canoe for calm lake and river

I am looking at a used Old Town Discovery 169 Canoe for $300. We have lake property that has a number of shallow creeks and I am wondering how this canoe would work.

I know the Old Town Discovery 169 Canoe is heavy plastic (80lbs) but I am more concerned about it being steady and not tippy. Our lake is fairly calm and I think this canoe was built for rough waters.

  1. What is the disadvantages of the Old Town Discovery 169 Canoe on calm lakes and calm creeks?

  2. This particular canoe has 2 molded plastic seats. Can we add 2 more seats given the canoe is rated for 1375-1400lbs?


    Granny DP


is a great canoe, built like a brick s…house and weighs in like one. the 16.9 must be 80+ lbs. it will serve you well and take your abuse…load it up

Usually over stated on capacity
You could get by with a center seat in the boat but another besides that you would be out of room unless they are kids. That boat will work fine for the places you plan to paddle as long as you can handle the weight of the boat.

Suitability and rating

– Last Updated: Mar-14-16 5:20 PM EST –

First, the Discovery canoes are flat-bottomed, and thus targeted to the recreational paddling crowd. Initial stability is good, which is the main thing you'll be concerned with. Boats made to handle well in rough water will be more rounded (or perhaps with more of a "V" shape on the bottom in the case of some brands), and will feel more tippy, but are actually no more likely to flip (there are other details here, but I bet this is enough). The Discovery will be fine for the kind of water you wish to paddle, and it extreme shallows, it will be less likely to run aground than a boat designed for faster speed or rougher water. All in all, it's an okay choice.

As to extra seats and weight capacity, ignore anything Old Town has ever written about weight capacity. You don't want to be paddling a canoe with as much weight on board as Old Town says is okay. Good paddlers who need to carry construction supplies to an island or some such thing would be fine in that situation, but for general paddling, that amount of weight is a bad idea. Old Town uses the "six-inch freeboard" rule for determining weight capacity, and a Discovery weighted into the water so far that there are only six inches of freeboard will not have the stability that you desire, and it will move like an oil tanker. No fun, and depending on conditions, it won't always be safe.

Three normal-sized adults (not "big American-sized" adults) is a pretty good load (a relatively heavy load) in any 16- or 17-foot canoe.

Oh, those molded-in seats offer no advantage at all, except that they help to reinforce the hull, which isn't as stiff as the hull of a canoe of better quality. You can add extra seats, mounting them on hangers attached to the gunwales, but in that boat, one extra seat would be a practical limit, unless the extra passengers are kids. If they are kids, short-legged folding chairs (seats being about 8" high) would be fine.

Agreed, and that sounds like a good…

jack L

Just remember that a lot of liveries
rent Disco 169.

If they were tippy performance craft, they would have a bigger loss in upset customers than they do.

That Disco is for paddlers with very little experience.

The polyethlene is heavy but for a lake and poking around, does that matter?

We got off the boat in England and jumped into a rental Disco

Dont worry about dumping. Just watch your head. 4 250 lb guys will not fit. 2 adults and two kids will.

The performance capacity is rated about 700 lbs. Not over a thousand… Why OT does that is beyond me. Six inches of freeboard is not enough.

The volume of the canoe and not the brand tells you the weight it can carry with eight or more inches of freeboard ( which is safer)

good choice
I agree - this canoe sounds like a great choice in that price range. Main disadvantage is the weight. Check whether the bottom has been worn down to the foam core near the ends. These canoes are very durable, but are harder to repair when seriously damaged because repair materials don’t stick well to the polyethylene. As long as it isn’t worn down to the inner foam core you shouldn’t have a problem.

For seating additional people I’d use cushions on the floor or small low beach style chairs resting on the floor of the canoe rather than installing additional hung seats. The canoe will be more stable with passengers sitting lower. If everyone wants to paddle, take turns sitting on the original seats rather than having extra people all paddling at the same time.

“Just watch your head.”
And if you didn’t know what KM meant by that - just keep your head vertically over the boat, between the gun’ls.

Disco 169 is a decent budget boat, especially if in good condition at that price.

Passenger seats
You will find the canoe much more stable if you keep the additional seats close to the floor. There are canoe chairs with back rests on the market which are comfy and seat passengers about two inches off the floor. Some are sold as camp chairs

Passenger seats
You will find the canoe much more stable if you keep the additional seats close to the floor. There are canoe chairs with back rests on the market which are comfy and seat passengers about two inches off the floor. Some are sold as camp chairs