Advice: 1984 vs 1977 OT Tripper

I’m looking to acquire a good-sized canoe to set up for sailing. Hull depth and width while still being a pleasant paddling boat are important considerations. The OT Tripper fits my bill pretty well. I have two available to me in the same price range within a 4-hour drive. Since it isn’t feasible to see both in person, I’m seeking community wisdom.

The 1977 is being sold with all of its original paperwork. Looks to be meticulously maintained and in excellent condition. The 1984 appears to be also be in good condition. Maybe not quite as shiny, but no obvious wear or significant dents. I’m inclined to go with the older boat given its ownership, but am curious to know if there are material differences between the two models that would make the '84 more attractive. I’ve read about some models containing aluminum inserts in the gunwales. I also understand that seats could have changed from ABS to foam-filled plastic. Are there any differences in stiffness or thickness of the Royalex that would make either boat less prone to flexing on the bottom?

Thanks for your help. I’m a little reluctant to post links to both boats because I have been looking for two months and simply can’t find what I want within a reasonable drive. I’ve missed out on too many others by dithering.

As long as the Royalex is not brittle or chalky and they have been stored out of the sun, go with the best looking one. I doubt you could go wrong with either. The older one is probably thicker, but any of those 40+ year old hulls will be a bit stiffer than later models, so that should not flex too much anyway. First thing I would do with either one is change the seats out to wood and if they have the old "70’s/early '80’s foam flotation blocks in the bow and stern, I would yank them too. I rehabed an '83 Kennebec a few years ago and it is still going strong.

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Pick the one in the best condition. The 1977 will have white gunnels. The 1984 may have the newer style gunnels. I am not sure when they changed. People say the white ones can become brittle, especially with UV exposure.

I have a 1976 model that has spent some time under the sun. The gunnels are solid.

Another difference may be thwarts. My 1976 has one center thwart with no portage yoke. I believe that by 1984 they had a portage yoke and a couple of thwarts.

Good advice. Thank you. Going to make a move on the 77. If I luck out and get it, I’ll post my review.

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Sometimes I just want to paddle a Tripper.
You can change the seats and add thwarts.