Old Town Royalex Hunter

Hey everyone. I have the opportunity to buy an ‘89 OT Hunter canoe in Royalex. Looks to be in very good condition. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this model and could give any opinions on it. As I understand it’s a pretty rare boat so there’s not a whole lot online other than the few reviews here. The dimensions are 14 feet long 35 inches wide and it weighs 53 lbs. I’m thinking of converting it to a solo boat by making a center seat and narrowing the gunnels by 2 to 4 inches. I would use it for recreational use as well as a few extended trips each year. Any thoughts on the boat or conversion as well as a fair price would be greatly appreciated!

I’d give up on the idea of forcing the hull into a new shape by pulling in the gunwales. If you want a 30" wide solo boat, buy a Esquif Echo in T-Formex :slightly_smiling_face: Otherwise the time honored solution would be to turn it around and paddle from the front seat (as in the pic), and throw a little weight into the front of the boat if you need to adjust trim.

In terms of price/value, who knows these days. $400-600 would seem to be in the ballpark for a 23 year old plastic boat in good shape, but it depends on your local market and how motivated (or not) the seller is.

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I haven’t paddled a Hunter but the Camper has a very similar design and is a surprisingly fun, maneuverable and low-effort canoe given it’s relatively short and fat specs. That Hunter looks to be in great shape (except the seat cane has failed which is common on older unused boats…figure $50 per seat to replace). 53 pounds is light for a Royalex tandem and if you convert to solo you’d lose a few more pounds so that’s very nice. The Camper solos nicely and the Hunter is smaller so I think it depends on your expectations. As a solo boat it could be great fun on smaller lakes or bigger lakes on calmer days or rivers without fast current but you’d have to be content with a slower pace for covering distance on flatwater and it could be a bit challenging on windy days. Pulling in the gunwales 2-3" might be a fun experiment but I expect that it would do basically nothing other than perhaps mess up a good hull design. It looks like a cool boat to me. I’d say it’s worth $700-800.

I bought an Old Town Tripper 17 footer for a couple hundred bucks a few months ago back when the weather was actually amenable to paddling. Looks nice but given it’s the off-season I’d say aim for the lower end of what you’re comfortable with or less (you can always come up). I know the Royalex is a desirable material and boats made in it are uncommon, but I can’t see paying $700 for an older craft that’s not really performance oriented or particularly unique (at least in my part of the country, I realize there market may be different in your area). In the end it’s worth whatever the next guys willing to pay. I think it’d make a fun solo conversion for flat water and river tripping (depending on the sort of river) if you can get it cheap enough.

Its a baby Tripper. Take out the seats and the center thwart and re-configure it for solo paddling. I bought an OT Canadienne and made a solo boat out of it. The beam is 32 inches, which makes it lightning fast, but it is tender without a load.

Forget about narrowing the beam. You will just create some tumblehome and contort the hull. The beam at the waterline will not change.

This would be a great down river boat for overnight trips. Not so great for lake paddling.

I converted my OT Guide 147 to a solo and it works great. It was also a little wide seated in the center but I solved that by switching to a 260cm double blade kayak paddle. Sitting at the center will if anything improve stability. I made all new thwarts and put them where I wanted them.

As to price IMO it is all a mater of location condition and what you and the owner can agree to. How bad you want it and how bad he wants to sell it. I paid 150 bucks for my 3 layer poly OT Guide that was from around 2000. I think when I was looking and for what canoes are going for here (everyone wants kayaks) I would have offered 400 as a starting point.