Fair Price for used canoe?

I am considering buying a 1989 OT Discovery 169. It’s in decent shape, but the seller also has a small electric outboard motor and oak mounting board from LL Bean that he wants to include. Also included are 2 vests and 2 paddles. He’s asking 600 for everything.

Is that a decent price for a boat that old???

Also, I was told by dealer* that 25-30 is average life of an OT. That leaves 5-10 years on this one. Is this an accurate statement? (* I don’t fault them for trying to sell me a new boat!) :slight_smile:

Thanks for the guidance!


If I’m not mistaken…
The Disco was made of Roylex. Tough boat. Great boat for boney rivers.

What shape is it in? Does it look very nearly new?

Do you see signs of UV fading? Dents on hull?

I’m not sure I agree with the life span of plastic hulls you mention, if they’ve been well stored. They may last a great deal longer.

I might see asking $600 if it’s in very good condition, with the accessories. It probably went for that much new in 1989.

But I’d offer less if I were buying it.

If it’s badly sunburned pr oil canned, I wouldn’t offer too much. You may only get a few seasons out of it, or just not use it.

My .02 only…I haven’t been watching the market of these boats, I may be way off what reality is.


not Royalex
The OT Discovery boats are 3 layers of polyethylene called “superlinear” by OT. Its a heavy boat at 85 lbs and carries a ton of stuff - rated at 1350 lbs capacity. Not the best paddler, you can read reviews here on pnet.

As for price - that’s very high for a 20 year old one in any condition except new/unused. You can buy a new one for a few hundred more, if that’s the model you want. A cheap old elec trolling motor of that vintage that cost $69 new, the PFDs etc, are throw-ins. I paid $499 for one of these boats, brand new at the end of the year, to use for work in 1990. Eat your Wheaties to do portages with this one.

Nowadays, Old Town Discoverys are
made of a polyethelene sandwich, not Royalex.

Although Discoverys are much harder to repair than Royalex, they are harder to damage. I would expect any poly boat to have a longer life than a Royalex boat IF the poly boat is kept out of the sun. I don’t know why a dealer would quote a 30 year life span for a Discovery.

always sandwich construction
I know of some from the earliest construction and they were always 3 layers of poly. There were some resin problems with the very earliest ones that caused delamination. I described a friend’s Disco 158 or 169 delamination here on pnet many years ago. That post was seen by OT, who replaced the boat at no charge. Old Town stands behind their products.

Electric Motor a “throw-in”?

– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 12:23 AM EST –

I can't believe ANY electric trolling motor was ever just $69 new. Current prices are deceptive, because relative to inflation they are much cheaper now than they ever used to be. I would expect the trolling motor to make up some portion of the price, and NOT expect the seller to include it for free. A trolling motor is a sizable investment when new, and they usually command decent prices used as well. That may not be the case here, but it would be pretty harsh to expect that without knowing a lot more about it.

define sizeable investment - LOL
Base model elec trolling motors started at about $69 at Walmart back then. We’re talking 20 years ago. I bought one and actually used it on the same model canoe the OP inquired about. Sorry, I didn’t save my receipt from such a sizeable investment - would you actually require a faxed proof? Perhaps others here will remember what these little motorguides and minn-kotas sold for at Wally World back then. The battery was nearly as much as the motor. Do you think your stuff appreciates in value? I can’t believe I’m wasting my time defending a post. This board really has gone to hell when trying to help a person results in an attack. I’m out of here.

I wouldn’t pay that much for it
I have a Old town Disco.

They are made of Cross linked poly, (sandwiched-three layers).

Mine is just about that age, and if I were to sell it I would be asking about three hnundred.

Someone said they are hard to repair, but that is not true. There is a plastic stick that you light the end and let the melted plastic drip onto the crack, or whatever. It looks like hell, but it does the job.

They are about the heaviest canoe that you can find, but they are also about the toughest.



$600 is to much

– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 1:38 PM EST –

OT disco are not made of royalex, the material used' Polylink, gets soft when the sun shines on it and the water pressure will push the bottom of the hall inward. They are heavy and yes they can be repaired with special expensive glue. The bottom of the hall will eventually oil can especially if the user ties down the bow and stern to hard. I my opinion a NICE OT 169, 174 is worth about $400 to $450. If you are not intending to use the electric motor is it really worth nothing to you. I would not pay a penny over $500 for it and only if it includes all the accessories. I recently saw a OT tripper on craigslist for $495


I would be willing to pay that for an OT tripper, a far superior canoe to any of the Disco line canoes. Just an opinion

Could be I’m mistaken

– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 2:15 PM EST –

I know we paid a couple hundred bucks for a very small and crude bow-mount motor back in 1978 (and it was sold under the Sears name, which usually means it's not exactly top-of-the-line stuff). It provided all of 12 pounds of thrust too (still does, actually). My best friend at the time bought a stern-mount motor with nearly double the thrust for a similar price. That's why I say the prices are not as high today relative to inflation. A current buddy of mine is big-time into fishing and has bought and sold more fishing boats than most people do cars, and he always figures an electric motor adds to the value of a used fishing boat - not as much as an outboard, but something. Of course, those motors are a lot bigger and more expensive by themselves, but not relative to the cost of the boat itself in this case. If that's flawed reasoning, I'm okay with that.

You think this board has gone to Hell? If you've been here long enough to know, why don't I know who you are yet? I think it's the same as it's been for years. I'm not attacking you, just pointing out that the motor MIGHT actually be worth something, depending. You could lighten up and not take it personally (your choice - it doesn't matter to me either way).

i can remember back in the late 60s early seventies you could buy a minn kota lowest price of 49.99…(im 52 and have fished my whole life untill i started paddling )I dont think you could of got a new one in late 80s for much under 100…nowdays fishing is overpriced with there 50000 boats and 250 for a reel… a fish dinner for some of them guys was probably a weeks pay or more …lol… but on the subject of the canoe thats to much in my opinion for a heavy plastic boat, i sold one a few years back for 300 and was glad to be rid of it…not that it was a bad canoe just to damn heavy

…it’s a heavy boat…

– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 5:13 PM EST –

I think one can talk one's mouth off about the price, but you'd better get some connections with the guys at local iron-pumping station for steroids or mega-vitamins cuz it's a heavy boat(did I already mention that). It IS a tandem...and a heavy one for attempting to solo whenever. *I know..it was the only boat available to rent around the 4th last year...was like paddling the Queen Mary around...Canadian-style was not bad...but sure took a few strokes in a light breeze to get going upwind...was definite(but welcomed) exercise...but wasn't that bad for a boat that big.
There's one up here in Bangor, ME. at one of their LL Bean discount outlets...just a few very minor scratches & scuff marks...looks like a 2009 canoe..for $699.


who cares who you know
I’ve fished over 50 years and paddled about 45. Don’t have to prove myself to you or anybody else. If you think you know everybody worth knowing who posts here, that’s your mistake, not mine. Is it more helpful to try & help original posters or to nitpick and question those who reply? I’ve sold so many boats to the first person who comes by - I know I’ve sold too cheaply. But that has introduced lots of families with kids to paddling and has made some instant & lasting paddling buddies. I admit that I have no patience for scams in general or obvious rip-off used boat prices.

Being too serious, for sure
That was just an alterative way of saying that “it seems that you are new here, so what’s your basis for comparison”, regarding your statement that this place is now going to Hell. Besides, how one feels about one person or another is no measure of the nature of the whole website. As to the rest of it, say and think whatever pleases you. I doubt if it’s even worth explaining such a thing, but there ya go just the same. I have no intention of “being mad” about this or “attacking”, and if we actually talked about this we almost certainly would end up understanding what point the other intended and probably even agreeing, but as I see it this is such an incredibly minor issue as to not even be worth the effort, so try not to be so serious.

Recently sold
My brother just sold his Disco with recent trolling motor & mount for $350. Yes, it had serious oilcanning issues.


I’d be inclined to walk away
Those Old Town Discoveries were notorious for being sold for much less than the quoted retail price. Gander Mountain, for one, used to sell them for about $500 brand new and that wasn’t all that long ago. Maybe 10 years.

If this particular canoe was stored indoors and not used much and was essentially a 10 year old canoe in very good shape, I’d say $400. The life jackets, paddles and motor mount are throw-ins and probably add no value to the canoe price, unless they are high quality name brands.

The motor may or may not be worth anything. Ask him what he thinks the motor is worth, then tell him you don’t want the motor and to lower the price by that much.

Unless the paddles, motor, and life jackets have a combined value of more than a couple hundred dollars, I’d walk away from the deal.


– Last Updated: Jun-19-09 11:10 PM EST –

Thanks for all the replies...

Looks like I might let this one go... or at least haggle a bit!

Plus I just found a 1 year old Nova Craft Prosp. 17 listed for the same price!

Hope to see y'all on the water soon!

NC Prospector
If that boat’s in good shape, that is a good deal.

That boat will outshine the Discovery in any way I can think of. It will take more skill to paddle well, but it will reward you by doing SO much more. It’s still kind of a heavy boat, especially of it’s a polyethylene model instead of Royalex, but it’s a nice all-around tandem any other way (“other” meaning other than the weight) you look at it.

Old Town Disco 169 …

– Last Updated: Jun-21-09 2:24 AM EST –

..... Bass Pro Shop (at least our local store) sells the Old Town Expedition 169 , it has a price tag of $699. now .

In 2006 we bought it from the same store for $550.

It is (I think) pretty much the same as the Discovery 169 , but seems to have a slightly more arched hull bottom through the center section ??

This is the canoe I wanted , the canoe I purchased , and is worth every pound of it's 84 lb. weight !!

It's a tandem canoe , and that means two people get to pick it up , two people get to load and unload it , two people get to take it to the water ... I can do it by myself without any problems , but why should I , she helps me and never once complained about it being heavy or a problem .

If two adults can't handle an 84 lb. canoe without complaining like little kids about it ... you are just plain out weenies and cry babies !!

The Old Town Expedition 169 (aka. Discovery 169 ??) is one of the "best" canoes out there , in "all" regards when it comes to general all purpose tandems ... this is a "great" canoe for any serious waters , be that river running , open big mountain reservoirs , etc. ... it "is not" a barge and handles beautifully ... this is big boat made to handle rough conditions if nessasary and smile about it !!

No it's not a little streamline speedster but it moves out if you want it to ... if you want a canoe that you can count on to get you through some tough conditions ... Old Town Expedition 169 is the "perfect" ticket for the job , also excellent in the tamer water and weather conditions , but "any" canoe is fine then .

I chose it because I know it's a great canoe from years of experience ... same with Carlisle 8" beavertail paddles . My choice was because I wanted it for just what it is , a great canoe especially when the weather starts to get rough !! . lightweights run for shore when the Expedition 169 laughs . The extra 25 lbs. of weight that lightwieghts complain so much about is the "extra plus" in the Expedition (Disco.), this is one rock solid canoe ... stable , tough , quick enough and easy to paddle .

You never get something for nothing , and you always trade off something for lighter weight ... there is power in that little bit of extra weight .

ps., you wouldn't want to carry it for a mile , but off the auto and into the water ... piece of cake !!