Old Town Guide 147

I am looking for a canoe that will be used for exploring and camping. I am not looking to compete in a race or bypass scenery, so I dont need a fast canoe. But I would like a canoe that is stable, longlasting, and can hold two people and camping gear for weekend trips. I am in college so I do not have a hundreds to invest in a canoe. I have found an Old Town Canoe Guide 147 at the local Bass Proshop for $540. I dont have a ton of paddling experience, but I am wanting to start canoeing more often. I have a few questions I need a little help with.

Are there any other canoes that fall BELOW this price that I would be happy with? I like this canoe on paper but have not tried it in the water. What is the best source for finding areas to paddle in the surrounding areas. I dont want to get in over my head with fast currents. What the heck is “oilcanning”? And how fast is too fast for going with and against currents in a canoe?

I know I have a bunch of questions but I want to be able to become a safe knowledgable canoeist!

I can answer a few questions.
The OT Guide will meet your needs as you have defined them. It is made out of Polylink 3 and the 147 is somewhat heavy at 74 pounds. Keep this in mind if you will be loading it yourself. If it is to cumbersome you won’t use it. It also have form fitted seats so it will not be a very good canoe to solo (if you ever plan to do so.)

Oil canning is the flexing of a canoe bottom as you go over waves or obstacles. It flexes like a plastic oil can does. Canoes that are very light weight and made of flexible materials have a tendency to oil can. Stiffer materials do not. I doubt a Polylink3 canoe will oil can.

The Guide 147 is fairly wide thus fairly stable (initial stability). It has pretty good capacity for a 14’ 7" boat. Polylink3 is fairly durable.

About soloing. Symetrical canoes (like the Guide) can be paddled solo nicely by sitting in the front seat but facing reverse. This puts your weight more centered. Form fitted seats are not comfortable doing this. You can also solo from the rear seat (normal seating) by weighting the bow so it does not ride so high.

As for finding rivers appropriate for your skill - you can find guide books (Amazon is a good source) but the best way is to contact local outfitters and ask questions. You can also get information on this forum.

I am not sure I understand the speed question.

As for buying a canoe that is affordable for you, you might consider used. Check the classified ads here and also Ebay. You should be able to get a good used Royalex (lighter than Polylink3) canoe in the 15 foot range for the money you want to spend.

Hope this helps. I am sure others will chime in.

Speed Question
All I have ever paddled on is very slow creeks or still lakes. What should I consider when taking a conoe on a moving body of water. I am not talking about white water, but rivers with a strong current. Is there a water velocity that flows too fast to paddle a canoe upstream against?

Canoes have a maximum velocity determined by some complicated equation. Basically, at some point, the canoe will not be able to move the water out of the way fast enough, and will try to climb up on top (like a planing boat) This is very inefficient, so at this point, the canoe is said to have reached its “hull speed”. Longer, thinner canoes have faster hull speeds than shorter, wider ones.

Thanks for the quick and helpful responses

Get the Old Town Guide 147
I have this model and I love it! It’s a bit hefty at 74 lbs, but perfect for the needs you describe. There is plenty of room for camping gear, and it’s great for just plain rec. paddling and fishing. The stability is great, and the price is reasonable.

One suggestion–the price you mentioned is a bit high. Shop around–the regular sporting goods stores like Dick’s sells this model and for less $.

I got mine for $429 last year–I think the average price is closer to $450-$500 max. Good luck!

The price…
$539.99 is the cheapest I can find around here. I think if I ordered one that was a bit cheaper, the shipping would kill me. If it was $450 from Bass pro, I would have already bought it. I will continue looking. I dont think 74 lbs should be too bad for two people to carry. I’ve carried 150 lbs deer out of the woods a few times. Not fun but manageable with a few breaks. I have never heard of “dick’s” sporting goods. Where are they found?

regional sporting goods chain
Here they are:


I also have Guide 147. Stable, tough. I can carry it, roof it, by myself, but another person helping makes it easier.

Plenty of room for heavy loads (gear, not me).

Mine has an electric trolling motor with Old Town mount. It rides well and really flies.

I found the boat on this site. Got pretty lucky. Keep your eyes peeled.

drive to the macon ga. area?
I have a guide 147… and I agree with the other posts…its a fairly stable rugged canoe…no, its not as light some other materials, but it is tough and strong. I bought mine from Dick’s, they list there for $430.00. Is driving up to Macon an option for you?

P-Net Classifieds
Just took a quick look at the classifieds here:



(GA) Old Town Camper 16’ green Royalex 58 lbs. Good shape, $450.00 call 229-460-5195 located in Valdosta, GA – Submitted by: gillguy


If it’s in good shape I’d say it’s a better boat than the Polylink3 model you were looking at.


My personal opinion
I feel that when you get your own canoe, you’ll start canoeing more than you are now, and then your skills and expectations will increase, and then you will have outgrown this boat. I personally would never buy a tandem canoe under 16 feet. I spent too many hours in short, fat, slow Colemans trying to keep up with the others in my group. The used market would be a good place to shop, and most people don’t use their boats that much so you’ll get a boat in great shape at about 60% the cost of new. I think that Camper would fit your needs much better than the 147 (faster, better design and material).

I have a 15ft MR Explorer that I paddle
solo or when paddling tandem usually also with my two dogs. I’m sixty and can load it on my one-ton truck. Also, a 16ft Prospector clone is a good choice and has passed the time test. Keep in mind since you have to paddle a tandem canoe in reverse when paddling solo, don’t get any tandem canoe with tractor seats since you can’t paddle them solo unless you want to sit on a tractor seat backwards. (Without reversing seats – sitting on the bow seat facing backwards – you have about two thirds of your canoe acting as a weather vane.) There are lots of good used canoes out there that would do you fine. Don’t get anything with tractor seat, go for price, nothing over 16ft if you plan to paddle solo, and go for the lightest canoe you can find (a Royalex/Royalite if you plan on bumping down rivers – or if you are into body building, any other plastic boat).