used penobscot

i’m looking for a used penobscot to use as an all-around boat for flatwater solo paddling, fishing, day trips etc…

what do i want to make sure i watch out for when looking at used boats? whats a reasonable price to pay? any differences in the production of these boats over the last ten years or so?

Are you already familiar with pnet
Classified Ads? One of the better used boat markets.

On risks of buying used, the main caution is to try to arrange to see what you buy. But before that, decide what you’re willing to pay and confine your bids to cases where the seller’s price and your ability to pay are close to one another.

Penobscots are not usually used in whitewater, so age matters less than it would for a whitewater boat. Condition is up to you.

Look for one without the vinyl
worn off the ends or those nasty brown skid plates. I’d expect to pay 5-700 bucks for a good Penobscot 16, more if in exceptional condition, less if you get lucky.

Huh ???
the only place I use my Penobscot is in white water


I got a used one from right here on
P-net for $400.

It was in almost new condition.

Jack L

Penobscot for ww
Agree with Jack - both the 16 and 17 foot penobs are very nice class II or mild class III boats.

I have the 17, and while I do solo it occassionally you would be better off with the smaller Penob if you plan on primarily soloing.

i have checked the classifieds, and i have found a couple penobs 16’s that i plan to go look at. i just wanted specifics on exactly what to inspect once i get there. trying to get a feel for if there is anything that can really go wrong with the suckers besides having a gaping hole or gash in the hull. i have found one listed for 675 that i think i will buy if its in as good of condition as the seller says, just looking for any common pitfalls used canoe buyers fall into.

Just eyeball it for obvious deformation

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and intact vinyl layer. If the alumininum rails aren't too dinged up and it's not hogged, seats and/or thwarts are relatively inexpensive, easy fixes. Beware of paint!

Bon Chance!

vinyl layer
so what is the implecations of a small part of the vinyl layer being scraped off?

ABS that’s been exposed to UV
for not very long can become embrittled. Really, if you’re talking a couple of square inches at the ends, it isn’t that big of a deal. Any more than that and the ends may be close to being worn thru to the foam core. That’s a bigger issue, and one that you shouldn’t have to face at that price.

My Penobscot 17 has lived outdoors out of direct sunlight for 17 of its 20 year life. The green vinyl has not noticeably chalked, cane seats replaced once with webbed about 5 years ago, and one 1 1/2 inch crack has developed, verticle to the rail originating at a deck rivet, that looks like a hair on the outer hull only and hasn’t changed in two years. She’s not the unblemished beauty she was when new, but she’s aged more gracefully than I have!

Jackl, when you get a real whitewater
canoe, use it for a year and then talk to me about it.

You follow me down the Nantahala,
me in my 15’ MR Synergy and you in your Penobscot, and you will soon be way ahead of me because you will be unable to do all the whitewater maneuvers I can do.

I have several times recalled my friend Jim who twice won the downriver race in a 16’ Penobscot. But he would be the first to tell you that he would never choose the Penobscot for slalom. And it is in slalom that a boat shows its competence and its right to be in whitewater.

Again, if you are not going to run a lot
of whitewater, the stems being exposed because the vinyl is worn off is not that big a deal. The UV damage may not be that great. I bought a used MR Guide with vinyl scraped off the stems, and it is fine. Exposed areas can be painted (and repainted), or I can tell you how to put on nifty S-glass skid plates.

If a boat has been heavily used and neglected, it is going to be lumpy, scratched, and scraped all over, but then you won’t be buying it, so vinyl scraped off the stems is just a detail.

how about you get rid of that canoe, and then we can talk about real whitewater :slight_smile:

I’ve done my “real” whitewater already.
I’m old and I only paddle what I can safely handle. But I couldn’t even do that if limited to a Penobscot.

Match price to condition…
…and don’t worry too much about whether the boat will work. So long as the bottom isn’t hogged, there isn’t much else that can’t be fixed. My 16 year-old Penobscot was very cheap because it appeared to be pretty much beat to death - but with a little TLC (new seats and thwarts made by me, straightened gunnels, a little G-flex and a little glass on the stems) it paddles just fine and even though it looks like a beater to me, I still get compliments. I expect it to last me many years. Straightening the gunnels was the most difficult part, and something worth avoiding if it’s in extensive need.

I’ve seen “like new” Penobscots around here go anywhere from $600 to $900 (with extras). If they are more common in your area, you might do even better than that, but if you stay at or below that range and hold out for one that is near pristine, you can’t get hurt. A well-used example without structural damage and needing no other parts replacement, I would expect to pay around $450 in my area - but again, they are not as common around here as they might be where you are (used canoes in general not as common here as they are east of the Rockies).

BTW - a very good choice for a general-purpose canoe, IMO.

the Penobscot is not only made …

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...... from Royalex , but also is made in a Poly version .

You do want Royalex don't you ?? If so , just be aware . The Rx Penobscot's are a little narrower and weigh less than the Poly ones .

The dimensions are wider and lengths are slightly different on the Poly versions .

Good point, PW - and one I forgot.

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And the RX models cost more, are easier to repair, and are more desirable, IMO.

The OP never even mentioned WW
You were the one that did.

I am guessing that he doesn’t want it for your type of big WW.

If he did, he would be looking for one of your rockered boats, not a Penobscot.

I’ll stick by what I said above.


And I only mentioned it in passing, so
why did you pick up on it?