Submitted: 07-26-2009 by YakinHick
My wife and I love to paddle, but have always rented canoes due to the cost of purchasing. After a great deal of research we found that the Old Town Guide 147 seemed to be what we needed for the price we could afford. We just purchased one from Academy and took it for its maiden voyage on a local lake.
The Guide was perfect! The hull is firm. The Guide's weight, width, and hull design gave it a very stable feel. I am used to 16 foot rentals, but the 147 tracked just fine. There was a light breeze, but the bow seemed low enough that the wind had little effect. Paddling was almost effortless, so I think they could've named this the Glide. Launching was no problem at all. There was a little wobble the first step into the boat, but I am tall and probably didn't bend low enough stepping in. Landing was easy, because this canoe handles well. I was able to slip the bow right where I wanted into the bank.
I loaded the canoe on a headache rack and hitch pole by myself. It was a bit heavy when wet, but I think that will become a nonfactor when I get used to flipping it with the right leverage and body position. The three-layer poly might weigh more, but I like its rigid feel. The kid at the store showed me another brand of plastic canoe and I told him to push in on the side and then push in on the side of the Guide. You could see realization in his eyes when he said, "Oh, I see why you want the Guide!" The Guide 147 made a great first impression on my wife and I.
I would give it a gold star!