Submitted: 07-01-2002 by Schrage
My first canoe. I've paddled quite a few others, but I think this one tracks easier than those without the keel. I mostly take her down rivers with some rapids and fish for trout off her. I was worried that I wouldn't like the keel because it would catch on rocks and I would spend more time hung-up than my friends without keels, but that hasn't happened. If we are in VERY shallow water for a long period I might change my mind, but I can go over most rocks and through 4 inch deep water with ease. She is definitely a TANK. Has a lot of big scratches from going over rocks, but I think it will last forever.
Complaints: I bought the boat at Bass Pro Shop and a few days after bringing it home I noticed the gunwales were really warped. (Flat on one side, bowed on the other.) Now, this is likely my fault because I did store it leaning on it's side the first day I had it. One day only. Since then it is upsidedown on sawhorses. I called Old Town and they said in hot weather it should pop back into shape. It didn't. I called Bass Pro and they said I could bring it in to exchange it. The manager about fell over when he saw all the scratches on it, he apparently has never seen a well used canoe before! They did exchage it though. I guess that's the advantage of buying a brand name.
The only other complaint is that the sides are fairly short, so going through rapids and rough water we take on quite a bit of water. That's what the bail bucket is for, but you're going to get wet!