(207) 564-7612 Atkinson, Maine

Old Town Canoes



History

By 1900, the Penobscot River city of Old Town, Maine, was already immersed in the early phases of wood and canvas canoe production, with several companies including Carleton and EM White producing around 300 canoes a year.

But the town and the industry were about to take a big leap forward, when businessman and entrepreneur George Gray hired a builder named Henry Wickett and set up a canoe shop behind the Gray family Hardware store. With clear foresight and sound management, Gray was quickly able to catch and surpass the production of the existing companies and gain widespread recognition. In 1903 George's son, Samuel began taking over management of what had become the Old Town Canoe Co and over the next decade the company grew, and out grew facilities. By 1912 Old Town was producing about 4000 canoes a year in an enormous new brick facility. Through wars, recessions, and a great depression the Old Town Canoe Co. continued to thrive under the Gray family ownership, and remained nimble enough to switch production over to modern materials such as Fiberglass, Royalex, and plastics as times and markets required. Under the ownership of another family-owned enterprise since 1974, Johnson Outdoor Watercraft, a division of Johnson Diversified, Old Town has maintained its position as a world leader in the manufacture of recreational watercraft.

Island Falls Canoe is proud to be licensed by Johnson to maintain the Old Town tradition of building quality wooden canoes. We pride ourselves with working closely with our customers, to attain the best solution possible to one's canoeing interests.


Current Models and Grades

Island Falls is pleased to offer five of Old Town’s iconic models constructed using the original building forms. All canoes are built to Old Town standards with premium northern white cedar ribs and Western red cedar planking. The traditional canvas skin is filled with a durable waterproof weave filler and painted with quality marine finish. The interior woodwork is protected by up to five coats of marine spar varnish applied by hand. The hardwood seat frames are woven with natural cane, all fastenings and fittings are brass or bronze, and each canoe is fitted with an ash keel, unless otherwise specified.

Our Old Town canoes come in three grades:

  • CS (common Sense) Grade canoes are fitted with spruce inwales and outwales of spruce or ash. Seats, thwarts and decks are ash or maple.
  • A Grade canoes come with spruce inwales, ash seats and thwarts, with outwales and decks of cherry or mahogany.
  • AA grade canoes come with cherry or mahogany gunwales, decks, thwarts and seats throughout.

Standard colors are Kelly Green, Forest Green, Bright Red, Burgundy, White, Ocean Blue, Dark Blue and Black. Although special colors can often be arranged.

16' OTCA
Length16'
Depth12"
Weight70 lb
Bow Height23"
Beam35"
The 16’ OTCA was introduced in the 1908 catalog. It has the swept-up profile that many canoeists consider classic and that comes to mind to many when they think of a wooden canoe. The OTCA has a wide, nearly flat bottom, almost no rocker, and a fullness in the ends that makes it both stable and buoyant. A great choice for pleasure paddling on lakes, ponds, and gentle streams.

Prices
CS Grade: $6000
A Grade: $6200
AA Grade: $6700
16' Old Town Guide
Length16'
Depth12"
Weight72 lb
Bow Height20.5"
Beam35"
The 16’ Old Town Guide was added to the Old Town line, years after the company had been selling the popular 18’ and 20’ Guide models. Like her longer sisters the 16’ Guide sports a flat bottom, low profile sheerline, and plenty of fullness in the ends. It became very popular with summer camps. The 16’ Old Town Guide is a fine tripping canoe for two persons, planning on staying out for a week or more. It is just as fun to paddle for an afternoon picnic and comfortable to fish from.

Prices
CS Grade: $5800
A Grade: $6000
AA Grade: $6500
Old Town 17' Molitor
Length17'
Depth35"
Weight82 lb
Bow Height22"
The Molitor has a distinctly unique look. With its jutting “torpedo” ends, and up curved sheerline it suggests the “courting canoes” that were hugely popular in the social life of young men and woman in the early 1900’s. And indeed, the Molitor was originally designed for a successful canoe livery operator on the Detroit River resort of Belle Isle.

Molitor has an extremely stable wide flat bottom, and steeply “tumble homed” sides. The long decks, tumblehome, and a wide D-shaped outer gunwales, allows the Molitor to maintain its attractive shape, without benefit of thwarts. It does have two caned seats, and a keel. Once underway this canoe tracks effortlessly and is steady as a rock.

Prices
CS Grade: $7200
A Grade: $7400
AA Grade: $7900
15' Old Town Trapper / 50# Model
Length15'
Depth11"
WeightTrapper 60lb - 50 lb model is 48lb
Bow Height19"
Beam24"
The lightweight 15’ Model first appeared in the 1905 Old Town Catalog and soon became known as the 50 lb. Model or “Fifteen-Fifty”. It was originally designed for trappers, fishermen and foresters who needed a canoe to carry back into a lake or navigate up a system of beaver dams. The weight was saved by making the ribs and planking thinner using spruce gunwales and a single thwart amidships, and lighter canvas. Later the 15’ Trapper, built on the same form was also offered with heavier components for more durability where weight was less of a consideration.

The 15’ Trapper is a stable and surprisingly nimble canoe given its beam. Comfortable to fish or take photos from whether used tandem or solo.

Prices
CS Grade: $5800
A Grade: $6000
AA Grade: $6500
11' Old Town Trapper
Length11'
Depth12.5"
Weight35lb - 40lb
Bow Height18
Beam35.5
The 11' Trapper is a short, full and beamy little craft that is great for packing into that secret fishing spot, before the evening rise. It is also a fun little solo canoe when stability and comfort are as important as performance. This also lends the 11'er to serve as the first canoe for a young person, ready for adventure solo or with a pal.

Prices
CS Grade: $4200
A Grade: $4400
AA Grade: $4900

Special Orders Available

Outside Wooden Stems $ 300.00
Longitudinal Floor Rack $ 250.00
Half Ribs $ 300.00
Center Carrying Yoke $ 45.00
24" Long Decks with Coaming $ 325.00
Carrying Handles $ 45.00

Custom Building Wood-Canvas Canoes Since 1975