guide too wide??

Joined
Feb 13, 2014
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minnesota
Is the Old Town Guide 160 too wide?

Im looking at the Discovery 158 & Guide 160 to buy. Mainly for small lake fishing. Some river use. Perhaps a little exploring too. I'd be traveling solo mostly. I like the Guide 160, but maybe its a bit too wide. 39.5 inches would be roomy, but hard to man-handle.

Opinions??
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
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The Guide? A bit wide - and a bit too heavy. Both contribute to difficult solo lift and carry. The little bit of protruding keel is not desirable for river use. The Discovery 158 is a better all-around boat, IMO...especially for river use. Still quite heavy for solo carry, but will paddle solo better than the Guide. Replace the rear thwart with a kneeling thwart for solo paddling, and it would be pretty decent. Then you just need a system for handling it out of the water.
 
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I had a old town Camper canoe for a while. I think it was 58 lbs. Might be worth looking at for the uses you described.
 
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Nov 17, 2013
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Old town makes a Stillwater 12 and 14 ft that weighs about 53 lbs,, 39 inches wide around 1000 bucks,, I just bought myself a 12ft 40 inches wide canoe, new, 53 lbs for half that price. I have set it up for fishing, mostly for slow moving rivers. If u need more info I can send it to you.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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There's a market for 38"-40" canoes and a market for narrower ones. It depends upon the paddler's intended usage, interests and needs.

I'd make a fundamental distinction between two types of paddlers: (a) those who are interested in paddling per se as a sport, and (b) those who are interested in using a canoe as a stable platform for some activity other than paddling.

The "sport paddlers" are interested in the act of paddling itself -- paddling for the sake of paddling. Sport paddlers include racers, freestyle canoeists, Canadian style paddlers, whitewater paddlers, exercise/fitness paddlers, and anyone who enjoys moving a paddle through the water for no other reason than the physical and mental joy of doing so. These sport paddlers would likely find a wide canoe to be too slow or not sufficiently maneuverable for their performance-oriented purposes. They would prefer narrower canoes, sometimes much narrower.

The "platform paddlers" are primarily interested in a canoe as a vehicular platform with which, in which, and on which to engage in some other sport. The primary other sport is fishing. It could also be photography (perhaps with a tripod), shooting, archery, or just floating. These paddlers may appreciate the greater initial stability provided by the wide body canoes.

Only you can decide which of these categories you fit primarily in. Many of us fit in both categories. So . . . we get . . .

. . . two canoes . . . then

. . . three . . . then . . .

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Joined
Jul 31, 2011
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Eastern PA
I used to have a disco 158. I paddled it mostly in the small stream in front of my cabin. Fished a lot out of it, often my wife and I and 2 or 3 of our kids. Paddled great tandem, it was ok solo but to be fair I did not solo it much or very far plus I was pretty much a novice at the time. It is a heavy canoe though.

My daughters paddling it.

CabinKayaking032.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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I looked up your Guide on the Old Town site, seems to have those built in seats with a folding backrest. When most of us use a tandem solo, we paddle it backwards, fanny on the edge of what used to be the forward seat. I guess I'd want to know just how painful those seats would be. I suppose you could remove the issue seat and make something that works better but then that means that you've got to one more thing before you can use it.

I like Glenn's point about different kinds of canoers; platform and paddlers. I can appreciate it's a hard one to swallow especially with your first boat; but I'd stay away from those "compromise" crafts. My advice is to pick the thing you want to do well, most, and get a boat that is made for that usage. Just like Glenn says there probably are more canoes coming along.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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There are people who regard canoeing as transport, and others seeking a sport.. Somewhere tow thirds to the latter am I ... I like my boats to perform well.
 
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Feb 14, 2013
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Then there is the problem that a beginning paddler doesn't really know what he wants. He might think he knows why he's looking at canoes - but once he starts paddling and the "aha moment" strikes - more possibilities open a whole new line of thought.

That's why I say get the best recreational canoe you can get the best deal on in the "used" market, in a reasonable time frame - then go figure out what kind of paddler you want to be. After that, getting particular is a lot easier.
 
G

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There's a market for 38"-40" canoes and a market for narrower ones. It depends upon the paddler's intended usage, interests and needs.

I'd make a fundamental distinction between two types of paddlers: (a) those who are interested in paddling per se as a sport, and (b) those who are interested in using a canoe as a stable platform for some activity other than paddling.

Although I have a penchant for tandem canoes turned into dedicated solos the 38”-40” wide-rides seem a poor choice for much of anything that doesn’t involve using a motor or floating inactively downstream.

I’m not sure the niche for uber-wide canoes actually exists. I know folks who have bought such canoes with the stable fishing or photography platform intention and quickly discovered that a jon boat, row(able) boat or motor boat was far superior.

Or, more often, a smaller, narrower, lighter canoe.

The Guide 160 is absurdly wide, and both it and the Disco 158 are awfully heavy. Unless you live on the water humping close to 90 lbs of canoe on and off the car roof racks twice a day just to noodle around some quiet water solo often becomes a reason not to go paddling.

As noted above the molded seat pans and fixed seat backs are not conducive to paddling solo bow backwards.

That's why I say get the best recreational canoe you can get the best deal on in the "used" market, in a reasonable time frame - then go figure out what kind of paddler you want to be. After that, getting particular is a lot easier.

Best advice.
 
Joined
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One thing I know for sure....you can fish and take photos from a 35"-wide tandem, but handling a 40"-wide tandem will always be a lot more work.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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It seems obvious to me that there's a market for 38"-40" canoes because those canoes have been around for a long time.

Of course you can fish and photo from a 36" wide recreational tandem. You can also fish and photo from a 26" wide solo canoe. As general principle, I'd say you need greater canoe experience, balance and skill the narrower the canoe is for platform canoeing. In other words, the narrower a canoe you pick for platform sports, the better a sport paddler you already better be (or seriously plan to be).

You can also paddle a 40" canoe for sport purposes. You won't go fast but you can still have water fun.

Here are pnet reviews for the Guide 160. Keep in mind that most people who write these reviews do so because they like their boat choice. All the people who reject a boat as not meeting their needs don't write reviews.

Personally, I wouldn't get any poly canoe because they are too heavy. A heavy canoe is an unused canoe. A light canoe costs more but gets a lot more dates. Canoes can last a lifetime. A canoe that costs more initially, but which you and your children use and enjoy a lot, will be a better investment over a lifetime than a heavy honker that ends up molding away in the backyard junk pile.
 
G

Guest

Guest
It seems obvious to me that there's a market for 38"-40" canoes because those canoes have been around for a long time.

Various manufacturers do continue to make and sell 38”-40” wide canoes. And various people do continue to buy them. I know a couple of people who did just that with the intention of fishing or photography.

But none of those people actually continue to paddle those uber-wide canoes. They either moved on to a more efficient hull shape or lighter weight canoe or stopped paddling altogether.

It either case their wide-rides sit unused or were sold.
 
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