first fishing canoe

I’m interested in a stabile canoe, I’m 6’4" 285lbs.

I originally thought I wanted a old town 133row

because it is wide and comes with a center seat

and oarlocks for rowing when I’m alone (which will

be 70% of the time). I talked to several dealers and old

town customer service and they all say that the

osprey is a much better boat (royalex versus superlink and the hull design is better for faster

water). So now I think I’m going with the osprey

My question is about length, my choices are 14ft or 15.5 ft. I was told that 15.5 would be a better

choice in the long run because more room for a

another paddler and more fishing room (which I will be mostly doing) Will I lose much manuverabily with the 155 over the 140? Is royalex much better tha superlink? Is it better

to row or use a double-bladed paddle from the

center seat? I plan on using it mostly for fishing on lakes and slow water.

Solo boat
I used a Encounter today on a large mountain lake. Rampart Lake, just North of Pikes Peak CO.

Lots of wind, waves, in and out of small coves and crossing the lake cross wind.

This Winter/spring I used it A bunch on Lake Pueblo

I’m happy with the boat.

I troll, jig and cast. Lots of room in the boat for my fish finder and three rods and stuff.

The 17 foot canoe keeps me dry and allows for easy paddling against the wind.

Short fat boats don’t paddle well.

Ditto the Encounter
I have a Wenonah Voyager and Prism. My buddy has an Encounter. Wenonah knows how to build a canoe to what damands it will encounter. Your size is perfect for this canoe. If you plan to have it for years, consider kevlar. My buddies Encounter weights 33 lbs. Perfect for BWCA. If you want to run rivers, buy a used one.

I disagree with the purists on this one
I say go with that Old Town Osprey. I get the impression you aren’t looking for a high degree of paddling performance or a boat that will make the most of your canoeing skills. If I’m correct about that, you probably don’t want to spring for a Wenonah Encounter as someone else suggested, or waste a lot of time hunting for a cheap used one. And here’s the most important thing: You are a big guy, and you will be fishing, not trying to cover a lot of miles per day and you don’t want the “perfect boat for the BWCA” as that poster said. In my opinion, if you get the Encounter, a boat that is only 25 inches wide at the gunwales (and only about 22 inches wide in between the gunwales), you will seriously regret it. A guy like you needs a lot more room and a lot more primary stability in a fishing boat than what the Encounter will give you.

As to hull material, definitely go with Royalex over Poylink of Superlink if you don’t mind paying more. The old Polylink boats were notorious for serious warping. Maybe the new stuff is better, and maybe the Superlink is better, but it is still a very very heavy material compared to Royalex. That extra 10 to 20 pounds you save by going with Royalex makes a much bigger difference than you will realize right now unless you’ve already got plenty of experience carrying various types of boats. It is best to keep Royalex out of the sun for long-term storage to insure that it will last a lifetime (or at least a “really long time”). The same recommendation goes for Poly- and Superlink, but being cheaper materials, boats made of that stuff are usually purchased by folks who don’t intend to take care of the boat in the first place.

I’d recommend the 15 footer over the 14 footer. It will carry a load more easily, and be more stable. It will also be slightly faster. I looked at Old Town’s web site, and I see oarlocks on the 14 footer, but not on the 15 footer. Also, the 15 footer has no center seat for rowing. If it’s not practical for you to alter the 15-foot boat for rowing (it CAN be done without much trouble), then go with the 14 footer.

The osprey has a bit of a flat bottom, which makes it less efficient than a really nice “paddler’s canoe” (like the Encounter). Rowing will do wonders for overcoming that shortcoming and will make the boat get up and go. Rowing will also give you a big advantage over a double-blade paddle when the wind blows hard. You will probably need a pretty low seat to allow dipping the oar handles enough to raise the blades over any chop, a situation which gets worse the bigger a person you are. Also, if you aren’t flexible enough to mount the seat as low as you need, you might want to mount the oars on outriggers for extra height, instead of on the gunwales (you’ll get extra width between the oarlocks too that way, but on this boat there’s not a great need for more width).

Get some nice long oars - as much as eight feet if you want, but certainly nothing less than 6 feet. You can’t go wrong with 7-foot oars on this boat. Use oars that give you plenty of inboard length to reduce the pulling effort. You can even have the handles cross over in the center if you want (if they do cross in the center, definitely use 7- or 8-foot oars, not six feet). If you row, you will also need a footbrace.

first fishing canoe
I purchased an oldtown osprey 140 with rowing configuration this year and am very pleased with it.

I wanted the size and stability. There were five other canoes on my short list but weight of the eliminated the other four. Even when I take my nephew I have to unload and load it my self.

I was also impressed that with all the oldtown canoes I see in this area none of them are for sale. That spoke volumes to me.

Fishing Canoe
My first fishing canoe is a Wanonah Fishermen, true it is only a 14 footer, but very stable and fun to row, Mine is fitted with a lowered center seat and oar locks. The lower you place the seat the more stability your will have. For lake and slow rivers speed won’t matter, hull design will. It has a Old Town anchor system that works well with a 8 pound drift boat style pyramid anchor. I have a fishing buddy II. I fish large lakes (Berryessa, Tahoe, Shasta and Folsom) and tidal rivers (Sacramento, Klamath, Eel and Smith). I have recently bought a Pakboat Puffin II, which is a 14 foot folding kayak that looks and acts more like a canoe, lots of fun, good luck and fishing.

Oars for fishing canoe
I’m putting a center seat and oarlocks in my canoe. What length oars should I get? The standard 6.5’ seems really long. My inclination is to get 6’ or 5.5’ Any suggestions? Thanks.

Either one is fine for fishing
The shorter one is easier to carry. If you can single lift and load the longer one on your car I’d get that one. If you don’t want to row then a mad river explorer 14 tt is a good choice as well.

I have an OT disc 160K that I row faster than most canoes can paddle. It is a fine boat but very heavy at 90+ pounds.

The Mad River boat only weighs 70 pounds and has a carrying thwart so it is easyier to load and my solo fishing boat of choice.

Don’t go too short on the oars as longer is really more efficient. It all depends on your boat but if the gunnel width is 36 inches I’d go 6 to 6.5 feet. If it is 40 inches wide I’d go 6.5 to 7 feet.

My first fishing canoe
was a Nova Craft Bob’s Special in Royalex. It is a 15 foot symmetrical boat. Weighs 52 pounds and has good carrying capacity and stability - tracks fairly well and manuvers easily. It is a very good solo boat when paddled setting reverse in the back seat (symmetrical hull designs let you do tis easily) but also has the tandem capability for the time when a friends jpoins you. I have caught many fish from this boat. You might consider a Bob’s Special.

Sounds to me like you are really
interested in a canoe with thoughts of both rowing and paddling. Rowing is fun, and will get you around, but paddling is an art, and if that is where you might be headed, then consider a 16’ long canoe. You will still have maneuverability, and it will better suit your size. You can use a plastic box as a drop-in seat, and that will actually put your weight on the floor of the canoe where it optimizes control and balance. You can also adjust its placement(front to back) a bit, for trim of the canoe. The OT Camper is an example, and it will open up many more avenues to you than the Osprey and such, even if you use a kayak paddle. Good luck.

Instead of rowing
Why not get a 16’ canoe like an OT discovery or its equivalent in Mad River and just use a double blade paddle? Mohawk sells double Canoe paddles up to 9’ long. They are relatively light (way lighter than a set of oars) and they only cost $45. Its been working for me, the OT is stable enough to fish standing up in and the double blade does a great job even with boat loaded up for a weekend camping/fishing trip. Messing with oars would get really old after a while.

you can’t go worng!!
i have a 133 k and it works well i solo it with oars thats the best part!!! and have loaded it down with three people and gear !! have not done much white water but it’s almost that time !! the down side of the 133 is its sooooo wide you have to really do some adjusting to haul two on a car topper

Osprey 155
The OT Osprey 155 does come in the center seat, oar locks version. Here’s a link to a new one listed on eBay:

Fishing canoe

– Last Updated: Mar-02-06 1:07 PM EST –

I don't know if you're still looking as I see that your original post was last year, but... I agree to go with the Old Town Osprey.

- When alone, sitting in the center provides the best level trim (fore/aft angle of the boat)
- Rowing is more powerful than paddling
- Rowing provides a force directed in the proper direction
- While in any canoe, you can sit 'backwards' and use a J-stroke, this won't work nearly as well
- With the Osprey, it can also be paddled like any other canoe, so you'll still have that as an option, and may prefer it with 2 people, can always get oars *and* paddles.

I would suggest the Osprey 155 over the 140 because the extra size and capacity will be useful, and it will actually be a tad faster, but not much heavier to cartop or carry.