Wood canoes or Pack?

I have seen a spate of very nice used high-end wood and fiberglass canoes for sale locally for very reasonable prices. I would love to pick up a nice 12-14 footer to replace the Radisson that I just sold. I like the idea of a narrower beam and a little more length to two-up if I want.

I have decided that I like Canoes better than kayaks based on nothing other than the tradition of canoeing in America and the North East in particular and that I will keep the Grumman Dreadnaught for all time and would like a smaller solo canoe to keep in the fleet. SInce I am attracted mostly by the nostalgia of it all why not get a wood ribbed boat? Are the 'glass ones particularly hard to maintain? I am looking at a couple Merrimack canoes in particular. They have good reviews here but for the price that they are asking I am afraid that they are very old boats.

The other things that I am looking are a couple of Old Towns. A Stillwater and a Pack. I’m not sure if the still water is a 12 foot or a 14 foot yet. Besides weighing a lot more than the Pack they seem to be a lot more stable and therefore might be more suited to my use of fishing and exploring lakes, ponds and quiet streams and rivers. The downside os that they scratch up so easily and I already have a brand new Dirigo that looks well-worn in. The Pack is the only canoe that I have seen that weighs as little as the 12 foot Radisson. I like that but the reviews that I have read here indicate that the Pack might be particularly tippy and I have a LOT of very old fishing gear that I am lax to take a lot of chances in loosing. Plus I don’t to go over-board in April or October around here! I’m a very new paddler so I’m thinking that a Pack might be a better purchase next year than now. I know also that this is a SOLO canoe and that’s OK. I would prefer a solo with an extra seat type but a solo solo is OK for this application.

So, for a NooB fishing flat water, day trips only, what do you think? Traditional Wood/Glass, Stable and wide like the Radisson was (but about 70% heavier in all cases) or a tippy but sweet handling, bulletproof, and very light weight Pack?


Old Town Pack
I had a Pack that I specifically bought for fishing. I found it very stable (although I do not stand to fish.) I used it for 2 seasons and then opted to sell it and purchase a solo that was a bit longer as I found the pack slightly crowded with fishing gear. It was rather slow, had limited glide and did not track very well. (probably do to it’s length)

wide vs lite
I tend to go with the “lighter is better” approach, especially if you are in the 40+ age group, cartop and plan to use these things for awhile. Most “traditional” styled canoes tend to be on the heavy side as are most wider canoes.

I also go with the easier to paddle approach as I don’t want to wear myself out trying to get to where I’ll fish and I enjoy paddling for the sake of paddling.

Therefore, I have a Wenonah Vagabond and a Solo Plus. Both easy to paddle solos, with the plus able to go tandem. Cant stand in either, but that’s not a big deal to me. Neither would be considered traditional fishing canoes.