Beginner Canoe advice

Hello, just joined this forum today. I need help finding a good all around canoe for my family. We will be canoeing with usually my wife and my 16 year old son. We would love to take my 3 boxers, but have no idea how reasonable that is. Anyway, most canoeing would be done on Ohio rivers and lakes, until we find better places to venture out or get more skills. I wan to buy used and keep hearing about Old Town, Mad River, Wenonah, Bell and a few others are good used canoes to find. Within a couple hours there are a Wenonah Sundowner, a Wenonah Solo plus touring, a Wenonah Minnesota II, Old TOwn Penobscot, Mad River Eclipse, Mad River Explorer, tons of Old Town Discoveries, Wenonah Odyssey, Old TOwn XL Tripper, among others. Any ideas on these? Is there anything to look for that might fit my needs? Thanks so much. THis place is a gold mine and I really look forward to becoming a valuable member.

Need to know total
weight you would carry. Three adults is a large burden for a normal canoe and added gear for camping will count. Do not use published capacities that say 6" of freeboard…that is not enough except for very calm water close to shore.

are each about 150 give or take 10 pounds. The dogs likely won’t come very often if at all ( I have to see how they do). so 160 in the front and back and about 140 or less in the middle.

my best guess
is that I would do trips with one dog at a time and a cooler. So 160+160+140+cooler+80lb dog+camping and or travel stuff

My 2 cents worth
Is you would be most comfortable in the Minn II or Tripper XL…big boats but with essentially four bodies and the accompanying movement, you will appreciate the extra room. Fair warning, the tripper will be very heavy. The explorer might handle the 600 pound burden but room would be at a premium. Others may have different input.

If I do these trips without dogs
What would be the best options for 160 lbs on each end and one adult around 130 or so in the middle? Thanks for your help…I have read some good things about those big boats, but am a bit more worried about storing and hauling the things

The Wenonah Odyssey and the MN II
are quite squirrely for newcomers.

Its highly unlikely your 16 year old son will be happy paddling third. And he will be gone soon most likelyy

Get him a solo and any of the Old Town Penobscots or Discoveries will be fine

Archimedes principle rules and you have specified a very grand load.

You need at least 18 feet… more is better. The OT XL tripper is a fine boat if you dont have to carry

I had thought about
A solo kayak for my son or me to use, then a canoe for two people.

Have heard great stuff aboute Old town penobscot and the one near me is royalex. Any decent solo kayaks that aren’ too pricey?

Explorer will do for just you three
Penobscot will be faster. Kim is right, Tripper is a great boat if you don’t have to carry it. It will take some room to store. Try to paddle before you buy. Demo days at a local dealer? Friends? Canoe events?

Royalex is a fantastic material
that is no longer available and a Penobscot in royalex is a highly desired hull. If 16’ it would be best for two…if 17 ok for 3 at current weights. Kayak for son is good idea. Don’t think you would ever regret a Penobscot purchase.

In royalex is such a good boat, much lighter than the discovery. Less capacity as well, but that is the trade off. I would get it, it can be a tandem or turn it around and go solo.

In royalex is such a good boat, much lighter than the discovery. Less capacity as well, but that is the trade off. I would get it, it can be a tandem or turn it around and go solo.

Always used to think MR’s Lamoille
was a pretty good tripper. An oldy…but if available for demo give it a try. A little on the heavy side, but not that bad.

There is an OT going
At auction tomorrow at Maine Canoe Symposium

My favorite Penobscot picture

Few other boats from your list in that set as well including some Wenonahs, a Mad River Explorer and an Old Town Discovery.

The Penobscot is leading
I won’t be getting this canoe for a week, so I am checking all of the classifieds, and have found a Penobscot about an hour and a half away for about 800. It is royaltex with kevlar skid plates and looks in good shape. There is Bell Northstar an hour near me. It is in kevlar and is over 2000, so I am probably not going in that direction, but am lying if I say I haven’t thought about it.

If price is limiting right now, you

– Last Updated: Jun-13-16 12:54 PM EST –

won't find many Bells or Northstars = quality boats in the composite-zone and one often has to pay for it. Wenonah tandems might be a little less expensive. If you get the chance demo any tandem(17'+) boat = do it, to feel the added stability that comes from a longer boat, even if it's out of fiscal range right now. However, as said, a Royalex boat isn't bad, sure...more weight, but can get everyone into good stroking technique rather than gliding along for a day with lillydipper-arm-only stroking...just go with some paddles that possess some flex for comfort.

The Penobscot comes in several sizes and materials. You want a Royalex boat and not a poly boat. In Royalex you can choose between 16 and 17 foot models. I’ve owned both and would recommend the 17 footer. It is more versatile because it will carry a bigger load, and it is also faster. On the downside, it is about 10 pounds heavier. It weighs in at about 70 pounds.


Three Adults
You are essentially putting three adult sized people in the boat. If it was just the two of you I’d say scrimp and save and get the Bell. A Mad River Explorer would handle the weight but at 16 ft it could be a bit cramped. I’d go with the Minnesota II or if you can find it, an Old Town Tripper.