First Canoe

We are purchasing a 14 foot Old Town (OT) Katahdin in excellent shape for $500.00 with a lot of extras. We have a few questions. 1) Is it worth $500.00? It does need a seat recaned. 2) I am 225 Lbs and pretty athletic (not fat), and my wife is a small 125 Lbs. Is this enough boat for the 2 of us (minimal gear cooler & towels).

If you can test paddle some other models at a specialty shop or event I think you will enjoy something in the 16’ range more. A bit cramped for two adults at 14’. Doable, but if you plan to paddle regularly, test paddle a few before you buy. If no shop in your area try contacting a club…most are composed of pretty nice folks who may be able to expose you to different hulls that will help you make an informed decision.

Price seems OK if in very good shape.

My wife and I started with a 14’
As you describe, with minimal gear for a day on the water, it will work but that’s about as small as you would want to go. When we started camping I paddled the 14’ solo with majority of the gear and my wife had a kayak with a few extra things

You can get an Old Town replacement seat for $50. It’s been my experience that boat prices vary a across regions of the country and also depend on the market, what else is available on craigslist, which varies with the time of year.

So, very loosely speaking, the price seems on the upper end of what I woould pay. You don’t list the extra’s so there is really no way to judge accurately. I’m guessing you mean paddles and PFD’s and that could be worth anything from $20 to $400.

The way I look at it, it would cost $40 to rent one. If you paddle it twice and sell it for $420 you’re even. Anything over that is gravy.

OK for day trips
That will be OK for day trips but I think tight for overnighters.

Honestly I think 16 is the minimum you should consider.

Now, is it worth it? Depends where you are and what the extras are. Where I am in Canada 500 should get you a pretty decent 2nd hand canoe with no hull damage and no other big repairs done or required. Maybe with a few extras but probably not.

I don’t think you will enjoy
a 14 ft. tandem canoe as much as a bit larger hull. On a side note, you will have a lot of “trim” problems. I outweigh my wife by 100 lbs. and had to take measures to address this.


Here’s the kind of thing Pag is talking about. For two paddlers in that boat with that amount of weight difference between them, it makes sense to re-position the front seat two or three feet rearward (the exact distance should be figured out by checking trim on the water), and for the heavier paddler to sit there. You could do the same by re-positioning the rear seat forward and putting the heavier paddler in the back, but you’d have to move it even farther, somewhat negating the extra control that the rear paddler has.

14 foot canoe
It might be okay for a day trip. For overnight you could use a bigger boat.

Your weight difference will make trimming the boat a challenge.

I would not own a canoe shorter than about 16 1/2 feet.