I finally narrowed my search down to one boat, the old town pack seems like it will work for me, (also the right price) My main question is will I be too big for it? I’m 6ft and 280. I plan on using the boat to fish and just paddle around in lakes and very gentle rivers. Will i need to put weight in the bow or should the balance be fine? Thanks for any advice you can offer
I have one as well. I’m 6’ 2" and about 220 on a good day. The Pack is a fun little boat. When I use it I usually haul a cooler, tackle box, couple dry bags, single blade paddle as a back up (a double blade works great with this canoe), and a couple smaller items. The boat rides well with this gear in it. OT says it has a capacity for 400 lbs. Not bad for a 33 lb. canoe. Which makes portaging a breeze, just throw it over your shoulder. I really enjoy the boat.
With that being said, sometimes it does feel a bit small for me. 12’ seems kind of short sometimes and I feel a little cramped. Not so much that I would get rid of it though. Thursday I took the Pack out for some fishing and paddling. I had a good time. Friday I soloed my Penboscot 16. I had a great time. Which boat feels better to me as a solo? The Penobscot overall. More stable, faster, easier to paddle, better tracking. Holds more gear. Downside it is 25 lbs. heavier and I use a cart to haul it around.
The Pack will work for you and it is a great little boat for fishing and gunkholing. If you are content just paddling around in small lakes it should be a dandy. If you have distance to cover to hit the fishing grounds you might want to look at something a bit bigger.
Consider getting a used something else.
I strongly considered the Pack and test paddled it. I’m glad we waited and got me a Mowhawk Odyssey 14. It handles well with 300-350 lbs. We also have a Penob 16, which is a great allround boat (especially since we got it used for $400 w/ paddles and PFDs). I would go with Royalex, for your use. Fiberglass can handle the dragging, but might have a problem with sharp rocks if you have weight in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The other reason we stayed away from the Pack is that secondary stability is reported to be unpredictable. This gets really important when you’re leaning over to pick up fish.
Just some more input. There are folks who are happy with their Pack, but a lot of people move on to a different boat.