You can fish from any of Old Town’s canoes, but the Discovery Sportsman 118 solo canoe has additional features suited for fishing or hunting. This canoe has the same hull as the Discovery 119, but an adjustable kayak seat is added instead of a bench seat.
Flush-mounted rod holders behind the seat allow for easy rod placement while you paddle. There’s also dedicated storage space for gear and tackle. If you’re buying a canoe exclusively for fishing, this is an excellent option.
Any canoe can be used for overnight tripping, but the design elements of the Penobscot make this the most suitable Old Town canoe for paddlers hoping to explore interior waters. This canoe comes in 16’4” and 17’4” lengths.
With its shallow-arch hull, the Penobscot can handle rougher waters. This hull shape helps the canoe stay steady even when it is on edge, providing more secondary stability than other Old Town canoes. This design feature is valuable for canoeists using their boats in chop or current.
What length should I buy?
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Once you’ve decided on the model that suits your needs, you’ll need to choose an appropriate length. The easiest decision is whether you want a solo or tandem canoe. If you plan to paddle with two people, you’ll need a canoe with two seats. Old Town’s Discovery and Penobscot models have symmetrical hulls, and with their bench seats, they can be paddled solo.
To do this, the solo paddler sits backwards in the bow seat and paddles stern-first. A dedicated solo canoe is much easier to control if you’re exclusively paddling alone. These are shorter, like the Discovery 119.
Canoe length influences the boat’s performance. Generally, longer boats are faster, while shorter ones are easier to turn and maneuver. The Penobscot 164 is a good canoe for both solo and tandem paddling, with storage space for weekend trips. For longer trips, consider the storage capacity gained with extra length.
Also, for families or people paddling with medium-large dogs, a 14-foot canoe can quickly become crowded. Sixteen feet or longer is best to give everyone space in the canoe. It comes at a cost, both financially and in additional weight. If you aren’t planning to portage the canoe, prioritize the extra space.
Does Old Town make good canoes?
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Old Town makes inexpensive canoes that are good for fishing and recreational use.
Old Town canoe models
Presently, Old Town offers five canoe models in different sizes and iterations: the Discovery, Guide, Penobscot, NEXT and Saranac. Old Town has introduced and discontinued other models throughout its history. If you don’t see your canoe online, you can use the registration number stamped inside it to look up the specific model history of that Old Town canoe.
Discontinued Old Town canoe models
A company with a long history, such as Old Town, will see models come and go. You can still find information about these discontinued canoe models, like the wood-canvas Guide 17.
Old Town canoe specs
Old Town canoe specs are provided in our Paddling Buyer’s Guide. Compare them alongside other canoes on the market.
Old Town canoe sizes
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Old Town makes solo and tandem canoes. They are a variety of shapes but tend to be wider than other companies’ canoes as they prioritize stability.
Old Town canoe length
Old Town canoes range in length from the Discovery 119, which measures 11’9”, up to the Penobscot 174, at 17’4”. As you can see, the number in the name of each Old Town canoe model represents that boat’s length in feet and inches.
How wide is an Old Town canoe?
The width of an Old Town canoe varies by the individual model, but as canoes go, they are some of the widest on the market. This reflects their goal to make comfortable canoes for beginners, who appreciate the stability wider canoes provide.
Their recreational canoes are among their widest, with the canoes in the Discovery series stretching to around 40 inches at their widest points. Contrast that with the Penobscot 164, which is 37 inches at its widest.