Help ID my 1995 Old Town canoe

Hello - I just picked up an Old Town canoe and I’m hoping someone can help me ID this guy. I contacted OT, but my canoe happens to be part of a run of lost serial numbers.

Based on a couple pics and some measurements I sent them, they think it may be the Appalachian or Penobscot. However, what leaves me scratching my head is that the outline of the model sticker doesn’t match either of those emblems (nor anything I’ve seen online).


Length 16’ (actually just shy at 191")

Width 35"

Bow 22" (ground to top of deck)



profile 2

Emblem remains


Sure looks like an Appalachian
ta me…

Here be a picture o’ mine. Same logo profile.


The logo shape (combined with the rocker) is the telltale.

How does your Appalachian handle in flat water? I’ve read mixed opinions. Being a total newbie, I managed to buy a canoe with aggressive rocker… and I live in a flat area with calm water. Regardless, I’m looking forward to getting on the water with my family.

Nice boat
Buddy of mine has an Appalachian and loves it. He paddles it solo and tandem, flatwater and moving water.

I’ve paddled it with him a couple of times. The boat paddles nice on slow moving rivers. What type of paddling are you planning to do?.

The Appalachian

– Last Updated: Mar-20-14 7:04 AM EST –

is a surprinsingly versatile boat. I have one that I pressed into service on a flatwater camping trip once. It carried the load without complaint and was surprisingly manageable in wind and waves in spite of the rocker and windage.

The boat really shines when you use it as intended in moving water. It is both responsive and predictable. I do solo it from time to time and it is, of course, a bit big for that. I think it is in a race with the OT Tripper for the title of best boat in the OT lineup.


Good pics

– Last Updated: Mar-20-14 10:59 AM EST –

Thanks, guys. I'll be paddling coves and small bays; tidal, but probably classified as still water, so I won't be using this canoe for it's intended purpose. Sounds like it's versatile enough to get me by for a while though.

eckilson: Thanks for posting those pics. The other Appalachian emblems that I've seen have a similar outline to mine, but the version in your pics seems to be spot on from what I can tell.

Appy a favorite
The Appalachian is a personal favortie, and I will share two tales that might be relative to a novice.

As a novice myself, I had an Old Town Camper, a 16’ boat that has a bottom as flat as a clothes iron. I took a tandem whitewater class, and in the class, used an Appalachian. I couldn’t tell any difference in the way the boats paddled. There’s a lot of difference between these boats, and the fact I could not perceive a difference reflected my lack of paddling knowledge and skills.

Many years passed. I paddled a lot and like to think I became a more skilled paddler. The Camper left the fleet, which today includes an Appalachian. I’m astounded by my early impression that those boats paddled the same.

In 2011, a team of engineering students from Johns Hopkins built a concrete canoe to enter into the annual concrete canoe competion. Most of them had never paddled, and they asked me for a one-day training session. I loaded up three canoes, including my Appalachian, and took them out to a local flatwater river for the training session. We set out some buoys and the students practiced negotiating the course. The students in the 20’ tripper-like boat, and the OT Tripper, were doing fine, but the pair in the Appy were all over the place. The teams rotated among the boats, and it was consistent, the pairs in the Appy had a hard time making the boat go straight and lost control in turning about the buoys. That’s when it dawned on me how different the Appalachian is. The shape of the hull makes the boat very responsive to the paddlers’ strokes.

So, the Appy might not be the easiest boat in which to learn. It can be paddled straight, but is a pleasure to carve through a turn in a tight spot. You will be able to learn in it and will be a better paddler for having done so, but you might experience a little frustration along the way.

Have fun.


A familiar theme there

– Last Updated: Mar-21-14 11:36 AM EST –

I recall several situations where newbies were getting started, or thinking about getting started in canoes designed for pretty good maneuverability in moving water, and a common remark is "this boat will make you a better paddler". Bear in mind that the frustration factor for a beginner in such a boat is much worse for solo paddlers than tandem couples, so hopefully you are getting started using the boat as a tandem.

If the boat seems to have a will of its own, don't give up! While sophisticated paddle strokes are not intuitive, neither is it intuitive to do the most-basic ones in an efficient manner. Come back here and ask for help if you need it. If the boat misbehaves, I bet you'll find that some really simple adjustments to your technique make a huge difference, at least in making the leap from having too little control to having enough to have fun and start learning.

For what it's worth, there are very few Old Town canoes that I'd like to own, and the Appalachian is one of them. Nice boat.

Good stuff
Thanks for sharing, booztalkin!

Thanks, Guideboatguy. I will indeed be using this canoe tandem, so it’s good to know that will help me go in a semi straight line. I’ve been studying up on paddle techniques!