rental version of penobscot????????

Just bought a used 16ft old town penobscot. The hull is marked by the factory as “rental” right below the serial number. The gunwales, seats and end caps are made from a heavy duty plastic. I haven’t weighed it yet, but it certainly weighs more than the 58 lbs the old town web site claims this boat to weigh. Is this a special version of the penobscot? Is the trim the only difference, or is the hull also different?

Factory Seconds
Many of the big manufacturers sell their factory second boats to outfitters as Rental, Blem, or Demo boats. These boats are sold at a discount often with the understanding that the outfitter is to hold onto the boat as a demo or rental boat for a year before retailing it a discount. Its a win, win, win situation.

The flaws are generally just cosmetic and if the hull is solid you probably got a great deal.

I have 4 boats in my personal fleet that were originaly bought through factory “demo” programs and they are all branded with a label.

Faux Penobscot
OT makes a Poly in that configuration. They don’t call it a Penobscot, and I can’t remember the name offhand.

rental versions
of the Penobscots substituted vinyl gunwales and (usually) nylon webbed seats rather than cane seats. These were available in the mid-90s as the outfitter alternative to the stock factory built Penobs, which had aluminum gunwales and the aforementioned cane. And yes, they were usually blemmed boats with minor cosmetic issues.

The poly version of the Penob 16 was the Discovery 164.

rental version of penobscot???
Weighed the boat today: 80 lbs!!!

The seats are thick (about 4") molded plastic filled with flotation foam. Boat has the penobscot decal on the bow. serial number is:


I love the way the boat paddles, even in some rough class III on the French Broad in NC on Sunday. But it is very heavy.

If it weighs 80 pounds it sure as heck
isn’t Royalex!

Will we see you at the Dan river race?



rental Penobscot
The Old Town published weight is for aluminum gunwales and cane seats.

The vinyl gunwales add 5#, the Discovery molded/floatation seats add almost 10# each, and if the decks are the heavy duty Discovery style, add another couple pounds. The Discovery 164 is over 80# more like 85#, and this canoe has all the Discovery trim on a royalex hull.

Swap out the seats, put in a really good yoke which will make it feel 20# lighter on your shoulders, and enjoy a heavy duty Penobscot. The Wenonah laminated yoke with swivel pads makes any canoe seem lighter and you don’t need to fight to keep it on your shoulders. Plus it will carry the weight of a heavy canoe without bending.


rental version of penobscot???
I’ve already decided to swap out the seats. Not only are the old seats heavy, but htey’re so thick that there’s barely room to fit your feet under them whem kneeling. There’s someone on e-bay that sells new cane seats for $25 each.

Yes, it has these “super duty” end caps made out of very heavy plastic. No handles, just a hole in the middle if the cap for a large rope.

JackL and Baldpaddler, I’ll be at the Kibler race. Going down once with my daughter and once with my son.

Everyone tells me basketball rapid is the worst spot? What’s the best line and how do I know when I’m coming up on it?

I’m gonna get there in time for a practice run.

rental version of penobscot???
Just spoke with the old town factory folks. It’s a 1981 model penobscot (first year for the penobscot) made from “ultonex”?, a heavier “expedition” grade of royalex. It weighs 77 lbs with the standard seats and gunwales. The heavy plastic gunwales and seats are a special rental version.

So I have a heavy duty penobscot. Not what I wanted exactly, but I only paid $400 and that included two very nice paddling jackets, 3 air flotation bags (bow, stern, and middle) and 4 car top carrying blocks. I’m new to whitewater, so I’ll probably hit alot of stuff. Maybe the heavier layup will be a blessing!

My son and I took it for 6 miles on the French Broad (ended at stackhouse rd takeout) which according to the brochure is serious class III+ water. We did alot of bailing but only flipped twice (I sound proud, but it doesn’t really sound that impressive does it). Only saw one other open canoe and it was a heavily rockered Dagger hardcore whitewater boat. I think the Kibler race might be alittle easier.

If it is Bear Creek Canoe
that you saw on EBay, his seats are realy nice. I got a pair of maple ones from him. Really good lookin. He also has the mounting hardware for $10 a set.

You will really appreciate
the bargan you got, when you see how well the hull wears as compared to what OT is selling today. That old oltonar royalex was heavy, but it is almost as bulletproof as the original discoverys were.

rental version of penobscot???
Yea, it’s Bear Creek.

Thanks for the correction on the name of this heavy royalex layup!

That is not the Dan river race I was…
…talking about.

I meant the one a week from Saturday in Madison, NC. ( a very calm class I race)

I did Kibler Valley last year in my 17 foot plastic Eclipse kayak, and don’t think my wife is ready for it in our Penobscot.

On Basketball Falls: that is a piece of cake.

Just stay river left. There is a undercut rock on river right.

The only part where I did a bunch of “oh sh-ts”

was at the start,. There is a long technical class III, and just at the end of it you will be flying and have to stay river right in order to avoid slaming into it, but there is also some tricky stuff just before it on the right, which makes for some quick reactions. There were swimmers and loose boats all over the place when I went through it.

Get with William McDuffie prior to you run , and he will walk you through it.

He per usual will be the best paddler there

Actually, after the first part of the race, the rest is a pretty easy.

If I had thought about it sooner I would have teamed up with someone and done it in the Penobscot, but I would want to have some time in the boat with them first.

That is not a race to begin your downriver racing career in - Just my take.

Cheers and good luck


kibler valley run

I know the Dan River race you are referring to in Madison. Unfortunately, I have a family wedding to attend that weekend up in Erie, PA so I won’t be able to go.

Is the Kibler race the roughest water you’ve paddled?

That whole race isn’t

– Last Updated: Jul-27-06 7:35 PM EST –

but that first long rapid is.
If you have ever paddled the Nantahala I would equate it with the last double drop only five times longer. the river is only about as third as wide.
I have paddled one other rapid that is a little easier than it and that is a local one on the Toe river just below the Green Mountain General store.
That is where we had intended on practicing for it, but with all the other races coming up we never got a chance to.
As I mentiond above, after that first rapid the whole rest is a piece of cake

The picture below is just starting into that first rapid, (taken by my wife). The drop gets much steeper.
The organizers said that no other sea kayaks had ever been down it. As far as I am concerned mine won't be again either.( the river gods were with me )
Don't comment on the lack of helmet. I forgot it.



kibler valley run
You ran the Kibler race in your eclipse???

Great picture. I understand now why it seemed so daunting. How long is the eclipse? Can’t imagine trying to get that thing down a narrow, rocky, fast piece of water like the Kibler valley. You did a great job!

it is the same boat that I race at the New river and will race in the Dan River in Madison.

My wife was going to race her Shadow, but I value her too much and talked her out of it, (didn’t take too much talking after we scouted that first rapid though).