Just got this old Old Town camper canoe. Need some help/advice if you can.

I got this canoe from my friends dad. He got it from a client that couldn’t pay his legal fees, got a bunch of mostly junk. But this canoe has no cracks or holes. I filled it with water and left it for 2days. Not a single leak.

About me. I’ve never been on a canoe. Theres a lake here in Los Angeles, Castaic Lake, that I would like to take it to and test out. I have no idea what I would need to take. I have some fishing poles, the canoe came with 2 paddles that are in good condition. As you can see from the pictures, it has no add on’s. Just the canoe and paddles.

It has a lot of marks on it. You can tell it was not treated well. Or it might just be old and had a lot of miles on it?

It’s 16ft long. It looks like someone added fiberglass resin on both ends, or maybe it came with?

I noticed that the seats are plastic, not webbing like some pictures I see when I type in Old Town Canoe Camper.

Any suggestions on what I need to buy before getting into the water?

A life jacket specifically for paddling. Wear it, don’t just carry it.

For your first time pick a near windless day. Wear your life jacket as suggested above.

The seats don’t lend themselves to paddling solo. If solo, you would want to flip the canoe around and paddle backwards out of the bow seat. That will be difficult with those seats. If you paddle it solo with those seats, bring 6-8 empty gallon water containers with you that you can fill at the waters edge and place in the bow of the canoe to offset all of your weight in the stern. If you like the canoe, replace those seats with webbed seats. That will likely make the canoe weigh less, be more comfortable and give you a better solo set up. Ed’s Canoe is one source for new seats.

Put your name and contact info on your gear to help the honest person who finds your lost gear return it to you, otherwise they are likely to become the new owners

Like ex-Rookie said, get a life jacket that’s made for paddling. A good one will cost a fair bit, but it will be comfortable enough that you won’t mind wearing it.

Also, check out some of the “how to paddle a canoe” videos on YouTube. Some are good, and a few are truly terrible, but after seeing a few you’ll get the idea which ones are by people who know what they are doing and which ones are by people who’ve been paddling wrong all their life and think they know a lot. For quick inspiration, check out the “Path of the Paddle” series by Bill Mason on YouTube, which are very very old instructional videos but quite good. You can get a lot of insight regarding how to control the boat by watching others, and the skills that make paddling in a controlled fashion possible and easy are not at all intuitive to start with.

If you can’t store the boat indoors, at least try to store it in the shade. As it is, the boat does have scratches, but it’s really not bad at all. That canoe has plenty of life left in it.

Yep, get life jackets (PFDs or Personaol Flotation Devices) first then WEAR them.

The canoe looks well used. Someone set it up for wilderness tripping with the kevlar skid plates on the stems. The scratches just show that it was used properly. The paddles are pretty decent ones. As noted, if you try to solo this you will need to load the other end … or kneel in the center braced against the thwart.

Thank you for the replies. Ill make sure to get jackets. I’m thinking of taking it to Castaic lake in Los Angeles. I live 25min from there. It’s calm waters. Last time i went there i was 9 and they were filming the first season of Power Rangers lol.

The canoe found me, maybe its the beginning of a new friendship.