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Submitted: 01-04-2012 by solofisher
The Old Town 146k, no longer in production, is occasionally available, used. This is a canoe that should not be overlooked. After several years of canoeing (mostly fishing and exploring lakes), and making the P.O.Wheelee canoe cart, I came across a used OT 146k. I have come to the conclusion that a 14.5' canoe, 34-36" wide, with a shallow arch/or almost flat bottom is the ideal canoe size for solo/tandem use by average size recreational canoeists (small to about 170#ers).
For solo use, I sit backwards in the front seat, and ballast the canoe using a water-tight bag way up front. You can put in a very precise amount of water to trim the canoe considering your weight, wind conditions, etc. The 146k is 13.5" at center, has a low shear line, and a modest-sized keel molded in. The keel does help to track the boat and helps to hold it when fishing, yet doesn't fight you badly in turns.
The canoe is made of polylink 3, which is heavy, 72#. The extra weight makes "land-handling" a chore for some, but pays dividends in stability, on the water. If Old Town made this canoe in Royalex, it would be hard to beat and they'd sell a ton of them. They do have the Camper (16') and the Pathfinder (14'10"), however both of these (and I have owned both, still have the Camper) have high recurved stems, which catch a lot of wind. With a partner aboard, they're ok, but solo you get blown all over the place.In a Royalex (146k)layup, I would keep the keel, the low shear and very shallow arch, it would come in at about 55#, which would be perfect. Presently, I roll my 146k on and off the truck and to the water with the Wheelee, this mitigates the weight issue.
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