New to me Old Town Stillwater 14

I picked this up off of FB marketplace for 300$ today. It’s an OT Stillwater 14. The hull is in very good shape, with only one scratch on the bow. It does need to be waxed though, as it looks a little chalky or dull.

It was probably stored upright at some point, because the yoke and seat frames are somewhat weathered. And the cane seats have been replaced with strap or seatbelt material.

What I’d like to do is refinish the wood, and recane the seats. I’ve read that the wood is ash, and I’m thinking I can remove it from the boat, sand it down and refinish it. Is a couple coats of polyurethane ok, or should I use something else?
Also, should I put some polyurethane on the caning after I replace it?

The canoe will be stored under cover while I own it.

Here are a couple picks after I got it home.

Nice canoe. Rethink the webbing on the seats. I currently have 3 canoes with cane seats. One of them always seems to need recaning. It looks traditional, but I just took out the tandem cane seats in my Canadienne and added one seat with webbing. I like it a lot.

I am guessing the last owner replaced the seats and center thwart judging by the dark stain and modern webbing. You can easily lower the seats to lower your center of gravity.

I think the wood is all original. Guess I’ll find out when I sand it down. Each piece has some of the finish flaking off, with the handles having the worst wear of course. If anything is beyond saving I have some air dried rough cut ash boards in the garage I can plane up to make the replacements.

If I do decide to recane the seats, should I poly the caning? I’m sure the webbing is better long term, but my wife likes the look of the cane seats better.

Also what color would the wood have been originally? It looks almost like an early American stain, but it could just be the ash darkening with age

I used plastic came on my woodstrips and it still needs to be re-done about every four years. I will admit that I live in Florida, and the weather is brutal for most things.

I agree it’s brutal here. I’m in St Augustine.

My hull ID number is XTC1084OL798. So I assume the canoe was built in 1998?

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take the seats out sand all of the frame and polyurethane (Several coats not one!) the wood including the ends’
OT was notorious for not sealing end grain. Unsealed water gets in and rot that you cant see happens.
And the seat collapses at the most inopportune time.

Do the yoke too. I was on a trip where all the seats and thwarts of someone elses OT failed in the middle of the Androscoggin River in NH on an overnight trip

Did you ever contact Old Town to inquire on the age. I purchased a white Stillwater 12 yesterday that the vessel number also ends in 98. I was wondering the same thing and now that yours matches I am thinking it really makes sense.