new canoe

My wife and I are looking to get a second canoe.We have an Old Town Guide which we like but are looking for something lighter. We are not spring chickens any more.

Get a…oh, wait
Well, no one has answered because you gave us absolutely no information, and thus we can not evaluate your needs to suggest a boat. No boat does everything well, so without knowing how you’re going to use it we cant tell you what to look at. Im bored at work so Ill throw you a bone…

You need to answer: how are you going to use it? Small lakes? big water? narrow streams? open rivers? any whitewater? camping? one night or ten? just day trips? will you be paddling in the wind or only on calm days? where will you be paddling? how much speed do you want? how much stability do you need? will you bring a kid or a dog? will you fish? take photos? Whats your budget? will you buy used or new? what is your ideal target weight? how much do you guys + normal gear weight? how much experience do you have?

answer some of those and we will give you some answers. Also, you can just search on here for “recommend a canoe” threads. this has been discussed 10,000,000,000 times and you can probably find a similar questioner.

Also, my smart ass response to your question with no context is a Wenonah Jensen 18’ in Kevlar Ultralight layup with internal skid plates. You’ll have to find one used or have it custom made by them (its not currently offered but they still have the mold and will make one by request)

New boat
How about a Kevlar boat or at least something in fiberglass under 16 feet?

Or maybe add a canoe trailer.

Lots of lightweight boats
Most manufacturers have lightweight versions of their boats. Just remember… the lighter the more expensive! The ultralights also do not take abuse quite as well.

Look over the Wenonah tandems.
Just about all of their tandems are going to be faster and lighter than an OT Guide. If the prices of their Kevlar flexcore and ultralights make your wallet shrink, consider a tandem in Tufweave. Tufweave is a very durable layup, makes a nice, stiff boat, and is lighter than Royalex in the same or similar designs. Easier to repair than Wenonah’s Kevlar layups.

Yeah, we could do better if we knew what sort of paddling you want to do.

To be fair
All you ripping on him for not posting in additional info should note that he’s not asking anyone for any opinions or suggestions.

how much lighter weight ??

– Last Updated: Jan-22-13 3:42 PM EST –

...... your OT Guide 147 weighs about 76 lbs. .
An OT Penobscott 16 RX weighs about 58 lbs. , and other Rx canoes in the 16' class weigh in around 60-62 lbs. .

Composite canoes in the 16' range can get lighter yet , perhaps anywhere from mid 40's to low 50's .

With added length and a bit narrower than your Guide 147 , other canoes will glide better per stroke which can make it seem you are lighter on the water .

If your paddling use is going to remain similar to what you presently use your Guide 147 for , then you should find a good selection 16' class (plus or minus) recreational or touring canoes in either Rx or a composite ... but both cost more than a Guide 147 , and the composites maybe 3-4 x's more .

I think 1200. bucks for a lighter (50 lb. or so) composite "used" is a reasonable figure to anticipate ... others could chime in on that .

touche! Although he just made a statement in his post. I think “recommend some light weight canoes for me” was implied.

And we have to give him a little light hearted harassing. It sounds like he doesnt know what he doesnt know. A light ribbing will just impart some knowledge. Or at least be some entertainment for the forum regulars.

More to his point, Im a Wenonah (more so Jensen designs) fanboy so look at anything from them. Used probably, unless you want to spend $3k. I like almost all their boats ive paddled so without knowing more we really cant say much.

The original poster just said he has an Old Town Guide. They made two plastic hulled guides, a 147 and a 160. In wood canvas they made Guide models from 15 feet to 18 feet. All are heavy. Which does he have?

The Penobscot 16 is 58# with aluminum gunnels and cane seats. Its listed at 63# with vinyl or wood gunnels and the rotomolded seats add another 5-6#. If he is looking for lighter weight he will need to watch the trim options on royalex or fiberglass hulls since they might make the difference between manageable and pleasureable. Kevlar or Carbon Fiber hulls are light enough that options should not make a killer difference in weight, just cost.

For my two cents worth, a 16’ Wenonah Aurora in Kevlar Ultralight would give him a very light canoe that with be close to either the 147 or 160 Guide in stability and more efficient to paddle.


you’re correct , which OT Guide ??

– Last Updated: Jan-22-13 8:15 PM EST –

...... surprised I was when I went back abd re-read the OP !! In my mind (I guess) I had already thought the OP answered that question ... I had the Guide 147 in my mind .

In any case , it takes response and participation from an OP or all who try to be of help in some way are just wasting their time . You know as well as I very many OP's who ask a question , never have the curtosy to respond to their responders ... hopefully kevinj will be different than that .


– Last Updated: Jan-23-13 10:41 AM EST –

The Swifts seem to be the lightest available. They infuse and have integral, foam and fabric rails and will, if one uses the key words "Matt Finish, will skin coat above a champagne gel waterline patch.

I suppose the prospector series would be closest to the OT Guides, but the 16 foot Kee at 33 lbs is their best seller, and there is a reason for that. Kinda tough to pick w/o paddler weights, gear, length of trip, dog, etc, questions being answered, but limited vacation time have ~ put paid to 18 footers.

WeNoNah has an array of 16 footers too, skin coat with aluminum rails but wet bagged, so heavier and more variable in weight.

Hemlock makes a nice 16 ft Eagle, hand laminated with wood trim.

I haven't seen a new Mad River tandem in years and Bell has been gone about as long, so choices diminish.

Us old timers love our Wenonah
ultralight, kevlar, 17 foot, 39 pound Jensen.

It is great for rivers, lakes and swamps.

Jack L

can you build one?
There are a few classes where you can build your own canoe. Some wood canoes and especially skin on frame designs are very light. If you are retired or semi-retired and live near one of the places that offer this it might be worth looking into. At this school you can build a tandem skin boat under 40 lbs for under $1300.

Many DIY kit boats are much lighter than standard plastic or fiberglass canoes.

Another option is folding canoes like the Pakboats (53 lbs for a 16 footer):