Discovery 164

I have a line on a used Old Town Discovery 164, with paddles, for $325. It’s not the new Nova Craft Prospector 16 that I had my eye on, but it’s about $1100 cheaper and has my eye. This will be my first canoe, heck, my first boat and I was hoping you folks could share some thoughts on this decision and the canoe. I need to act by tomorrow after work. If the buyer doesn’t come through, I’m next in line.

I want it for floating lakes and reservoirs (no rivers yet)in California’s central Sierra Nevadas during deer season. 2 hunters, camping gear for a week and 2 deer. Can you guys and gals give me your thoughts? Thanks.

can’t go wrong
at $325 you’d be a fool not to if it’s still available. a heavy beast, but tough as nails, you can beat the hell out of it and never think twice. it’s so tough when you accidentally fire into the hull it probably won’t penetrate…

Good choice but…
I’d read the reviews in the Product Review section. It is certainly an affordable and good way to see if you enjoy canoeing unless your likely usage situations require long carries, in which case the weight may put you off. But at 325 tough to go wrong. If you don’t like it, you can probably get you money back if you sell it in the future.

Disco hull shape same as Tripper
The Discovery is the same hull shape as my Tripper, which is a classic, all around boat that is good in many different situations from flatwater to whitewater. The hull material is heavier, so the smaller Discovery ways the same as the 17.5’ Tripper. All canoes are compromises. Good all around boats don’t excel at anything, but provide flexibility to do many things. Since I love my Tripper, I endorse you getting a Disco.

They are heavy because the material is supposed to be so tough, tough, tough. But they can be beat up. I rented one in New Zealand that was the most beat up canoe I ever paddled. Had to stop and duck tape the hull to keep water from coming through an attempted “weld” where somebody tore a hole in the hull. Had four separate “oil can” areas. The deck plate was falling off. Still, that Disco provided a pleasurable trip down the Whanganui River. So, as long as you are not planning to buy that particular boat, I think you should go for it!

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

If you are young and strong , grab it !
If you are old and weak don’t.

It is the perfect boat for what you want, but I would hate to portage it.

If it is in decent shape, that is a good buy.

We call our OT Disco, “The Barge”, but it has served us well.



HAd a disco 174
We had a discovery 174 as our first boat. Two kids fit perfectly in the middle. The boat was tough and heavey at 90 lbs. I bought it for $300 and sold it ten years later for $300. We would still have it but when my son went to college, it was more than I could pick up by myself. We bought a kevlar 16’ Prospector as a replacement. Much easier to load at 47lbs. You will not be disappointed if you bought the Disoc 164.

Thanks all!
Yes, I know this boat is heavy. Not my first choice, but I don’t see lengthy portages in the near future with any purchase. Want to get my “sea” legs and, from your comments, the boat sounds serviceable. With the leftover money (as I said I’d been saving towards a Nova Craft Prospector 16), I’ll put toward camping/hunting gear I still need. Well, that is, if the first buyer backs out.

Thanks again, really appreciate all the help. This is a good forum.

I wish I was
the first buyer as this canoe is just what I’m looking for. And I’m in Nor Cal too. I hope you get it Lanny.

Where’s the secret spot you plan on taking it? Don’t worry, I gave up deer hunting years ago. My canoe will be used for fishing with the kids.

One tough boat
My brother and I purchased a OTD 174 for tripping in the Adirondacks and northern Maine. First weekend out, in very substantial white water, made it through Skinners falls, later to get hung on a rock.

Hull facing downstream, water moving so fast that I hesitate to lift a foot to walk, the boat has so much force on it we couldn’t move it. Only when four other paddlers show up that we can work it off the rock.

I’ve broken lesser boat in just the same circumstance. This one survived.

It’s heavy, rock solid, and can carry your car downstream to the take out. (perhaps I exgagerate a bit here…)

But, she’s a bit much to handle on land, and she’s a bit too much to handle solo on water, and unladened in the wind.

Basicly, she’s a truck. But a good one.


SS Bridesmaid
Didn’t get it. I wasn’t second in line, there were 4 others ahead of me. I didn’t think canoeing was that popular out west, but according to the seller, the line wound out the door. He admitted he priced it too low. Well, back to looking and saving. Oh, so close it hurts. Anyhow thanks for all your support and advice.

a rare find
As used canoes for sale are somewhat rare west of the Mississippi, I’d say jump on it.

The Disco 164 was my first canoe after I graduated from buttboats.

It’s not the perfect all-around boat, and I’ve since found better boats for a lot, lot more money than $325, but I have no plans to get rid of it. (Indeed, even though I’d like to bring all my boats to the lakeside cabin next week, I can only transport three and the venerable – not used since last September – Disco made the cut).

There are initial stability “issues” which you’ll soon learn about and adapt to, but at this price you can’t go wrong.

Someday you’ll have a better boat(s), but the Disco 164 will probably be a keeper.


Agree w/ Stavemaker
I think it’s about the same as the Penobscot 16, just 20 pounds heavier. I have taken youth groups on rivers with them and they are durable, but heavy. I have also run some rapids in them right after I took my Penobscot thru and didn’t really notice a difference.

I’d buy it at that price. Even if I’d have to hear about it from my wife.