Friday, February 17, 2012

Old Town Pack Canoe

I recently sold my kayak so I was looking for a replacement.  I wanted to come back into the world of canoes but wanted a solo boat that was light.  There are many many decisions ranging from $500 all the way up to $3,000.  What I ended up deciding on is the Old Town Pack.  I think we all know the Old Town Canoe company.  They have been dominating the canoe market since 1898.  Unfortunately in 2004 Old Town was purchased by a large outdoor company called Johnson Outdoors, but thankfully they left the company in Maine.  It would have been a great loss to Maine and consumers if they ended up like the Mad River canoe company.  Unfortunately in this kayak dominated market it’s tough to find a good high end or middle of the road canoe locally.  I can find 80lb polyethylene boats at any mom and pop sporting good store.  I wanted something better though.  After many attempts locally to find one I decided to purchase it from LL Bean.  LL Bean had a 15% off sale and the freight shipping was only $60.  That’s a bargain in my book.  I ordered it on Tuesday (2/14) and it arrived today (2/17).  That’s some fast freight shipping!  

The packaging was very well done.  It was wrapped in multi layers of plastic and bubble wrap.  All in all there were 3 layers of plastic covering and 2 layers of bubble wrap.  The packaging was so good I now have to sharpen my Buck knife again.  As I unwrapped it I found the bow and stern handles had Scotty mount holders attached to them.  AMAZING!!! This essentially solves so many problems that canoeists have.  There are 4 total.  Two at the bow and two at the stern.  I now don’t have to worry about mounting any anchor setup or rod holder on the gunwales due to Old Town’s great idea.  This is why Old Town has dominated the canoe market for years.  I’ve already made a mental note of using my Scotty anchor mount on the farthest hole and my Scotty triple mount on the closest one.  After I cleaned up the drool I looked over the rest of the canoe and it’s exactly how I figured it would be.  Some popular modifications are to lower the seat to gain some stability but I’ll paddle it first and find out if I need it.  More often than not I’ll be paddling from my knees anyway.  I plan to get out in the next couple days so we’ll see how it goes. 

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