Old Town Canoe Question

First…Hello I am new here.

There is a Old Town Discovery at an auction. They say it is 14’6". I do not see a model that size on the Old Town Page.

So is it an older model?

Would this make a good tandem canoe and maybe a dog? I plan on flatwater and slow water that may have minor rapids in it.

Is it a good versatile canoe?

I figure I can get it for not much money at the auction.

Any advice is appreciated.

not sure
but the shortest Discovery I have heard of is a 15’8". Not saying they didn’t make one though at one point.

14’6 may be a tadd small for tandem in anything but calm water, but experience may make a difference. Sounds like a lot of fun for going solo.

OT Discoverys
OT Discoveries are made as cheaply as canoes can be made. They are designed to be stacked for shipment rather than on-water performance, and usually weigh much more than listed.

While most agree there is a logical progression from entry level to advanced designs, the Discovery Series counters that with hulls that may well cause beginning canoeists to abandon the sport entirely.

suggestions then?
What canoe would u suggest then?

Old Town has retired a number of …
… modles , renamed some others … try clicking on product support on their site page , then click retired modles … I’m reasonably certain that not all retired modles will show on that page … Old Town is pretty good about responding to email corrospondance , but better yet give them a call yourself personally … apparently there was a Discovery modle designated 133K (13’-6"), tandem seating and 38" wide … I would say 14’-6" length is not unreasonable if you are not tall or larger team , some friends of mine are not tall or larger people , she is about 5’-4" and he is just a bit taller , both are thinish and they would fit well in a 14’-6" but in my 16’-9" it might be like a bus to them ?? … so I guess I said that to bring a comparison point up that you could get an idea about , “how you think your team would fit” in the 14’-6" … what do you believe you might be able to get the canoe for $$ , at the auction because that’s always a factor ??

other info
I am 6’1 205. Wife is 5’6 130. I figure i could et it for a couple hundred

Steve, I would strongly urge you to get
a longer boat, if you are going to paddle tandem, sometimes with a dog. I just don’t see how a short, wide boat can make a decent tandem canoe. Except for whitewater tandems, I would never advise anyone to buy a tandem less than 16’ long. There are some clever designs shorter than that, but the Discoveries are not it. See if you can pick up a used 16’ Penobscot. The glide and handling will be much better.

That is too small a canoe for you…
with your heights and weights.

Get one that is a minimum of 16 feet.

You won’t be a happy paddler with it unless you are paddling it solo.



Nothing Wrong with a Discovery
Except that they are quite heavy.

To Charlie’s point there are many better paddling canoes. But for an inexpensive, nearly indestructable boat that you don’t plan to carry far the Disco is hard to beat.

And yeah 14’ 6" is small for 2 adults and a dog. I’d look for 15’ 8" or more.

is like a family sedan. Certainly not high performance, but it will get you and the dog out on the water, is nearly indestructble and actually has a decent resale value.

I absolutely agrre with the pther posters about this one being small, though. Something in the 16-17 foot range would suit you better with two paddlers and a dog.

Discovery Sports
There were several square stern Discovery models and this 14’6" could be one of them. I have the old Old Town catalogs at home and will check for you. There was a Guide 147 model that may have been sold in some areas as a Discovery. It is very stable and somewhat heavy. It is a good starter canoe due to its stability, but it is a pain to carry and it is slow to paddle.

Charlie Wilson is a bit rough on the Discovery models; some paddle as well as the wood canvas canoes their dimensions were taken from. Only the 174 and the Guide models with angled stems were designed as “stacked shipping” models. The 158 is the Royalex Camper made in polyethylene, the 164 is the Penobscot hull in poly, and the 169 is the famous Tripper model in poly. None of those is a bad paddling boat or has bad handling characteristics. The 174 was sold at first as a kit boat, You took home the hull, the gunwales, and a box with the seats, thwarts, yoke, hardware and put it together. the hulls were stacked for shipping with all the accessory boxes inside the top hull. Saved on shipping costs to the dealer and was designed to compete with the Coleman canoe at the mass retailers. The 174 paddles better than any Coleman, and many of the 17’ royalex boats by other good Manufacturers. It is just heavy at about 85#.

Get a look at that Discovery to see what its shaped like. If its a square stern model, pass on it. It will be very heavy 95-105# depending on length and a really slow barge to paddle. Rows much better.


OK , from my vantage point …

– Last Updated: May-29-08 10:53 AM EST –

........ you have the perfect canoe team in terms of size and weight !! ........ I'm your height but 30 lbs. lighter , my lady in the bow is 5'-9" and wieghs at least 70 lb. more than yours , so our team isn't ideal trim ......... we paddle a 16'-9" Expedition(Discovery) , she's learning from scratch at present and I am her chaperone mostly with experience enough to handle all but the meanest winds without her assist if nessasary ......... you will have ample power at your size to be a chaperone as well in even the longest boats when desired , her main strengths to the team will be the crews eyes and maintaining cadence stroke rythm which you will follow her lead ......... for $200. or so you can't go wrong with that Old Town , you could probably sell it for at least $100. more any time you wanted , Old Town boats are very popular for a lot of good reasons despite what others may say to the contrary ......... 14'-6" is at the minimums length wise for your team as far as I'm concerned , but I would go for it and enjoy it as a starter without hesitation if this is to be your first full fledged canoe experience in which you will be learning and expanding your horizons ....... in time you may desire a larger and/or more upgraded style boat but you don't know that yet ......... I've paddled Old Towns in a number of modles from 14'-7" to 17' and liked them all ......... I personally like a longer boat the most , even 18'-20' would be neat because I don't have a need to do anything more than keep the boat going forward under control , how fast doesn't matter to me ........ many go on and on about lightweight boats , sleek fast design lines and such , higher end canoes etc. , they say it's easier to paddle them than a barge and makes all the difference in the world , I have to disagree with those and that line of thinking because paddling a fully loaded barge is no more work than a thin sleek light boat because the stroke is always one of maintnance to boats movement not requiring heavy presures , you just end up going a little slower ..

Thanks for the advice everyone!

If you buy the boat …
… please let us know how all this wonderful advise stacks up to what you were expecting , lol … if you don’t buy it , let us try to advise you some more until we are sure you are in the water in something , anything , lol …

OT 146K Diso…What is it worth??
They made the 14’-6" in 1990-1992. Follow link to see a catalog scan.


What would anyone think its worth?

it was actually a pretty ok little boat
Of the Discovery series, it was one of the nicer hull shapes. Proportionate beam to length, and fairly nimble. We bought one for my in-laws to use on the canals in their subdivision down in Fort Lauderdale.

In terms of value, depending on the condition, somewhere between $150-300. New, we were selling them for $495 (back when oil was $11 a barrel or so…).

Another vote for a longer boat
14.5 feet is too short for a tandem canoe unless the paddlers are much smaller than average. In fact, when I was in college and did numerous canoe trips in aluminum canoes, we had a choice between 17-footers and 15-footers, and even for a pair of lightweight college kids (100 to 120 pounds for the bow paddler and 140 to 170 pounds for the stern paddler), the 15-footers, though the basically same design as the bigger boats, were absolute DOGS on the water. NObody liked to paddle tandem in the 15-foot boats.

I would have to agree with Longer
Though still fairly new, I took all of the boards advice to get my OT fiberglass Canadienne 17’6 canoe that I found for $750 in pristene condition at Canoe County Outfitters in St. Petersburg, FL… We paddle with myself ~165, wife 130, and daughter in the center at ~70lbs. This boat paddles very easy, is fast, and is very maneuverable in choppy and windy waters, as we have found a few times paddling Tampa Bay and Terra Ceia Bay. You can’t go wrong with an OT, but I believe that the extra $$ is more than well worth the extra boat that you would get in a canoe over 16’. Likewise, as stated elsewhere in this thread, you would definitely be able to recoup your $$ invested if you would decide to upgrade to a longer boat after your purchase. I once again thank everyone for their encouragement for me to buy my canadienne, it is certainly a great canoe, and I’m glad to have it as my first that I will probably have for a long time to come.

Old Town Cascade
Could it possibly be a Cascade?

I own a 15 ft MR Explorer (14’9")
and don’t find it too small for paddling tandem with my two dogs for a day trip. I wouldn’t consider doing that with too much gear, but it’s a great size for recreational paddling. It paddles better in the wind loaded. I’d suggest,though, to spend a little more money and try to get a canoe that weights less. I have a 18ft Kevlar canoe that I can put on my RAM 3500 by myself. You’ll do a lot more paddling if the canoe weights less. Try lifting the canoe you intend to buy over your head. If you can’t handle it solo then that will limit it’s usefulness unless you intend to only paddle tandem.