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  1. Default Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    so we had a square back flat bottom fiberglass canoe last year, we have sold it. i am looking to buy a new royalex canoe and have been considering the OLD TOWN OSPREY because of it's smaller size, brand rep, very light, durability (royalex construction), 3 seats, oar mounts and because we can buy it from MEC who will stand behind it well after the warranty expires.

    we camp w/ends and a few weeks of the year. me, wife and our 5y old and 3y old boys(soon to be 6 & 4) as well as our 65lb dog.

    i fished (cast, bobber etc but never caught anything) with it last year, but we want to upgrade to a 3seater, so the kids can share the middle seat or i can take it out solo or with 1 of the kids now and then.

    the osprey runs about $1500cdn from MEC and weighs under 60lbs, so i would be able to roof mount it myself, which would be great.

    we mainly camp/canoe will be using it on open water lakes, ponds and the odd channel or river flowing off the lakes, no rough water or anything too scary for the kids (or me). we still have our minkota 30lb thru motor, battery and battery box so we would be either buying or making a side motor mount for it as well, but want a traditional canoe (not square stern) for their maneuverability.

    anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this model.

    Last edited by brucered; 12-02-2010 at 06:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    Bruce,

    I used an Old Town Discovery 160 for years. If the Osprey is available in kit form I would go that route. What I did was to but the 160 Discovery in kit and then move the front seat back a foot and the rear seat forward 18". Instead of a center seat I used a thwart and installed a set of oar locks from Old Town and bought oars. After adding an anchor transom and a quick cleat for the line I was on my way to a small drift boat that could handle a 700 pound payload. I ordered the cane seats and the Ash seat backs and the boat was complete (very comfortable for a canoe hull) all way under retail for a finished Discovery.

    The boat functioned just as a drift boat does and was much easier to handle in heavy water with the oars. When running white water if there is a front passenger that person simply kneels and uses a paddle to assist in operating the boat. With the oars much of the confusion and excitement of negotiating such water is removed.

    I had used a Mohawk canoe for many years with only standard canoe paddles and had learned that it was a bad idea to carry valuable gear in a boat that I could not fully control. When traveling alone the oars are unbeatable and when on still water they are used with a bench press type push to move the hull forward and this too is much easier than paddling. Last but not least all that water that drips into the hull when you switch your paddle from side to side is eliminated. If you are looking for a boat to fish from that will be stable and safe for you and your gear pay attention to the "Beam" measurement. I went with the Discovery because it had the widest beam in the Old Town line. Remember this, if you are going to carry fly fly fishing gear and camp gear you need stability not excitement I have had both and choose stability as my river craft.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    thanks for the tips and tricks.

    i'm not sure i want to buy a kit, enough though it would be cheaper. i want to take advantage of MEC's fabulous rocksolid warranty and guarantee, so i'd go preassembled.

    the osprey is actually a bit wider at the 4" waterline according to the OD site, that's comparing the 14' osprey with the 15'8" discovery.

    not sure i need it for hauling camping gear, as we'll be pulling our hybrid trailer, but who knows, down the road, we might want to venture out and bring the tent with us.

    i will be fishing from it, but it's more of a recreational canoe and it looks like it's a good all around versatile canoe given the specs and i love the weight of 58lbs and durabililty of the royalex (i will not buy another fiberglass), but i'm very glad to hear you have nothing but good things to say about Old Town. but i'm sure i'll hear some negatives as well.

    i know there are better ones out there and probably some hidden gems

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    Hi Bruce,

    With the use you have described the Osprey might be a good choice. There are a couple of problems with the Osprey as a family canoe.

    1. It is a recreational canoe and I am not sure 14' is big enough for your family. With two adults, two children, camping gear, a motor and a battery I don't think the boat is big enough. It is a wide boat and that will help.

    2. The boat has no, or very little, rocker. With a full load it may not be as maneuverable as their Tripping/Expedition models. It would be harder to row/turn with no rocker. The lack of rocker does help with a motor.

    3. The ends are low and that helps in a side wind but doesn't take waves as well front on.

    4. With the center seat it will be hard for one man to portage. It doesn't sound like you will be portaging so it may not be a problem.

    5. Canoes are tippy and I don't know how well behaved your kids are. Having them sitting side by side on the center seat may not be the safest arrangement. I would want them both on the center line of the boat. You would know this better than I would.

    So I don't know if this is the best choice or not. The above comments are just some things to think about.

    Frank

  5. Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
    Hi Bruce,

    With the use you have described the Osprey might be a good choice. There are a couple of problems with the Osprey as a family canoe.

    1. It is a recreational canoe and I am not sure 14' is big enough for your family. With two adults, two children, camping gear, a motor and a battery I don't think the boat is big enough. It is a wide boat and that will help.

    2. The boat has no, or very little, rocker. With a full load it may not be as maneuverable as their Tripping/Expedition models. It would be harder to row/turn with no rocker. The lack of rocker does help with a motor.

    3. The ends are low and that helps in a side wind but doesn't take waves as well front on.

    4. With the center seat it will be hard for one man to portage. It doesn't sound like you will be portaging so it may not be a problem.

    5. Canoes are tippy and I don't know how well behaved your kids are. Having them sitting side by side on the center seat may not be the safest arrangement. I would want them both on the center line of the boat. You would know this better than I would.

    So I don't know if this is the best choice or not. The above comments are just some things to think about.

    Frank
    thanks for all the great points, some of which i hadn't thought of.

    as for responses

    1) we will not be hauling any camping gear. simply bring it with us, tie it to shore, and go out for 1hr trips now and then

    4) no portaging, like i said, we tie it up and go our for joyrides

    5) pretty well behaved and some times it would be just me and 1 kid, as 1 of them isn't the biggest fan of it, at least last year he wasn't. not sure i can get a canoe to have them all lined up in the middle of the boat inline, we would need 4 rows of seating.

    so your 1st line said "it might be a good choice", but you end with "So I don't know if this is the best choice or not", so i'm kind of confused.

    i'm also looking now at the CAMPER, but it's a little more and the prices keep going up for the features i want. i gotta keep this thing under $1500CDN, and the osprey tops out at that. the camper we would have to add a middle seat and with the thrwart and yoke, it might get awkward for a 3rd seat or for the dog.

    i just want a GOOD all around, versatile, lightweight (60lbs or less) canoe that is durable.

    hard to find if you ask me. nothing has everything, you gotta pick which features you want and live without the ones it doesn't come with or modify it.

    ---------- Post added at 08:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:09 PM ----------

    if anyone has any other suggestions for a good, sturdy (non-fiberglass), lightweight canoe in and around the $1500cdn price range, please post!

  6. Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    i've also got a quote in for a CAMPER 15 and CAMPER 16, both of which are Royalex and under 60lbs. i'd just use a drop in seat for them. i'm just not sure i want a FLAT BOTTOM for it's lack of tracking mobility.

    a little longer and a different characteristics:



    BOTTOM: Flat
    Sides: Straight
    Rocker: Moderate

    Camper 16
    For the family, the Camper may just be the best all-around canoe available. Engineered for the kind of performance that allows parents and kids alike to feel at ease, the Camper is a general purpose canoe that is equally at home on ponds, lakes and rivers. Surprisingly fast for a 16' canoe, its on-the-water stability is also a plus when canoeing with younger children

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    Hi Bruce,

    Sorry for not getting back sooner. I know I was kind of vague with my comments. I was having a hard time giving advise with out recommending what would be best for me. You know your requirements better than I do and I didn't want to impose my likes and dislikes as if I was buying a conoe for myself.

    I think the camper is a better choice and I would have picked that over the Osprey. I think add in seats would be a great choice for the kids. One that drops down into the canoe would be my choice. The lower they set in the canoe the more stable it will be. If you are handy you can make a plateform seat that seats on the bottom of the canoe. Make it so the child is setting 4" to 6" off the bottom of the canoe.

    Frank

    Old Town snap-in Canoe seat.

  8. Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    no problem.

    i'm still looking, still debating, still taking advise and opinions.

    i just have to wait for a price on the CAMPER (they can't quote until the spring thru MEC), if it's too much, it'll have to get ruled out. i'm already stretching my budget (or my wife's approval) at $1500cdn.

    i know i can buy used, but not much comes up around here and to travel south of the border, i'm looking at $100 gas, GST at the border ($50-75) and then 1 day of my time (let's say 10hr travel there and back @ $25/hr, so $250). so if i can find a $600 used canoe, it actually works out to be closer to $1000 after all is said and done, then i'm out warranty again. plus i'd be going off pics word of the seller. i might travel down only to find out it's ****.

    we prefer and can afford new, just have to make a final decision.

    i'm also now looking at the Osagian Classic 17' ALUMINUM (not coloured) it says it's a 4 seater, but i'm not sure how that works? 2 seats, then 2 drop ins? 79lbs (+20lbs over the others we've been looking at), but aluminum, so basically indestructible. i really like the coloured aluminum, but talking to the retailer here in town, he does NOT recommend it. costs extra and scratches easily.

    where are the kids sitting in the opening of this video or are they kneeling? because that's basically what we want, everyone in their own seat: OSAGIAN


  9. Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    now i've been offered a Brand New 2010 Alumacraft 17' canoe from a retail store that will no longer be carrying canoes. they said cost was $999cdn and would let me have it for $1049cdn.

    similar to this one: Alumacraft : 2011 Models : Canoes QT 17 but the 2010 model (seen here i think: Alumacraft 2010 QT-17C Quetico)



    thoughts?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Old Town Osprey Canoe, thoughts, suggestions, before we buy

    Looks 'tippy' the wider the beam the happier you will be.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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