Good poling canoe

I am going in the morning to pick out a new canoe for poling,The local water is class 1-3 and being local will probably be where it is used most.Here are the canoes in my price range.What canoe would be best for poling solo with small load.

OT Appalachian - New

MR Explorer- used royalex

OT Penobscot- New

Wenonah Prospector 15- New

OT Camper- New

Something that can move through a Class III is not going to be a canoe very stable for poling.

Thanks for the topic

– Last Updated: Dec-30-05 6:26 PM EST –

I've been thinking of a solo canoe that would be easier to pole (or even stand up in) than the cruisers I now have. I'm thinking more of ease of moving upstream in shallow water than Class III or anything. Of course multi-tasking would be a plus... something that I wouldn't worry too much about in Class II (with a paddle) and with the capacity to carry a light camping outfit.
I've been getting some time in a MR Guide/Freedom over the last couple years. I like it and I'm thinking it might not be a bad poling boat. Has lots of primary, seems sturdy enough, and has enough freeboard to handle some load...
What thinks you folks? Does anything about this choice seem RONG to you polers?

A Little Tender
I’m not saying it can’t be done, but the Freedom Solo is a bit too low volume for most poling.

Ideally you want a boat that you can walk around a bit in.

I have poled my Wenonah Solo Plus but its a ton more work and not nearly as much fun as tha Appalachian.

Books, if I remember right, say no

– Last Updated: Dec-30-05 8:07 PM EST –

shorter than 16.5' with width of 34" or more.

I use a Souris River Quetico 16, a thin, light 16' by 34" composite, with three seats. Use it because that is the only fill sized canoe I have available. It is fine, but probably a little light with all the high center of gravity moving around. Responds a little quick most likely. I think a heavier canoe in Royalex or wood would be friendlier.

I also use my Kruger Sea Wind with the rudder down which makes it very stable into the current. Fun, but with 28" beam and large decks probably not the the ideal poling boat. But it sure surfs nice while standing up in the longer waves of lower class rapids!!! :^) Bob has fotos.

Have Fun!!!



Another Opinion
I’d go with the MRE as that is a very versitile boat for paddling/poling. But, and I know I’ll catch a heap o’ dung for this, what about a OT Disco 158? That flat bottom is great for sideslipping, does great over the rocks, can beat the ever living snot outta one and it’ll keep on going. Down side is 1) weight, but not far off from the MRE, 2) low freeboard compared to the MRE or Appi.

I pole my MR Malecite and find with the longer length and V hull I have a hell of a time turning. Perhaps I’m too used to my OT but I’ve found that the flat bottom boat is the best, IMO, for poling.

My experience has taught me that my almost 16’ boat works great. Anything under 16’ might become a chore and take away from the pleasure of the pole. I think for ascending streams you will need a boat of around 36" wide. Under that will take a lot more skill and will at some point in time end up with you in the drink. A solid platform is what you need for upstream work. Snubbing downstream may be a less bit forgiving but that will really depend on the river/rapids/current/landscape of the river.

I’ve been poling for 10 yrs or so now and to try to go up class III is something I will not try unless it has eddies galore that I can tuck into. I beleive I have done class II and been whipped to sh*^ at the end. It is tough work and not for the thin skinned. Good topic, hope this helps a bit.


I’m with Doug on the Disco

– Last Updated: Dec-31-05 2:09 PM EST –

"I don't pole" but when I do...Get an Old Town discovery and take the thwarts out (so's you don't bash your shins). "But" and here's the but, pick up a cheap pair of rollerblades and make sure they fit well. This will dramatically increase your skill level. Just make sure that you stick to nothing more than 1 and 2 inch drops for the first year or two.

Why it's so easy even a caveman can do it!


Poling boats
Hard to go wrong with the Explorer or the Appalacian.

I pole an Explorer. It’s a pretty good poling boat especialy for a beginning poler.

I’d love to get my hands on an Appalacian for the added manuverability.

IMO a Penobscott lacks the initial stability I’d want and won’t turn as well as I’d like.

The idea of the 15’ Prospector is interesting. There are a few guys down Conneticut way that use 15’ custom built boats and they sure turn nice. If I had the Prospector available I’d try poling it for sure. I’m not confident that it would work though so I wouldn’t recomend buying it just for that purpose.

As for poling a Guide? Good luck! Standing in a 30" wide canoe is dicey unless your ballance is super. I know a guy who tried poling his Wildfire. He doesn’t recomend it. I keep thinking it would be great if I could pole my Osprey. I’ll try when the water is warm.


You’re supposed to jump over thwarts
as light and graceful as a cat N.T. ;^)



I don’t have…

– Last Updated: Dec-31-05 11:04 AM EST –

I don't have a lot of experience poling, but I spent a day trying it in my MR Guide. It was interesting to say the least; I didn't fall out, but I came very close on several occasions. Not enough stability in my poling beginner's opinon.
Hint; do not high center a MR Guide in moving water, while in a standing position, unless you possess very quick & correct reactions .

On the other hand; during the same trip, I tried a friend's OT Pathfinder, 14'10" if I remember correctly. After poling the Guide, the Pathfinder was stable as a boat dock. I was able to make good headway without any problem at all. Was immediately able to step over gunwales & move from stern to bow & vice versa. Moving water was fun; long sweeping turns weren't much of a problem either. Had some problems manuevering up stream in fast water, but believe that all beginners probably do. Believe with a couple of days practice in a Pathfinder I could stand on the gunwales & make downstream progress for awhile. Will probably give poling some more effort next year.


Ok, now what canoes do national champs
and other competitors use???



Harry Rock

– Last Updated: Dec-31-05 9:25 PM EST –

Uses a composite MR Freedom. Told me it was the only one made.
I had the good fortune to pole with him twice. The first time was on easy water and I was able to chase him around a learned a ton. The second time was on a stiff class II and he was out of sight pretty quick.
I stopped here. NEW LINK
They tell me he went another mile :-p


Your link to fotos keeps comming up

– Last Updated: Dec-31-05 4:13 PM EST –

"Forbidden". Need to give us a different one?




Well, my OT Tripper was fine in class 3
and was also an excellent poling boat.

Own a MR Guide, would never use it
for poling. About 16 feet is a practical limit for poling, and a light 17 footer can be very handy.

I went boat shopping this morning but made the mistake of bringing my wife.I looked at the MR boats and they looked pretty nice but I fell in love with a 16ft Wenonah Prospector with wood trim and at a good price.I was all set to buy it and my wife finds out that I have a Yellowstone solo with wood trim on order and she flipped,I came home boatless.I did take her to a nice resteraunt on the way home and talked her into stopping at one more canoe shop and looked at an Esquif Canyon and I really liked that boat too.I have to work on the wife a little this week and go shopping again next weekend.I have narrowed it down to OT Appalachian,Wenonah Prospector 16,Esquif Canyon fully rigged for WW.

Finally got through.


It looks like I will have to compromise a little,I found a new OT Scout that is the same as the Appalachian but a little heavier.I can get a Scout for 500.00 BN,Its not much heavier than the Explorer or the Appalachian and it should hold up fine.


Tommy ! How did you do that?!?
In poling as in paddling, one endeavors to lean downstream! That looks like it was placed for a canoe rescue school!

Anatomy of a pin
Hey, I leaned as hard as I could.

But being out of the boat it did no good!

Ya want the whole sad story eh?

We had been pushing upstream for a couple of hours and out of shape Tommy was feeling it.

I came out of the eddy on the far side trying to push up to the next one (my third atempt). But the current caught my bow and turned me sideways. DOH!

Then it pushed me down over some rocks and I fell out. DOH!

It was more of a sit than a swim. Whew!

But the boat, carrying minimal flotation, settled right in to the pin . DOH!

It was a textbook boat rescue. Even with the 2:1 advantage it took three of us to pull that sucker out. Fortunately the only damage was a small crease in the hull and my pride. Whew!