Buying Caone question

-- Last Updated: Jan-11-07 11:28 AM EST --

Hello All! Great site! I have learned alot here, maybe TOO much! Let me explain...
My husband and I have decided to use the rest or our 'wedding money' to buy a canoe to use when camping. We will probably be on lakes, some 'moderate' moving rivers, but noting too fancy (although I used to love the whitewater when I was younger!). We are both 'average' size, and wouild probably take the dog along occasionally. We would like to store it by hanging in the garage. We were looking used to try to save some money.
We have been offered on Old Town discovery in great condition for $500, but I am worried that it has a flat bottom, and several web sites said that was not ideal for our purposes, and it weigs 80 lbs. is that a big deal?. I looked at some cheaper brands, but I also don't want to buy a piece of junk either.
My question is this: What brands/ characteristics should I look for (or stay away from)?
I know this is probably posted on here somewhere, but I am just getting more and more confused as I read....
Thanks in advance!

here’s a link

– Last Updated: Jan-11-07 11:28 AM EST –

to some good info

It's (of course) manufacturer biased but gives you an idea what to look for.
If your budget is only ~$ 500, all decent new boats are out of the question. But you can find good used canoes for 500. Did you browse through the classifieds here on P-net already?
Although some people believe, the OT Disco is a good canoe: I strongly disagree. And the 169 is one of the heaviest (if not the heaviest) canoe I know. BTW: US 500 for a used Disco is not a bargain-I've seen them new on sale for that...
Happy paddling!

what model Old Town??

We use OT Discoveries at
a state park where i work to lead guided trips. (they are not rentals). I have found that they are pleasant boats to paddle and are easily handled by most customers. I have not found that the hull bottom is that much of a problem for tracking or stability.

That said, if you were to purchase that boat you would love it. Is it the best boat? No. but its a good entry point to see if you really want to become addicted to this sport. If you purchase it and hate it, you can seel it for what you baught it for. If you purchase it and love it, you can sell it for 500 and put that towards a boat that you will have a better perspective to buy. Its a no loss.

The weight of the boat has never been much of a problem.

Discovery 159
The boat we have been offered is an Old Town Discovery 159. Weighs 80 lbs. I am worried about getting it on and off of a Jeep. I know that you can get other brands ‘cheaper’, but I am not sure if they are worth it. (The ‘get what you pay for’ rule). 500 bucks is not necessarly our budget, it was the price offered…

a lot of canoes

– Last Updated: Jan-11-07 12:29 PM EST –

that have a flaw design end up in ads saying "only used once' or 'used very little'
There is always a reason for that.....
Discos are not too bad if you don't have to carry them (cottage, youth camp,..). But they are definetely no canoes that are kept long by most private parties (exceptions possible...)-you outgrow them pretty soon if you keep canoeing. Outfitters and camps love them. Mostly because they are cheap. And most renters love them because they feel very stable (as long as you don't lean them).
For camping trips where you'd have to carry the boat and for loading on your vehicle, you won't like 80 lbs for long.
My first large tripping canoe ie weighted in at 69 lbs. I loved the boat and still do but today I own the very same canoe in a lighter layup at 44 lbs (my scale).

Price to high
Not a bad canoe,it’s heavy but not a big deal for two people. Depending on age/condition of it I’d offer $300.00 and see if seller accepts.If not I’d keep looking.

My used Old Town Penobscot 16 was bought for less than what he’s asking for a Disco. The Penobscot is better and much lighter.



– Last Updated: Jan-11-07 2:41 PM EST –

The Old Town Discovery series has a reputation for being decent paddling, rugged, and heavy. The only way to know if the weight will be an issue is to try loading and unloading it a couple of times.

Weight can be a problem. If "let's go canoeing" makes you groan at the thought of lifting the boat, you won't do it as often. My wife is small, and her attitude about canoeing improved immensely when we went from a no-name clunker (weight unknown, known only as "the barge") to something that weighed less than 60 pounds. But for some folks, 80 pounds is reasonable.

We ended up with a Bell Morningstar in Royalex, which has been a fine dog transport for the kind of paddling you describe. The Old Town Penobscot 16 and Wenonah Adirondack would also be good choices. This summer I bought a used Penobscot 16 for another family member who's been very happy with it.

Leave room in your budget for comfortable PFDs and decent paddles. You might also want to consider a lesson if you're new to canoeing -- a tandem boat with a beginner at each end can breed some nasty arguments.

no to discovery
i had a discovery once ,it hung in the garage all the time because i didnt want to lug the damn thing around . i sold mine in used twice condition for 350… im happy to be rid of it

My first canoe as an adult was an OT Discovery. Bought for 300, used for several years and sold for 300. It was a very nice first canoe for exactly the conditions you describe. It was very heavy getting on and off the car, but once in the water it paddled fine and felt very stable. Another nice feature is that it is practically indestrucible. You can drag it, run it over rocks, drop it off the car and you may end up with a few scratches and if you are very unlucky a broken thwart, but nothing serios.

It is definitley NOT the canoe I would want to paddle today, but on the other hand I could not enjoy a more performance oreinted boat without the skills I learnde in the OT. I agree that it is a bit overpriced for a used boat, but I would otherwise recommend it.

you learn
much faster if you have to ‘grow’ into the canoe rather than feeling comfy in it right away (as a beginner), though.

I do the same kind of paddling
you do, tandem tripping on lakes and moderate moving rivers. I’ll be doing the Green River in Utah again this spring. I take my two dogs when allowed. I started out paddling with a 15 ft MR Explorer which is great for solo and tandem day trips with the dogs. It is too small, however, for any extended tandem trips. A sixteen foot canoe is the minimum size for tandem tripping. A seventeen footer or larger would be even better for extended trip with the pooch. My tripping canoe is an 18 ft kevlar Champlain. It has a slight rocker but is OK for rivers up to a non-technical class II river. It’s a great big water canoe. The only negative thing about it that it has so much volume that you tend to bring too much on a trip.

I agree with the others about trying to go as light as possible and stay away for the plastic canoes if possible. There are good plastic ones out there but they are heavy. If you start doing some serious tripping, then you’ll be much happier with a lighter canoe. Usually on a portage, only one person carries the canoe while the other a pack. Chances are that you’ll be dealing with high river banks occasionally and tough put-ins and take-outs when weight will become a major issue. A canoe tends to be a long term purchase so if you can spend a little extra for a canoe you’ll have many years use of of it and won’t need to upgrade.

Try to get a Royalex canoe if possible. There are many Prospector clones out there that would be a good choice. The OT Penobscot is a very good choice as is the OT Tripper. I seen lots of them while tripping and haven’t heard a complaint. The 16 ft MR Explorer is another classic tripping canoe. Take your time looking and if you can’t squeeze any more out the budget, then just have the patience to wait for the right canoe.

No Disco
I never cared much for the OT Discovery. Paddled it a lot over the years as a rental.

My first canoe purchase was for uses similar to yours. River/lake tripping and camping. I chose the Mad River Explorer and liked it a lot more than the OT Disco. It has better secondary stability, tracks nicer and turns better.

It’s also on the heavy side, but still comes in a few lbs lighter than the Disco.

I recently picked up a Nova Craft Prospector 16 and I think this one is a keeper. Basically the same uses as the Explorer, but lighter, quicker and a real pleasure to paddle.

You might also want to check out the WeNoNah Spirit II.

Hull Warpage and Weight
Maybe it’s just my bad luck, but I have yet to see a single Old Town Discovery that wasn’t severely, make that SEVERELY, warped on the bottom. The local rental places are full of them (100s of them among the local liveries), and the warpage is so bad you can see it on boats on racks 100 yards from the road as you go by at 55 mph. I think the only boat which warps worse than a Discovery is a Coleman/Pelican. If you get a Discovery, keep that sucker out of the sun, and maybe it’ll keep its shape.

The weight issue is a personal one, but I subscribe to the idea that a boat which is a pain to carry and lift gets used a lot less than a boat that is reasonably easy to carry, and a cheap boat which doesn’t get used much because it’s heavy actually costs more on a per-use basis than a more expensive boat which is lighter but doesn’t spend so much time in storage.

What a great idea to use wedding money for. I would have tried swinging that but in the year and a half before we got married I convinced her into us getting a tandem and two solos.

Thanks for the info!
I have some good thoughtsto think about! What a great group!

Why would you…
…hang your dog in the garage?

I got my Discovery…
…in '86?

It was before they had model numbers, but it would

be a 178 by today’s naming conventions.

i stored it outside under a tarp which was lying

directly on the hull.

I’ll give you a case of Guinness if you can find even a hint of a warp.

The warp has gone to your head.
And with a dozen dalmations in the boat, there was no need for minicell to hold the center of the hull down.

…did love canoeing.

Scaramouche did too until his back got hurt.