Found a late 70s Old Town Chipewyan in vintage royalex for sale near me. It looks like it’s in really good condition and a reasonable price. I’m considering getting it and converting to a solo tripper, since I don’t currently have the funds for a dedicated solo. Dimensions are 14’10 long and 36” wide, but I’ve heard it’s possible to squeeze the gunnels together to loose an inch or two. Weighs 58 lbs. Does anyone have any experience with this specific model and can comment on its performance? I have heard they had the tendency to oil can a lot. Any insight on the canoe itself or thoughts on pursuing it as a solo conversion would be super helpful, thanks!
I did it with a 14’7” OT Guide and love it. I didn’t pull the gunwales in and at 38” wide I use a 260cm kayak paddle and love it. My guide wanted to oil can as well and I added a foam block under the new center seat support.
That length makes a great solo.
I used to make fun of short wide canoes. Now I am older and just want to paddle an OT Tripper.
Picked one of those up locally a few months back so my brother and I could obstensibly do a mr340 with it. Those foam core seats that are almost flush with the gunnels make it feel fairly tippy to most of the family who’ve tried it out. I was surprised by how little initial stability it seemed to have for as wide as it was. While I reckon with a heavy camping load in it it would be more steady, I’ve started thinking about lowering the seats in it. Since it currently only has a single 1" wide thwart in the middle where the yoke should be, I’m going to make some more robust thwarts for it. Was contemplating making them a bit narrower to pinch in the gunnels a bit to see if it helped stiffen up the bottom.
You can probably pull it in to about 32 to 33 inches, but depending on how it was stored, it might be brittle. I would squeeze it in from about 18" in front and back of the center at the same time to lessen the strain and keep an eye on the front and back end caps as they may hump up or break. I assume you plan to remove the front and back seats and the thwarts too before you start.
I converted a royalex Bell Morning star to a solo and I was able to get it down to 30" from 34" without a lot of difficulty. I am also playing with an ‘85 Old Town Otter 14’ WW canoe. I had it pulled into 28", but when I change the outfitting in it over the winter, I am going to let it out to 30". It was about 34" when I go it , but OT told me it should be 30".