Advice for new canoe purchase

I’m going to buy a new canoe. After reading the reviews on this site, the Old Town 16’ camper and Charles River in Rolalex seam to fit the bill. Most of my canoing will be done on calm rivers, lakes and occasionally a class 1 and 2 river. I will be using the canoe tandem and solo.

Opinion welcome.

Why not Penobscot 16?
IMHO a better hull than the Camper or CR.

Ditto on the Penobscot 16

I Have Really Enjoyed My Camper
I use mine for canoe camping and fishing on class I-II rivers. It will hold tons of gear and handles better loaded. It is extremely stable. My wife and I regularly take our two children (six and eight) out and have yet to spill. My son and I will be headed to the Eleven Point as soon as school is out for the summer. Can’t wait!!!

The narrower beam of the Penobscot 16 might make it more comfortable as a solo.

The Bell Northwind in Royalex would also be a nice choice in the size/weight/price range you’re looking at if most of your paddling was tandem.


– Last Updated: Apr-21-08 5:42 PM EST –

D....the P16 has a good hull 10x the canoe that the Camper is...imo. The initial pull to get a Royalex hull moving is a given, but once you get can get more than a few strokes without having to correct.
*EDIT:...haven't paddled the Charles River.


I agree with all that has been said
The Camper is a fine tandem canoe for families and for recreation uses. However, I have tried to solo it, and it does a poor job soloing.

Out of the two you mention, I would go with the Charles River in Rolalex simply because it will paddle solo better for you.

With that said, if you want to stick with an easily available 16’ Old Town, the Penobscot is the best cross-over (both tandem & solo) of the three.

Camper Canoe
I suggest a hard look at the O.T. Penopscot also,have paddled a Camper on extended canoe trips and we were very disappionted with the way the Camper tracked.Not a good canoe in my opinion.

For the same amount of money …
you can get a Bell Morningstar in aluminum trim.

In addition to being a great all-around canoe, it tracks better, goes faster, and is easier to paddle solo when compared to the Camper, which is also a good all-around canoe, but not as good as the Bell.

We bought a Bell Morningstar just over 2 years ago, but me and the hubby and the doggie!

Works well for us.

It is in Royalex, and is 15’6" long.

We are very happy with our purchase.