First Canoe Purchase

single later poly canoes are junk …

– Last Updated: Mar-29-12 7:42 AM EST –

...... all of them . examples are Coleman RamX and the like that need to have tubing reinforcements inside the canoe ... or fitted in consoles and seats that have plastic post under them to support the hull .

The hull alone is weak and way too flexible with out the added piping or gimmick consoles/seat post reinforcing . The hulls warp easily . They can tear through much easier as well . Avoid single layer poly hulls . If you can pick up a Coleman RamX 15' for $150-$200. in good shape , you'd be happy with it for awhile because it didn't cost you much to start off with . It floats .

Old Town 3 layer poly construction uses linear polyethylene , not cross link single layer . The core (center layer) is a floatation core (same with Royalex) . The hull is strong w/o any reinforcements (except the usual thwarts on all canoes) . And you'd be hard pressed to punch a hole or tear through the OT 3 layer construction , I haven't been able to and we ride nasty mountain river rocks , ledges , etc. in fast current with only mild scratches at the worst . It's tough stuff and I am abusive with it . I'd kill a single layer poly hull in no time flat .

Our canoes are used 95% for fishing purposes in all types of waters and weather ... as a fisherman (and I'll go as far as saying a Hard Core fisherman) I think I know what makes one canoe better than another for fishing needs , we need tough , rugged , dependable canoes that never cause us any concerns about anything ... not fancy lightweight , delicate and faster canoes to just paddle around in . Fancy , lightweight , delicate canoes are exspensive ... they are for people who use a canoe for high end paddling , they care about an extra mile per hour , they think they can manuver better (not much in my experience) , and think it's joy to load a 45-50 lb. canoe . There's definately a big market for expensive canoes but they aren't any better at anything in my book , they are still just a canoe and less capable in most situations . I can afford an expensive canoe but I choose my Old Town canoes cause I think they are better in almost all ways , and this not because I don't know the difference , I do , I've paddled many canoes over the past 40 years .

And in my book , if a canoe can pass my fisherman's needs test , it can pass any other type use test with flying colors ... I think a fishing canoe is the most demanding need a canoe can answer to , all other types are less capable canoes .

"later" in the header was suppose to read "layer" - single layer ... typo

Thank you!
I think that was the most insightful thing I have read and seems to fit my needs. I think I am going to aim for a Mad River Journey 158 or an Old Town Penobscot 164.

Fishin is the most demanding of a canoe?
Hmmmmm. I’d say sun bathing is the most demanding … then maybe fishing next

just don’t pay more than …

– Last Updated: Mar-28-12 9:32 PM EST –

....... what you can get an Expedition 169 (Disco) from Bass Pro Shop for ... $670. out the door new .

That's what the Penobscot 164 is worth as well , not more . Penobscot 164 is OK , I don't think it's quite the canoe as the Disco 169 , but it's close enough .

It will be just as tough , and that's an important thing in a canoe . I prefer the blow moulded seats some of the OT canoe's come with as compared to web seats and such . I think OT's butt shape blow mould seats are very comfortable , strong , zero maintnance , and they are also filled with floatation as well .

I think you a different type of …
… fisherman maybe , clarion ??

Actaully , a fishing canoe is 2nd to a WW canoe in my mind . The WW canoe will get abused a little bit more , maybe .

Wasn’t that long ago…
…that I was in the same place as you, McMolten.

I only bought a brand-new canoe after going through several used ones. That helped me figure out what I really wanted - and I didn’t lose a penny over the time I bought & sold these used canoes. When I got around to buying new, I knew I was getting a boat that I would keep a long time (probably ‘til I wear it out).

My point is that I think you should listen to the above advice to buy used. And I would not even consider buying a new canoe that is made of any kind of poly material. The reason for that is because you will find plenty of them on the used market for dirt cheap. They are typically 20-30lbs heavier than comparable canoes in better lay-ups - and because of that, people will sell them when they get tired of lifting them…which is long before the canoe wears out.

There will be good canoes hitting the used market soon. This is about the time of year they start showing up frequently on Craig’s List. I just picked up a really nice Ranger Otter 16’ fiberglass hull for $250. It’s not uncommon to see boats such as the OT Penobscot (royalex), Wenonah Adirondak, Mad River Explorer, and various Propector designs - all of those, good beginner canoes for someone willing to put in the time to get used to them - for $600 or less in real good shape. I see the Discovery 169 going used for around $250 quite often. You can include shorter tandems in your search if you lack patience to get on the water. As long as you pay a reasonable price for used, you will get most or all of it back when you sell it after upgrading.

I don’t regret any of the money I spent on used canoes or any of the time I spent in them. I know I would have regretted spending the price for a new canoe that I figured out later wasn’t what I need.

I don’t fish so much anymore
… but when I did I don’t think I ever fished above class II+ or 3 1/2 foot Atlantic seas. Anything more than that I didn’t bring a rod … treble hook fobia I think.

Fishing versus other uses
Hey Pilot, I know your point is that your canoes get banged up and need to be tough, and that if they are tough enough for you they will be tough enough for a lot of other boat-abusing situations. But “other uses” may find a super-tough canoe to simply be the wrong tool for the job. There are lots of “other uses” where various other factors become much more important than how tough the boat is.

Just thought I’d throw a different light on the situation.

ir’s more than just tough gbg …

– Last Updated: Mar-28-12 10:52 PM EST –

...... it has cls-II WW capability , it will take you through 30" wave trains safely if needed , it's got room inside (high volume hull) , it paddles and manuvers very easily (in rapids , in high winds , fast waters , or on a still pond) , it can hold alot of weight safely and still ride high , be stable and handle well in rapid or wind torn waters , it handles light loads too , maintenace is just about zip , it's the kind of canoe I want when things get tough out there ... it's what I call a very sea worthy canoe you can count on when you need to , not just go bang tough but dependable tough too . So it weighs 84 lbs. , no big deal with that , and we've had the discussion before why I think the extra weight is "good" thing ... I wouldn't care to portage it over my head by myself for a long distance but I'll never get myself into that situation , and if I do I'm a dummy cause that's what they make canoe wheels for .

Your opinion or any others about what you/they think a canoe should be and what your preferences and needs are is perfectly OK by me ... I've just explained why the OT 169's are tops in my opinion . I like pick-up trucks , some even have V-8's in them ... but I also have a 1989 Nissan Sentra wagon with a 1" tail pipe , and I like it too , get's good fuel economy , runs great and it's clean as a pin , but it's still a light duty tin can .

I've spent alot of personal recreation (fishing) time out on the water (some times a thousand hours a year) , all kinds of waters , all kinds of weather , in various different types of boats ... I know what scarey Wx and mean waters are in those various different boats , I know what it's like to be in that stuff all through the night in the dark , alone ... yes , I have my own specifications when it comes to canoes , it has to make me feel it's seaworthy as I see what seaworthy means .

You wouldn't believe what we laugh at gbg , others get scared stiff just thinking about it ... and in a way I don't blame them at all , it can get right tough and nasty out there sometimes .

And you know something , I'm afraid of scarey WW paddling stuff like zzz or dagger get into , imagine that .

McMolten ,…

– Last Updated: Mar-29-12 10:11 AM EST –

...... understand just one thing about Old Town's 3 layer polyethylene canoes .

Only the Discovery 169 , 158 & 116 are made with ... 3 layer "super" linear polyethylene construction .

The Penobscot's made with 3 layer polyethylene are linear poly , but they are not 'super" linear poly like the 169's are .

The "super" linear poly is 25% stiffer than the standard linear poly . The "super" linear poly is as stiff as Royalex .

You see , most people don't know these things and that's the only reason I mention them . 3 layer linear polyethylene is nice , it's just not as stiff as 3 layer "super" linear .

The "super" linear (read Disco 169) is as good as it gets , just thought you should know that .

The diff. between it and Royalex ... Rx weighs a little bit less , Rx cost more to produce ... "super" linear is 25% "more" abrasion resistent than Rx , it cost less to produce so the purchaser in turns pays less by percentage ... "super" linear and Rx are dead equal in stiffness , that's why my OT Expedition 169 (Disco) doesn't oil can folks , it's just as stiff and warp resistent as my OT 16'=10" Rx canoe from 1984 ... amazing isn't it .

There's only one boat in the OT line that I would want over my "super" linear OT 169 , and that's an older (but in good condion) Rx Tripper 172 .

Don't get confused with the OT 169's , the older ones were not "super" linear , I believe before "super" linear they were just linear poly , and before that the oldest ones were "cross link" poly .

Remember what I told you about the $670. at Bass Pro ... call them (in IL) to make sure they have the OT Expedition 169 in stock before taking that drive to buy one from them , my local Bass Pro is out of stock at present . If you decide to take that drive to Bass Pro in IL , it will be worth it ... but you could always pay quite a bit more for the same boat at Gander unless they will match Bass Pro's price .

Also , I'm in full agreement with those who tell you there are some good deals on good used canoes out there ... if you can find one , it's not as easy as it sounds though .

Used OT Discovery 17’
So I have a lead on a 17’ Discovery. It is 10-12 years old, has minor scratches on the hull and was allegedly only used a dozen or so times. What would a fair price to expect be with oars included? With all the conversation above, this sounds like it might be a nice solution.

$375 in good shape.
$450 if near-new.

Leave the “oars”. You’ll want “paddles”. And cash left over for the chiropractor.

get the serial # from seller …
… call Old Town and ask them when that 17’ Disco was made , and if it was 'super" linear or regular linear construction at that time .

10-12 yrs. ago the canoe probably sold for around $400. (best price) new , but OT can tell that also . MSRP is not what canoes sold for in most cases .

The Disco is not a canoe I would consider as appreciating in price from new over time … but if it is in good shape and was truely lightly used , then perhaps max. 75% of it’s “new” cost from it’s mfg. year .

I’d also ask the seller to measure the exact length tip to tip on the deck plates , but the serial # and call to OT will confirm all that … 1-800-343-1555 , friendly folks who like to be helpful .

Must be a Discovery 174
Now called a Penobscot 174. The last two digits of the HIN should give the year of manufacture.

Back around 1991 Discovery canoes were made of CrossLink-3, with an outer layer of cross-linked polyethylene. Put a long straightedge along the bottom of the hull before you buy it. The Disco 174 had a tendency for the bottom to hog in over time.

If it is in good condition the Discovery 174 is a fine canoe, but again quite heavy which you should take into consideration.

If you decide you can cope with the weight and it meets your needs I would probably offer $300 and see what happens.

Rent a canoe for a whole season till you get the hang of it. Royalex or the heavier/stiffer material is Heavy!

Renting works…
…if you only use a canoe a few times a season. If you want to get out every weekend though - it can be cheaper to buy used, resell, buy used again, etc.

Hey, no justification needed

– Last Updated: Apr-05-12 3:43 PM EST –

I understand your perspective on what makes a canoe good for your purposes and have no argument with that. But it's worth noting, as one example, that you pointed out that portage weight does not matter to you. Well, for a lot of people, portage weight and easy, efficient cruising are the most important things, and for such people, a canoe that's pretty close to the heaviest model in existence would be the worst choice possible. A person with such needs would never consider anything but a composite boat. Anything else wouuld fail completely at meeting their "demands". I'm just pointing out that your requirements on what a canoe muist be able to do, no matter how "demanding" you believe your needs are, can easily be exclusive of another person's demands, rather than inclusive as you stated in your previous post. This is NOT a matter for argument or debate, and from your response I'm not sure that was clear. Your needs are what they are, but they will not automatically overlap someone else's needs. Even if you percieve their needs to be "less demanding" than yours, they will probably view them as "completely different".

Found A Used Roylex
I have found a used 16’ Penobscot Roylex and have talked the seller down to $500. It is three years old and has been used only three times with some scratches at both ends of the keel and one chip in the paint. Seems like a great deal and fit to me!

Way to go. That’s a great deal.

So I finally did something right??? Thank so much for everyone’s help on this forum!