Submitted: 07-14-2003 by M Webster
After researching canoes for weeks, I purchased the Old Town Discovery 160 directly from an Old Town factory outlet for $649 on sale. The 160 is designed to be a sporting canoe. With the middle seat configuration it is 87 lb. so it's heavy, but it's not as heavy as a square stern canoe. I plan to purchase an electric trolling motor, but I bought the 160 over the 17 foot square foot Discovery Sport because I wanted to be able to paddle the thing also. It paddles just fine. I haven't rowed this boat, but I imagine it would make a terrific row boat compared to a heavy aluminum jon boat. It is an extremely stable boat. For example, I took three children out yesterday, with my oldest in the front, and the younger children both sat on the middle seat side-by-side, sometimes dragging their feet over the side because it was so hot in the afternoon. The 40.5" beam makes for extraordinary stability. We felt very safe.
This canoe deserves a 10 because it does what it's designed to do in superb fashion. If you want a super fast easy paddler, don't purchase a sporting canoe. I searched high and low, and could find nothing equivalent in terms of the wide beam and versatility in a lighter canoe (the Discovery 160 is Old Town's SuperLink 3 layered polyethylene composite). Old Town's Osprey 155 is a similar boat that is lighter due to its Royalex composition, but the Discovery has a wider beam, and I didn't like the Osprey's seat placement. On the 160, the middle seat is more evenly placed between the bow and stern, so a fourth passenger such as a child can more easily sit between the bow seat and the middle seat, while still leaving plenty of room behind the middle seat for the stern paddler. The Discovery 160 makes for a superb sporting canoe.