I have an Old Town Penobscot 16RX and am looking for opinions on the optimal load capacity for it. I was 340 and used it as a solo canoe and it was pretty good. Now I’m down to 270 and can use with with my girlfriend who is 130 and it feels pretty rock steady with day tripping gear. I was on Lake George the other day with a 200lb guy in the front and the middle loaded with gear and it felt really tippy and unstable. I had to get on my knees to cross the wide part of the lake. I would guestimate the gear load to be maybe another 150lbs, cooler, cooking and camping gear etc… should the Penobscot handle this or was it maybe too much? Or maybe… do you think I just need to get used to paddling it with another larger person in the boat?
If I recall correctly
that boat’s capacity is around 750 lbs, so you were pretty close to maxing it out
If you want a practical limit, one at
which the hull behaves well, as designed to behave, I would guess around 550 pounds. More than that and you get marginal freeboard for waves, and the handling will deteriorate.
I base this in part on a rating by the maker of 580 for our Bluewater tandem, which is just a little longer and deeper than your Penobscot.