Does anyone have experience with the Old Town Penobscot 15 and/or their Hunter, both made with Royalex? I’m looking at listings for both on Craigslist and I’m trying to decide which would be better for my needs. Mainly I’d be using it for soloing on slow moving rivers and creeks, which the Hunter would presumably be better at given that it’s a foot shorter and nearly flat bottomed, but the Penobscot seems to offer more versatility to take on bigger bodies of water and longer trips. I haven’t been able to find much online about either, though the general consensus of what I have found seems to be very favorable toward the Hunter and generally favorable toward the Penobscot.
As a baseline, I’m pretty new to the canoe world and this is would be my first purchase, though I’ve got a pretty solid background with sea kayaking. My specs are 6’0" and 190lbs, would the Hunter be comfortable for someone my size?
The Penobscot 15 would be a better choice for solo. It is designed to be a solo boat, only 30 inches wide. The Hunter is just a short tandem at 36 inches wide and would not be much fun solo.
I don’t know why they put two seats in it. Maybe for children to paddle tandem. I see it has the original solo seat included and the seat rails are still in it.
It is really a nice all around solo. Make sure the hull is still stiff on the bottom.
Old Town did not make many 15 foot Penobscots and I have never seen one. But of the two, I would not hesitate to say it is the better boat of the two if you plan to paddle solo. Flat bottom boats like the Hunter are reassuring to new paddlers because they have great primary stability. But they are not as efficient as a hull with a shallow arch cross section, and their secondary stability is not as good.
The Hunter is a rather small, short, tubby tandem that would best be used for taking a kid out tandem canoe paddling.
I think I can see which way the wind is blowing. Thanks for your advice! I checked out the Hunter yesterday and yeah, tubby is defintely the word I’d choose to describe it. I’m going to see the Penobscot today and if it looks good that’s the one I’m going to go with.