Penobscot 16 capacity

I just got a Penobscot 16 and have seen varying capacity # is it 850 or 1100. I love the boat so far have only had it out once on the day I got it.



– Last Updated: Apr-03-09 4:45 PM EST –

The website lists the capacity at 1,100 pounds, but that's ludicrous. There's no standard for how capacity is measured. Usually it's the load to a certain freeboard, which tells you nothing about how the canoe will actually handle.

For comparison, a Bell Northstar(similar dimensions) lists a load to 6" freeboard of 950 pounds, but an optimum load of 250-500 pounds. The Penobscot 16's ideal range is probably similar -- not much above 500 pounds. It's for two people and a reasonable amount of gear.

Both figures are ridiculous.
They are probably based on how much weight can be loaded into the boat until it has only 6" of freeboard at the center.

Responsible boat makers give a maximum weight capacity consistent with good performance and safety. We have a Bluewater Chippewa, 16’ 8" long, 34.5" wide, flattish shallow arch, and Bluewater rates it at 580 pounds. I would guess a 16’ Penobscot would paddle safely and effectively with a maximum of 500 pounds. You might push that to 600 pounds if you’re in very sheltered water and don’t mind limited freeboard.

I think
g2d is right on the money! My Penobscott has been loaded down to a little over 600 pounds going down river. the river is slow and flat and shallow. I would not try that on big open water. However, if trimed properly, I could see the boat handling heavy seas with 500 pounds of gear. it is a remarkable boat in my opinion for being an SUV type of craft. It handles the small twisties and big water pretty well. I love mine and find I use it ore and more as a solo. With two half way decent paddlers the boat will handle 500 plus pounds no problem and still have decent speed for a shortish tripper.


Penobscot 16 capacity
Thanks guys I appreciate the help. I’ve done some river tripping here in a PA and some trips to Algonquin, but it was always with Grumans.

I knew they were overshooting with the 1100.

penobscott 16
I agree with the other two men. 500 to 600 is within reason. I use mine for poling with yellow lab. Very stable platform.

Who Designed it?
The penobscot is a pretty remarkable hull in its long term success. Down river racers still like it,

(as one of the two boats of Choice). I know it is

an Old town but was it strickly evolutionary or has any one taken credit for it?