Any Penobscot alternatives?

So I’m going to be in the market for a new canoe. I’ve owned two OT Penobscot 16s, loved them. Will probably get another one, but before I do I was wondering if anybody had any suggested alternatives.

I want Royalex (at least partly because this will be fishing canoe and I like the quiet and the relatively light weight). I don’t want it to weigh more than five pounds more than the Penobscot (no more than 65 pounds). I want something that is as “fast” as the Penobscot. It will be used on rivers up to Class II.

I don’t know of anything comparable, myself, but am open to suggestions, since it gets boring buying the same canoe over and over again. (Basically, I sold one Penobscot because it was badly worn, even with skid plates, and the one I have now will be going to “live” at our vacation place.)

penobscot alternatives
The 16’ Wenonah Adirondack and the 17’ Wenonah Sundowner.

Esquif Mistral
Esquif Mistral - Not Rx, but tough, light, and quiet.

Esquif Avalon?

Maybe a Novacraft Tripper?

Nothing better
I cannot think of a better canoe for your usage, but I think Novacraft makes a royalex prospector that might be as good.

Swift Algonquin 16
I would not use a Prospector for fishing. Their bottoms tend to be roundish…a Mad River Explorer would be another alternative.

Mistral May Be a Bit Big
It kills me to disagree with canoehead, but I own a Mistral and don’t think it would be a good “Fit” for you. It’s a lot of volume and more rocker than you really need unless you plan on paddling tandem with a lot of gear. Fishing and photography difficult, because it starts turning the minute you THINK about putting paddle down. The Avalon, however; may be better. A little less rocker (2") and narrower (34") but still 15" amidship.

I think a Bell Morningstar is nice, but it too is a bit large for you. I’d like to try the Yellowstone tandem since it’s narrower and a bit more rocker. It might be worth a look.

Other good Ozark fishing canoes that I owned were the Mad River 15 and 14TT, and Wenonah Adirondack. But definitely none as efficient as a Penobscot.

I’d give a few boats a try, but if you still are that attached to the Penobscot why not a 3rd! WW

True enough
No worries WW, and you are likely right. I’ve only briefly paddled the Mistral, but I did really like it.

The more I think about it, the Penobscot is the boat most like the Penobscot. Maybe get a new colour and some fancy wood gunwales? Or have an autobody shop give it some pinstripes or flames or something?

NC Prospector vs Penobscot
I have both. The Nova Craft Prospector works fine for fishing (so long as the wind doesn’t come up), with more initial stability than the Penobscot. But the Penobscot is definitely faster. The Penobscot is my second choice from my fleet for fishing on flat water, behind the Malecite. But you can’t get a Malecite in RX.

Hard to beat
a Penobscot. I still regret selling mine. I replaced it with a Yellowstone Solo, which I like a lot, but there’s just something about the Penobscot…but you already know that.

Nova craft cronje
Lighter, probably faster.

Hard to beat a Penobscot for speed and weight, but as mentioned above, Wenonah makes a few that have fine entry lines that might be close. Dagger made something very similar but cannot remember the name. Maybe the 16’ version of this one…,68245_Reflection-17-Canoe-By-Dagger.html

The Mad River Explorer is also in that criteria, somewhat. Mohawk Nova 17 in Royalite. Does not nearly have the speed, but the OT Camper is light, and if fishing is what you are going to do, more stable.

The Penobscot 16 is a cool little boat. If you want something like that, maybe just buy that, eh?

Have you checked out the Old Town Pack? It’s basically the same thing, except it’s a solo canoe…shorter too, oh it weighs less. Come to think of it…it’s got a slight keel. It’s green and I’ve seen Penobscots. I think the word “Penobscot” is indian talk for “old Town Pack”, or at least that’s the rumor I decided to start just now.

Gee I don’t see a Pack River in Maine
but the Penobscot…hmm it seems to run in front of the Old Town factory.

Old Town (the village) has Canoe Hullabaloo…the race on the Penobscot is fun. I haven’t seen a Pack win. The Pens do pretty well though we won with a wood canvas boat of another make.

Old Town (the canoe company) is steeped in history…

Perhaps mj you should talk to Kirk Francis…he is chief of the Penobscot tribe on Indian Island. James Francis is the historian.

You are not.

Pack & P’scot - same thing?
Not hardly. Not even close.

You obviously know nothing about history then. There was a major tributory on the Penob named the Pack River system. In 1922 President Lincoln ordered it be redirected to keep the Russians from attacking Maine via this waterway. After it was redirected and the river bed covered in forest, Lincoln used this passage way to lead the charge against the Russians and their giant scorpions.

A couple

– Last Updated: Mar-04-11 1:58 PM EST –

MRC's Reflection 17 is narrower, faster, has more rocker.

Bell's NorthWind is 16'4", long, wider at 36" but about same weight with the advantage of significant tumblehome to yield narrower paddling stations and more rocker for maneuverability.

It, of course, is not a NorthWind, which is a composite 17.5' hull, but something entirely different and a foot shorter.

You’re probably thinking of Bell’s Northwind. It is a very close match to the Penob only better in every way.

Don’t know about the Royalex Northwind
Had one for about 5 years. IMHO it too is a bit too big for you to solo comfortably on Ozark streams. I soloed it and have two other XXL size friends that have. I believe it would be a handful for an average sized male to solo. More so than a Penobscot. WW

More info maybe?
I might have missed it, but will you primarily be going solo or tandem?

Also, is there any specific attribute you would like more of? More stability, more maneuverability etc.?

Otherwise, it is an impossible task finding something that is “better” (unless the Northwind truly is better in every way). All my canoes are better than a Penobscot, but that is because I have different preferences (and I’d happily buy a Penobscot too!)

I have solos. Need a tandem. Don’t like Mad Rivers for one main reason…the shallow V bottom. I’m on a lot of very shallow rivers, and having a V bottom means the apex of the V catches all the wear and tear from scraping bottom all the time…with an arched bottom the wear gets spread around more.

The Bell sounds like about the only thing I might consider other than another Penobscot, but I’m most likely going to just get another Penobscot.