Illegal Old Town Pack

Its too wide to use on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway legally.

I only brought this up because last Wednesday this happened

The restricted area is below Churchill Dam. Gosh someone complete that other 700 miles and some obscure regulation gets in the way (in the name of tradition).

The reasoning makes NO sense and the Pack actually a pretty decent boat for the Allagash.

are the dnr that anal?
would they measure your boat? how bout a 28.5" center thwart?

Weird. As a one time race boat
inspector, I think it is better NOT to go by a tatio or table system, but by common sense. There are times when an “arbitrary” decision by a knowledeable person is better than a mathematical rule.

They would never disallow any OTC
canoe anywhere in Maine. No way. Not gonna happen. Rules be damned.

Same old story
People who have no knowledge of a particular craft etc. making up rules in the legislature. In the case of the Allagash, maybe as long ago as 1965. We just went through this in MA where our elected officials, instead of people that know better, were trying to define a “canoe” and a “kayak”.

I had a long email exchange this spring with Allagash authorities about using a traditional 1940 sailing canoe and I got nowhere fast.

Absolutely stupid.

the scale doesn’t even make sense
as the shorter boats should be allowably wider to maintain proper stability.

apparently they dinged the paddler in the news story on having too short a boat (9’ kayak).

silly laws
Who writes this crap? Geez, talk about dumb laws.

If the DNR can’t tell a canoe by looking at it they have no business at all being in that job. Go back to being an clerk it’s apparently what they are good at, if anything.

And here I thought the DNR in my state was dumb.

Bill H.

too wide
Most 14’ tandems would be too wide, the Old Town Guide 147 is 38" and all the 12foot tandems are around 40" wide, Sportspal, Old Town Stillwaters.

Guess my Minnesota IV at 23’ long and 34" wide is safely narrower than the 55" allowed.

I hope that the Northern Forest Canoe Trail includes this information in their trip guide, i have never heard of it, nor one of my friends who has done the Allagash multiple times.

Thanks for bringing it up,


28 foot canoe is legal

– Last Updated: Aug-16-10 9:18 AM EST –

and it can be over 67 inches wide!

now hauling that sort of beast...anyone ever SEEN a canoe of that width?

Not to mention how it doesnt fit Chase Rapids twist and turns.

Anyone paddling the NFCT should read their whole website. The advisory is there

The stated goal of the rule
is to “maintain a traditional experience”.

It appears to me that the desired outcome was to exclude rafts and inflatables of any type. I wonder if an Adirondak Guide Boat is outside the 20% rule?

If “maintaining tradition” were the true goal, why not extend the rule to include nylon tents, especially those that are not earth tone? I dunno. Seems arbtrary and capricious to me.


In a perfect world the OT Pack would disappear from our waterways because it is a horrible hull: overweight, floppy, improperly outfitted and poorly designed.

Bath Hauthaway’s original was MUCH better, and it wasn’t too good.

That said, I’d rather it went away due to discerning paddlers rather than a completely misguided, maybe idiotic, DNR.

odd rules.
I understand the no motors thing, but why ban inflatables? Why have such strict rules about width for given lengths?

I have trouble seeing how these regs could possibly achieve the stated goal. So a wooden canoe that was a little wide for its lenght is illegal, but a brightly colored plastic one that is within the size specs keeps things looking “traditional”?

Probably the beer party tubers
and inflatables arent “tradition”.

But lets look at the dimensions of Nessmuks craft…if that isnt traditon I dont know what is. The reg is blatantly discriminatory toward lapstrake pack canoes. Their flare makes them incredibly seaworthy…and illegal.

George Washington Sears would have been booted off the Allagash.

I emailed BPL
and lets see what they say. This oughta be good. I mentioned old lapstrake canoes and how they cant meet the width to length ratio.

If a lapstrake pack canoe is not tradition… I will eat one.

Seems like any brightly colored
plastic or composite boat wouldn’t be “tradition” either, but I don’t see anything against them in the regs. A sea kayak isn’t “tradition” for these waters, but they still seem to be allowed by the regs. It seems like a mostly arbitrary and silly reg. Are they trying to run a recreational waterway, or a really badly anachronistic living history museum?

Here’s what I find amazing:
I can’t believe that anyone would have tried to paddle the entire NFCT in a Perception Sparky! It isn’t exactly an expedition boat. Talk about uncommon perseverence! My hats off to her…there is no way I would have attempted a through paddle in that boat. I’d love to read her story.


It’s great that she did the whole NFCT in a Sparky. After reading the endless posts about what canoe is the best and which kayak is superior to the others here’s a paddler that just gets in the boat that she has and goes for it.

There are way too many people on sites like this that take themselves to seriously. Too many of us are dilettantes, and will deny it to the end. Many of the folks on this and other sites are enamored with the thought of “being a paddler” and really don’t want to put in the time and effort to become really proficient at the sport.

There’s something to be said about enjoying an adventure for it’s own sake. I love it when folks just head out on a big trip with no pretenses, no plans of self promotion and only an expectation of having a good time and an excellent journey. The paddlers that I really respect are people like Cathy Mumford who remind me that it’s not about being the first, or the fastest, it’s about the experience and personal satisfaction .

touring kayak!
now whenever someone asks for a recommendation on a “touring” kayak for multi-day trips, I am going to recommend a Perception Sparky :slight_smile:

Paddling what you have
I listened to Warren Richey talk about completing the 1200 mile race around Florida. Somebody asked him how he had selected the kayak he paddled, which was a fairly ordinary, completely stock, sea kayak. Loved Ritchie’s answer. He said when he decided to enter the race, he had two boats. One was the sea kayak that he paddled in the race. The other was a Grumman, and he said he knew that wasn’t the right boat. Process of elimination.

I know women for who one of their most important boat selection criteria is being able to carry the boat. Given there are portages on the NFCT, perhaps having a small and manageable boat was important to her. Or, maybe her other boat was a Grumman.