When Does a Canoe Become an Antique?

I used to go to the Wooden Canoe and Heritage Assn. Assembly and viewed restored antique canoes. I wonder how old a canoe might have to be before it may be considered an antique. Automobiles 25 years old or older can apply for an antique license plate in my state. Anyone got an opinions when it comes to canoes?

To me, an “antique” is something that has value as a result of its age. I have a near 50 year old old town canoe and I don’t consider it antique… It’s just heavy and old.

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…I resemble that.

If the canoe is an antique, what do you do different?

A canoe that is no longer made.

Plenty of wood and canvas canoes are still in service because they were well made. I have a 1953 OT Guide 18 that I am repairing and will be paddling again soon.

It is a matter of opinion. I think a canoe is an antique when it is hung up in a restaurant and no longer sees the water.

If it had value because of its age, it would get babied. Since it doesn’t, I beat on it.

I agree with Mike on the age and value, although I will say old and something about it unique because of its age can make an antique. The 25 years on a car is because they picked a number for legislative reasons. Not because someone would actually consider it an antique. Lets face it, nobody is going to look at a 95 honda accord and consider it anything but a not so new car.

Looking at definitions “antique” applies to something that has “high value due to considerable age” so maybe appropriate for something like an original Chestnut canoe in fine shape that cost $200 new. “Vintage” seems more appropriate for some of the canoes I’ve owned since it means “classic” or “of enduring interest”. I’d still consider all Blackhawk canoes “vintage” even though I got harassed on this site for saying it once.

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Nice looking boat no matter what you call it.

Our club boat house has several canvas covered wood canoes that date back years. But some escape the great value charactistic and fall into antique as in outdated and unused.

An antique is defined as being 100+ years old.
A vintage item is defined as being 20+ years old.

My 1965 Chestnut Pal is vintage; it is not an antique.
I believe all the Blackhawks are vintage, and don’t give a tinker’s dam about what anybody thinks about Blackhawks. Seriously doubt that the majority of naysayers ever owned one…

I can take that information and 2 dollars, and buy a cup of coffee.
Might get a little change back, if I go to the right place.
Starbucks would NOT be the right place to go if you want change from 2 dollars.


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Thanks everyone. I learned at the WCHA Assemblies that collectors and restorers have fairly well defined hierarchy’s of value. I didn’t pay much attention to the more modern hulls and wonder how desirable these are. Andy S. was probably right in saying, canoes may not be antique until they are old and no longer made. I think “collectability” might be a better word than antique. Many of the oldest and more desirable restored canoes were being paddled at the Assembly. One restorer quipped to me that “after all they are still canoes”.

Cool. I’m just extremely vintage, but not an antique yet.


There are several National Antiquities Acts on the books. They describe anything older than 50 years as an historical resource.

The canoe is antique if you bought it new and now you are an antique…


My “Vintage” 38 year old Sawyer Summersong


Summersongs are cool boats

That is the case :grinning:

Thanks. I’m approaching antique, but my canoe is vintage.