A little background to help with this canoe search:
I wouldn’t called myself a seasoned paddler but I have some trips under my belt. Did parts of the buffalo in Arkansas on two separate occasions and have covered a good majority of the buffalo in Tennessee on four different trips throughout my childhood. I’ve also done some whitewater rafting on the Ocoee here in Tennessee in high school.
Recently I picked up a Dagger Juice 7.1 and a Perception Proline Arc off a friend of mine that was getting out of kayaking due to little space after getting married. I quickly learned a lot about what I should have been looking for in a boat for myself along with the fact that I’m better off in a canoe. I picked them up to do some river trips on the buffalo here in Tennessee with my girlfriend (or any friend that was up to it if she couldn’t go) along with the Red River, Cumberland, and a few other local rivers. Quickly I realized I had no idea what I had just purchase and on a seven mile night run down a very slow moving river, I quickly realized the nightmare I had gotten into and have since made the decision to sell them (still in the process of doing so).
I did this for two reasons:
- The way they handle in slow moving water was less than ideal, especially for my girlfriend who hadn’t kayaked before and quite honestly prefers a canoe.
- I’m a heavy built guy at 6’4 230lbs. I sank the perception and fitting in the Dagger was more of entertainment for everyone else around me.
After scouring this forum for the past couple of days, it has been both a wealth of knowledge yet an information overload which brings me here. I’m on a fairly restricted budget as the money from the kayaks will go to fund this purchase and I’m also a college student so outdoor equipment sadly comes second to school.
This canoe will be used for tandem day/weekend trips down mild flowing/winding rivers that are shallow and sometimes a little rocky. Most distances will be around 10 miles as nothing but fun leisure trips. The most we will be carrying will be a cooler, backpacks, fishing rods, and a tent for those weekend trips but for day trips it will just be a cooler and some fishing rods. We will also take it out on the Cumberland river here and there and a lake every now and then. Basically, we need an all around canoe.
I preface this by saying that I understand cheap and budget don’t always translate to getting the “best” but I’m a firm believe in stretching my dollar as much as possible. With that said, what will be the best bang for the buck for a canoe to fit my needs? I don’t mind an Aluminum canoe after reading many of the pros and cons BUT I have seen plenty of recommendations towards the Old Town Discovery line (along with their other lines) along with other plastic hull boats so I want to explore those options too. Also, given that I’ll be playing around in the used market for this, what should I be looking for, looking our for, etc?
I recently found a Discovery 158 for $450 obo that caught my eye but I thought I would post here first to see what options others would have.
Thank you all in advance for your help!