whitewater in my canoe?

I have an Old Towne Discovery 133. I need to know if this would be acceptable for whitewater. No larger than class 3 or 4. Any opinions or tips would be helpful.

Is it made out of.
the same Crosslinked stuff that their other Discos are?

If yes, I have taken my Old town 158 down the Nantahala River many times. It is class II-III.

Get some air bags, and go for it.



Very Wide
I had an OTT 133 and it was very wide. About 42" I would start out very slowly and work my way up. Real class III-IV is big stuff. Abolsotely need the floatation.

You’re joking…right?

– Last Updated: May-21-04 8:44 PM EST –

In your profile you list yourself as a beginner. You're asking if you should/can take a 78 pound, 40.5 inches wide, Old Town 133, down class 3 & class 4 whitewater.
You've got the wrong boat, and the wrong skill level for class 3, and class 4 whitewater!
The Old Town 133 is built for stability; it was designed (according to Old Town), to be used by people who are fishing, or hunting. You won't have time to do any fishing if you take that boat out on class 4 whitewater! There may be some hunting going on; you hunting for your boat & gear, or someone looking for you, and the boat!
Bottom line; can you do class 4 whitewater in a Old Town 133? Yes! Can you do class 4 whitewater in a trash barrel? Yes? Would an intelligent person do class 4 whitewater in either one? NO! If you do; "please" get someone to take photos & post them on Pnet. Now I'm joking!

Don't do it!


Ya Mon,
Bobs right. You’ve got the wrong boat, and Class 3 or 4 water is big water. I’d be hard pressed to do it in my Disco 169, but would massage the idea in my 158 with some serious floatation. Those boats fill with water QUICK.

I did some short Class IIs a few years back while tripping in my 169 and got swamped quick. Wasn’t fun.

Choose the weapon to match your skills and use both of em wisely. I’d like to see the pics if you got em though.


you do take your 133 down class IV…Wear a PFD…It’ll be easier to find the body.

I do boat WW in an open canoe… Bob’s advise is sound!!!

I have paddled many
class II’s and III’s in my Discovery 158 and 172. All the advice that you’ve received is good. I’ve also done a couple very short class IV’s and would definately recommend against it! II’s and III’s can be a lot of fun in these “big” boats, but be sure you are very good with all the different paddle strokes and braces and self rescue before you tackle this kind of water.

i have to concur with thebob.com. . and
for what you are asking, If you have to ask the question, you shouldn’t be doing it. If you are interested in ww canoeing it sounds like lessons are in order.

2nd Effort; tips and suggestions…
You told us about your boat; now I’ll tell you a little about the boat I use on whitewater.

It’s a Mad River Outrage X; weighs about 65 pounds fully outfitted with air bags, pedestal, thigh straps, kneepads, foot pegs, and ankle pads. It’s 13 feet long; has 6" of bow rocker, and 5" of stern rocker; it’s maximum width is 29 inches. It basically has one purpose; it was designed for whitewater. Virtually worthless trying to do anything else.

As far as my skill level; let’s just say I am not a beginner. I have been doing whitewater for about 10 years. Have had training in whitewater canoeing at Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. Also trained as an Instructor in Canoeing, Advanced Swiftwater Rescue and CPR. When doing whitewater I “always” wear my pfd, river shoes, helmet, paddling gloves, and depending on the water temp., I wear either hydro skin shorts and shirt, paddling pants and jacket, wetsuit, drysuit (or a combination of those mentioned). .Underneath the outer layer, I wear other layers to offset hypothermia. I “always” have a whistle, river knife, throw bag, z-drag system, spare paddle, food, water and first aid kit with me when I paddle whitewater. I never do whitewater with less than one other person with me; I prefer two. I don’t do whitewater with people I don’t know; unless at least one person in the paddling group is someone I have paddled with on a fairly regular basis. I will not run any rapid I don’t feel good about; even if I have run it on several occasions before. I regularly scout rapids I have run numerous times. I don’t try to hustle people into doing rapids that they, or I don’t feel they’re capable of doing. I will attempt to help anyone out of a bad situation, but I know my limitations, and will not knowingly go beyond them. I expect my paddling partners to know there limitations too.

Generally speaking; the people I paddle whitewater with have pretty much the same gear, training, expectations, and limitations that I have. If and when all that starts changing; I’ll quit paddling whitewater.

I don’t expect anyone to start paddling whitewater with all the gear I paddle with, nor do I expect they’ll have the years of experience I have, or training I’ve received. You probably don’t have the quality (experience, training, gear) of paddling partners I have at present. But hopefully, you will make an effort to gain a little of each (gear, training, experience, paddling partners) “before” you decide to tackle class 3 & 4 whitewater. If you don’t; be sure you are aware (really aware) of the natural consequences. Don’t become a statistic!

Good luck Harley,


P.S. Don’t get in too big a hurry to get on whitewater; it’ll be there waiting for you.

One Thing
That Bob forgot to mention, which has nothing to do with the topic at hand, and that is, he’s good at creating dissension in the ranks.

Ain’t that right Bob?


Wrong canoe.
I know the OT 133. Wide and FLAT bottom. No good for white water.

For a beginner, a Class I is enought to dump with the OT 133. No control, boat willing to turn sideways, and roll over Beethoven!

What’s up Jack ???
Create dissension in the ranks? You know me better than that Jack! I just want to make an attempt to set people up for success, and hopefully they won’t make a lot of the same mistakes I made early on. Some people aren’t as lucky as me.

As for you; you’re just whining because I told your wife about you’re “lolly-gagging” in the stern; splashing your paddle in the water(creating paddling sounds with no effort), for every 5 high quality, power strokes she does in the bow.

That woman deserves better than that from a tandem partner. She needs to put you up in the bow so she can keep an eye on you “effort”, or should I say, “lack of effort”!



P.S. Did overnight on the Current this past weekend. Saw 2 wild horses on riverbank, a few miles below Round Spring. Seemed unusual for them to be that close to the river & not move back into the woods as we got closer. All of a sudden I see the flick of a small tail at their feet. They were standing in a grassy area near the river bank, where there was a couple of inches of water. Then a colt (maybe? a day old) wobbles up into a standing position. Absolutely beautiful! Of course I didn’t take my camera on this trip! But the picture is burned in my memory; a special moment!

As long as Jack et al aren’t spooning
where the triple saddle should be.

Gee, theBob, you’re much more conscientious than I am. I usually forget about a third of the stuff on your list, and I forget about the paddling companions too. For that matter, I paddle our MR Synergy solo on flatwater, although last Monday my wife joined me to run the best section of Black Creek in Mississippi. Damn Synergy is actually much crankier to paddle tandem than it is solo. Didn’t see any horses on Black Creek, but I have a nice shot of an ass grazing along the South Fork of the New in NC. If I would remember my whistle, I could put a start into those critters.

g2d…Re: conscientious
My wife says I’m compulsive obssessive with my boat, gear, and preparation. She may be right, but then she doesn’t paddle whitewater. Her attitude about what is & what is not compulsive obssessive behavior might change if she’d paddled through, and/or swam a few class 3s and class 4s.

I must be doing something right; I’m not dead, not crippled, and still paddling whitewater at 61 years old. Thinking about giving it up when I’m 70…maybe…


Geez, yer as old as I am.
Things I really hate to forget:

  1. Paddle
  2. Boat
  3. PFD
  4. Helmet