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Thread: Solo Old Towns

  1. #1
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Solo Old Towns

    I'm looking to replace an old 12ft Pack I had, that's a Royalex Old Town "Pack" that weighed 33lbs and carried like a suitcase.

    They want a lot more for that boat now and I want to go to fourteen ft for a solo boat, (same price as new Pack now around $850)
    was at SW the other day and they had two different materials, Royalex and something else, just Poly I think, that looked pretty tough, but was considerably cheaper (like $650)

    Anyone know what I'm looking at there, and if it is good stuff? It may have been an OT guide 14'7" and didn't quite have the lines of the more expensive 14' royalex one.

    Then I look at Mad River boats and they look to have so much nicer lines, a little heavier than that pack (probably won't find anything like that anyway)

    I really like paddling and can appreciate a well designed boat, will be out on ocean using it as a shore recon vessel from my Fishing Boat which means lifting it on and off, et. so can't go designer as it will get beat up a bit by definition in my situation and on beach rocks and barnacles.

    Ideas, on durable, lt weight, good hull design for under $1000
    Mostly Solo Canoe?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default poly link III

    the difference in materials..
    the poly link III boats weigh about 40 to 50 % more than a royalex boat.
    they are tough enough though,, and if you are not into portaging,, they are ok..
    The old discovery canoes are made of the same material and were very heavy,,
    I had a few in my canoe livery some years ago,, and found that folks got tired of portaging them, so they just dragged them over the trails until they were ruined..
    I do know of some folks that have had the discovery canoes for over 20 years though and love them..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Default

    Old Town is making the Discovery 119 again. 43#. Seems the price was in the $600 range.

    We have a Mad River Explorer and love it. I really like the lines of the Freedom Solo, but it weighs in at 55# and MSRP of $1250.

  4. #4
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default That sounds good

    Thanks Leonard, that sounds like a good price and size, do you know if that is a Poly material, the Discovery 119? Must be for that price I guess.
    have you seen any around in Anch or valley?

    As far as that Mad River, do you notice it paddles a lot better, as in the hull design, etc.? Is it the Explorer 14? I like that the most I think, good price also, you say, "We Have..." how many of you can comfortably go paddling in the 14?

    I may have to shell out the bucks to get a nicer paddler, as much as I liked that little Pack, especially the light weight factor it wasn't really a Joy to Paddle, just real functional.

    Any other ideas anyone, on a nice cruiser, room for a couple little boys with me, and still tough enough to hit the beaches around AK?

    I figure longer is better for speed and efficiency through the water so may swerve toward 14ft but can't do the standard 17' for lack of space on my big boat
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Default

    It's made of what they call "3 Layer Superliner". You can check it out on Old Town's web site. I touched one at the local EX-Sportman'sWH. I'll stop in on Thursday and check the price again. I can't give you an inventory report until Aug. on what might be in Wasilla or ANC.

    We have a longer Explorer (16?) Never had more than 3 people in it. I used the Old Town Trippers at work and some play and thought that was what we wanted. The local dealer had a "try day" and when I tried the Mad River it felt so much better. We special ordered ours with a few extra bells on it.

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    Member Sierra Dragon's Avatar
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    Default

    Wilderness Way in Soldotna deals in Mad River and Wenonha Canoes.. a bit more of a drive but they may have a few more to choose from

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    Default Kodiakrain

    I stopped in at the local EX-Sportsman's to check on those Old Towns. The Dis. 119 was $559.99 (forgot my glasses, late in the day and my eye wouldn't focus, but think that's the price) and the Pack was $989.99

    I think (based on how this store prices stuff) these are MSRP, so they should be about the same in AK.

  8. #8
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Appreciate the help guys, your story on the feel of the Mad River really has me swerving there Leonard, despite the price and weight difference.

    Is there a website for Wilderness Way in Soldotna? I'll search for it but was wondering, is actually closer to my pick up, hoping to come over to Homer on the big boat and catch a rental car to go get a canoe this spring, so thanks for that Sierra

    Good Paddling to you this Summer, It's Here, Wahoo
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Default

    I was trying to say that every style of canoe has a different feel to it and one may feel better to you than another. That feel can be how it floats, sits still, moves, turns, value for the money, or the "quality". Nothing like actually getting one on the water to see what you like best.

    Good luck with your search. Let us know what worked best for you.

  10. #10
    Member Sierra Dragon's Avatar
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    Default

    wilderness way's website is:

    http://www.wildernessway.org/new-page-7.htm

    they don't have an inventory list this year but the photo kind of tells the story.

    good luck... next biggest dealer I've found is REI in Anchorage. they have Old town, Mad River and a few Esquif's... last I went by there they have a few old Demo Models for sale at a really good price as well, one at least was a small solo canoe... either a Pack or a Rockport I was looking at kayaks so not really paying attention.

  11. #11

    Default

    I am on my 3rd solo..a few years back I test drove the Giude 14'7" ..If we are talking the same boat it has a hard chine rib....I paddled in just a little wind and felt the boat handled a bit like paddling a log...slow to turn...etc.
    the Discovery I have heard good things about and the Penobscot has a good glide ratio with it's sharp bow, but in rappids takes some water over it...take a look at Mad River Freedom solo...I have heard many good things about it from paddlers...I would like my next solo to be the Nova Craft Super Nova...not as convient as a boat you can carry like a suit case... but it's all a trade off...

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    Default

    I'm a little late to this thread but I will put in a plug for the Old Town Guide. (Probably what you were looking at for 650.) I own a Guide 147 and I am almost crazy about it. I use it down in the Everglades and on slower moving rivers and flatwater in Florida. Those "hard chines" are there for secondary stability. I can sit on my gunwales and not quite flip it. I took my in-laws Guide, which they bought on my recommendation, on the Nanccy Lake Canoe Trail last summer. The Guide weighs 74 pounds, two people portaged it all the way around. (On one really steep portage, it took all four of us, but we're all out of shape.) But you're asking about a solo canoe. I use mine almost 100% by yself and I love it. I sit in the front seat, facing rearward, and paddle the boat backwards. It handles very well that way, although, I would agree that, in high winds, it's difficult to track straight. I portage mine alone over flat ground okay, but I'm unsure about doing it on AK terrain. Bottom line, the Guide is an awesome canoe for the price. As for durability, either the 2 layer polythyelen (Guide) or Royalex is quite durable. I see the local livery guys tossing Old Town Disco's around like tennis balls at the river and they just bounce right back.

  13. #13
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Went Mad

    Thanks for the help here, I went for the Mad River Explorer 14, real happy with it.

    It seems really fast, good maneuverability and the secondary stability is astounding. Better boat than I could have expected.

    I'm posting a Thread on "My New Canoe" with lots of pictures after my son and I tested it out pretty well off south Kenai coast, well not really tested, it was Flat Calm but we put some miles on and are very happy.

    Found it at REI sale and came away with Canoe and one designer Bending Branches paddle for $750 total

    Paddling Again and Having Some Fun
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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