First off let me say that I am not completely new to canoes. I had a Grumman 17 footer, but that was 15 or 16 years ago.
I am thinking about getting another canoe for solo fishing in small to medium size ponds, shallow upper sections of a (manmade) lake, and occasionally maybe a slow moving river.
I know that I don’t need anything nearly as big as my old 17 footer. I do need something light enough to carry and load on top of my truck by myself. I also need good initial stability for fishing. Speed isn’t important, because I don’t foresee ever traveling more than 1 mile from launch site, but ease of paddling is.
I am leaning towards an Old Town Flatwater 12. It has more than enough space for my needs. At 50 pounds, I can carry and load it easily. Stability should be good with its 41-inch beam. And, it is priced within my reach.
Does anyone have any knowledge of or experience with this canoe? I have been able to find very little online – only 2 reviews. I am concerned that its short, wide shape might not track well. Also, I am a large person. Is the front going rise up out of the water like in cartoons?
Thanks for any input.
Stillwater 12 ??
Are you referring to this model? I’ve not heard of the Flatwater. Though I have not paddled this particular boat I have paddled several and own 2 models of Old Town Canoe. If you will be paddling solo you might find the Stillwater sort of difficult to handle with it’s 41" beam. You can paddle “backwards” from the bow seat to more evenly distibute your weight. If you are going to be solo most of the time you might want to consider a couple of other boats in that price range that might suit you better.
Old Town’s Pack canoe is 12’ with a 32" beam. It’s capacity is nearly the same as the Stillwater and weighs only 33 lbs. I own this canoe and use it alot to fish small ponds and lakes. I’m not a small guy and find the canoe adequate for fishing trips and fun to paddle.
Bell Yellowstone would be another good choice at 14’. I have not paddled one but it is on my list of desired boats.
For a couple of hundred bucks more you can get into the Old Town’s Camper or Penobscot16. The Camper has more of a flat bottom and is quite stable and makes a great fishing platform. The Penobscot 16 works well as a tandem, even better as a solo and is a bit more responsive due to it’s arched hull. I own a Penobscot and it’s my favorite canoe to paddle solo. Very stable and paddles easily, lots of room for a big guy and a lot of fishing gear. 58 lbs makes it quite a bit heavier than the Pack but it feels a lot more secure when on bigger water.
There’s lots of other canoes out there in the price range you looking at and I’m sure others will offer up their thoughts as well. I’m sure you’ll enjoy whatever boat you decide on. tight lines and good luck!!!
I second the Penobscott
Those are some really nice boats, comfortable, versatil and stable. I don’ tknow too much about too many modles (experience wise) but I like the Penobscot. I have a We-No-Nah Solo Plus, I like it, but I think I might have gone overboard…Penobscot would have been enough boat.
Then again, I have a good bit of experince with Grummans…a 16 or 17 footer is always nice. Flip it around, ignore that thwart and start paddling.
I own a Pack, a Penobscot, a Vagabond,
and a Nova Craft Bob’s Special. The Pack and Wenonah Vagabond are both solo. The other two are tandem canoes although I have solo paddled them reverse from the front seat very well. As stated earlier, the Pack weighs 33 pounds, the Vagabond at 14’-6" weighs 42 pounds in Royalex, both the tandems weigh 58 pounds. I canoe primarily to fish!
The Vagabond is my favorite fishing platform. It is light, tracks fairly well, glides well and turns responsively. I weigh 210 and take lots of gear with no problem (even do several night trips and plan to take it to the BWCA this summer. A 7’ rod will fit into the canoe easily from the seat to the bow - no overhanging tip to catch on limbs, etc. It is narrower than the Pack (29 inches) and paddles well with a double (kayak) paddle or a single. I use a Sawyer Double Bend Manta (single blade) or a Sawyer bent shaft cruiser (also single blade) most of the time. I can’t comfortably stand in the Vagabond but I normally do not stand in any of the canoes. The kevlar version weighs in at 29 pounds. Hope this helps.
Thanks for your reply. (Thanks to all who replied) Yes, its Stillwater, not Flatwater. Sorry about that. I really like the looks of the Pack, but a 32-inch width just somehow doesn’t seem stable enough to fish from. Of course, most all my experience and knowledge is with powerboats where wider is better. Maybe I just need someone with more experience to convince me that narrow is OK. There aren’t any canoe shops in my area, just a couple of sports stores that also sell a few canoes, mostly Pelicans. One store has the Old Town Guide and the Stillwater 12 in stock, so they are the only ones I have actually seen. The Guide is too heavy. Also the butt-molded seats almost force you to paddle from the rear. The Stillwater, however, looks to be a well-built, quality canoe. Also, it is marked down 20% below MSRP. Of course if another canoe will better meet my requirements, guess I could order one and have it shipped in.
Oh my, what to buy?
Narrow will work. I’m 6’ 3" and 250 lbs. The Pack fits me just fine, not something for overnighters, but great for fishing. It might feel a bit tender if you are coming from fishing regular motorized boats, but that should pass quickly. 20% off retail is pretty decent, hard to pass up. The Stillwater can be paddled solo, but will not be as easy as a narrower craft. I owned a Guide for a while. Very nice on the water, a beast to truck top, and forget solo paddling. Tough choice, but you cannot go wrong in any canoe you choose in my opinion. Fishing out of a canoe or kayak is a great way to spend a day regardless of what particular craft you own.
P.S. Have you considered any kayaks??? (playing the devil’s advocate).