Penobscot or Camper.

Looking to pick up a royalex canoe for family (2 160lb adults and two small children 4 and 6) and the occasional solo. Would be using mostly on calm ponds (shallow lakes), slow rivers, etc.

Was wondering what peoples opinion would be on the best Old Town Royalex canoe (want reasonably light weight, and only have access to Old Towne Dealer locally). I am leaning toward the Penobscot because I think I would be happier with it over the long term.


you’re in Connecticut??

– Last Updated: Jun-23-08 8:36 PM EST –

You're asking a lot out of 1 canoe.What you pick is your call, those are both decent canoes, the Penobscot more a thoroughbred. What I want to say is we're in a small state, and if you head towards the Collinsville/New Hartford/Canton area (farmington river) you'll find an Old Town dealer in Canton, Wenonahs in New Hartford, and Bells, Swifts, and Mad Rivers and I think Grummans now in Collinsville.
Where's Green falls?

Re: you’re in Connecticut??
Thanks for the info…

I am in eastern CT. Green Falls is in Eastern CT, part of the Pachaug River network of ponds (created from man made dams). See:

Nothing spectacular, just a flatwater pond, but a nice serene location.

P vs C
The Penobscot is faster and harder to turn/easier to hold a course. It’s initial stability is such that new paddlers sometimes feel it is a bit twitchy. It is considered an alright solo.

The Camper is slow and steady. Lightly loaded (solo) it’s at the mercy of every breeze.

kind of a big solo
but I like my Swift Dumoine. Bought it at CCK in Collinsville ( It is big for a solo, but with a long paddle it’s okay, and has good load capacity. You may want to give a call, they sometimes have lightly used ones(faded but minimal scratches) for around $600. They’re around $1500 new in Royalite.Around 72 pounds but a real nice portage thwart. Good tandem river tripper if you go that route.

I find the Penobscot a lot more fun to paddle than the Camper, either solo or tandem. The comment about initial stability is true, but you’ll get used to it quickly.

If you’re going to start looking at Swifts and are willing to consider non-Royalex boats, I recommend the Kipawa over the Dumoine. It’s more fun as a solo.

In either boat, the solo experience will be better if you install a kneeling thwart a little aft of center.

– Mark