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Thread: Old Town Tripper substitute?

  1. #1
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    Default Old Town Tripper substitute?

    Since it appears that Old Town no longer makes the Tripper canoe model (hoping someone will correct me that I'm mistaken), what are some alternatives that would be comparable. Also since Rolayex is no longer available suggestions as to similarly durable materials would be great too.

    Looking for a bit of an all around canoe, enjoyable to paddle on day trips, but also able to handle a decent load too for extended trips and possibly hauling a moose out (which would probably put the canoe at gross wt. capacity or a little above, which I realize there are drawbacks to). Used mostly on small to medium lakes, marshes, and easier rivers (class 1-2 for the most part as I'm not experienced enough with whitewater to feel comfortable taking on anything more challenging in a canoe. I'd primarily use it for lining up shallow streams for hunting, sneaking back into sloughs and marsh for hunting and day/weekend trips on local rivers. It'd be nice to keep the weight below or around 70 lbs so that portaging isn't too terrible. There are so many manufactures and options out there that it is a bit intimidating to figure out where to start looking.

    Looking at the prospector series by Novacraft in their Tuffstuff lay-up. Seems like it'd be a good all around canoe but am open to any and all suggestions.

    Also availability of either shipping the canoe to Fairbanks or Anchorage or having available locally will play into the decision as well.

    Thanks in advance!

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    I might wait on T-Formex canoes from Esquif and see how they stand up long term. This is a similar material to Royalex but more abrasion resistance but I think time will tell. A Prospecteur 17 would be a good tripping design if the material pans out.

    Nova-Craft makes a prospector 18 and Tuff-Stuff looks pretty good. This boat is similar in carrying capacity to my battered old Tripper.. Not quite as indestructable as rolayex but very good and very light.

    However if you want to hall a moose I'd save up for a 20 Foot Mackenzie from Clipper in Kevlar. You need to be careful in rock gardens but this boat has CAPACITY! Finding the holy grail 20 foot Tripper from Old Town would also be a worthy quest. People are holding on to these and the similar 20 foot Miramichi from Esquif as they were Cargo worthy haulers with great durability thought heavy as hell.

  3. #3
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    There may not be any substitute for the abs boats if rocks are involved. Later old Town abs boats grew lighter,
    my 17 Penobscott weighs 65 pounds, moves a load fast, but lacks the reserve buoyancy of those much heavier
    bigger ended old Town Trippers. Now that abs is gone, a three layer poly Penobscot 17 is up there weight wise
    at 83 Lb. Too heavy!

    Thise Nova Prospectors look nice. The Tripper was a deep hull and Your going to find that here in these boats.
    Notice the capacity numbers and how each foot of length adds about 200 Lb. to capacity? Since hunting
    is intended, it's my opinion that a longer Nova Prospectors like the 17,18 would serve well on the paddle out
    following hunting success. Those Nova capacity numbers might be a little less inflated than most. Imagine that

    I occasionally encounter a Clipper Canoe. Both boat and paddler seem know their way.

    Good luck finding the right boat. The demise of abs sure has narrowed our choices. Trippers had faded in popularity to
    faster and lighter canoes. I doubt many people bought them in the end. They were a pretty good class 3 boat and you
    could camp like Teddy R with all that capacity. Old town doesn't go there any more.

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm thinking the Novacraft prospector in the tuffstuff is a leading option for me. Time to dive into some more research. While the tuff stuff may not be quite as durable as rolayex, it seems like it's pretty good. Have seen several reviews and videos online that are very favorable of it.

    while I'll still keep watching for a used tripper, I'll be surprised if one comes up for sale.

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    Where are you located? I'm in Delta Junction, and I have an older Tripper I'd sell if you're still looking for one.

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    Yes, I'd still be possibly interested in it. I'm in Fairbanks.

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    It appears I don't have PM privileges, so if you send me a text at 907-590-5988 I can get you some info and pics.

  8. #8
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    My wife and I had a small mom and pop canoe/kayak resort on the South Fork of the Spring River in the Ozark Mountains of North Arkansas. The Southfork of the Spring River is full of Smallmouth Bass and a wonderful place for fishermen and families. We used the Old Town canoes exclusively and had wonderful success with them. I don't think you can go wrong with an "Old Town". We used a lot of Discovery 169 models.
    Max Load Range: 1,350-1,400 lb


    You can buy and use a small trolling motor mount for this canoe. While Old Town has a Square Back canoe it does not have near the capacity of the Discovery 169.

  9. #9
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    When Spartech dropped Royalex, I wasn't too bothered by that. Hands down, the best double enders I've observed, were the clippers. For Alaska, go with their widest model: 20 ft Mackenzie Tripper. Stick with fiberglass, their boats have excellent flex combined with rigidity, kevlar is not needed.

    Last September, I poled and lined an Old Town Penobscot 17 footer up mendeltna creek into old man lake. I stood while poling, and a french Canadian sat in the bow seat. I managed ok, but I was really wanting a 20 footer with a few inches more beam. These 20 footers maneuver little creeks just fine. Poling and lining up creeks is best done while the sternman stands, and secondary stability means nothing, if you don't have good initial stability.

    I'm partial to the Old Towns, having been built so long in my home state. I'm also partial to the Penobscot, as my mother found one of our ancestor's arrowheads in the Penobscot River while fishing. My cousin guided whitewater on the Penobscot as well. Lotta meaning to that canoe and name.

    I can put my bias aside though, the craftsmanship, perfect dimensions for Alaskan rivers, lakes, creeks, and toughness of the Clipper MacKenzie's can't be beat. When this French Canadian and I spent 5 arduous hours four-wheeling to Klutinia Lake for a put-in, we declined to put the old town canoe on that wind-swept lake. Had it been a 20 foot Clipper, we'd have continued the trip.

    http://www.clippercanoes.com/20-foot-mackenzie/

  10. #10
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    How would the Kevlar version of the MacKenzie compare...I sure like the lighter weight.

  11. #11

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    MacKenzie needs to build a 20 foot version of their sport canoe.

  12. #12
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    Another option is the 20.5' fiberglass double end Maine canoe from Abitibi. Designed by Barry Davis of Two Rivers in Medway. Beam is 45". I would guess it is comparable to the 20' MacKenzie, but on the east coast. Barry says being fiberglass and with a keel, it is better than the XL Tripper. He knows his stuff.

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