Advice needed on Old Town Camper 16

I would appreciate some advice from anyone with experience with an Old Town Camper 16 on longer trips. I need a canoe for week long trips - mostly flatwater. So, I expect gear,food, two adults, and 20 gal water (used in in FL)to be about 750 lbs - well within the range of a Camper 16, I think. But it seems cramped. I have done longer trips tripper/expedition canoes (Mad River, Weenonah) but never a Camper 16. There is one for sale nearby, slightly used, really inexpensive). Anyone have experience on a longer voyage with this boat? How does it handle in the ocean (little surf - I fish in the gulf))? Loaded with gear? I appreciate any comments.

Old Town and capacities
OT gives the Camper a capacity of 1200-1250 lbs.

Thats with six inches of freeboard…leaving 7 inches sunk in the water. Thats one low riding canoe. Performance capacities are usually about 60 percent of absolute capacity and are pegged more towards four inches sunk in the water.

If you look at the Swift website…you see that their 16 footers have a max performance capacity of 600 lbs or so. 750 lbs of load in your canoe has to displace 750 lbs of water. You can see that having a higher volume displacing that water is more buoyant.

So 16 feet is too short. I mostly see 18 footers and a few 17s on shorter trips on saltwater in FL.

You also have to plan for how to store that water. Hard sided containers are a necessity and do not change size or shape during your trip.

The Camper would be a decent solo boat there.

Well be down in two fifteen foot long solos. We had a domestic quibble whether to solo or bring our 18 footer, which would carry all the gear and 20 gal of water.

OT Camper “capacity"
As a matter of fact, a couple of years ago when I saw the 1200 lb rating for the Camper in an Old Town catalog I went back and checked my older catalogs - they give the capacity as 900 lbs. I called Johnson Outdoors and received an email stating that they now use 4” freeboard. Sounds exciting!

I don’t think any of us want that much
excitement when the wind and waves come up! While the water might be warm… I would personally prefer not to sink in the Everglades (which is not a cozy swamp but has merciless wind and high waves often)

That four inches is really bad news…size matters.

OK - I’m convinced - I’ll look for a bigger boat. 4" of freeboard with only 750 lbs is too little. Plus, dragging through some of the shallower channels because I am a couple of inches too low in the water doesn’t appeal to me. There are plenty of canoes on Craigslist locally - and I’ll find a 17 or 18’ model. Thanks for the responses.


– Last Updated: Jan-13-13 10:05 PM EST –

That four-inch freeboard situation is what a previous poster was describing for the "new" load-capacity rating of 1200 pounds (up from the older rating of 900 pounds), not your intended load of 750 pounds. I don't have experience carrying those kinds of loads in any tandem canoe, but I trust other's judgement that 750 pounds is a bit too much for safe and efficient travel in a 16-foot Camper.

For a trip of a week or so, a 16 foot
canoe will seem cramped for space. There just isn’t enough floor space to get everything reasonably low, without having to pile one thing on another.

Even just another foot of center space, gained with a 17 foot canoe, will be a significant help.

There isn’t anything wrong with the canoe you’re looking at, except that it’s marginal for the sort of hauling you describe. And once you get everyone and everything in it, you may find it sits kinda deep for good handling and to have enough freeboard to fend off waves.

I agree 17 or 18 is better.
I see lots of advantages with 17 or 18 and few, if any, disadvantages. No real reason to go with 16. Tandem anyway.

at least the last time I checked out the

– Last Updated: Jan-15-13 6:25 PM EST –

Camper 16's oilcanned badly. I think the Penobscot16 is much more efficient, but with your weight approximation I'd go with a Tripper17 = sounds like THE boat for your intention. However if you're going to paddle more in the future with less weight specs.. Why not just rent a many trips will you be making with total weight approaching half a ton?....