Old Town Black Falls Canoe?

Today I went and bought my canoe. I initially was going to buy a Discovery 164. But no one had them in stock. And being impatient, I started looking at the other models available. I found a killer deal at Gander Mountain (a large sporting goods chain in the midwest) on a left over Old Town Black Falls 164 canoe. The price was hard to beat, so I bought it. Now that I have it home, I cannot find a single thing on the internet about this model from Old Town. Anyone know anything about this “Black Falls” canoe from them? It is a 16’4" canoe, all back, with gold pinstripe and gold Old Town decal. It is composite material, with what I believe is Ash thwart and carry yoke, and two web seats. The best I can tell, from the Old Town website, it looks almost exactly like the Allagash 164, but not sure. Is this some kind of special addition, or a model made for Gander Mountain only?

sweet !!!
congrats!!! old town has a cool new site they just made.

We took the canoe for a very short trip today. I love it. I did see they have a new website, but they have nothing on this model on the website. I did email them, but was hoping someone here might have info.

Just a wild guess but I bet it’s a “made for” type Old Town like you said. I just bought a mystery canoe that turned out to be a bastard child of Bell. Still a fine vessel

Sounds like a good looking canoe and could double as a solar oven if you leave it in the sun. Mmmm, hot biscuits for lunch.

Here are a couple pictures of the boat, for anyone interested.

I received an email back today from Susan at Old Town Canoe. She said the canoe is indeed a special edition, and is from the original Discovery 164 mold. Which kind of works out nice, since the Disco is the boat I originally wanted. :slight_smile:

The Allagash
line is the old Disco 164 and 174. They renamed them a few years back when they tried to discontinue the Discovery line. The Disco 158 was also renamed the Kineo and then later discontinued.

They had to bring back the D158 because they were loosing tons of livery sales trying to pedal the pathetic Ojibway in its place. The liveries did’nt want them beacuse they are next to impossible to repair being roto moulded.

The big box stores don’t like to compete head to head on items, so OT has gotten into the practice of doing special makeups like the rest of its Johnson Outdoor siblings (like Eureka). We win because we get a feature rich version (Special color and trim, upgraded seats, etc.) for about the same price as the standard D164. Gander wins because they have something that their competition does not and OT wins because they are getting canoe sales again.

The special makeup version of the Penobscot is a really good deal too. Dick’s sells the 16’ for less than $800.

nice looking canoe
has the ‘paint scheme’ of a black Charles River I saw last year. Think it was a Charles River. Stand to be corrected.

re: the demise of the discovery line
That is what I’ve heard also, but I expect Old Town is stretching the truth about the Disco164 becoming the Allagash.

The specs on my Disco164 give a 34-inch overall width with 33-inches at the 4" waterline. The Allagash is listed as 37.5 and 33.75-inches respectively.

The bow height remains unchanged, but the Allagash draws less draft and can carry more weight, which would indicate a flatter bottom.

The Old Town web site even alludes to “extra width at midship for additional stability”.

As anyone who’s ever owned a Disco164 well knows, additional initial stability only comes from loading on the weight or lowering the seats.

While the company boasted of the Disco164’s “straight-ahead speed, glide, and handling ease that have earned a string of national championships” and featured “a sharp entry to split waves and undcercut tough headwinds, a rounded bottom for agility and excellent secondary stability” the Allagash site merely says it has “true touring lines” and it is “a versatile canoe at an affordable price.”

I think they tried to turn the 164 into a kindler and gentler boat soas not to scare the bejesus out of casual day paddlers.

welcome to the fleet!
I still love my 164, so I’m glad to see it’s not dead.

Looking at your pictures I think you ought to know that if the roof rack straps are pulled tight enough to squeeze the hull downward (as your picture shows), over time your hull will “hog” (i.e. remain in the squashed-down midships position even after the straps are removed) and you’ll lose the 164’s sweet, straight keel-line profile.

It’s not serious and really doesn’t affect the boat’s speed or handling, but it annoys me to no end every time I see it.

And if anyone out there knows how to restore the hull back to it’s original profile I’d like to hear from you!

Remember: the rack straps only need to be taut, but not so tight as to squish the hull out of shape.

I think my hull got hogged years ago on a two-week summertime road/paddling trip – the same road trip I learned that plastic hulls expand and contract with temperature. This means the proper tension at 8 am might be way too tight at 1 pm in the afternoon.

Curious statement paddlingpals
"They had to bring back the D158 because they were loosing tons of livery sales trying to pedal the pathetic Ojibway in its place. The liveries did’nt want them beacuse they are next to impossible to repair being roto moulded."

I wouldn’t have any idea if Old Town discontinued and then brought back the Disco line… I really haven’t paid much attention to OT’s line-up for quite some time.

Meaning no disrespect paddlingpals, but I must disagree with your statement that Old Town’s livery sales lagged because of the roto-molded construction. OT has been selling roto-molded canoes to liveries for decades. As an example the Disco line was roto-molded. OT roto-molded canoes have been the most popular livery canoes for many, many years – and from what I’ve seen they still are.

Yes, roto-molded boats are next to impossible to repair, but they are also next to impossible to damage so badly that they’d need to be repaired. OT roto-molded canoes are among the most durable canoes ever built. I suppose a person could intentionally drill big holes in one, or built a camp fire inside one, or drag one behind a truck for several miles, but putting a hole in one during any sort of “normal use” would be next to impossible in my opinion.

I could go on to say that OT’s line of roto-molded canoes paddle like old claw-footed bathtubs and feel like they weigh almost as much… But far be it from me to say such a thing! ;^) But they’re tough as nails and about perfect for livery use and young strong beginning canoeists (who can lift them).

As regards the visual appearance of the Ojibway… Yep, that was fairly pathetic!

Just my observations. Randall

in this instance
I think the “roto-molding” process as relates to the Ojibway and the 158 is that the plastic was rolled over at the gunwales on the Ojibway to give the hull it’s strength (butt-boat style) while eliminating the extra expense of installing aluminum gunwales, deck caps, thwarts, and seats.

As to the Ojibway, I picked one up on a whim when they first came out because it was readily available and cheap. It’s not my favorite boat, but being built like a brick you-know-what it makes for a great working platform for my creek-clearing obligations, as errant sawblades and falling limbs merely bounce off the thick plastic. I can also lend it to anybody and not have to worry about it getting damaged. And, the third seat and flat bottom make it a great kids’ playboat when at the lake.

on the Ojibway

– Last Updated: Apr-04-06 3:09 PM EST –

everything is roto moulded and basically one piece. If you wrap one its all over, you can't replace the gunwhale and its very hard to replace the seats. Wrapping is main way boats are wrecked on rivers down here, very seldom is a hull puncture fatal. The first Ojibway I ever saw was wrapped around a rock almost turned inside out at the bottom of Presbyterian Falls on the Upper Mountain Fork in Ok. It was a week old and a total loss. A D158 would have been back on the water in a week, maybe not pretty, but it could finish the season.

I did not just pull the sales problem out of "you know where". That comes straight from the rental people (and I personally know about a dozen in TX, OK and LA)and OT's national sales people. Most tried a few Ojibways and passed on reorders. Some even went over to Pelicans (mistake too). Since OT announced the return of the 158 in the fall most have returned to the fold.

The Allagash
was a resdesign and not just rebadged when the change was made. The extra size also owes to a difference in material shrinkage. The old Cross Link or Discovery material that they used to use was supposed to have shrunk almost 6" in legnth after moulding, the Super Link shrinks much less. Comparing my '86 Disco (Cross Link) to a '97 model(SuperLink) of a friend of mine, you can definitely see a difference.

I can well imagine livery owners not wanting to mess around with the Ojibway model – for the reasons you mentioned in your latest post. I didn’t suggest that you pulled your information out of thin air – but I believe you did use the term roto-molding incorrectly.

The term “roto-molding” is a hull construction method developed by Lew Gilman of Old Town many years ago – long before the introduction of the Ojibway model. The term roto-molding is short for rotational molding.

If you’d care to learn more about the process of roto-molding you might like to read the book: “The Old Town Canoe Company – Our First Hundred Years” by Susan T. Audette. Pages 117-120 cover Gilman’s experiments that resulted in Old Town’s roto-molding process.