Old Town Discovery 133

Good morning. Does anyone have experience with or an opinion on the Old Town Discovery 133. I am looking for a canoe for duck hunting and fishing. Something that I can handle alone on and off the water but that will also accommodate a second person.
Everything I have read lets me believe this maybe the boat I am looking for, but some thoughts from actual hands on usage is more valuable for me. Thanks.

Are you looking new or used?

It isn’t the heaviest boat, but there are way lighter options. I solo a 16’ OT Carleton (1970’s) and it is a beast, although amazingly stable.

I recently sold a OT 119 because i found it tough too enjoy. The seat position was way too high, making it feel very tippy.

I am looking at new. In my area the only thing you find is beat up and patched old canoes that are priced at 75% of what a new one would be. Mostly Coleman (too big,too heavy) and bashed up Sports Pals that are almost inside out.

I have both a 119 and a 169, so both sides of that size but not the 133. The hull material on the Discovery series definitely makes them heavy for their size. But my 119 is in the mid to upper 40’s in weight and at 74 years of age I have no trouble handling it.

One thing about them is they are close to indestructible. I have had my 169 for about 30 years and have really abused it and at times neglected it. But every time I clean it up and refresh it is presentable and does it’s job.

My 119 has proven to be a good fishing and quiet water paddler. It took me about an hour to replace the seat with wood seat with a webbing. At the same time I moved it forward about 4 inches. That did a lot to improve handling.

Both are very stable canoes. But the 169 would probably be too much canoe for what you want and the 119 not quite enough.

Oldboo, an old, well used Discovery 133 was sitting, for sale, in a nearby yard. I thought ‘why not?’. It was very inexpensive. It was handy because I could leave it near the shoreline and drag it into the water. Otherwise, it is heavy. It is wide. Very wide (41 inches). It is cumbersome. Car topping it was, for me, an unpleasantly gruesome experience. I’m old.

For fishing, it may be ok. I could stand in mine (pole it). It was like paddling a ‘brick’, though, when the wind piped-up.

If anyone contemplating buying a Discovery 133 is planning to carry much weight, or paddle tandem AND carry some cargo, I would recommend a longer, less beamy canoe. The Discovery 133 is ok when paddling light. But when adding weight, it lowers its short length hull deeper, and sooner than would a longer hull. The higher waterline (41 inch beam, again) adds a lot of resistance. It makes it less maneuverable and requires more effort to paddle it as well. A longer hull will distribute the weight better, float higher and remain more maneuverable. The wind will always present other challenges.

If you are buying a new boat, there are so many fine choices out there. If polyethylene is your material of choice, Mad River Canoe Journey 158s or Old Town Discovery (158s also, I think) are both tough as nails. Both brands offer a longer boat; Journey 167 or Discovery 169.

For polyethylene fishing hulls, and paddling solo, the Discovery 119 might be worth a look.


Thank you. That is exactly the information I am looking for. You don’t see honest opinions like that in a review.

Thanks. Durability is important and I think you are correct that I would need a canoe somewhere in the middle of what you are running.

I didn’t realize that the 133 was that wide. 41 inches is way more than even my 169 at 36 inches. The hulls are definitely a heavy material but a hull that wide would seem to contribute to awkward handling.

Even as heavy as my 169 is at about 95 pounds I have worked out a system where even I can manage to get it loaded on the roof of my Jeep. My 119 is no problem for me at all. As I said I am 74 and not particularly strong.

But as has been pointed out there are lighter weight options out there. But you probably have to pay a good bit more for them. There seems to be a fair number of Discovery’s that show up on the used market. I got both of mine used. Check with any nearby canoe liveries at the end of a season.

Definitely lighter options, but you are looking at around $2500+ if New.

My heavy old town isn’t terrible when just going to a local lake, but when I have to portage it, it’s heavy enough that I risk injury to my already bad back. The first time I picked up an ultralight (13lb wee lassie), it felt like a joke. Two fingers.

I have a 30ish lb 14 footer being built right now. Sure it was expensive, but I will never have to worry about hurting myself to go paddling again.

I agree with you completely. And a bucket list project of mine hopefully will be a Wee Lassie II stripper.

But the OP said he wanted it for duck hunting and fishing. He just wanted to be able to handle it. Possibly not much portaging. But I have even managed to drag my 169 a good 50 to 75 yards over terrain that was reasonably level with only minor obstacles.

Super light weight is not really a major factor for me. At the moment I am dragging a 11’ 5" aluminum boat with a shallow draft, 6 hp four stroke, gas and all the other needed equipment (decoys etc). Most places I go have no boat launch so you need to lug everything to the water. The water levels in the rivers I frequent have varying water depths during this time of year so a lot of time I am in the water pulling the boat in the shallow areas. Not to mention that some runs are short enough that you can paddle them just as fast.
My last hunt got me thinking I could loose the 110 lb boat, 59 lb outboard, gas tank, oars and anchor and replace them with a good canoe and a paddle. Sometimes less is more.

compared to all that, an OT 133 would be dreamy.

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Well if you should choose to stay with the Discovery series then the 158 might be a good one to consider. But Old Town lists it as 87 pounds. Not light weight at all. It has a bit narrower beam at just under 36 inches. The 158 will give you more room for payload and be good for that occasional second paddler. It comes in a camo color. And the Discovery hull will definitely take a beating.

As has been pointed out there are other options that are durable as well. I am only familiar with the Discovery.

Have fun deciding. And if you have a canoe livery near you the Discovery’s are popular with them because of their durability. You can pick up a used one at a good price.

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Oldboo, been there-done that. It was a pain and a nuisance to haul equipment used for water quality/harmful algal bloom monitoring to and from a truck parked a ways from a just launched canoe (Mad River Explorer 16).

Until I tried it this way: https://suspenz.com/collections/carts/products/copy-of-super-duty-mag-lite-airless-cart

There was a learning curve before getting everything just right - but the ability to load (and especially to balance) while at my truck, and move it all at once to the water’s edge made access to difficult launch areas much easier. The ‘all terrain’ model did not disappoint me. After five years of frequent salt water exposure (and a few repairs along the way) it was still functional. Also, it folded up compact enough to carry along in the canoe, avoiding any need to leave my canoe and stuff to return it to the parked truck.

Maybe you’ll like using the aluminum canoe this way, enough to keep it? But if someone lets you try out a Discovery or Journey, you may find a larger canoe to be of your liking, especially if able to load (and balance) everything while at your vehicle and wheel it to a launch site.

Hope this helps.

Yeah, the seat is way too high. Felt like I was going to fall out of it while still on land;)), so I lowered mine enough that I still can get my feet under it when I kneel. I have paddled older models that weren’t like that.

I have a OT 133 predator that I have been hunting and fishing out of for about 10 years now. Its not the the lightest tub on the water but I will say it accommodates two hunters, a big lab and all the decoys you need for a mornings hunt. It tracks well, and is VERY stable as I have had my lab (100lbs) hanging over the sides trying to grab birds off the water.

Thank you everyone for the advice / input. Greatly appreciated.