Penobscot 17 RX

I am a beginning paddler and have a chance to purchase a Old Town Penobscot 17RX (plus oars, truck rack, and life vests) for $900, used twice, one small scratch. Will be using it tandem mostly with my daughter and friends, across lakes with gear, maybe someday down easy rivers (Missouri) for lengthy tips (several days to a week). I’ve paddled numerous times in the past but have never owned a canoe.

I’ve been reading about Royalex and it seems to be a good choice for durability and strength. I did read that temperature extremes are hard on Royalex - I would be storing the canoe in my unheated garage in South Dakota temperatures (the garage temperatures can get from -20 F to 120 F). Can anyone tell me if this will harm the canoe?

Is the price good? It’s a substantial reduction from the Old Town list price, and seems to be OK from comparisons I’ve done on internet.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Temperature extremes would only
be an issue if the canoe had wooden gunwales. If it has vinyl gunwales with aluminum inserts, these will expand and contract with the Royalex and cracking should not occur. The Penobscot 17 is a good boat for your area. Just make sure that you have enough people and gear aboard that it doesn’t blow away.

second that
My “vinyl” canoes, 3 in royalex, 2 in royalite, have been outside, some since '92, experiencing temps from -15 to 105 with few if any issues.

Good stuff, that Royalex :-).

Mine is a 16 footer, and where I store…
it gets to below zero on many winter nights and very hot in the summer, and it doesn’t hurt it.

I personally think that price is a bit high for a used one.

I paid $400 for my used 16 footer, and it was in mint condition.



If it’s really basically new, go for it.
I bought ours new 18 years ago for slightly less than that and have never regretted it. Great all-round family tandem.

Mine has aluminum gunnels and has lived half its life stored outdoors. I have one 2" long hairline crack, perpendicular to the rail, originating at a rivet about 8" from the prow. It hasn’t changed in the two years since I noticed it, and it’s only in the outside layers.

I concur
Cold temps nor big extremes won’t harm Royalex w/ alum gunwales. My 16 Penobscot has shown no damage despite 30+ below zero

Penobscot’s a great hull & Royalex is most versatile layup IMO. If the rack system is a good one (which can easily cost $200+) the oars (paddles?) & pfd’s are decent ones, $900 price can be reduced by their value