Old Town Discovery 133? Drift Boat?

What can anyone tell me about the Old Town Discovery 133?

There is one for sale locally made in 2016 for a good price. It is a short wide canoe with 3 seats and comes with oars and oar locks with I think a 40” beam.

Is this kind of a cross between a canoe and a drift boat? Are they paddled backwards? The OT info says they can be polled also or paddled or even double bladed.

I don’t need another boat but if it has a different use than how my OT guide 147 is now set up as a solo canoe or if it could be used as an extra boat for guests or when I wanted to take the two young boys along it might just be worth adding it to the fleet.

Fat and slow. Rowing canoes is awkward.
You can do much better.

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Thanks for the reply. It looks pretty interesting for fishing or hunting out of as it has to be a very stable canoe and short enough to throw in the back of a pickup. the straight sides and flat bottom gave me the feeling it might be hard to row and so wide that a double blade would be tough from the center. Looked to be a step up from a Jon boat though for similar tasks.

I made the guy a pretty low offer for a boat that almost looks new. Who knows if it sits around all summer he might let it go. My guide147 is fat, wide and heavy also but i think the chines help some with paddling.

The 133 was originally designed as a fishing boat for drifting on a river or on a pond. But according to people I know that have had them, they paddle like a pig empty and like a pregnant elephant loaded. The Discovery hulls are a bit better in quality to your Guide, but that particular one is not a good choice. The 158 and the 169 are both solid as demonstrated by the number you see in rental fleets. If you want to up your solo boat, I would find a 158 and convert it. I had one for years until I upgraded to my Bell.

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Thanks for the review. I’m in agreement. I see it has a little bit of a keel protruding off the otherwise flat bottom and it made me wonder if the length / width caused some tracking issues as well.

I love the guide 147 as converted to a solo. For me it is the perfect length and albeit I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but it tracks fine using a double blade and I don’t seem to have any issues keeping up with all the rec-kayaks I paddle with and in some ways I can go thru shallower water than they can. Once I got those clunky seats out and the center yoke and added thwarts weighing much less than the seats I took out it became a very comfortable all around boat for me. Sure I wish it was 30-40 pounds lighter, but I can live with the weight.

The discovery 133 I was thinking of as a spare boat for guests and also a boat that I could get my two 50 pound nephews in with me and get them started a little. I can see I wouldn’t want to stick a guest in a hard to paddle boat and the two boys will outgrow this boat pretty fast and I can squeeze them in the guide 147 for now sitting on a low box with a pad.

Will keep my eyes open for a good deal on a couple rec-kayaks for company.

Maybe the worst canoe ever made.

That statement says a lot.

It is odd it is still in production and odder I could find some negative reviews mainly concerning rowing it. When I first saw it listed used I thought it was odd the seller said it came with oars and oar locks but his photo showed what looked like single blade canoe paddles.

For the most parts the reviews are mostly positive and it seems people buying it are one new paddlers so I can take with a grain of salt their opinions of what paddles well, but I also find quite a few that seem to know what they are talking about and say it is not light and not fast but as a hunting or fishing canoe they were very happy and a few liking it for the stability to pole from or stand and fish. I read several reviews where folks were double blade paddling it with between a 260-280 cm paddle.

I will trust your advice, but have to wonder if it doesn’t quite reach the worst of all time mark.

If you want something cheap and functional that will work well for guests or to take the two kids out, watch for a Mad River Adventure 16, their oddball plastic hulled canoe that is almost like a canoe/sit on top hybrid.

My ex boyfriend had a OT Guide 146 that we took out frequently but after renting an MR Adventure 16 on a vacation trip to the Florida Gulf Coast, we were sufficiently impressed with it in terms of speed, handling and comfort to watch for a used one locally. They tend to turn up for under $400 and are pretty much indestructible – I found ours on Craigslist for $300 and the seller threw in a pair of paddles and an electric trolling motor (most of the more recent models have a mounting point for that molded into the stern). They have a nominal middle seat for a third passenger. Only drawback is the molded in seat supports prevent kneeling. We used it quite a lot on both flatwater lakes and rivers and on open Class 2-3 streams (like Redbank Creek and the Red Moshannon) and it behaved very well and was fun to paddle. Can feel wobbly to newbies but has good secondary stability if you can get them to relax and not overcompensate.

Heavy, but if you are paddling tandem (or triple) you have extra hands to launch and load anyway. I did manage to wrestle it onto the roof of the Mazda myself when I picked it up from the seller.

I sold my share of that canoe to him when we split but have considered picking up another one if it shows up cheap and local, since it was a great beater and loaner. I have friends with dogs and kids who have expressed interest in joining me on paddling outings and it might be handy to have another one. Though my desire to share my paddling adventures with friends and family by expanding my fleet does enable them to avoid outfitting themselves with their own boats and gear – I struggle with that issue sometimes.

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There is a 158 in what looks like nice shape listed now for $500 on Pittsburgh Craiglist.

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I thought Mad River Canoe made the Adventure

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Ah, you are right. My goof. Correcting.

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When I first got my OT Guide 147 I was pretty excited. After a couple tries at using it as a solo and also a tandem I was pretty disillusioned and thinking about unloading. The only reason I ripped into it is I had a lot of covid time on my hands and that I only paid 150 bucks for it I didn’t have much to worry about. IMO they built a very nice solid and somewhat indestructible hull albeit heavy. The way it was outfitted to a new buyer looked quite nice and may even be nice for a couple small people. Two bigger folks forget it and paddling it solo was almost a total no way.

Gutting it and building back as a solo pack-like boat for a bigger guy I feel turned out pretty nice.

I will keep my eye out for a Mad River Adventure 16 and might even look into the one down your way. Not a unreasonable distance from my location.

The OT discovery 133 I found a bit of an odd ball but it reminded me a lot of my Guide 147 in how it was made except shorter and wider. My first thought was could it be retrofit similar to what I did making a true solo and how it would work for river floats and flat water paddling. Without the chine hull of the 147 and being wider I get it that that it has a lot of primary stability and the cost for that is going to be pushing a lot of water and likely not tracking as well. I read a bunch of reviews on them and it seemed good enough for most hunters and fisherman. The rowing part of it I just didn’t really get.

I’m with you on having spare boats for friends and family and them enjoying it but then never having a reason to buy their own. We have a couple friends we paddle with and they have 4 in their family but most of the time the older daughter is no longer along. They have about 8 paddle boats total and they are constantly loaning them out to friends without. They have told us many times just ask if we have out of town friends in need of a loaner. He often ends up hauling them as well as he has a trailer and pickup. I’m just a person that doesn’t like to borrow all that much.

I can picture me in the center seat of the Adventure 16 with a boy in each of the seatback seats me paddling with my 260cm and giving them each a small canoe paddle with a tether attached. I think they would stay more involved with a paddle and having them separated by me would be a plus. Keeping the first few paddles down to around an hour max would be the way to keep them interested and wanting to go again.

It would be nice if you could swap the bow seat with the center seat. From your photo the hull looks pretty much the same at each location.

Our Adventure 16 was an older model so it did not have the snubbed stern (for easier trolling motor attachment) nor the fancier seats with the fold up backs. The newer models for the past 10 years have those features, as you can see from the Mad River catalog listings. I think ours was a 2006 or 7. We never tried to paddle it with both of us sitting backwards but sometimes on lazy slow drift trips I would turn around backwards in the stern to prep snacks or sandwiches. – there were no seat backs on ours.

The center seat is quite a bit smaller than the bow and stern seats – since I am not familiar with the new seats I don’t know if you could attach a seat back (or swap them from the other locations – they have had some different seat versions year to year). I imagine it might be possible to rig something and you obviously have the motivation, creativity and tools to do so.

With nearly a half ton capacity you can haul quite a bit in one. The odd gunwale with the tumblehome and sort of recessed lip (like a giant cockpit coaming) does make it easier to paddle without banging your knuckles if you are a smaller person like me. I used to use a 230 cm Werner kayak paddle in the bow and my partner used a 240 in the stern.