Looking for a Canoe


I am looking for a Canoe to meet my needs.

I am a solo rider, and my 40lb dog will be tagging along. I also am an angler.

I am 6’0 and 300 pounds. I would like a canoe that can carry my weight well, able to be moved with one person, and extremely stable.

Total weight probably would be 450-550 with all equipment.

I don’t need an extremely fast canoe. But it shouldn’t be extremely slow either. I mostly won’t be going too far out.

Dry is pretty important too, or at least, a way to provide my dog with a platform off the water inside the canoe.

Cost… no minimum price, maximum around $1500. The $800 range would be ideal. Used is fine with me.

Thanks, I appreciate feedback.

old town camper

Or maybe
an Old Town Tripper.

You’ll be happy to…

– Last Updated: Apr-23-14 9:01 PM EST –

Know that your estimates about what you'll need to spend are about double what you actually need to spend. I am not your size and I don't paddle with a dog, so I can't really suggest a particular boat (although, from what I know about the Old Town Camper, I agree with the previous poster that it would probably be a good choice.) I also know there are lots of canoes out there that would also be excellent for your needs. The only thing I can tell you for sure, though, is that you don't nearly need to spend what you think you do. You should be able to easily find a suitable canoe for $800 on craiglist. Finding one for $600 might take a week or a month. $400 would be a very good deal but they're there if your lucky and/or willing to make a longish drive. I'm picking up a boat that would probably work for you for $400 in a few days. I'll have a nine hour drive and $85 in gas into it too. So- whatever you do— Please don't spend $1500 on a canoe for your particular needs. Cut all your numbers in half.

In the Old Town 17’ or so canoes, if I sit on the back, do I need to put like, 300 pounds of stuff in the front to balance it? Or should I buy a seat to put in the middle?

You would paddle the boat backwards, and use the seat that used to be the front seat. It moves you closer to the middle. The Tripper is a symmetrical design. Not all boat are. I’m pretty sure you would not want to paddle an asymmetrical boat backwards.

I know the Tripper has been recommended, but I think I’d want a 15 or 16 foot boat just to save some weight. The Camper is 16 foot.

Mohawk and Mad River
Mohawk’s Nova or Intrepid are both 16’ long, and should be plenty stable for your needs. I used to have a 16’ Mad River Explorer that (inspite of it’s shallow vee hull) was very stable.

All the boats suggested so far are Royalex. I’d don’t remember anything from the original post that required it. If not, then your options open up quite a bit.

Old Town options
I have both an OT Camper and an OT Penobscot. They are both similar in length, width, and weight and would both hold you and the dog. From my experience, the Penobscot will be faster and track straighter than the Camper. The Camper will feel more stable, especially sitting still. The Penobscot has great secondary stability. I’ve never tried healing the Camper over the gunwales, so I can’t speak to that. I’ve never tried a dog in either. I’ve never fallen out of either. At about 60 lbs each, I wish they were both lighter.

At 6’4” and 300lbs, I’ve been searching for a solo canoe that fits me well, so I can appreciate your dilemma. I’ve converted an OT Penobscot 16 into a solo and have really enjoyed it. You could just paddle it backwards, but I actually installed a new seat aft of center. As a larger paddler, I appreciate the width and room the Penobscot affords me. Plus it seems to track pretty straight with a J-stroke.

I like the Penobscot better for speed and tracking than the Camper. However, if you do a lot of fishing, and the dog is getting in an out, and you aren’t trying to paddle very far or want to go too fast, then the Camper is probably a good choice for you.

In a similar category, Wenonah makes a Kingfisher model that is a wide, flat bottomed boat like the Camper, but Wenonah makes it in lighter composite material than the Royalex of the Camper. I often see Campers for sale used, I’ve only ever seen one Kingfisher for sale. So in my area at least, the Kingfisher is scarce.

Probably camper
I’ve owned and paddled both a Penobscot and a Kingfisher. The Penobscot would probably be a bit twitchy with the load and the dog that was specified. The Kingfisher would be an overkill when it comes to stability and it is also slow. The Camper would probably be the best of those three.