Help On Canoe Choice

-- Last Updated: May-03-07 6:38 PM EST --

I owned several Royalex white water boats years ago in my younger days. I am now 60 yrs old, in pretty good physical condition, and paddle my kayak often. I want to buy a canoe for solo or tandem use in very slow rivers and swamps and occasionally light class 1 & 2 white water use. I want a Royalex hull, 16 ft boat. MOST of the use of the canoe I purchase will be in very slow, flat water rivers and swamps. I am considering these canoes: Old Town 16' Penobscot, Mad River Explorer 16', or the Old Town Camper 16. Any comments or advice on these boats would be appreciated.

where are you
Its best to try and maybe if we know whereabouts you are we can direct you to some demo days.

I think you would be disappointed in the Camper given you have experience. Remember its like a bicycle, You never forget all of it. Camper is wide and flat bottomed.

Penobscot(58 lbs) is nice up to Class 2 I have seen it pushed in 3. Its a little fine ended though and a wet ride in 3. A really nice poling boat too, which shows you it is stable enough.

The Explorer

15 (is it still around) is going to be the easiest to solo. 16 foot is doable but its going to have more windage.

Ever consider Swift boats?

Ezquif has a new 15.5 footer in their
heat-blended polypropylene fabric and resin. Seems to be tougher than Royalex and much lighter. If you buy the new boat in basic black (Ugh!), it weighs about 50 lbs. They will paint it if you want, but it adds about 6 pounds.

It’s an expensive boat, and adding interior attachments can be tricky, but (at my own age of 64) I know how important light weight can become.

Amen, at 58, after paddling and loading/
unloading a 60+ lb kayak, my 39lb Sandpiper feels like a feather.

But, of the ones

– Last Updated: May-04-07 5:36 AM EST –

you mentioned and the paddling you plan, wide and flat bottomed sounds like it'd be good, meaning the O.T. Camper. Don't need a Ferrari to get the groceries, if you get my drift.Friend of mine (beavertail), about your age, does better than he thinks in the cl.2 with his camper from what I've seen. Of course the others you mention are good boats too in my opinion.

Penobscot, Explorer, Camper

– Last Updated: May-04-07 9:53 AM EST –

There's another thread with comments on the Penobscot and Explorer.
My experience with the Camper is that it's about as slow and steady as the Explorer but not quite as dry in waves. Not a bad poling boat. Because it has a (very) shallow arch hull rather than a V it sideslips a little easier than the Explorer. For the same reason it's the most likely to be blown about by the wind.

For what it's worth these are all 70+ lb boats.


What Canoe?

– Last Updated: May-04-07 5:38 PM EST –

At 62 I still paddle my Mohawk 16 and will pass her on to the grandson/daughter if I ant buried in it. But I would let money be my guide on choice. Everyone has thought of Old Town but there are to many boats and no time. Mad River is a good boat and a self repairable one but so is my Mohawk. The difference I felt in my Mohawk was in the thy straps I had a better place to attach in the webbing. In paddling the boats my thy straps allow me more room to lay out over the water and brace enough to pick up the boat out of the water. Of course my weight plus boat wasn't long to begin the gravity process but I still could have avoided a person or rock. The three point stance can become more that to knee's and a butt to adding a low brace layout with two knee's and a paddle. This is with no lost of equipment from boat. I still can run 14' vertical drops on the French Broad River. But everyone needs to spend a week/weekend with the French Broad.
Life above the water line is for off-gassing

she is my Electric Coop. Always keeps me turned on!

I keep telling my wife that I have to pay her monthly so she won’t shut me off.

Yes I have paddled her too. Nice and smooth and can keep me excited for hours on end!



Bell Morningstar
We have a Bell Morningstar, which is Royalex and 15’6" and I think weighs 57 lbs. (The hubby carries it).

He has no problems loading it on top of our F250, 4x4.

We have had this canoe a little over a year now and we go only tandem in it with our 10 lb dog. We paddle mostly FL streams/rivers, but we have also done the French Broad in NC, and soon to do the Edisto in SC. Since we live in FL though almost ALL of our paddling is done here.

We like this canoe very much and not having paddled too many other brands, I can only say that this works for us.