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Submitted: 07-16-2014 by Rikjohnson
Although I've paddled for many years, my first (purchased) boat was a Coleman Ram-16 canoe. Unfortuinatly, neither my daughter nor I like being in the same boat and the Ram-16 was too large for me to solo so we switched to kayaks, the Coleman sitting in my boat-barn, mostly unused.
BUT, I like the idea of a canoe for base-camp paddling and love Old Town boats. Unfortunately at $1080 (on sale for $850) they were out of the range for a single father.
I found an ad for a OT Pack for $200 so rushed out, looked it over and handed over the cash. It needed minor work. the forward thwart needed to be replaced, some hull scratches to patch but nothing I could not easily do.
I cut a new thwart, added eye-bolts to keep my gear IN the boat, made a deck-pad for my dog and took it on the local lake for a test-paddle. I forgot to bring the GPS so could not check hull speed but I easily kept up and passed Odile in my WS Mallard kayak.
Paddling was easy! Initially rocky, I soon adjusted to that and tested secondary stability to be excellent.
The Pack easily accepts my mods, foam pads on the bottom to protect the hull and keep the dog happy. pad-eyes around the gunnels for tie-downs, I'm making some waterproof boxes to put between the cane-seats and hull.
But the canoe paddles well, tracks well and at 12' turns well. Plus, at 33#, is easy to haul to and from trailer-to-lake and much easier to enter-and-exit than a kayak.
Later when I do a test-camp, I'll add to this review but for now, I am very happy with the craft.
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