I purchased an old town canoe at bass pro in Springfield, Mo. It was a plastic one and I didn’t know it I thought it was fiberglass like corvettes and no maintenance. I received no maintenance litature with the canoe and after about 2 years of storage outside in the sun I noticed severe cracking in the hull due to no vinyl treatment, as simple as that would have taken care of it but I was unaware of it. I notified bass pro and they said talk to old town and I did and old town said to talk to bass pro, I got the first class run around and my advice to anyone buying a canoe is to stay away from old town and bass pro, they are not good people to deal with. I got the run around for over two years and figured out they were not going to do anything about it so I gave up. Any take on this subject???

I feel for you but…

– Last Updated: Nov-15-06 6:43 AM EST –

the boat should have come with literature attached or loose in a package which should have told you about the material and the maintenance.
I would chalk it off to a life learning experience.

I noticed no profile: Kind of makes me wonder about a troll post!


old town canoe
i’ve had an old town discovery that i’ve kept outside for over 15 years with no problem whatsoever. i had another one that developed a blister in the hull approx. 1 foot in diameter. i carried it back to the shop i bought it in, who called old town and even though the canoe was out of warranty, they replaced it free. sorry that you’ve had a bad experience, but mine has been quite different. -harry

you didn’t get a runaround

– Last Updated: Nov-15-06 11:41 AM EST –

...from Old Town, at least.

The procedure, if you have what you believe to be a warranty issue, is to contact the dealer first, since the dealer is who Old Town and most other builders counts on to inspect the boat and advise them as to any problems. If Bass Pro employees told you to contact Old Town, it was probably becaue they either A) didn't know that they were supposed to be the ones taking care of it for you, or B) didn't want to bother servicing the product they sold. My money would be on "B."

However, you don't HAVE to deal with the original seller. My recommendation is to find an independent retailer in the area who carries Old Town and knows something about canoes and take the boat in for them to take a look at. We have a rental fleet of polyethelene Old Towns that sits out on our rental rack every year from April through November, and even on the boats that are 5 or 6 years old, we've never noticed any crazing or cracking in the poly skins of the boat.

If you can tell us WHICH Old Town model you have, we could give you a lot more information, btw. While Bass Pro clearly didn't know what the boat was made of, I'd suspect that many of us here can tell you.

I’ve had GREAT customer interaction
with Old Town. They told me how to maintain a used Royalex boat. Very helpful with parts, etc.

I could have brain fog, but I think Old Town provides dealers with packets that go with new boats. Maybe a dealer could tell us if this is still the case.

If the boat is only 2 yrs old, you may have a complaint. However, storing a vinyl/Royalex boat as you described is not recommended. Try using some 303 to rub out the lines. If it’s only cosmetic, that may help.

Old Town
I bought a RX Penobscot 16 a few years ago. The first trip, I discovered it was very tail heavy when portaging - 2 quart canteens needed to hang off the front end to balance it. I complained to Old Town, they asked a few measurement and balance questions, and suggested I move the portage yoke about 10". I didn’t like that idea. They wrote back asking what dealership they could ship a new replacement canoe to for me.

The dealer was unhappy, as they ended up ‘stuck’ with getting rid of my old canoe. I don’t know the financial arrangements between them and Old Town, but I know they sold it for $600.00, so I wasn’t sure what they were griping about.

I was very impressed with the Old Town customer service. They took good care of me in spite of not much cooperation from the dealer who had just sold it to me new.

I’d suggest a new contact with Old Town, spelling out your situation and dealer experience.

cYa, Jim

Sounds like a polylink 3 hull. I’m

– Last Updated: Nov-16-06 12:55 AM EST –

sruprised to hear that it has cracking. A friend with a Loon 138T has had his 7 years with no cracking, not much care either. I've no idea what kind of care the previous owner of my Loon 138 gave it, don't think he used 303 or anything else. Most likely, its surface cracking, but there may be a material defect. As for care instructions, Old Town provides them on the website . Interestingly, the advise using Armor All, 303, or Pledge, but don't say if the Pledge should be lemon or other flavor. Of course, Pledge is an SC Johnson product, the parent of Johnson Outdoors of which Old Town is a part.

I’ve bought several Old Towns
and have never had a problem. It is my understanding, and been my experience, that all new Old Town canoes have an Owner’s Manual and warantee registration card attached to them. In fact if I have one complaint is that the tape residue from the tape used to attach them is hard to get off the hull.

It seems odd that your’s didn’t have the material attached. That makes me think that it truly wasn’t a new canoe - perhaps one that was returned. It may have looked new but maybe someone bought it, stripped off all the materials, used it once, and returned it.

Besides, it should be the dealer’s responsibility to make sure that the information is attached. They are the final “check” before possession of the canoe is taken by the customer.

I believe this is a dealer’s issue.

Ditto to Ken’s comments

Definitely a dealer thing.
I am an Old Town dealer and one thing we are big on is handling problems like yours for our customers. If it is a warranty problem, I would have contacted my factory rep and had him inspect it. I agree with others that this is not normal for an Old Town poly canoe. Usually a manufacturer responds pretty well when a large dealer says there is a problem. They know that if they don’t keep the dealer happy with warranty solutions, that they might not receive an order next year from that dealer. There is always value in paying a bit more to buy from a specialty store who is there for you when you need it as opposed to a “big box store.”


Western Canoeing & Kayaking

Abbotsford, BC

troll post?
What’s a troll post? Whatever it is I think you may be right. Fiberglass Old Town? Severe cracking in two years? Can some expert in polymers and physics weigh in and say whether this hypothesis is viable?

Something smells wrong.

On the other hand, Bass Pro is usually
pretty good at handling customer complaints.

Old Town cust. service…
I have been a advocate of Old Town for years. They offer outstanding cust support, and stand behind their products. I recently wrote to them asking for a fix for the seat of my Loon 138 (6 yrs old). Without hesitation the shipped (free) a brand new seat to me. 4 years ago, while kayaking a local river in winter, my buddy punched a hole in his Loon 120. We brought it back to the dealer, who in turn returned it to Old Town, who replaced it no questions asked. An outstanding company. Seems the problem lies with your dealer.