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Old Town Penebscot 17 RX

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

A reliable, durable and stable all-around canoe that…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $1200


A reliable, durable and stable all-around canoe that will last several lifetimes.


  • Durability and reliability that comes from Royalex done well
  • All-around contender...does all things well.


  • A tad heavy for long, undulating portages
  • Not as streamlined and fast as Kevlar canoes

The Old Town Penebscot 17 is a reliable and functional tripper and everyday paddler. Extremely stable in all water conditions, from flat lakes to Class III. Initial and final stability are predictable and inspire confidence. I've tripped with mine for over a decade, from the lakes and rivers of Canada, Ohio and Michigan to the Gulf, rivers and back waters of SW Florida.

For portaging it is a bit overweight, but has been doable. Durability is without question as is its reliability. It does sit high and has the propensity to weathervane in high winds, but slices through the waves without letting the water in. Not as quick as many high end kevlar canoes, but its length allows for adequate speed, even when laden with a week's worth of gear and food.

Royalex done well is hard to beat. Families in particular will enjoy the Old Town Penebscot 17 with a ton of usable space. Several companies make additional "drop-in" seats that are easy to attach/detach, allowing small children to enjoy the ride with Mom and Dad. We have paddled with three of our kids and our Lab without any difficulty or stability issues.  

I must add, even after a decade of use our Penebscot still looks excellent, although washing it down and storing it properly in the garage after each use has prolonged its good looks.

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