My Old Town Guide-147

Added a float to the rescue sling. Wouldn’t be good to be in the water and need to get into the boat and have the rescue sling sink. Put it in a zip-lock and will have it attached right beside my seat for quick access.

Anyone following along on the canoe loader I showed in post 19 I made a few minor improvements to it that make it much better in big ways.

I ended up not needing all the blocks I started with and removed the upper 3 that caught the upper gunwale as the lower 3 can do double duty switching from the upper to the lower once you get 3 steps up. In using it I stand between the car and the canoe and pull it up a couple steps. Then I duck under the ladder and come around and stand between the poles and push it the rest of the way up. I was alternating ends but going straight up is easier.

At the top the corners of the poles stuck up higher than the racks and I rounded those corners so now it slides right up. I also changed the rectangle step/blocks so that the down side has a 45 degree ramp. Now when I’m pushing up nothing can catch the gunwale slides up and over each block and only latches in the down direction.

I also saw an ad for something almost like this. Quite expensive and didn’t look as smooth to operate. :canoe:

The fruits of my labor are paying off I guess. The night before last I loaded up both cars and loaded both boats on the haul car and brought the cooler inside to put some stuff in the next morning. In the morning we had a nice breakfast at home loaded up the cooler with lots of water few snacks and a couple sandwiches, as they were predicting a hot one. Put on some sun block and drove to the put in near our house on French Creek in Cambridge Springs. We dropped off the boats and got asked questions from a couple guys there. One guy loved the idea of a wheeled dolly and when he saw me place the rec-kayak on top and roll them both down to the ramp with just one hand he was sold. The other older guy was very interested in the canoe ladder loader and then when he saw we both had extra floatation added to both boats he had more questions. We left the boats and shuttled the cars to the take out near Venango. Only 15 minutes by car. We returned to the boats loaded some gear and set out. French Creek has some remote areas but is mostly over this section followed by roads and there are homes and cabins here and there. We got to where Conneauttee Creek enters French Creek and decided to head up Conneauttee as I was told you could go a mile or so without too much trouble and then there is a beaver dam to cross if you want to go further. We thought we would just go to the dam and turn around. This was our first try at a small creek and this one meanders and takes many paths and joins another Little Conneauttee that also travels many paths. We have known these creeks our whole life as where they cross roads and such. We were not ready for the beauty they presented though and the truly away from anyone setting. We saw Beaver and Muskrats birds of all types including Bald Eagles, Butterflies and we came quietly around one bend to come face to face with a White Tail and her Fawn. We turned around at the dam and headed out spending a little over an our up there well worth the detour. Back on French Creek again we paddled another hour and found a shady spot and rafted up and had lunch and a cup of coffee that had never tasted better. We didn’t see another boat the whole day and only a couple people swimming off their dock that we chatted with a bit. We were on the water about 6 hours loaded up and headed home after a perfect day.

The OT canoe mods had me tracking great and we had a head wind almost all day to the point some places the wind canceled the current. The only complaint I have now is the 230cm paddle is too short and I’m thinking 250-260 is needed with this width of canoe and slightly lower seat height.

I also couldn’t get over how good her OT Trip 10 tracked and how well it glided thru the water. It was easy to see even though I did fine with the wind it was almost a non factor for the kayak. I know others call these bathtubs but I watched it split the water all day with hardly a ripple.

Many times I have read a slight hog to a canoe or kayak hull is cosmetic and doesn’t change the function. I have to disagree. When I worked the hog out of the canoe leaving the bottom mostly flat I saw some improvement. And then when I added the foam block under pressure below the seat it gave that flat bottom just a slight crown of maybe an inch or so. I can tell the secondary stability is a tad less, but at the same time it feels more stable with tracking and easier to paddle. Nothing huge but compared to an indent pretty noticeable.

I realized from another thread I posted to that I hadn’t posted any loaded pictures on the car with all the final changes I made to the rack and rigging so I will stick them in. Right now we seem to have it down to somewhat of a science and we both know what straps go where and we can get them on and off like we know what we are doing. The long extensions will hold 3 rec-kayaks or two canoes etc. The ends are painted blaze orange and yesterday was the first time I didn’t bang my head getting in or out of the car. Hopefully others walking past the car will not also and I only have them on when the boats are being used.

Looking forward to exploring more area rivers, creeks and lakes within an hour or two of home the rest of the summer. :canoe: :fish:

Nice job. I always thought the 147 was too small to be a tandem and worse you typically seem them as a rental with two adults and a kid or a dog crammed in them. It is a perfect candidate to be a nice solo. Only thing I would do differently is totally remove the old seating and invest in a more comfortable center seat and I doubt that you really need that thwart behind the center seat given how you have the seat bolted in. In addition to being a good fishing platform, you would have plenty of room for gear for overnight camping.

Thanks for posting. With this being my first canoe I didn’t know what I didn’t know when I started. The luxury of only paying 150 bucks used is you don’t feel pressure of screwing it up changing things. I have always believed learning by doing is the best way to learn as well, so that’s what I did.

I remember bringing it home and trying the two seats sitting in the yard the stern seat seemed ok but the bow seat was ridiculously cramped forward. I knew a little about balance and knew she would never be comfortable in the bow and soloing from the stern I would need massive ballast and who wants to paddle that around. I felt the molded seats were ok but the seat backs were long lost. Started off making some and that was ok and I messed around a lot trying to make it a solo with the option to take along another paddling it more like a tandem kayak. When I figured out she really wanted her own boat and the likelihood of me hauling another person was slim to none and it just wasn’t going to sit level and not get blown around until got the weight centered I committed to a solo canoe. Glad I did. Getting those two heavy plastic seats out was the best thing I did.

I agree I could lose actually two of the thwarts but they don’t add much weight when I got rid of the heavy wooden center yoke. I like having them to tie stuff to and how they make two cargo areas and the front one gets used mostly for the cooler.

We went thru a really low spot the other day and all the rec-kayaks were getting hung up and I went thru with a heavy canoe loaded with a heavy picnic cooler. There were several non believers at how little water I drew.

As to the center seat. I bought it on a whim at Walmart and I have seen a couple threads where someone was clamping them to a bench in a canoe and getting their CG way to high IMO. I stripped a couple pounds of junk off the bottom and got the height right and I sat in it for 6 hours the other day and was comfortable the whole time. That’s saying a lot as after 2 hours in my lazy boy watching TV is my limit. It will last a couple years max and then I will see what else I might upgrade to.

If I would have tried to use the Guide 147 as it was for even just this season I would have been looking for more of a pack canoe next year. As is other than a little extra weight I’m totally happy with it. 14’7” is just about perfect length/width for a solo all around workhorse. OT should take this shell and do what I did more or less and have an $800 bulletproof solo with a 250cm kayak paddle throw in. :canoe:

With the width of the Guide 147 being 38” and sitting at the widest part of the boat paddling with a 230cm 90.5” kayak paddle wasn’t cutting it. Not knowing how long of a paddle I really needed had me thinking 250-260cm would be better.

Rather than get into buying paddles and trying them I set out to lengthen the one I have. I got lucky and had some pretty heavy old tent poles and one had the steps I needed to make a center adapter I cut it and made it to give me 260cm 102” to start. Giving me close to a foot longer 6” each end. That should keep me from hitting the gunwales. I removed the snap pin from my Paddle and drilled a hole in the extension piece for it. Then I used 5 minute epoxy to glue the extension into the paddle shaft half and I can use the existing hole to lock it. I didn’t want any looseness in the connection so I gave the tube a double tape wrap.

It is as solid or better than the original now, and doesn’t look half bad. My hands rest just inside plastic handhold area so I might give that area some kind of grip tape maybe.

Hope to try it out this week if we get a day without rain storms. :canoe:

I ordered a new PDF that was on sale the other day and I think I’m going to really like it.
Kokatat Bahia Predator it is called, kind of a crazy name I will never remember.

Like most PDFs now they are made short waisted for people with kayaks with spray skirts. And if you are normal over 50 male they will want to ride up on you in the water and likely out of the water as well. Some people add leg straps and it is illegal to alter a PFD and I didn’t want to mess with leg straps so I figured out a way to add a (bellyband) without changing the PFD in any way and provide a three point pull down to keep the PFD in place in and out of the water. Two points in the back and one in the front. Cheap to do and comfortable to wear. The bellyband doesn’t need to be real tight and the strap to pull to snug it up is right there when you need it. The loop in the front is made from the left over material I cut off a buckle strap I used. They are a couple bucks on line. I stitched it quickly in the photo to test it and will take it to the tack shop today to be sewn.

I started a thread incase someone is searching for ideas like I was.

My old PFD was a 3 buckle Stohlquist vest and it was ok but not that comfortable. Will keep it as a spare.

The new one has some nice pockets and tie straps and will work much better for fishing on the Guide 147. :canoe:

The job is never over until it has a name. People have asked me what kind of canoe is that? Now I can tell them it is an Old Town Pink Flamingo. Only one in existence.


Well I started this thread in March buying the used guide 147 covered in snow. Had a fun time this spring getting her to my liking and a great summer taking in the local waterways.

We still might have a chance to get out a few more times but with the water cooling and not yet owing cold water gear the days are numbered. It has been a good first year of paddling for both of us and looking forward to winter activates along with planning for next years paddling.

I built off our boardwalk a cantilevered rack for holding the boats over the winter. Will likely add some tarp or something still after I wool wax them.

Here is a picture of that will be nice getting them off the sawhorses and being able to mow under them. also a picture of one of the last places we paddled.


Now that it’s fully winter here and I’m counting the days till spring and returning to our local waters. I have time to read threads of the lucky folks that live in the south that are still paddling. It also has me thinking about any improvements I want to make to the canoe for next year. I’m really pretty happy but for sure I want to add a foot brace bar. It can be a single position suited to my seat position and leg length, as both won’t be changing. I want it as light as possible and I think an aluminum tube like my thwarts only lower running across will be fine. I don’t want to drill thru the hull to attach it and wonder about gluing? So likely I will drop something lightweight from the gunwales down.

My knees are not the best and we have been doing more and more time on the water paddling 6 hours or so is not uncommon with a couple stretch your legs stops along the way. Getting in doesn’t seem to be an issue as much as getting out on sore knees. Getting old is no fun as I’m finding I remember the flexibility I had 20 years ago and it seems like yesterday. Getting out is not that graceful and as simple as it could be and also a little painful.

I think a higher seating position where in shallow water I could swing my legs over would be better. I know I could raise my seat and lose some stability while paddling, but really my seated height for paddling is about perfect and very comfortable for long periods. I think if I could get level with the gunwales to enter and exit it would make life in the canoe great and the stability would be good enough.

A fancy seat that went up and down would be cool but not practical. I see one company sells a sailing seat for canoes that really is nothing but a board with a couple clamps that sits atop the gunwales anyplace you want it. I gather when sailing you want to slide your weight off to the sides and being higher lets you lean more.

I was thinking of making a board like that with blocks on the bottom that would keep it centered roughly between the gunwales. I could scoot forward on my seat and place it behind my back and then use my arms from both gunwales to lift up on it, then swing out.

It might also serve double duty when fishing placed in front of me for a work surface.

After posting here and reading a lot it seems there are other older canoe paddlers with knee issues and wondering what you folks do.

Trust me I wish I could hop in and out of a boat the way I did 50 years ago.

Here is what I have now.

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Right on man. Adapting what you have around to suit your situation in a effective manner is a gift. I would do that constantly in the reef aquarium hobby. Really enjoyed the thread.

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I totally agree!

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Spring is just around the corner and we will be starting year two of our paddling.

Last year was a lot of learning and customizing our boats and hopefully this season we have ironed out the kinks and it will become more of a grab and go situation. I also want to spend more time fishing and using the canoe solo when she is at work.

One of the last things to customize on the canoe is adding a foot brace. I had one in it when it was still a tandem and I liked a solid brace/tube from side to side. I don’t need it to be readily adjustable as once I know where I want it I won’t move it.

I want to make it out of the same aluminum tube I made the thwarts out of and I really don’t want to drill holes that low on the hull to attach something even though I know I could seal them. I know it is a heavy boat already but wanting to add as little weight as possible.

I see they sell foot braces for inflatable kayaks that have large patches that stick to the sides. I couldn’t find anything like that for a canoe where a full brace/tube.

As a DIY with a 3 layer poly canoe like my OT would it be possible to attach something that’s maybe rubber faced to the inside of the hull with contact glue?

Any other ideas?

Here is a photo and the red line is about where I want the brace/tube. :canoe:

Last fall I wanted to get both boats off the saw horses and store them for winter. I picked the location where they would be safe and easy to keep an eye on them and be able to have a direct shot to the car when it came time to load them again. I felt outside winter storage was fine and opted to not cover them as I read more stories about covered boats having more problems with fading and such than leaving them out with a good coat of wool wax. I built the cantilevered stacked rack off the posts of our boardwalk from the house to the garage and stepped the racks putting the smaller and lighter rec-kayak on top and my heavier canoe on the bottom. It wasn’t a big deal loading them the kayak was easy to do alone and the canoe could be done alone, but was easier with two people and still not that easy. It kind of involved tipping the canoe onto the rack and then kneeling in the mud and getting my hands under the down side and lifting and sliding it on. Once they both were on it was great being able to rake leaves and push mow under them etc.

Fast forward to spring and getting the urge to tweak this and that with the boats and not wanting to drag the saw horses back out and fight getting one end of the canoe on the horse and then when picking the other end up the saw horse tipping over. Then the canoe is actually a little high to work on and then when I’m done fighting to put it back on the rack.

My lazy old man brain was thinking work smarter not harder and this is what I came up with. I made a couple one legged saw horse extensions for the lower rack that I can store in the garage most of the time and get them out and bolt on in about 2 minutes. I can lift the rec-kayak down or slide the canoe out and roll it easy as pie to the perfect height to fiddle with stuff. I can reverse the procedure and if I want to leave the extensions attached they flip up out of the way for mowing and such. Took me about two hours to do this and that included driving to the hardware store to get two .5” bolts and nuts. The wood came out of my scrap pile and seeing how well it works I think I will remake it with PT lumber at some point.

Here are the photos if anyone wants to do similar. :canoe:

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I have been working on my foot brace bar a little getting the urge to get out once the water warms a little. I had some plastic I made blocks from and tapped a .25-20 in them for SS bolt and washer and bent the ends up a little on an old aluminum thwart I had made last year. Right now the photo is the brace just sitting against the hull. My plan is to get some .25” thick rubber and bond it to the plastic blocks and then bond the rubber to the hull. The idea is the rubber will give a little forgiveness to the joint.

I had last year bought some Gorilla construction adhesive to repair some vinyl siding and in the past I had lots of problems getting vinyl to bond and this stuff was amazing. So I tried an experiment on the poly hull up under the deck to see if it sticks to poly. It worked very good there as well.

Nothing ventured nothing gained.

When I get it glued in and tested I will post an update. :canoe:

Just a thought, most footbraces are for the top 1/4 part of your foot , not your heels…One tends to push off the brace just below the toes for the 3 point contact area and creates more forward force…

This means knees splayed ,backrest, footbrace all used in unison…

Believe it or not, you can actually help straight forward progress with your feet centered on the brace…not at the ends of it … of course your paddleing tecnique comes into play

I seen in pack canoes with low seating and narrow hulls they use a brace similar to what is common in kayaks. My canoe mod is somewhat of a hybrid trying to be a pack canoe. My seat is much higher and I have been paddling with no brace and it is ok, it has much more knee bend than a kayak or even a low-seated pack canoe.

Maybe it is I’m used to our hot tub with the seats having heel pads to keep you into the seat.

With the knees bent more with higher seating I wasn’t shooting as much for heal location as mid foot.

This is a bit more like sitting on a bar stool having a beer than sitting on my touring bike with clipped into the peddles.

You are right I much like the bar over single location pads as I can move my feet around at different spacing.

I really won’t know until I try it. Another reason I didn’t want it too high is I didn’t want to risk entrapment under it. I have some industrial double stick tape I might just try that before I bond it solid as well.

Seeing as how I have been showing all things DIY boat and car related and my DIY loader and rack. Today i bought a new storm door for the house and the DIY rack made hauling it home pretty easy. Strapped it down the same as the canoe and it worked great.