with factory original fiberglassing. If you do go look at her I would recommend getting the S/N and posting it on the WCHA site to find out exactly what it is.

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