more advice on used canoe purchase

Hello. I posted questions about a used canoe last week, but that boat sold.

I have just found another and I wonder if anyone has an opinion. It is more than the other boat, but includes more equipment.

Here is the description. Asking $799. Should I do it or wait for something better?

Rugged vinyl gunwales, ash carrying yoke and thwart. Water-draining raton web seats. Made from lightweight, rugged Royalex. USA.

Dimensions 16’L x 36"W. Depth 13".

Capacity 900 lb.

Weight 59 lb.

Excellent condition. Water tight. Some superficial scratches on bottom of hull from use in shallow streams. Comes with 2 ash beavertail paddles, 1 small paddle, car-top carrying kit, and lifejackets.

Thanks again!

But wat is it?

– Last Updated: Mar-26-11 8:19 PM EST –

Old Town, Mad River, Wenonah, Coleman........?????????????????

oops- canoe is an Old Town Camper 16’
I forgot to mention that the canoe is an Old Town Camper 16’

Is this a good size for a family of 4 with two small kids?

Personally, I would find it a bit small
for a couple with small children. But you could get by, as long as you are careful and conservative with the kids on board.

It’s not a state-of-the-art design (see Esquif Canoes) but doesn’t have any serious faults either.

The design and the 36" beam may make it hard for you to paddle solo.

canoe needs
Thanks for your thoughts. In the beginning at least, we’ll be using the boat for lakes and ponds in our area. I’m sure we’ll eventually want to use it for overnights and such, but perhaps we’ll be able to upgrade by then. I don’t think we’ll be doing too much actual soloing at the start.

Thanks again.

OT Camper be a decent canoo…

– Last Updated: Mar-26-11 8:35 PM EST –

fer wat yer want ta do. Ok price wit all dem accesoories included. Yer might want ta haarstrade a bit though.


The price…
…isn’t out of line if it is in excellent condition.

Some things about the Camper…

It has a flat bottom. That means it will feel very stable initially, on smooth water. But the flat bottom wants to do whatever the surface of the water is doing, so it can be less forgiving on rough water than a shallow arch or shallow vee. It will feel very stable until leaned to a point where it will suddenly go over. For comparison, something like the OT Penobscot, while it may feel tippy at rest, will resist tipping the more it is leaned.

The flat bottom also makes it more difficult to make the boat track straight, especially more so than a shallow vee - and it will be more susceptible to being blown about y the wind.

And it will be relatively slow, compared to someting like the OT Penobscot.

None of these things makes the Camper a bad canoe - they are just things to be aware of.


Because of the flat bottom, it will use less draft than other hull shapes, so is more suitable for extremely shallow water. And it will turn fairly easily, even though it lacks rocker.

If your kids are very small, it should handle the weight fine on calm water. The Camper can handle quite a bit of weight, so long as you don’t challenge it’s limits in handling.

We used a Camper on the local class 1 river with no problems, paddling and poling, before we moved up to more lively designs. Not a bad place to start, and an easy boat to re-sell if and when you decide to move up in performance.