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Author Topic: choosing a canoe  (Read 4111 times)

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Offline KBforester

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choosing a canoe
« on: June 15, 2012, 07:31:39 AM »
I'm a boat addict. I know a fair bit about boat design but I have very little experience with canoes. I grew up on the ocean, paddling and OPEN craft seems foreign to me.

This question may be a bit late (I already bought one), but how long of a canoe would experienced folks recommend for the following scenario:

- a young 20 something couple, both under 145 lbs.
- occasionally with 2 dogs (one 55 lbs, one about 11 lbs)
- 2- 4 day Camping on lakes and SLOW and steady moving rivers
- Moderate weight gear, not ultra light backpacker style, but not bringing the kitchen sink.
- MOST IMPORTANT, girl has tendentious/arthritis in her hand and wrist. There may be longish periods of time when she won't be able to paddle.   

That last point is really where the question becomes tricky. My default would be to get a 17 or 18 ft canoe, but I'm afraid on not being able to handle a big, loaded canoe on a windy lake by myself. I'm already slightly disgusted by how vulnerable canoes are to windage anyways ::) (thats the sea kayaker in me talking).

So I bought a 16ft old town Penobscot. WE haven't brought it out on the water yet. The hull looks to me like it would be a good fit in terms of shape (all around conditions) , but I'm still nervous about the length and capacity.

Any thoughts?
Trees are good.

Offline Cypressstump

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 08:06:46 AM »
Humm,,, If me and having to paddle all that weight solo,, I think I'd hang a motor on it... altho' I am real partial to motor propulsion anyways... ;)

How are you going to transport the canoe? the longer you go the more difficulty it will be to not only tote to and fro' but also load and transport. I have never seen too long of a canoe on a car top ,, yet.
Stump

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Offline KBforester

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2012, 10:20:56 AM »
Basic Truck rack and tie downs. Your right, bigger would be tougher. The 16fter is doable on my own, it is plastic, so it is heavy for its size.
Trees are good.

Offline Den Socling

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 10:28:25 AM »
That boat should suit you fine. You can paddle tandem or solo. And, if you don't have experience paddling a canoe, you may be surprised to learn that you can have more control paddling in the bow instead of the stern. A half hour of instruction from somebody who knows would be helpful.

Offline reride82

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 11:40:44 AM »
When in college, I was part of the American society of Civil Engineers and I competed two years in the concrete canoe competition ;) Haha, I got to learn how to paddle in one of those!
'Do it once, do it right'

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Offline Cypressstump

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 12:29:02 PM »
When in college, I was part of the American society of Civil Engineers and I competed two years in the concrete canoe competition ;) Haha, I got to learn how to paddle in one of those!

Funny, made me remember a guy that was building a concrete boat once. All the folks were telling him he was nuts, wood was far cheaper and easier. He did it anyway, formed it up, added some reinforcing wire and poured some lightweight water proof type concrete, crudely done, but it worked.Launched her and it floated nicely and level,..  While he was building out the interior, a hurricane came thru. The hull made it thru the winds and rains well, but did not quite survive the 100 foot tall pine tree that hit that thing almost dead center. It's still on the bottom in the cove where it was launched providing a good fish habitat.
Stump

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Offline Ironwood

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 10:57:47 PM »
That is a great little boat. Old Towns are very durable and affordable. I have many canoes here, mostly "trippers" in fiberglass, 17-18' and one old Sunbeam "battle AXE" open solo white water boat. I was equipment Mgr for an outdoor education program for many years and we had a HUGE fleet of boats. You made a good albeit heavier chioce. I like he general idea of that boat, it is a comprimise of many things. If a group of mosquito chased and very angry young men cannot kill a fleet of Old Towns it is likely you wont. Bash and crash her, she can take it.,,,,,,,

Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline WildDog

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2012, 02:48:19 AM »
Before I could walk I was in canoes, we are a big canoing/kayaking family, when the homemade woodan canvas ones bit the dust, fibreglass was the next, from 14ft to 16ft then I got an emu 18ft canadian, it could take a lot of weight and was an excellent fishing platform but  very heavy to load on your own, my oldest son now has it.

These days my youngest boy has just turned six and I needed one that I could manage on my own, after a lot of research and not a lot of variety in Australia i went with the Old Town Penobscot, nice and lit to both carry and paddle on your own and will take nocks better than the firbreglass, I'm not sure how easy the "royal" material is to repair. When paddling I notice a loss of speed witht the Penobscott compared to my 18ft, but as I get older I'm happy enough looking at the sites along the way compared to racing off somewhere testing my muscles out ;)

Here's a pic when I got the Penobscot and put it in the creek at the house

 

 

I'd say you made a great choice with the Penobscot for what you want to do with a young family, I liked the "Old Town Guide" as well but couldn't get it down under. 
If you start feeling "Blue" ...breath    JD 5510 86hp 4WD loader Lucas 827, Pair of Husky's 372xp, 261 & Stihl 029

Offline KBforester

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2012, 05:45:23 AM »
Thanks for the replies everybody! That really puts my mind at ease.
Trees are good.

Offline Ironwood

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2012, 06:12:39 AM »
How easy to repair? I would say unless someone attacks you with a cordless saw or drill, OR it flies off the roof and you drag for MORE than a mile it is likely it would never need repaired. After years and years of aggressive use the fleet I refered to needed NOTHING. I think the Old Town material is NOT Royalex, that is what the Mad Rivers are made of, it should just be a molded plastic (unless they changed something I am not aware of). Royalex is ALOT lighter. We had about 20  Old Town 174's and a pile of various others. Mostly used the 174's some the boys could not complain that "Jonny's boat is better/lighter". Man, the "teachable moments" we had on those trips,.......there is a memory. Let's just say you cannot abuse a boat much more than I saw those boys do...... The skidplates in the second picture are ON a 174, and it was an experiement, they are UNEEDED.

Ironwood

 

  

  

  

 
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline WildDog

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2012, 07:08:28 AM »
Quote
I think the Old Town material is NOT Royalex, that is what the Mad Rivers

I'd say your right Ironwood, now I think of it Oldtown is a triple layer polymer or similar. I did look into the Mad Rivers but supplies were short or non existent  down-under at the time.
If you start feeling "Blue" ...breath    JD 5510 86hp 4WD loader Lucas 827, Pair of Husky's 372xp, 261 & Stihl 029

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 08:36:48 AM »
The Old Towns are available in both three layer poly and royalex.

Had the discovery scout that is poly, now have the Appalachian that is royalex. They are the same shape canoe but with lower sides and the royalex the Appalachian is quite a bit lighter, how ever the poly seems to be a lot more durable around the granite rocks we have in this area. The reason we switched canoes is we tend to do less white water and more portages.

The Penobscot is a nice hull shape for what you describe for your use it seems to track better and cut the water better than the Scout / Appalachian.

Offline KBforester

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2012, 09:35:42 AM »
http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/canoes/expedition/penobscot_16.html

I bought mine used, but I believe it is Royalex. It doesn't matter too me much. I had a friend who used to hook her royalex canoe up to a pickup truck at parties, and give people rides through hay fields  ::). Never suffered much damage from that.

Though it did get a pretty good sized crack in it when it got picked up by the wind in a winter storm and hit something hard. I suspect Cold Royalex is pretty brittle.
Trees are good.

Offline Yoopersaw

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2012, 09:55:28 AM »
The Old Town Tripper 17 ft. that I have is virtually indestructable.  I'm pretty sure it's constructed of Royalex.
The only complaint is it's heavy, but it can carry anything you put into it. 

It's Royalex    http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/canoes/expedition/tripper_172.html

Offline Ironwood

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2012, 06:01:54 PM »
I also aim for multi season use,......These boys were from NC and grew up in Hawaii, so they got an intiation 

  

 
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline Yoopersaw

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2012, 11:39:18 AM »

Offline celliott

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Re: choosing a canoe
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2012, 12:48:45 PM »
You did not go wrong with a penobscot. Probably couldn't have picked a better all purpose canoe, one of old town's best. Yes, it is royalex unless it's a 165. If it's a penobscot 16, it's royalex and darn near indestructible. Great choice.
Chris Elliott

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