Old Town Pack mods?

I just bought a Field&Stream Kay-Noe which appears to be an Old Town Pack from what I have been reading. Well, I took it out this morning and didnt get 20 feet from the put in before I wound up swimming, subsequent trys were no better, so I packed up and went home in frustration. My first impulse was to march this vessel back to Dicks and demand a refund, but the idea of a portable little fishing craft is too good to give up on. I have read that pack owners have lowered thier seats and moved them closer to the center and this has resulted in a more stable craft. I would love to see some pictures of Pack Mods.

I am by no means an expert paddler, I have used a Wenonah Aurora for the past several years, but I have never not been able to paddle a canoe like what happened today!

Most of my trips are solo day trips and I am tired of wrestleing my Wenonah on and off of my truck when I am alone so I would love to make the Kay-Noe work!



Try paddling it kneeling

Seat is slippery
My main complaint about the seat is the fact that it is slippery. When I sat in it in my yard I slid all over it and could hardly keep my backside on it. That is why I put the sit backer on.

Any suggestions on adding a little traction to the seat?

Thanks again.


put a coat of paint on the seat that is made for plastic and adding a bit of sand to it. That is done some places to steps to prevent slipping in wet conditions. wouldn’t do it if you are planning on taking it back though, they might notice.

pac hints
Kneeling is the best for stability but you can lower the seat as well. Another option is to add 3"thick x 4" tallx60"L foam sponsons to the outer hull just below the rail ( similar to what Radison uses.) Not pretty but it does add secondary stability to the notoriously tippy craft. ( A friend of mine who got tired of dumping his pac added solid sponson/pontoons to his but they interfear with paddling AND look goofy!) I also found that using a double paddle helped maintain initial stability, alowed me to brace AND moved my pac more eficiently. Reciently sold the pac and got a similar sized 12’x32"Nature Bound. The nature bound is 10# heavier but has a flatter bottom and factory foam sponsons. It felt better to me for fishing small waters.

Worse case, sell it off and find something else. Your not married to it.


old town pack

I Have 2 versions of this boat and they are great. The trick is some ballast in the bow,and use a double bladed kayak paddle only.For real !! If you use a regular paddle this boat is almost useless. Use a 240cm kayak paddle and you will love your boat.If you do not like kayak paddles then get rid of your boat.

trapperjohn !

Don’t have to get rid of it…
I don’t know about the Kaynoe, but the seat placement in the Pack is simply too far back. I have a deep-seated aversion to adding weight just to trim the boat, so the first thing I did when I first acquired a Pack was to move the seat forward. This was years ago, and I believe I had to order a seat from Piragis so that it was wide enough, but moving the seat forward made a HUGE difference. Not only could you handle the canoe much better with a single blade, but it also made the canoe more stable. I moved the seat far enough forward that the front edge of it was just about in the middle of the canoe. I also, if I remember right, moved the thwart in front of the seat forward as well, so that I still had the same amount of room in front of the seat.

I’d dump that molded seat and get a bench style seat and move it forward. In my opinion, you wouldn’t have to lower it. Placing the seat in the widest part of the canoe, rather than back where it’s narrower, should give the canoe more initial stability.

Finally got out to retry the Kay Noe.
It paddled great without the Sit Backer. I thought I solved the slippery seat problem by using a piece of no slip rug padding but it didnt work. The seat is absolutely horrible. I am going to replace it with a web seat. I think it is going to be a great little boat.

As Yak said
try kneeling. I just bought one and had no trouble kneeling except I had trouble getting my size 13 shoes under the seat. I used a single paddle. going to put a kneeling pad in it.

Gave it to a relatively inexperienced paddler and he sat on the seat using a double-bladed paddle and went up an down the river with no problem.

You could also take the seat out completely and sit on the bottom for greater stability, but I think you would have to use a double bladed paddle.

Kay-noe is a Discovery 119

– Last Updated: Aug-13-08 4:12 PM EST –

Glad to hear that you think your boat is starting to work for you.
I'm thinking about buying one from Dick's as well. I found out that this boat is not an OT Pack, it is a OT Discovery 119. There is a manufacturer's sticker on the boat that says, "Johnson Outdoor" (the parent company of Old Town) and then "DSC119". It is a polylink3 boat.
Many of the reviews on this site claim that it is a "tippy" boat. Let us know if your mods work.

Don’t use the seat
I still have my first canoe - an Old Town 12’ hard fiberglass pack canoe from 1973. Your boat looks very similar, though of different materials.

I never sit on the seat - an invitation for a swim. I either kneel with my butt against the seat and use a single blade paddle, or sit on a pad on the bottom of the canoe and use a double-bladed paddle.

Oh, make sure to part your hair down the middle…

Cheers, Alan

pack modifications
I’ve had my Pack for 30 years and still love it. Like most of you, I lowered the seat. I paddle kneeling when in riffles or whitewater, and sit on the seat on flat water to rest my knees. I bought a pivot fishing armrest seat from Dick’s and installed it so on flatwater I can move to the seat and really relax. I installed kneepads and straps for class II or III. I ordered the Old Town spray skirt kit and had a local auto convertible outlet install the snaps along the sides below the gunwales. I ordered the Old Town air bags and installed them. I added the skid plates to the hull to reduce damage when launching or landing on gravel or rocky shores. I carry a kayak paddle and a Bending Branches canoe paddle. On flatwater or lakes I use the kayak paddle. On riffles or rapids I switch to the canoe paddle. I’ve taken my Pack on just about every river in the Southeast up to Class III. Veterans always warn me the canoe isn’t suitable for whitewater but with the spray skirt it does fine, although with its light weight I do portage the hairier drops. We’ve been out on Burntside, Vermillion and the other large lakes in the Boundary Waters in pretty high waves and wind and never capsized or taken on water. We’ve been out on the Pamlico and Albemarle Sound waters around the Outer Banks. On large stretches of glassy flatwater I’ll lean her over so I’m riding on one gunwale. She really moves in that stance. In 30 years of maybe a thousand canoeing days I’ve only capsized twice and both of those were in tricky drops where a lot of others in special whitewater boats were also flipping. I kept my pack garaged for 25 years, but have now built a small boat house for it out back so I protect it from sun, snow and other weather. I hose it down and clean it well after each day on the water and keep a good coat of car wax on it. I don’t know how so many people complain about instability. I’ve taught maybe a hundred kids to canoe in it and none of them had any problems.