1985 Old Town Tripper

Hey new to board here but have been reading reviews and threads for past month or so, all super helpful.

I paddled growing up and now have a 4 year old and looking to get back into paddling with family. Live in SW Virginia, looking for canoe for family on lakes and rivers, mainly wanting stability with 4 year old. I realize may evolve and need another canoe in future. And also realize easy to trade canoe and get another as things change.

Wanted to hear thoughts on 1985 Old Town Tripper 172. Single owner, has been stored inside and outside. Described as fair condition. Listed for $500, believe may be able to get for $400, going this weekend to see. So have not seen in person yet, what do I need to be looking for when checking it out? I know brittleness of hull, cracking around screw insertion, what about stern area on pic- is that a concern? Can repair and get new skid pads but is worth going that route with canoe in this condition

Used canoe market pretty tight here, mostly just used aluminum and Coleman canoes, some OT Discovery. Not many royalex boats come on market. Not as concerned about price, ok paying even if not the best deal, more wanting input if this canoe would be worth investing in with age, condition. Thanks so much!

Here is link


Well the OT Tripper is an excellent all around canoe, capable in many water conditions. The stern needs repair for sure, remove skid plate, patch void in hull. You could drop weight by replacing seats with wood and polyester strap seat. Not a light boat. Has flat bottom so beginners feel stable in it

Howdy Aaron. I’m not sure how different the market where you are is from the market where I am (upstate NY). It’s certainly a crazy market here too.

That said, I think the canoe in question is overpriced. If you want to go the ‘heavy, stable, tried-and-true’ Old Town route - which is a perfectly fine route to go - I think you can find a better deal. I routinely see comparable models in much better shape in the same price range (if not just a bit more).

Edit: I didn’t realize it was the Royalex version when I suggested it was overpriced.

Warning – I had an OT Tripper, great boat, but every year it got heavier, and longer for indoor storage!

Not sure if this is too far from you or the right price range, but there’s a Royalex Mohawk canoe for $700 in your rough area:


It’s tough to tell from the photos, but it might be a bit shorter than what you’re looking for.

The OT Tripper is one of the best river tripping and rough water canoes ever. By far my favorite canoe, I would paddle one anywhere. Royalex can be repaired. I would definitely buy one for $500 if it was in alright shape.

Thanks for feedback. I agree overpriced but may be able to get for lower. Will just have to see in person to see what shape it is in. Had looked at the Mohawk canoe, yeah looks maybe a little smaller than what we would like. Ok with driving 2 hrs or so, have an expanded search area in case something pops up.

I see some spots where gashes/abrasion down beyond the vinyl exterior, is that the foam core or the other plastic layer? May not be able to tell from picture, not sure if can or not. Thanks again!

The stern damage looks to have exposed the foam core. I have repaired multiple Royalex canoes with exposed foam core. Not a difficult repair but will require some time.

The Tripper would be an excellent family canoe, its weight may be the only drawback. However a light weight 16-17 foot canoe, even used, will be much more expensive.

Agree on your perspective Hatchet Jack. My first canoe was a Tripper and used it in Class III WW both tandem and solo. Had it many years, but when my partner / wife retired on me I became more a solo paddler and went to a lighter canoe. In the stern I could easily stand and pole, cast a fishing line. [quote=“Hatchet_Jack, post:6, topic:106679, full:true”]
The OT Tripper is one of the best river tripping and rough water canoes ever. By far my favorite canoe, I would paddle one anywhere. Royalex can be repaired. I would definitely buy one for $500 if it was in alright shape.

Yes. A Tripper is like a one ton pickup. Big, roomy and seaworthy they are hard to kill. They are heavy and not very fast. I would repair this boat and use it for everything. It can take rocks and big waves. You will just not be first.

Aaron, that is a $200 and under boat in my book. That’s a lot of wear and damage regardless of current market values. There is a lot of vinyl missing on there as well as the void under the two skid plates. Looks like it spent some time in the sun, the vinyl is peeling and chipping off. Were it me I would take a hard pass unless I got it for free.

Thanks for all the input. Would love a Tripper as I think would meet needs well and has such a loyal following. But after feedback and talking further with current owner just seems like a steep price and boat really not well cared for over past 10-15 years. Apparently that spot on stern has been like that for many years and never repaired but was still used for paddling. And my guess is a lot of time stored outside in sun as well. Agree with some TLC, repair work and bargaining could be worthwhile boat for someone. But for first canoe for me going to keep looking. Appreciate all the help. Keeping eye out for a better condition Tripper or Camper

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