Rated 5 out of 5 by mtcan 3 Solutions to feeling Tippy
This is a fantastic boat, most agree! To those who feel it's too tippy, there are at least three solutions to the game. As you, I'm sure saw, most people (Strategy #1) modify the seat in an effort to improve this dilemma. This may work out very well for some which I'm glad about. However, the majority of solo canoes have a bench seat and this contoured one is certainly a step up, so I say... enjoy it! This is how. (Strategy #2) First, if the water is getting rough, sit on the front edge of the seat and KNEEL with your knees on the bottom of the boat! This will instantly stabilize your boat more than you ever expected! This is as good as it gets for stability in any canoe. Now, if your knees are tender like mine, this gets a bit uncomfortable after a while, so you may think of applying either some padding (closed-cell-foam only!) to the bottom of the boat, or you can get a pair of closed-cell-foam knee pads at the hardware store and strap them on your legs. This was my initial plan but they were uncomfortable, especially on hot days, and I kept forgetting the pads too. Therefore, out of necessity, I developed strategy #3. (Strategy #3) sit on the seat as you normally would (leaning forward though), and cross your ankles beneath the seat as a basis point and then wedge you knees up-under the gunwales on each side. With this approach, tipping right, you "pull" on your left knee's wedge contact point with the gunwale to balance, and of course, when tipping left, "pull" on your right knee. Side note, I always wear croc's shoes (also closed-cell-foam), which really alleviates pressure on my feet and some on the ankles. I have navigated through some decent white water with a boat super-loaded down and still been able to retain balance in this way. Lastly, this will tire and cramp your ankles/feet after a time, but when the roughness is over, stretch out! That has been my tactic for years and it has enabled a super huge joy in paddling a solo canoe. It's the sport utility paddle-craft! Last pointer, yes, a double sided paddle is convenient, but it drips in the boat, even if it's a long (240cm) paddle. So, the purists perfect their "J-stroke" or the "C-stroke" to compensate, and although more difficult, the difficulty adds to the character of the experience. I'm not a purist, but I learned their game, and indeed, it is more fun that way. Because in time, this skill really does improve the fun overall because YOU are more capable. (Not to mention, it really gives you leverage to shift the boat -more than a kayak paddle- in technical situations such as a "pry" or "draw" stroke). All-in-all, this boat is a steal of a deal. Please don't be discouraged by other peoples dissatisfaction. I love Royalex canoes (I have 5 in-all, not including the 4 kayaks), but for sincerely half-the-price... that reality is too much to overlook for this boat! If the boat's "tippyness" is still an item of nervousness for you, I encourage you to join a canoe club and/or take some "American Canoe Association" classes to build your experience. You will be SO glad you did, and you may develop friendships that just might get you paddling more! I hope to see you out there! -mtcan
October 29, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5
by FishingGuy123456 Excellent canoe, was shipped undamaged. A++++++++
I ordered the camo version online, and the canoe was shipped to my house 14 days later in an 18 wheeler. It came directly from Old Town and was packaged well in 2 layers of thick plastic with a layer of bubble wrap in between. I'm 5'9" and 150 lbs and the canoe was extremely stable (I fish on large lakes).
October 8, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5
by CopperJohn Great canoe, good service from Dick's
I drove 125 miles to Columbia, MO to purchase the camoflauge one: I would have had to wait beyond my river trip to have it trucked to one of the closer Dick's stores in my area, but that's okay. The staff in Columbia was very enthusiastic and helpful, I was impressed.
My only complaint is that of the canoes they had in stock, many had suffered dings and scratches to their hulls as a result of poor loading/unloading in shipment. Take care of the merchandise, guys! Luckily, they had two in stock, and one of them only had minor shipment dings and scuffs: I picked that one.
The Guide 119 is excellent: I have had it out a few times in the local park with my 4 year old daughter sitting on a small cooler for a seat in the front: works great and she loves it!
I just got back from a three day trip in this canoe down the Current River in southern Missouri: I carried a large cooler, a smaller soft cooler, two dry bags, two fishing rods, tackle box, and had a makeshift "deck" on the back for three crayfish traps. This canoe is maneuverable enough to fit back through boulders and under the bluff's overhangs along the river, making good fishing holes and crayfish holes accessible. Though the river was low enough in a few spots to drag, the bottom of this canoe held up very well.
I used a 230cm double-bladed paddle, though a 240cm may be even better for my stature. I'm 5'5, 155 pounds, and I experienced none of the stability issues mentioned earlier, but I've been canoeing for a long time. Heck, the seat didn't even bother me a bit.
August 6, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by River Rat Awesome Little Creek Boat!!!
Had this canoe about a month, Used it 5 times on local rivers in class l-ll's. Very easy to get in and out of when fishing/launching. Handles great, spins on a dime in fast water.and is fairly speedy. I am 6' 200lbs and can still carry 2 coolers 3 fishing rods/tackle 2 10liter dry bags with ease and space to spare. Higher weight capacity than a kayak of similar size. Use a 230 or 240cm kayak paddle for best performance, remember this boat is only 11'9" so it does not track as well as it's longer brothers. Does not hold very well in the swift water so expect to paddle more than a kayak to hold place in the stream when fishing or use a small mushroom anchor. The only thing I did not care for was the seat, it felt like you were constantly sliding forward out of it. Dropped the seat 2" in rear 1.5" in front and added the Sand dollar seat pad, solved the problem. Next will be adding some foot rests. After about 10 gallons of water sloshing around in the boat it handles like a wet noodle in the rapids so dump the water out from time to time Well worth the money, will be in the fleet till I where the bottom out beyond patching and looking forward on using it for camping trips with the family. Have fun be safe and buy a high back life jacket for use with this boat, I got the mti canyon, very comfortable, will purchase another Boat/cushion/paddle/lifejacket in the near future.
July 27, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by MikeB Great solo canoe
I just bought this canoe and went on a weekend float and camping trip. This canoe handled the waters of the north branch of the susquehanna with ease. I weigh 220 pounds and had about 35 pounds of gear along. I was fishing and stood up to check the water ahead of me a few times; I even paddled while standing up once just to test the stability which I read about in reviews. I was able to carry much more gear than in my kayak, and I sit higher off the water which is nice for fishing. Plus the seat isn't that bad, I was able to rest my feet on the thwart and just kick back. It tracks like a 12 foot kayak so I would use a kayak paddle to help keep her straight. Overall, I would recommend this canoe to anyone looking for a solo canoe for class I & II type water.
July 21, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by ngneer 119
Bought this boat in June of this year. Have been able to use it only once on a river with class II water, which is what I bought it for mainly. Will fish when I get fitted with the boat. Very happy on just 1 outing, will take some time to get use to it. I'm use to a tandem canoe. If you don't boat very much, I can see where some reviews I have read would say it gets tippy. If you have some paddle time under your belt, then no. Can't comment on the seat, took it out when I got home, had a Perception saddle for it. It will work out great, once I get my padding situated, ankles, knees, etc. Love it, think it will be a long time floater.
July 17, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Doveman Handles like a kayak, with lots of room for gear!
Recently purchaced the Guide 119, and have taken three trips. I'm 6'3", 260 lbs. First trip on a calm lake to check it out. Found it to be little tippy, and did not track well with a canoe paddle. Had to switch sides every second stroke, to keep it strait. Purchased a 240 cm Kayak Paddle, for my second trip. This was a river trip, with Class 1,2 and 3 Rapids, It handled great, very much like a kayak! Stays out of the water 6-8 inches, and only in the water 4-5 inches. Third trip was a river trip with Class 1& 2 Rapids. Fished in calm waters and had a great time! Holds my weight (260), and plenty of gear just fine! Can't wait to see what it can do, in Class 4 Rapids!
July 2, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5
by Nathan Can't beat it
This canoe is awesome for so many reasons.
1) When on sale, it is a great value. Often times less expensive than a kayak but with more carrying capacity.
2) This canoe paddles effortlessly thru the water (easier than my kayak)
3) This canoe is stable. Those who say its not in their reviews have obviously never been in a kayak (or are just overly critical). I came to this canoe from a kayak and it felt just as, if not more stable than the kayak.
4) It's light, easily portable by one person.
5) Easy to modify into a kick butt fishing platform and/or camping canoe
6) I'm 6'1", 205lbs. A 240mm paddle is perfect for me in this canoe. I attemped to use my old 220mm kayak paddle but it was just a tad short (kept hitting the gunwalls) so I bought a slightly longer paddle and it's perfect.
7) the seat isn't uber plush, but name a kayak or canoe seat that is without a minor modification or upgrade?... exactly. I plan to do a seat modification to this in the near future but have used it 5 times in stock configuration with no issues (longest time on water was 5 hours). I just would like to sit a bit lower and a lil more padding, nothing $15 can't fix.
If you're thinking of buying this canoe, get off the fence, you won't regret it.
June 29, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5
by Hirsch A Bargain That Performs
I bought this as a loaner and back up to my Old Town PACK canoe. First to clear something up. It is not made of fiberglass. It is three layer polyethylene and very durable. I believe those experiencing the discomfort with stability are probably experienced in longer, wider tandem canoes. That is like expecting a sports car to perform like a heavy duty pick up.
Despite perceptions of instability in just a minute the recede if you do not fight the boat. First thing ditch the traditional single blade paddle and get a double blade (Kayak) paddle that will help you stay centered and quickly becomes second nature to even a beginner.
I have taken beginners on week long voyages with 300 lbs of paddler and gear on flat water rivers with no issues including class 1 rapids, plus numerous 2 and 3 day outings. I think the low opinions expressed by others are based on inexperience with solo canoes and unrealistic expectations. The only reason I did not give 5 starts is that I love my PACK at 33 lbs even more. But then it cost twice as much.
June 1, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Rat Trapper This is a tough little Boat
I have muskrat trapped and scouted tidal creeks and marsh out of this canoe for an average of 110 days a year for the last 4 years. I'm 6' 2" 240 pounds and carry at least 100 pounds of gear, critters, mud and ice in the boat on everytrip. The boat is small, light weight and can easily manuver into tight areas. Somtimes I have to paddle for miles against the tide in freezing conditions to get back to my truck. I use a kayak paddle and the boat moves along nicely. This boat has held up nicely for as hard as I've used it. The only problem I've ever had with the canoe was this year when I broke one of the little buckles on the strap that holds the back of the seat up. It was 19 degrees out and I think plastic gets a little brittle when its that cold. When I can figure out where to get another buckle I'll put it on and give the boat another 4 years of use and abuse. I'm a satisfied customer.
May 23, 2013