Found a OT Penobscot 16 (royalex) want to know if good and the worth

Looking for my first canoe, ive only ever rented discovery 169 which serve my purposes (lakes and slower rivers, single and tandem, along with being stable enough to pole), although they are abit heavy to portage solo. Found a Old Town penobscot 16 being listed for 1k usd near me, and was wondering how said canoe would work for my purposes, and what a fair price would be.

Penobscot is a good boat. Never paddled one myself, but see plenty of them around here (New England). Don’t know why but tend to see the 17’ version more than the 16’ - more of a tripping boat? $1,000 seems a little steep to me, but you can go online and see that prices are all over the place.

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The Old Town Penobscot 16 would work better for solo paddling than the Old Town 169.
But the Penobscot 16 is a considerably smaller and less stable than the 169:
for paddling this should not be a problem but for poling perhaps.

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The Penobscot 16 is a classic but not worth a grand… It is a fine poling boat too.

That one is overpriced by a good 400… And what is up with that thwart

How old is this boat? The HIN will tell.


Most royalex boats around here in central maine go for around $800, some up to 1200 so its withing that range. It does have new seats/yoke. Any clue how to tell the year of the HIN number.

Other question. How can i tell if theres oil canning without being on the water?

The year is the last two digits.

Checked Uncle Henrys and Craigslist and seems some sellers are overly optimistic.
Asking 1700 for a Disco does not mean getting 1700 for it
I am in the Lakes region of Maine and have a mint Yellowtone Tandem RX.
I paid $900 for it a 2010 boat
I don’t think I could get $1500

Judging by the color of the gunwales and the end caps, that is a pretty old specimen. Probably mid to late '80’s. Definitely not worth $1k. I would say no more that 4 or 500 provided its not real brittle and there are no major cracks or repairs.

Had the owner send some more pictures, its an 81. Also talked them down to 900 but it doesnt seem like they will go lower (i started at 750, they countered 950, i countered 800, they said 900 as they claim its good condition and it has new seats and yoke.

Any clue to tell how brittle it is when im there in person to look at it and try to haggle lower?

There is a 17 foot Penobscot RX from1997 for sale 875… The owner is a skilled canoeist and the boat in great shape. It is in Endicott NY… If that is too far you can use that figure for bargaining

If you want to pursue the 16 footer a test for oilcanning is to push on the bottom. Find out how it is stored… Inside or outside… If it wereo utside for 42 years I would bet the first rock that puppy hits and it will crack The oxidation on the hull makes me suspicious.

Looked alot better in person, doesnt appear to have any oil canning, gunnels and thwart appear in good condition. Talked owner down to 825 cash and grabbed it. Owner claims they bought it off the first owner who stored it in a garage.


take the seats and thwarts off and varnish the end grain… I have seen some older Old Towns fail because typically the end grain is not sealed and water gets in and leads to rot you can’t see. It kinda ruined some of our partys day when they put pressure on the thwarts mid trip and they literally collapsed.

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That’s a first generation Penobscot 16 from the 70s or 80s. $1000 is waaaaaay overpriced for an old plastic boat, when you can buy new T-Formex boats (similar material from Esquif and Wenonah) for $2100 and get (bluntly) a superior thermoformed material and boats that won’t crack the first time you hit a hard object (which older Royalex often will).

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You might want to drop the seats another inch or two. You have plenty of bolt sticking down. If it was a first gen , it used to have flat molded plastic seats and it looks like whoever replaced them went by the built in 1" drop in the plastic seats. It would be a bit more stable at around 3".

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Very happy with my T-Formex Prospecteur 16 so far. I had a Kennebec 16 that was about the same age as the pictured Penobscot and it was getting to where it was making crunch noises when you changed positions in your seat and it was cracking on the slightest rock touch.

The drop in the new seats is around 2”. I plan to take it out on friday to see how stable it is and see if theres any major issues with it that are not visible.

Good to know to do that. I was planning to sand and varnish the thwart anyways to make it look nicer so ill do that as well. The gunnels though despite having a wood like look to them feel really smooth and almost like plastic.

A good tripping boat. The 169 is a baby Tripper in the cross-link construction.
The Penobscot appears to be in good shape. It is probably worth $700-800. Bring cash.

You did good. That is a decent boat and not worth worrying about a few dollars left on the table.

Nice canoe!
The nice folks at Wood Canoe Heritage Association may be able to provide a build sheet on your canoe.

There is a Penobscot 16 listed about 1 1/2 hours from my house that needs skid plates for 350 bucks. If i wasn’t a man of 1,000 projects …

I think my Tripper is older than this boat, have had no fracture or cracking issues, I painted both inner and outer hull about 15 years ago, may be helping. I had good luck using fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin to repair the tear that resulted in the original owner giving it to me, while it was wrapped around a rock (for the third time, he said). Royalex is easy to repair using this procedure. You finally got the boat at a fair price, I sometimes tell sellers on CL, keep your boat. I got to thinking about my boats age, looked up old article on Trippers, even these say 17’2", Mine is 17’9"! Maybe it grew when it was wrapped around one of those rocks by previous owner, but, I doubt it. I think the original mold, Lew Gilman,s was 17’ 9". So, mine is way old, 72 or 73??

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