Old Town Guide

I’m thinking of buying an Old Town Guide 147 and am trying to find out some information about it. I saw it got great reviews on this site but didn’t see much mention if it was OK for solo paddling. I’ve had a kayak for years but have never owned a canoe. I’ll probably be paddling it solo often and I know virtually nothing about how a canoe would handle alone.

Can anyone help?

I have paddle the guide
at demos and such. It definitely has a place for certain types of paddling venues. I do not think that it would be too good for paddling solo. If you are only going short distances it might be perfect for you(stable, sturdy) any long distance solo paddling it would become a chore.The seats are not suitable to paddling backwards so you would have to kneel or put in a center seat. Then portaging would be compromised. ( the above was posted from a touring point of view ) the guide looks like a great fishing platform and camp boat. The price is not excessive. If making milage is not your priority go for it!

Its pretty wide to paddle solo
Charlie is right about the Guide147 being a good stable platform for fishing. The width that makes it so stable also makes for quite a reach to the water. It might not matter for someone who was using a long double bladed kayak paddle, but to solo it with a canoe paddle would be a leasurely event. If equipped with cane seats instead of the rotomolded semi-buckets,you could paddle backwards in the bow seat, otherwise a sling seat or slip-in center seat would be advised. Or go the with the Canadian solo technique, kneel on your strong side and heel the boat over and make like Bill Mason or Omar Stringer. The Royalex Penobscot series are narrower, and have a plastic cousin in the Discovery 164.

There are better suited canoes from other manufacturers, but few in the price range of the Guide 147 from a bigbox retailer.

If we knew paddler size and what kind of water it would be paddled on, we could make a more specific recommendation. The choices are many.

Yeah, I looked at it in a local outfitter today and noticed that the molded seats would make it akward to paddle backwards. Is there anyway to switch those out?

I owned one
For a couple of years. Pretty nice tandem boat for day tripping and overnighters. Not so great as a solo. Even sitting backward in the bow seat you will need some ballast to get the boat in trim. At 75 lbs. it’s pretty heavy to solo carry. A better alternative would be the Penobscot 16, Osprey or the Pack. The Pack however is a solo boat only so if you are looking to tandem sometimes one of the other two would be better.

I own one…
I’ve tried to solo it. Like other posts said, the molded seats make it uncomfortable, its heavy for a solo. I found a 9’ double blade paddle worked the best. For short jaunts, its tolerable. For longer trips solo, no thank you sir, I’m not that masochistic.

switching seats…
yep, I know someone that changed the seats to the wooden ones… its much better. I think you would need new hangers tho.

Guide pros and cons
I have known a couple of people who have had/have the 147. They both soloed them without too many problems

The down side is the weight, especialy for a solo, and the keel. The keel may not be a problem if you don’t run moving water. The roto molded seat isn’t a big thing with a Sit-Backer.

The upside is price and the stability.

In the opinion of at least one friend, there is no comparison between it and a rec kayak when it comes to managebility, the kayak wins hands down.