Old Town Canadienne canoe???

-- Last Updated: Jan-21-05 7:26 PM EST --

There is an Old Town canoe for sale here in my hometown in central KY. It is the Canadienne. Does anyone know anything about this model? I have searched the web and Old Town does not make this anymore but Bell Canoes is now making it. I was wondering what the Old Town Canadienne's were made of? The seller said it was fiberglass with factory kevlar on the ends. He did not know the weight, length or age. I am wondering if this canoe was a kevlar canoe. As little as I found on the web about this model, I briefly read something about a kevlar model. Anyone knowledgeable of this canoe? Just wonder what the value is. It has the wood gunwales and cane seats. It is described as beautiful condition. Thanks for any advice.

Interior color?

– Last Updated: Jan-06-05 10:10 PM EST –

Yes they did make some in Kevlar. It should have a honey color when you look inside of it. For its' age look to see what the last two digits are on the serial number (usually engraved into the fiberglass on one of the ends of the boat and the last two digits usually are the year it was manufactured in. The Bell is a reasonable facsimile to the Old Town. Old Town's was a direct copy of an origional Freese design when they did build it is what a local dealer told me years ago. Was known as a good cruiser style of hull that would handle open lakes, wind driven waves. Probably not the best river/rapids type of boat. Check the reviews http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showReviews.html?prod=306

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– Last Updated: Jan-06-05 10:29 PM EST –

Here are some prices I pulled from Paddler Buyer's Guide on the Canadienne:

1992 895-1425
1994 935-1495
1995 939-1499
1998 Not Listed


P.S. Go look at it! If it's is in really pristine condition & cheap; don't buy it. Get the owner's phone number & email it to me asap.
Would you transport a boat to Missouri for me?
Just kidding!

Great boat.
Never paddled one, was looking at it before it was discontinued. Great cruising specs. Buy it!

Sounds nice.

– Last Updated: Jan-06-05 11:08 PM EST –

I have an old fiberglass canoe that has been patched, straightened and patched again. I was looking for one I could go over some rocky shoals in as that is pretty common on the rivers here. I was looking at royalex or similar. It is a stillwater canoe and it is white. It is his wifes project and he is asking $800. Said it is a beautiful canoe. He guessed it weighed about 45 lbs. I figure it would have to be kevlar to weigh that little. Worth looking at. Can you tell the year of an Old Town by looking at the serial number or anything? Thanks for the help.

If it still has the serial number on it
email it to Old Town and they will give you the year and history of when and where it was origionally sold.

Where is the number?
Where abouts on the canoe is the serial number for these Old Towns? Thanks.

Ralph Frese is from the Chicago near
west suburbs and has paddled the Canadienne on the DesPlaines and Chicago rivers and small streams. Plenty of maneuvering required. I believe Old Town worked with him to make the boat. Sounds like you should at least make an offer.

If you’re going to use something other than Royalex or poly on a river with low spots, make sure you get the weight off the ends of the boat as you go over obstacles. That means getting out. The occasional ‘oops’ usually won’t break the hull, but repeated riding over ridges, rocks and logs will crack it. I have Royalex because I’m hard on a boat. Also, don’t allow people to sit/step in the boat on land or fully load the boat on land or pull it up on a bank where the center isn’t supported. You may already know all of this, but I thought I’d mention it.

Right on.
That is correct, Ralph Frese did design this canoe with Old Town. This I did find in my search.

I do have a bit of experience but always welcome advice from fellow paddlers. It is good advice and I thank you for the input. The rivers in KY are pretty hard on canoes. Lots of boulders, rocky shoals of limestone and sandstone. Ky is kind of an unknown treasure really. In the US it is second only to Alaska in miles of navigable waterways. Very nice paddling here and some pretty decent whitewater. Yeah, I agree about making an offer. I will go check it out. Thanks for all the help.


Old Town
should be able to tell you where to look.

Nice canoe, but more of a lake canoe. Would hate to beat up a hard to find Canadienne on gravel shoals and boulders! BTW, you mentioned something about a Stillwater? These are two VERY different canoes. The Old Town Stillwater is their “Economy” version, very stable, family or fishing canoes. If they’re asking $800. for a Stillwater, it’s a STEAL, BUT FOR THEM! Any size used Stillwater should be under $500. I’d LOVE to get my hands on an OT Canadienne! They made ‘em in ‘glass and kevlar, and 16’ and 17’. Sweet boat! WW

I think he meant…
It is advertised as an Old Town Canadienne and he said it was a stillwater canoe. I guess he means a lake, calm river canoe. From what I have read and from response on here, sounds like a great boat for family outings on the lakes or calmer rivers. This one also has the wood gunwales and cane seats. I need a royalex to beat around in but may not be able to pass this one up once I see it.

I Paddle Primarily Rivers…
…but I’d snatch it up if I got the chance! No whitewater, but this boat fine for larger rivers I’d still try to get them to come down on the price a hundred or two, but if it’s pristine it would be worth it. Also, I don’t believe any of the Stillwater canoes are made with wood gunnels, so it has to be a Canadienne. Take a close look at those gunnels for any rot. If you paddle this boat, BTW, I think you will have to buy it. BTW, is it a 16’ or 17’? I preferred the 16’ as it could be soloed easier. Take care, and put up some pics of the boat when you get it. Shoot, I might even try to work out a trade for a royalex boat! WW

What length?
The Canadienne was designed by Ralph Frese of Chicagoland Canoe Base and was produced by Old Town for a number of years. Old Town dropped production a couple of years ago and two of the three models are now being produced by Bell Canoe Works (off the same molds). They were offered in three lengths; 16’, 17’, and 18’, and were made in fiberglass and later offered in kevlar. Trims were aluminum and optional was wood. I have paddled both the 16’ and 17’. The 16’ foot version is a real sweet day tripper tandem and also great to solo; hull is symmetrical. The 17’ foot version is a great tandem tripper. Hull profile in all versions is a shallow arch; stems have a slight recurve. If you can handle the weight (I believe the 17’fiberglass version was about 70 lbs), you should grab one if it is in good shape.

Good luck

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Bought it.
Well, I could not pass it up. My computer went down and has been down for about a week. I did buy this Old Town Canadienne. Turns out that it is all original, wood gunnels and cane seats in beautiful condition. It is white on the outside with blueish two tone lettering of Old Town and Canadienne on the end. It is a honey color on the inside and very light. I think it is a 1988 model by the serial number. It seems to be very light. I have yet to go pick it up but it is beautiful with some normal light surface scratches to the bottom. Not used a whole lot.

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You …
You weren’t supposed to buy it! You were supposed to call me if it was in primo condition, and give me the owner’s phone number!

Congratulations anyway,


It has some scratches on the bottom and I would not want you to have to get something like that. If it turns out this canoe is not something I find I am using a lot, I will let you know. I am still wondering if it is Kevlar or fiberglass. Weight would be one way to tell. The fiber is a close knit grid, like graph paper. Honey kind of orange/golden color on inside.

Bob’s boat barn (hmm, that has a nice “Ring” to it, huh) is in need of another Blackhawk, NOT a Canadienne! If you want to trade that Canadienne for a royalex boat call me. You can test it for secondary stability Bob, promise. WW

Weight of this Canadienne?
Okay. In trying to figure out if the Old Town Canadienne is Kevlar or Fiberglass, I was going to weigh it. It is the 16 foot model and I was thinking Kevlar would weigh around 45 lbs and if fiberglass it would be more around 75 lbs. Is this probably about right? It has the wood gunnels and cane seats.

Maybe a tad high and low
My quess is the kevlar layup will be about 55lbs. and the glass layup will be in the mid 60’s range.