Anyone out there paddled this canoe? Haven’t seen any product reviews posted anywhere…
I haven’t paddled one, but from the OTC web-site I’d say it’s short & wide and weighs a ton. Being made of OT’s Polylink it’s almost bound to end up with a severely warped hull with exposure to sunlight. It would be way down near the bottom of my list. My 2 cents.
style over substance
They've given the boat the lines of one of their classic boats, but it still has a relatively flat bottom, which only exaggerates Royalex's natural tendency to oilcan. Sadly, outside of the Penobscot 16 and 17 (and their intentionally over-priced wood boats), there aren't many canoes in the OT line these days that stand up to the competition.
If you're looking for a plastic design with some character, check out Wenonah's new Prospector replicas in Royalex. Much finer attention to detail, imho, and in the same price range as the Charles River.
Original Charles River…
I have an original 1914 Old Town Charles River wood and canvas canoe that is a joy to paddle solo and is surprising fast heeled over and paddling from the center.
I don’t know how Old Town comes up with their new designs. But the new version is substantially deeper and wider, probably flatter in the bottom too. The original would probably feel “tippy” to rec canoeists today.
My 16 footer is only 12 in. deep and 32.5 inches beam compared to new 14 in. depth and 35 inches wide. The bow profiles are similar.
Interestingly, the original wood canvas weighs about the same as the royalex version - 65 lbs.