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Old Town's Penobscot 16' canoe is a pleasure to paddle.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $1,700
Old Town's Penobscot 16' canoe is a pleasure to paddle. The canoe is a solid performer on all types of water.
With its ability to carry 1,100 lbs., the Penobscot is perfectly suited for long canoe trips. Even though it is 16' and made of Royalex, it is surprisingly light.
This canoe is perfect for those weekend and longer canoe camping trips and for fishing.
I highly recommend this canoe to anyone looking for a stable, well-made, versatile boat.
- Can be paddled backwards from the bow seat
- Not as light as fiberglass or kevlar canoes
- Deck plates seem a little wimpy
Old Town's Penobscot 16' canoe is a pleasure to paddle. Made of Royalex, the canoe is surprisingly light and extremely durable. Canoes are meant to go where deeper-draft boats cannot. I have taken this canoe in some pretty shallow water and over some submerged branches without putting a scratch in the hull.
It tracks nicely, even in windy conditions paddling solo from the bow seat. The shallow V hull helps provide good initial stability, while secondary stability is great. The webbed seats allow solo paddlers to paddle the canoe backwards from the bow seat, which improves the canoe's trim bow to stern.
With the ability to carry 1,100 lbs, this canoe makes a nice tripping canoe. Go ahead, bring your Bernese Mountain dog along, four-burner gas barbecue grill, and Adirondack chair. This canoe can carry just about anything you can put in it
One nice feature this canoe has is the aluminum gunwales. That also help reduce the overall weight of the canoe.
I use this canoe for fishing lakes and rivers and for camping.
I highly recommend this canoe to anyone who needs a durable canoe for use on all types of water. My aunt had the same boat, and she and I would paddle it off the coast of Maine; it's that stable. This canoe is ideally suited for families or anyone planning an extended paddling trip.
The Penobscot has been Old Town's flagship Royalex canoe for decades. Its durability and design has withstood the test of time.
Good on flat lakes and easy to paddle, but will swamp…
Source: rented it
Good on flat lakes and easy to paddle, but will swamp easily due to the shallow rocker in large standing waves.
- Dangerous in large waves.
We rented the canoe and were very happy until we hit some rapids with very large standing waves. The canoe quickly swamped and we were swimming. Friends in a Nova Craft had no problems.
Great for beginning as well as experienced paddlers.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $400
Great for beginning as well as experienced paddlers. Does well on lakes and rivers. Large enough to hold plenty of gear.
- Ease of maneuverability
- Old Town snap-in middle seat doesn't seem to fit great in this canoe
We got this canoe mainly for lake usage and it is great. Very stable for me and my kids, never feels like it might tip over, even if someone goes for a swim then climbs back in the boat. We've also used it on rivers (Androscoggin) with much success.
Old Town boats are very tough. This has been over many rocks and it still looks great. This boat can easily be portaged by one person. It balances well while being carried and one end can be set down to rest if needed. It is also easy to load and unload to the top of a vehicle, in my opinion.
Disclosure: I work part-time at a sporting goods store that sells Old Town canoes, among other brands.
This canoe is a wonderful choice for canoe camping…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 1400
This canoe is a wonderful choice for canoe camping on rivers and small lakes. It's light, rugged, handles well, stable and capable of carrying all your gear.
- Pleasure to paddle
- The cane seats can wear through over time
I have used the canoe for multiple camping trips. After using a tripper for 25 years, this Old Town was a step up in handling and responsiveness. It is a great canoe by a great company that will give you decades of enjoyment with minimal care.
Versatile and responsive, this canoe is a great all-arounder.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $1000
Versatile and responsive, this canoe is a great all-arounder. Great as a short tripper, on easy to intermediate whitewater, or on flatwater.
- Straight tracking
- Load capacity
I've owned the 16 foot Royalex version of the Penobscot for more than 11 years. This canoe is a great do-everything option. It's reasonably fast and straight-tracking on flatwater. It's stable and responsive on class I and II whitewater, class III perhaps with a skilled paddler.
I've used this canoe on trips of up to 4 days and it performs great, but the load capacity is really insufficient for anything much longer. While best used as a tandem canoe, you can also paddle solo in the right conditions.
The little touches on the finishing of this boat make it stand out. For example, the poly decks with molded grab handles are much more comfortable that the wooden handles you'll find on most other boats. Similarly the aluminum gunwales add a little stiffness and reduce squeaking that you may encounter with competitor's canoes. Even the graphics look elegant.
If you're solely going to do long wilderness lake country trips, look elsewhere. If you want a rough-and-tumble river canoe, there are better choices out there. But if you want an excellent general duty canoe that doesn't do anything perfectly, but does everything well, then the Penobscot is a great choice!
The 16 is, IMHO, a better boat than the 17. The latter…
Price Paid: $699
The 16 is, IMHO, a better boat than the 17. The latter is an extended version and isn't as handy. The 16 is capable of tripping on lakes and easy rivers, up to Class II. While initially tender, it has good secondary stability. It is arguably one of the fastest Royalex canoes around.