Mostly Solo Canoe recommendations

OK, I decided to expand my search parameters a little bit here. I was looking at the Old town Discovery/Guide 119 and the Pack. Brand loyalty, availability, weight and price were all factors. But I have gotten some feedback that hey might not suit my needs all that well. Let me describe what I want:

A canoe to paddle solo or with a 30 pound toddler on board. Lakes and ponds. Fishing. The only wild-card is my 12 year old daughter who i would LIKE to have come with me but has no INTEREST in doing so.

I’m not interested in a 70 pound plus boat. I’m not interested in a boat hat cost over a thousand bucks (less is better, the guide is like 400 brand new) and, well that;s it.

Any suggestions?

Pack and 119 are too small…
…for what you’re planning. You’re going to have to give on either price or weight if you’re buying new and sticking to Old Town. You didn’t say what your weight is, but if you’re average, the Stillwater 14 gets you closest in that line. Fits everything else but $150 over your price limit. A used Osprey would also work for you.

You might find a used Camper for a good price, but on lakes it will get blown around worse than just about anything. A Charles River would be a little better, but not much. A Penobscot would be least effected by the wind, of the OT 16-footers - but a beginner probably won’t be comfortable fishing in it.

Buy used?

I doubt that when the 12 year old
turns 13 she will suddenly develop an interest in paddling. It usually seems to go the other way when teenagership hits.

The toddler will do fine for now in either the Pack or DiscoMite.

It usually works best for what is likely to happen rather than what you hope will happen.

i’m fat
and the Stillwater is over TRIPLE the cost of the boat I was looking at! I can buy two and tow the boy behind me!

I’m not oppsed to Used, but then I’m at the mercy of the market for both price and what’s available. I looked at that boat you linked to but that’s too much cake for a used, out of production, 75 pound boat. I have the USS Grumman available (up north) if I need that kind of space and weight, so the “small” boat has to be noticeably…smaller. (mostly weight wise.

And NO; it does NOT have to be an OT boat! Not by any stretch.

Thank you guys for your input so far!

I didn’t link to any out of production or 75lb boat, and neither did anyone else…yet.

Stillwater - 56lbs.

Osprey 57lbs.

Camper - 57lbs. (lots of used Campers from time to time)

Penobscot 16 rx - 58lbs.

Wenonah Aurora that Tktoo linked (a very good boat, BTW) - 67lbs.

We’re all at the mercy of whatever used market we’re in, but patience will find you a boat in that class for a reasonable price. $400 is a little limiting in what you might find, but not out of the realm of reality. If you are okay with aluminum, there are plenty of Sportspals and Raddisons floating around in that range that pop up in the ads now and then (at least in my area) and the 14-footers are under 50lbs.

Or listen to Kayamedic and just plan on the toddler for now.

not you
the other link. I looked at that add on CL last night (and a hundred others) and AFAICR that boat is an out of production model and wicked heavy. That still water you mentioned is great, just SUPER expensive. I know that I’l have to budge from four hundred bucks, but from 4 to 15 isn’t a budge: it’s an earthquake!

The toddler and me are the primary concerns. The 12 Y/O is on the “wish list”.

You are mistaken.
The Aurora is currently still in production. Weight listed as 67lbs - probably slightly more since that one has added skid plates. He’s a little high on the price, but if it’s in excellent condition, it’s not unreasonable.

You might also be on the lookout for a Wenonah Heron (15’).

Have you seen these?
Have you looked at the Class Five Boats website? I can find little info on these canoes except that they make the 16’ fiberglass offered by Mohawk. The company is located NW GA, almost in TN. They offer a little model called the Dolphin 14- in fiberglass it weighs 45 lbs, claimed max load of 450 lbs, & is ~$600 brand new. It should be great for you alone, or you & the little one, & get by if the older girl should change her mind. It is a bit narrow, beam a bit under 30".

Of you win the lottery, you could get the same design in Kevlar, weight substantially less, for about twice the money. :wink:

The kicker? They have no dealer network, so you gotta pay for shipping. How much to ship? No idea- but you could find out with a phone call. I bet whatever it is, you would come out Way under your cap of $1000.


They look cool!
Other than being a totally un-known quantity. We have a local company (less than a mile away from my FIL’s house in fact) called Bear Creek that is closing out their 12 foot two-person boats and makes some nice looking canoes in general. Only problem: a little heavy. OK, a LOT heavy.

So far I like the Penobscot 16
of the choices listed above and I bet you can get a good used one for under a grand.

I have a 16ft Penobscott in My fleet. I paddle and pole it with My 82 lb Yellow Lab Molly. It is very stable,I can pull Molly back in the boat in deep water,no problem. I found mine for $600. I can stand up and fish easy.

I’ve owned two Penobscot 16s and love them, but I wouldn’t consider them to have a whole lot of initial stability. Secondary stability is fine, and they are great canoes, but I’m not sure one would fit the OP’s requirements all that well.

Like many people, the OP is looking for something that doesn’t exist. All canoe designs are compromises that lean toward one use or another. No dedicated solo will do well once the toddler gets a few more pounds or is actively moving around in the boat. I’ve had other people in my solos a few times for short periods, just to ferry them from one side of the river to the other or something, and the canoe becomes VERY shaky with some weight in one end that’s not balanced by weight in the other end. Personally, I wouldn’t be comfortable with a 30 pound toddler in any solo I’ve ever owned. And as for the older kid, forget it.

The price he’s willing to pay absolutely forces any choice he makes to either be a used boat or a really cheap boat. In that case, just get the 119, make sure the toddler has a real good life jacket on, and go for it, knowing that in a year or two the toddler will have gotten too big for the boat but the boat will still be a serviceable solo and can be sold fairly easily in order to buy something else to fill his needs at that point.

Slight modification to that comment
I have ferried adults in a solo canoe by having them kneel right behind me. Works pretty well.

I once carried a 5-year-old boy for quite a distance by having him kneel behind me. Whenever he’d get bored, I’d pick up some speed and then crank the boat into a 180-degree turn in about 1.5 boat lengths, leaning hard over the side on my paddle blade. The boat handled just fine, about that same as with a 50-pound pack of gear.

The kicker is, kneeling right behind the paddler works fine but probably isn’t the greatest long-term solution to the problem.

The Problem is
that the OP likes Canoes but is stuck with these stupid Kayaks. He’s not running rapids or taking them camping (he would LOVE to do that but doesn’t know where to do such a thing). He ways to take his kid/kids out for a paddle (even then, I’m still paddling solo!) and do some fishing. He has tried soloing his Grumman and it went…poorly. He had a 12 foot Radison that was so wide in the middle that it was in posable to paddle and was made out of something like aluminum foil. The 140 weighs 55 pounds or so and is a PITA to get onto of the Cherokee, so adding another 20 pounds on top of that is an un-appealing thought.

Yes, I want something that doesn’t exist, and I want it now! I’m going to have to make a compromise on something and price seems to be it.

A little give on price and/or weight
will get you something serviceable.

Bon Chance!

The right conclusion.
I think you’ve reached it. Compromise on price and you can usually get what you want.

Not exactly your neighborhood, but
looks like it might be a good boat:

Morningstar RX for $600 here.

I’ve spent a lot of time in one solo or with one or two 75-pound dogs. You would need to add a kneeling thwart or third seat.

Those Morningstars are sweet
I think you’d be well suited to a smallish tandem that easy to solo, like the Morningstar. Bob’s Special is another that comes to mind, if the Morningstar deal passes you by.