Submitted: 10-03-2002 by pamskee
My hubby and I bought our Penobscot 16 used from some folks who rode it hard over major rocks. Since it came with some scrapes, we didn't feel bad about dragging over rocks occasionally. I even scooted it thru gravel areas in low water on our local river. The only marks added were a few light surface scratches that will disappear with an application of 303 Protectant. We have also run thru Class I rock gardens in low water with no damage. This isn't due to great skill; my husband and I are advanced beginners to intermediate.
The boat is stable, light, keeps up with everybody in the flats, tracks well, turns much better than we expected, and hauls a lot. I was very pleased with the responsiveness.(kept saying "I love this boat!") A light touch and a little lean gets you a good result. We had less than a canoe length between rocks and little water to work with and the boat handled easily and kept us dry. The biggest standing wave train was 18"-20"(not very big), so we'll heed the cautions about big waves.
We noticed that wind affects tracking, but after shifting the load a bit we had no problems. Some of the rivers we paddle get strong,sustained crosswinds(25-30mph)so all of the boats were affected.(Except for our friends' Smokercraft which is solid as a waterbuffalo and just as heavy)
I am pleasantly surprised by the versatility and feel of the boat. Royalex is lovely stuff. We haven't been careful, but you can't tell by looking. A really nice canoe!