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Submitted: 07-27-2013 by John S. Stewart
I have used my Discovery 158 in saltwater backwaters free of any current and on Class II rivers (moderate difficulty). The Three Layer Polyethylene hull allows you to slide over mangrove roots or shallow river rocks with minimal drag and barely audible noise. Only razor sharp saltwater scallops have ever sliced the skin of the hull and they did not need repairing.
A nearly three foot beam (width) makes it a relatively stable craft and straight sides allow for ample space for camping gear while maintaining a shallow draft. Should the boat fill with water (it can happen), floatation is in the hull rather than under the seats or in the bow and stern freeing up those areas for additional storage.
The contoured Ash crossbar makes for a comfortable back rest when canoeing solo in a kneeling position. Speaking of soloing, I found the Discovery 158 responsive when using a single-blade paddle or as I prefer, a double-bladed paddle in both still waters and in moderate river rapids.
Overall, the Discovery 158 offers forgiveness to the beginner and yet well suited for the skilled canoeist.