Submitted: 08-12-2009 by RAT
I purchased a used 2008 Charles River last Fall, in the Polylink material. We just returned from taking it over 5 lakes and 15 miles in Temagmai, Canada and I absolutely loved the canoe! It's quite heavy (pushing 90 pounds with some light gear strapped in during the portages) but I managed to carry it overhead by myself, with the help of padding on the yoke, over two portages of 1/4 mile and 1.5 miles (had to split the longer one up into two legs though). It handled like a dream on the lakes, except when stiff winds caught the bow, which is higher than other Old Town models. We carried two heavy packs in addition to our own weight of nearly 400 lbs, and the canoe still glided through the water beautifully.
I love this canoe!! It is extremely stable, even on choppy water. Our expedition used three Old Town models, a Penobscot, a Discovery, and my Charles River. The CR is definitely the most pleasing to the eye on the water; though the Penobscot is built for tripping and glides through the water more easily, my Charles River was exceptional and I can't wait to take it out again. I highly recommend this canoe for anyone who is looking for excellent stability and versatility.