Old Town Allagash 164?

-- Last Updated: Mar-15-07 9:40 AM EST --

Hi all. My wife and I are new to canoeing. We recently ordered two canoes, one Allagash 164 and one Allagash 174. The price was right on them. I'm curious to know what ya'lls opinion is of these canoes. Are there any particular traits we should be aware of on them before we take them out. We'll be using them in lakes and slow rivers for the most part. We'll be camping out of them and we'll have 2-3 children with us in the boats. What do ya'll think of them? Were they a wise choice for our purposes?

Thanks for your opinions,


good choices
I think the Allagash are pretty much the same design as the OT Discovery models, just changed the material in the construction. Both will be good boats, stable and can carry lots of gear. They are on the heavy side compared to many other makes out there, but should work well. I have a Discovery 174 and am very satisfied with it, tough and runs along well. Just hard to put on a car/van top with no help.

the venerable disco 164
I believe the Allagash moniker is the same boat as the discontinued Discovery 164, which was my first canoe.

A great boat, although it can be a bit tippy for beginners.

When you don’t have her loaded down with the overnight expeditionary gear for which she was designed to carry, I would recommend you take the time to lower the seats a couple of inches.

The lower seats will improve your paddling stroke and improve the hull’s initial stability which will reduce the hull’s twitchiness that makes inexperienced paddlers nervous.

happy paddling!

The Old Town web-site does not list any models named “Allagash”. Perhaps this is what Old Town now calls the Penobscot 164 and Penscot 174??? Old Town (like many canoe companies that have been swallowed by big corporations) changes model names like some people change socks… Anyway, if they are the “Penobs” they’re made of roto-molded plastic which Old Town calls “Polylink”, this is a hull material pioneered by OT some 30+ years ago. It’s a very tough hull, almost indestructible. This is the hull material of choice for many rental fleets in the USA specifically because it’s so tough.

Old Town canoes are known for their user friendliness. As beginners I’m sure you’ll find them as stabile as just about any canoes on the market. As beginners I imagine the only negative you’ll notice straight away is that they are very heavy.

Note: to varying degrees Polylink hulls tend to warp (some very badly, others less so). I’ve never seen an Old Town Polylink canoe with any age on it that wasn’t warped to some degree (I may tick off some OT owners by saying that, but that’s what I’ve seen in hundreds of livery canoes). I’m of the opinion this warping may be caused by exposure to direct sunlight while in storage. I’d say store ‘em in the shade or better yet indoors. Of course indoor storage is highly recommended for just about all canoes except aluminum.

They have the same hull shape as the Pen
obscot. I believe they are a discontinued model. I am getting them from http://www.ozarkcanoe.com/

And, they provide the following link to the canoe: http://oldtowncanoe.com/canoes/expedition/allagash_164.html

So, is the Penobscott a good hull design?

I think there is room for confusion
Old Towne’s marketing folks must have chosen to rename Discovery 164 and 174s as “Penobscot 164 and 174s.”

At least they didn’t rename them “Appalachian” 164 and 174s.

Read up on the Discovery 164. I don’t thing you’ll find anything to object to, except for maybe the weight.

Clarion verifies that the 164 and 174 are renamed Discoveries. As such they are not the same basic shape as the Penobscot 16 or the Penobscot 17. The main difference is that they are wider, less sleek designs. This cuts into their hull speed, but also gives them more initial stability. Good steady boats, tough as can be, will serve you and your family well I’m sure. Enjoy.

agree again
the Penobscot is/was a sleeker boat, not quite as stable as the Discovery. When the Allagash came out a few years ago I compared the dimensions/weight/cargo with the Discovery and they were identical except for the material it was made of.

So, the Allagash will be a stable boat?
So, what I’m hearing is there is a little bit of misinformation from the link I gave with regards to which canoe the Allagash is similar too. The link indicates it’s the penobscot. But, ya’ll are saying it’s the Discovery. If the dimensions are the same as the Discovery’s, which they appear to be, then I think we’ll be just fine. I need all the stability I can get being new to the sport. Thanks a bunch to all of you for helping me with this. Any other pointers or suggestions you can impart will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again everyone,


Name confusion…
The Old Town website list the Penobscot 16 & 17, which are Royalex, and the Penobscot 164 and 174, which are PolyLink3. The poly models are a bit wider, almost 20 pounds heavier, and roughly $400 less expensive than the Royalex versions.

The Discovery is also back in the lineup.

If any corporate fat cat types…
…actually read these forums and are the least bit concerned about “unit sales” down in the lowly watercraft division of their mega-corp this thread might serve to enlighten them as to the hazards & pitfalls of renaming their products willy nilly. T’was “Discovery”, then “Allagash”, now “Penobscot”…

The 164 and 174 hull designs and hull material have no relationship to the “other Penobscots” except name and the fact that they’re all “pointy boats”. What??? Confused??? Me too. Change the model names left and right and you leave the buying public bewildered in the dark.

But who cares it’s just marketing… Of course it’s BAD marketing… but who up at the top of the heap really gives a damn? Certainly not the suits at Corporate! …or so it would appear…

Puts me to mind of a certain pipe smoking rabbit…

Argh – I’ll shut up now. - Randall

To unravel the confusion,or cause more
The 174 is a unique Discovery hull. Angled stems, hull flare throughout, shallow arch bottom. It was designed as a kit boat( and was sold that way in the beginning) and the hull was designed to be stackable without the trim. By any name, its the same canoe

The 164 Discovery/Allagash/anyothername, is a Penobscot 17 done in polylink instead of Royalex. Like the 169 Discovery which came from the Tripper, in the translation from Royalex to Polylink, it loses size. A factory rep told me years ago that they used the same hull dimensions, the Polylink just shrinks more as it cools from molding, so the 17’2" Tripper became a 16’9" Discovery, the 16 Camper became a 15’8" Discovery, and the 17" Penobscot became a 16’4" Discovery. The shapes do appear close enough to make his claim believable.

Both are stable,durable, easy paddling canoes. Actually the 174 & 164 are the best paddling of all the poly canoes I have paddled. Just darn heavy.


Penobscot 16
Not sure if this will fit in but I found the Penobscot 16 very very tippy.

I checked the OT web site again.
I decided to look at this a bit closer. Here is the link to the Allagash 164 and 174: http://oldtowncanoe.com/canoes/expedition/allagash_164.html

And, here is a link to the Penobscot 164 and 174:


Now, if you look at the dimensions and materials they are identical. The Penobscot page is out of the current OT web site.

So, I guess, my question is does this settle the debate as to which canoe is which. And, is this a good thing? Will my canoe be stable for my purposes, or tippy? Easy to paddle, or a barge?..etc.