Advice Needed for a Newbie

Hi all. I am looking to purchase my first canoe and am looking for some advice. I plan to use it on lakes for fishing with my son and possibly some lazy river day trips with the family. I am definitely not looking for something that will handle rapids and I doubt it will ever be used for overnight camping trips but that is a remote possibility.

A local sailing club here in Minnesota has an ad on Craigs list for some used Oldtown Discovery 174 canoes that they say are in great shape. They are asking $579 (minus 10% if you order before May 1) for them.

I am also considering going for that “new canoe smell” and getting something new. I have looked at the Tripper 172 but it would cost well over twice as much as the 174.

Which would you more experienced folks recommend? Or is there another model that I should keep my eyes open for.

The OT discos
are polyethlene based and darn heavy. But if that is not an issue, a gently used boat is a better investment for what you want.

New Canoe Smell costs and the first fish wipes it out.

The Tripper is a responsive river boat that is good on the lakes and the expedition standard here in Maine but may be “more boat” than you want.

174 Discovery
This is a heavy canoe, but aside for that, it is the best paddling of the plastic Old Towns. For your discribed usage, it will be ideal. As long as you can lift it.

It paddles better in open water than the Tripper, has almost continuous flare along the sides which keeps it dry in waves and adds final stability, and has volume for a lot of cargo and people. The longer the better in a fishing canoe. It keeps the swinging rods and dangling hooks farther away from the othet paddlers.

Not much difference in length between the Tripper and the 174 Discovery, 2" or so. Same with overall volume. The 174 was originally a kit boat and the hull has angled stems so they could be stacked for shipment. It is a nice paddling hull, no bad traits, and as long as its compared to other poly and royalex hulls, it is not a slow boat.



– Last Updated: Apr-06-10 12:40 PM EST –

The "Discos" are decent boats to paddle, and almost indestructable, but they're a bear to lift. Make sure you have a way to safely load & unload it if you'll be doing it alone.

For what you describe, a lot of 16-17' canoes would work just fine. You might want to look at the Wenonah and Bell listings to identify some possibilities, and keep an eye out for used ones.
The Wenonah Spirit II or Bell Northwind would be a couple of good options.

That is too expensive for a used …
OT Discovery.

Did you look in the classified’s here?



Classifieds here
The Spirit II would be a great boat for you.

(WI) Wenonah Spirit II Tuf Weave Canoe. 63 pounds. Structurally perfect, no patches, cain seats, aluminum thwart and gunwale. Interior of canoe looks new, exterior has some scratches from use. $900.00

(WI) Wenonah 18’ Sundowner. Gray fiberglass. Aluminum gunwales, bucket seats, bow slides. Portage yoke. Very good condition. $700.00 or OBO

(MI) Wenonah Canoe- Adirondack 16’ burgundy Royalex rigged for expeditions with gear lash down points, float bags, middle seat added. Great shape, stored inside, no damage. Located in Grand Rapids. $795.

Buy it today
The Disco 174 is perfect for what you want. I owned one when my family was younger. Great family boat. Sure it is heavy, but you don’t care about that.

Thanks for the responses. I have sent an e-mail about the Disco 174s to see if they still have one available. If that doesn’t work out, I guess I will continue lurking on here and Craigs List to see if anything similar pops up.

On a related note, I noticed that the Discovery 174 isn’t on Oldtown’s web site. Does anybody know when/why they stopped making them?

Owned a Tripper for 20
years and still regret selling it—great boat