Similar to OT Penobscot

Just trying to figure out which one.

I agree

– Last Updated: Oct-08-13 12:03 PM EST –

We use our Jensen 17 on lots of rivers, with rocks.
After a few years of scrapes here and there, I just touch them up with epoxy
I only use our Penobscot in real shallow or class II rivers

Jack L

I own a pal and have paddled the Pnob. The are similar,but not the same. The pal is more a flatwater boat,the Pnob a little more moving water capible. Both are goot at being paddled solo if necessary.


First, I’m a little surprised that you said the Penobscot is better in moving water. Doesn’t the Pal have rocker? What feature makes the Penobscot better in the moving water?

What material and what is the weight of the Pal?


My pal is royalite,but I have paddled one of the light composit ones ,and it was similar to mine.To me the Bnob turned a better.It also has more freeboard. My son and I took my Pal down a class 2esh stream,and it didn’t do well and we got wet even before we dumped. It is a sweet boat easy paddling boat in flat water,and with it’s low freeboard,little bothered by the wind.


I agree with rpg51, including that compromise is the operative word. Royalex is incredibly durable but you pay for that with weight and some loss in efficiency. The OT P16 is a cool boat in that it is efficient, can be turned decently, takes ClassII rapids, can be set up for solo, and is light for a Royalex boat. The alternatives are similar design in Royalite or… a composite, the latter which IMOP will require good maneuvering skills and adequate water. Yes, Kevlar composite does take abuse but not the constant banging and grinding plastic can endure from bony shallow creeks, let alone a wrap around a rock. It is sort of a judgment call based on how and where you paddle, or want to paddle, or are willing to not paddle. So, seriously, why not have one of each :)? For a composite, do test paddle a Jensen 18 w/ a front slider seat) just because it is soooo much fun (several mfg’s offer this hull; typically 38 lbs Kevlar). For some outfitters Wenonah builds Kevlar boats with bow/stern skid plates (really helps durability), maybe you can order one with that feature, or buy used from an outfitter, or perhaps other mfgs will accommodate the same idea. Note that it may be difficult to convert some of the other designs to work solo in the same manner as the P16, it is just really good for that. So that would make three boats, or four if you paddling partner wants to solo as well. No, I am not in the garage expansion business.

I’ve had a Penobscot…
…and still have access to it. We’ve paddled it side by side with the Malecite, and paddled the Malecite sxs with a Wenonah Escapade. Not a lot of difference in the performance, but the composite boats are a little more efficient - the Escapade seemingly the most so.

Gotta take exception to claims of superiority of rx boats in bony rivers. I spend a lot of time on bony water, class 1 & 2, and my Millbrook kev/glass Coho shows less damage from dragging than my heavyweight rx NC Prospector. The Millbrook takes some pretty stout glancing blows with little or no noticeable damage too. The difference comes into play, I think, with heavier blunt blows in deeper heavier current - or in a wrap situation.

N’Star equivalent
Yost’s redesign of the Bell NorthStar is the Swift Kewaydin 16. It can be had in the lower 30 lb range.

MRC’s composite Malecite is another similarly sized and rockered hull. It’s V bottom has specific handling characteristics missing from the P-Nob. Weight’s closer to 40# as they do not offer an integrated rail system.

Swift Kewaydin
I test paddled the Kewaydin 15 solo last year, and thought it felt like a lighter and racier solo version of my Penobscot 16.

Malecite - Penobscot differences
Oh yeah - I was only thinking about forward speed/efficiency. Handling characteristics are definitely noticeably different. (Not better or worse - just different)

On g2d’s recommendation, I looked at Millbrook’s website, and the Coho caught my eye. I know it was designed primarily for poling (a skill I’m trying to learn), but how does it paddle, and would it be a possible Penobscot replacement?

As I recall,
the Coho is an evolved version of the Souhegan with differential rocker (less in the stern). This is a design feature intended to improve tracking and probably does. However my estimate would be that the boat is still much more manueverable than the Penobscot and a lot crankier about tracking.

I believe Steve in Idaho owns a Soho and might chime in about it.


Other way around, I think.
The Coho came before the Souhegan, IIRC. I can’t speak for the Souhegan - but TommyC1 can. Anyway…

I think it’s safe to say that if you like the Penobscot, you may love a Coho - unless you want to be able to turn it around to paddle solo (I just kneel aft of center). It is slightly asymmetrical (swede form). It doesn’t appear to have significant rocker, but it does turn easier than the Penobscot. It’s been a while since I paddled or poled the two in close proximity, but I would say the Coho is about as efficient as the Penobscot - while being more nimble (if you can even associate that word with the P’scot), and of course, a lot lighter.

While it’s easier to keep the Penobscot going straight with bad technique and the P-boat is maybe a little faster with a good engine - I would take a Coho over it any day. It’s a great recreational canoe. Besides that - Kaz is great to work with and will furnish the boat to your liking at a very reasonable price.

I stand corrected
I went to the Millbrook website to read what they say about the Coho and The Souhegan. The Souhegan is listed with 3" of rocker while the Coho is said to be only “slightly rockered”. So, one can conclude that the Soho will probably track better than a Souhegan and therefore might be a reasonable candidate to replace a Penobscot.