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Thread: Old Town Charles River

  1. #1
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    Default Old Town Charles River

    Maker's Spec


    Charles River
    Length 15' 8" / 4.8 m
    Width 35" / 88.9 cm
    Width at 4" Waterline 35.5" / 90.0 cm
    Bow Height 24" / 61.0 cm
    Depth 14" / 35.6 cm
    Weight 85 lbs. / 36.2 kg
    Capacity 1,069 lbs / 484.8kg

    Charles River RX
    Length 16' 3" / 5.0 m
    Width 35" / 88.9 cm
    Width at 4" Waterline 35.5" / 90.0 cm
    Bow Height 24" / 61.0 cm
    Depth 14" / 35.6 cm
    Weight 62 lbs. / 28.1 kg
    Capacity 1,100 lbs / 499.0 kg



    Maker's Write Up
    "It is extremely graceful in appearance and very steady, combining beauty in outline with speed and ease of paddling." That's how Old Town's 1903 catalog described our then-new Charles River canoe, and we believe those words ring just as true today. The Charles River combines yesterday's classic design, flared with tumblehome cross-section, and contemporary materials to provide performance with greater durability and less weight, giving intermediate to advanced paddlers a canoe that matches the 'ideal canoe' picture in their minds with performance they've dreamed of.
    • Black vinyl gunwales
    • Nylon web seats
    • Polyethylene decks with grab handles
    • Ash thwart and yoke
    • Durable, yet lightweight

  2. #2
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    Paddles and tracks easily with the boat reversed and sitting on the front seat backwards, solo.

    Never used it on WW.

    Carries A LOT of kit. Low tumblehome and width allows plenty of low centre of gravity for kit.

    Very light, easy to lift solo, especially if you rest one edn upside down on the ground then walk backwards to the neck yoke.

    Love it.

    Nick

  3. #3
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    Really like this boat. Great for family use or solo. Despite it's realtively high windage, copes with open water very well. Personally still find it quite heavy to carry, even in Royalex, but it is a lot lighter than many other boats, so maybe I'm just getting lazy. Very stable, even with 4 people aboard. Can't actually think of any real negatives.

    Here's some pics just to encourage you.

    On Lake Windermere


    Grassholme Island, Windermere


    Porthnavas Creek, Cornwall


    Porthnavas Creek, Cornwall

    Leybourne Lake, Kent


    For the full review :- http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...hread.php?t=73
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  4. #4
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    Agreed MATTO, even with float blocks in, I find it wasy to lift, 6ft and 14st.

    Nick

  5. #5
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    Default Falling In Love Again

    Since buying my Bell Yellowstone Solo last spring I haven't paddled the Charles River that much. I reserve it mostly for poling or tidal outings where its superb stability is really confidence boosting. However for a variety of reasons this weekend it ended up on my roof, so I took it for a long paddle up The Medway.

    It was fantastic. I'd forgotten just how great a boat it is. My knee has been playing up lately, so instead of kneeling I found a really comfortable sitting position. The extra wide centre seat let me get right over to the gunwale, heeling the boat over nicely. Paddled for 11 miles like that and didn't feel any strain at all. It was great. It was also nice to be able to stand up and move about with confidence.

    Heck, even the portaging didn't seem to be too hard.

    After that outing, I think we'll be getting reaquainted a bit more.

    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  6. #6
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    I love mine so much it's my login name

    Nick

  7. #7
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    Default Brilliant canoe

    I've had my Charles River for a couple of months now and have to say it's brilliant...

    Apart from the nice look of course, it handles beautifully - been out in some rough/windy weather with two people and full camping kit on board and it is incredibly stable - the high prow cuts through the waves nicely. Haven't had it on white water yet.

    And of course a picture paints a thousand words...



    Andy
    'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that'

  8. #8
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    Default Some comments on RX Charles River

    We've had our red charles river for a few months and generally are delighted with it.

    Weved done some good days out on the stour, paddled the River Wye and been out on the Colne Esturary.

    I am astounded by the versatility of open canoes (this is our first). Light enough to put on the roof rack, stable enough to stand up in (tho not recommended) and with a huge 500 kg payload.

    We choose the more expensive Royalex version becasue we figured if you are spending a lot on a boat you want to use it as much as possible, and the few kilos saved in rx make it that much easier to shove on the car for a couple of hours, rather than it being a big hassle. And, indeed it does make a difference. I sometimes go out solo and its the difference between being able to get it on the car alone or not going out.

    Having said all that I do have a couple of comments that I would be interested in feedback on.

    I have noticed that there is a lot of flexing of the bottom of the canoe. If I sit down heavily for example it really does 'ripple'. Is this normal or just a eature of this particulalr model/ make of boat? Does it matter?

    Secondly, although we are not too concerned about everyday wear and tear tthe bottom does scratch and dent easily and at the bow has worn down to a white material. Is this the royalex or the layer under the rx? Does it matter that the red colouring has come off?

    Apart from those two points, we are very pleased with the all round performance and versatility of the boat. Probably one of the very best things we have ever bought.
    Happy paddling ... Jolly Voyageur

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Voyageur View Post
    I have noticed that there is a lot of flexing of the bottom of the canoe. If I sit down heavily for example it really does 'ripple'. Is this normal or just a eature of this particulalr model/ make of boat? Does it matter?

    Secondly, although we are not too concerned about everyday wear and tear tthe bottom does scratch and dent easily and at the bow has worn down to a white material. Is this the royalex or the layer under the rx? Does it matter that the red colouring has come off?
    I've never noticed my Charles River RX flexing during normal use, only when I paddle in too shallow water and scrape on rocks. From some of the other discussions on this phenomenon (oil canning as it is usually called), I do wonder if there is some normal variation in boats of the same spec.

    Royalex does scratch and mark very eaily, especially it seems, during the first year or two. After that it seems to toughen up a bit. Royalex is the name for the whole laminate construction. The outer is vynil and the inner is ABS (I think). Anyway both my Royalex boats have scrapes through to the white. It's no big deal unless they get real deep.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  10. #10
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    Default V-shaped hull on royalex version

    Hello. I'm thinking of buying a royalex version of the Charles River. Has anyone noticed that the rx version has a slightly v-shaped hull while the plastic version has a rounded hull? Does anyone know if this is normal?

  11. #11
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    I can remember an someone gave me a lengthy (and Boring) explaination as to why they are different shapes but the boats are slightly different, I've paddled both and own a poly one haven't noticed a difference in how they paddle other than weight
    JD
    He knows not where he's going, For the ocean will decide, It's not the destination, It's the glory of the ride

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachfinder View Post
    Hello. I'm thinking of buying a royalex version of the Charles River. Has anyone noticed that the rx version has a slightly v-shaped hull while the plastic version has a rounded hull? Does anyone know if this is normal?
    I wouldn't worry about the v-shape, it's barely there in reality. You can't even see it from inside. Probably helps the boat to track a little, but it remains very manoeverable even so.

    I think the different shape is because PE hulls contract after moulding and so can't retain the same size and shape exactly as Royalex.

    I also notice there seems to be a moulded hull line along the sides, which isn't there in the older boats. Like the new camo colour .
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    I wouldn't worry about the v-shape, it's barely there in reality. You can't even see it from inside. Probably helps the boat to track a little, but it remains very manoeverable even so.

    I think the different shape is because PE hulls contract after moulding and so can't retain the same size and shape exactly as Royalex.

    I also notice there seems to be a moulded hull line along the sides, which isn't there in the older boats. Like the new camo colour .
    Thanks to bikemec and Matto for your very prompt replies. Will probably go and pick it up in the next couple of days!

  14. #14
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    Evening,

    I own the plastic version, but have paddled the royalex one as well. For me the only difference was the weight!

    Steve
    Had a great time at the Canoe Symposium 2011 - Harry Rock is now my hero.

  15. #15
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    Hello again. Really grateful for all of your replies and advice. thanks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    Really like this boat. Great for family use or solo. Despite it's realtively high windage, copes with open water very well. Personally still find it quite heavy to carry, even in Royalex, but it is a lot lighter than many other boats, so maybe I'm just getting lazy. Very stable, even with 4 people aboard. Can't actually think of any real negatives.

    Here's some pics just to encourage you.

    On Lake Windermere


    Grassholme Island, Windermere


    Porthnavas Creek, Cornwall


    Porthnavas Creek, Cornwall

    Leybourne Lake, Kent


    For the full review :- http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...hread.php?t=73

    I notice you have a 3rd seat. Did that come fitted or is it hard to fit after?
    (another vote for the Old Town Charles River here but since it's the only open canoe I've ever been in I don't have much of a frame of reference)

  17. #17
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    hi all i just wanted to say a big thankyou to all that have contributed to this review , well i have finally done it.

    after three years of saving like mad just to get somewhere near and something happen to kill my dreams(and spend the money) i have just paid for a brand new charles river package from the family adventure store.

    good deal as well two pfds two paddles two roof rack straps and of course the boat for 820.00 + 50.00 delivery charge i feel like a kid at xmas, they also had the red one in stock so will be delivered next friday (yipee)

    i will of course post my own review on it when i receive it and have tried it.

    of course being a complete newbie my review may not carry much weight as the only experience with canoes ive had is with crappy centre canoes

    and if its not awsomely different to them i may give up lol

    of course i realise the paddles although nice wooden beavertails probably wont last long before i want to upgrade and likewise with the pfds but hay it gets me on th water.


    again thanks to all who have posted their reviews as these are what made my mind up on the boat i wanted

    a very happy child at xmas lol

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonno View Post
    I notice you have a 3rd seat. Did that come fitted or is it hard to fit after?
    Sorry, only just saw this post. We bought the seat at the same time we bought the canoe, but I had to fit it myself. It was pretty easy. I was a little nervous doing this to a brand new canoe, but didn't have any problems. I put the back edge of the seat, in the same place as the rear thwart - using the same holes. Then I just drilled holes for the front edge. Trickiest part was cutting it down to the right size.

    I think it might have been the endless river extra wide seat, but not sure.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    Sorry, only just saw this post. We bought the seat at the same time we bought the canoe, but I had to fit it myself. It was pretty easy. I was a little nervous doing this to a brand new canoe, but didn't have any problems. I put the back edge of the seat, in the same place as the rear thwart - using the same holes. Then I just drilled holes for the front edge. Trickiest part was cutting it down to the right size.

    I think it might have been the endless river extra wide seat, but not sure.
    Excellent. I think I might have a go at this so I can have the small boy in a middle seat but remove it when I don't need it.

    Cheers

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonno View Post
    Excellent. I think I might have a go at this so I can have the small boy in a middle seat but remove it when I don't need it.

    Cheers
    Actually I use this seat all the time for solo paddling. It's an ideal position.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  21. #21
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    Matto, I'm curious how you determined the exact placement, i.e. distance from front stem to the added seat to make it a good fit for solo paddling?
    Pirate of the Grand Banks

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShagRock View Post
    Matto, I'm curious how you determined the exact placement, i.e. distance from front stem to the added seat to make it a good fit for solo paddling?
    LOL, it wasn't very scientific . I just copied someone else . Bear in mind this was my first ever canoe, and SOTP did not exist at the time (). Grant who owns Kent Canoes where I bought it, had the same boat in the same configuration. It obviously worked for him, so I copied it, assuming he knew what he was doing. He did. It's turned out well. I can't recall ever thinking I wish it was somewhere different.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  23. #23
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    Still trying to choose my first boat and really like the look of these.
    Shame they are that little bit more expensive than the Ventures though.

  24. #24

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    I first launched ours on Boxing day '08. No real experience of other canoes but I researched all feedback I could here & USA. I loved the 'traditional' type of look and grabbed on in green. I went for the Royalex for the same reasons mentioned above and it is a good weight to handle.

    In the water it just feels right, straight & together. Mine flexes if someone sits down quickly etc - but I'm sure this is normal - its tough stuff. Again, as mentioned above - really stable - family of four & a black lab - no problem. Relatively easy to get back in as well after a dip.

    Only one negative and thats due to the gunwales being high - the wind can push you about.

    If I had the choice of hindsight I'd buy the same again. I'm chuffed to bits with it. I guess it is expensive but when you make a bigger purchase like this it is something you will get alot of enjoyment out of so I'd say invest. Along with an iphone & the trampoline for the kids this is the best purchase I've made - a great family carrier and fun solo.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    LOL, it wasn't very scientific . I just copied someone else . Bear in mind this was my first ever canoe, and SOTP did not exist at the time (). Grant who owns Kent Canoes where I bought it, had the same boat in the same configuration. It obviously worked for him, so I copied it, assuming he knew what he was doing. He did. It's turned out well. I can't recall ever thinking I wish it was somewhere different.
    Matto, could I ask a big favour and ask you to elaborate a bit further with the configuration with some measurements when you get a chance? a reference point of x amount of c.m from a 'fixed point such as the front seat' would be great if you could. I've just picked up one of these and it's my first canoe, so I'm keen not to make any unwanted holes!

    Cheers

    Nick

  26. Default Hi All

    Hi Guys, Just about to make the purchase of my first canoe and found this web site. I was thinking about the Charles River and having read this its definately the one. Also interested about the seat measurements as I intend doing the same. Might not be the right thread but is there any other nuggets of useful advice on gear etc when starting out? Looking at Matto's canoe bouancy bags, painter....are the trollies useful? Can't wait to get out. Thanks Andy

  27. #27
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    Where abouts in the world are you, Andy?
    If close you can have a go of mine.
    Tony.

  28. #28
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    Default Direct comparison between the CR and the Camper

    I finally had both my Charles River and Camper 16 out on a loch today and got a chance to make a direct comparison between the two. I was mostly interested in how much affect the upturned bow has on handling in wind, and as thought, it is quite significant. It requires better technique and trim as the wind increases in the Charles River. Having said that, it also has a very beneficial effect when paddling through waves. Can't decide which one I like best, but I alway seem to be out in the CR.

    Malcolm

  29. Default

    Hi Tony, Thanks for the offer, I'm near Southampton...Think I'm going to make the plunge and put a deposit down today on the Charles River. Initially a little concerned about windage and swept up ends but as Malcolm has mentioned it is a benefit in the waves..thinking Solent.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve D View Post
    Evening,

    I own the plastic version, but have paddled the royalex one as well. For me the only difference was the weight!

    Steve

    Hi Steve, do you find the weight makes any difference when you are paddling, or just the bits out of the water!

    Thanks

    Nick

  31. #31
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    Default Where should I sit in a CR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal C View Post
    I finally had both my Charles River and Camper 16 out on a loch today and got a chance to make a direct comparison between the two. I was mostly interested in how much affect the upturned bow has on handling in wind, and as thought, it is quite significant. It requires better technique and trim as the wind increases in the Charles River. Having said that, it also has a very beneficial effect when paddling through waves. Can't decide which one I like best, but I alway seem to be out in the CR.

    Malcolm
    I do have problems with windage and, having read a few quotes, suspect that I would be better buying a middle seat (instead of sitting the wrong way in the bow seat paddling the canoe backwards). Am I right or would I be wasting my money?
    Brian
    Not me!

  32. #32
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    A little belated in posting this, but it keeps coming up so here is a close up of the rear seat arrangement.

    Note it only requires two new holes to be drilled.



    And the details...

    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by brev View Post
    I do have problems with windage ....
    Less beer.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live - Douglas Adams

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    A little belated in posting this, but it keeps coming up so here is a close up of the rear seat arrangement.

    Note it only requires two new holes to be drilled.
    Is that two solo paddling positions?? Facing in opposite directions.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live - Douglas Adams

  35. #35
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    Default The centre seat

    That's exactly the same position I put my centre seat in. I don't use it much solo paddling as I prefer sitting further back for general paddling, or kneeling when I need to work harder or it gets too rough. I suppose it's mainly there for when I have extra passengers.

    Malcolm

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    A little belated in posting this, but it keeps coming up so here is a close up of the rear seat arrangement.

    Note it only requires two new holes to be drilled.



    And the details...

    I guess that is the Endless River Super Wide seat you have fitted, it looks ideal for the boat.

    Cheers

    Graeme
    SWWC the way forward

    Coaching for skills and performance

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    Is that two solo paddling positions?? Facing in opposite directions.
    No, if you're referring to the two strip like pads, they are pack resets, to lift my pack out of any water that gathers in the bottom of the boat. It prevents the pack from being sopping wet when it gets time to carry it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal C View Post
    That's exactly the same position I put my centre seat in. I don't use it much solo paddling as I prefer sitting further back for general paddling, or kneeling when I need to work harder or it gets too rough. I suppose it's mainly there for when I have extra passengers.

    Malcolm
    Interesting. I almost only ever sit on the centre seat. I feel it is excellently placed for solo paddling, and have paddled GdII/III and very open water with huge confidence like that. The front edge of the seat is angled down about 25mm lower than the rear, so it is very comfortable for kneeling as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkshire Canoe View Post
    I guess that is the Endless River Super Wide seat you have fitted, it looks ideal for the boat.

    Cheers

    Graeme
    Yeah, I think it is the Endless River seat, but I got it from Kent Canoes, so I'm not 100% certain.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by brev View Post
    I do have problems with windage and, having read a few quotes, suspect that I would be better buying a middle seat (instead of sitting the wrong way in the bow seat paddling the canoe backwards). Am I right or would I be wasting my money?

    Hi Brian,

    I opted for a temporary solution and one that's more 'tweakable'

    I bought the Old Town clip in seat from Endless River

    http://www.endlessriver.co.uk//produ...roducts_id/555

    It's great, I can move it around for different situations, from accommodating two kids or creating a bit of a tabletop!!

  39. #39
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    Red face No Yoke?

    Thanks for the advice. In the end I went for the Endless River 'Super Extra Wide' seat. The only problem is that my Charles River has slightly different dimensions with only 30cm between the seat and Yoke, requiring its removal. Not a problem because I do not have to carry often and can bolt in the yoke using wing nuts when needed.

    And it is much better in the wind when solo.
    Last edited by brev; 17th-August-2009 at 08:15 PM. Reason: Added sentence
    Brian
    Not me!

  40. #40
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    Default Charles River in WW

    Can anyone tell me what the Charles River is like on grade 3 rivers and WW please.

  41. #41
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    It will handle it if you can .

    Seriously though, I've done it but it wouldn't be my first choice of boat for that environment. It's a long boat with realitively low freeboard so it will ship water. More manoevrable than it looks though, and supremely stable.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  42. #42
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    Default

    Many thanks

  43. Default where to buy

    Where could I buy the charles river 158 canadian canoe in red for under 799?


    thanks


    Laz

  44. #44

    Default Old town CR versus NC Prospector

    which would you recommend out of the Nova craft prospector and Old town Charles river?

  45. #45
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    Default CR

    Hi Harry

    not sure depends what you want it for the charles river has a wide flat bottom thats especially good for kids etc however the prospector is supposed to be the all rounder and also has a higher freeboard, it is probably the most popular choice for the members of this site. I have the charles river in plastic and it does oil can quite a lot but dont know about the prospector.

    hope this helps

  46. #46

    Default Question for matto

    The extra seat looks quite close to the thwart, is it a problem and can you still sit normally on the seat?

    Thanks

  47. #47
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    Default extra seat

    Sorry can't help you with that question i do not have the extra seat.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry1000 View Post
    The extra seat looks quite close to the thwart, is it a problem and can you still sit normally on the seat?

    Thanks
    It doesn't cause me any problems. You can't stretch out or anything like you can in the front seat facing backwards, but it's definitely a great place to sit. I'm 6ft and it fits me fine. I just spent three days sat there on the Spey and it was very comfortable. Of all the four boats I've had to date it's the only one I can sit in for days on end without getting cramped up.

    As for NC Prospector vs Charles River, I think the differences are less than some people might think. On paper the Prospector looks like the do everything boat, but personally I thought it felt like a bit of a tank when I paddled one. Personal preference and what suits you is what matters most.

    It does sound like the Chalres River in plastic is very different from the Charles River in Royalex though so be aware of what you are buying.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  49. #49

    Default

    This thread helped me make my choice on our latest canoe to replace my Mohawk Nova with.

    Very surprised never thought I would own an Old Town (the disco 119 was my wife's) always considered them to be not as fashionable or regarded as "up there" with We-no-nah, Nova Craft, Mad River and Bell, but on closer inspection it's screwed together really well in fact I would go as far as to say it components, fit and finish are superior to my We-no-nah, mind the yoke is a tad uncomfortable but a quality item. The Royalex seems to be tough too I gave it a good prod in the shop and couldn't dent it, mind it could have been sat around for a couple of years.

    As has been said the RX and the plastic version are totally different hulls, the plastic one features an extra moulding line along the sides and a flat bottom as well as being 8" shorter.

    The RX version has a shallow V hull and a tumblehome shape under the gunnel very similar to a Bell profile.

    On first paddling this morning I was surprised it's a fast boat I didn't expect it to be as quick as my Mohawk but it was, "Charles River" is a bit misleading this boat is a fine lake cruiser, ok its going to suffer windage from the stems but with a low'ish profile a midships it's not going to be too bad and nothing that can't be overcome by a competent paddler.

    It has reasonable rate of turn when heeled and paddled Canadian style it performed well. I could do 180+ bow jams (wedge) without any issues, It won't turn like Prospector but has reasonable rate and it will leave them for dead on a distance so if your after classic looks for flat water tripping give the RX version a look you may like me be pleasantly surprised!



    Last edited by retro; 14th-November-2010 at 04:07 PM. Reason: adding


  50. #50
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Light and stable

    Just bought the Old Town Charles River in Royalex.

    As a short chap I wanted a large enough canoe for the family and one that I could paddle solo. I needed to be able to car top on my own and handle portages.

    Being short, car topping was going to be an issue but I can easily put this canoe on my shoulders and place it onto of a big car (4x4). (I also had to carry it up slopes and lift out of the water on a high mooring platform yesterday - which I Managed - something I couldnt have done with a heavier canoe)

    Yesterday I did 22km solo in it on a large river, tracks reasonably well in a breeze but I did need to correct the direction often...I only have a Mad River adventure 14 to compare tracking with and although it didn't track as well as that canoe it is light on the water in comparison and is easy to make little adjustments in direction. The Adventure 14 is like a little tank in comparison the the Charles River.

    The canoe is very stable and I mean stable. I was able to heel the boat over without worrying. I paddled it from the bow seat facing back (ie, canoe pointing in the opposite direction to what it would if tandem), kneeling and managed to sit on the floor legs out straight and paddle. Being able to paddle in various different positions makes longer trips much easier.

    This is my second canoe and with hindsight I would have made it my first as it is light and stable and easy to manoeuvre which is what you need for a beginner and when carrying a family.

    I personally wouldn't go for the slightly shorter and much heavier cheaper plastic one being a short bloke as I would have struggled too much when solo with car topping and portage.

    Can highly recommend this canoe.

    On top of the above it looks good too, and in red is clearly faster than green ones

    The bow and stern being large probably will catch the wind more than other canoes but if you are a beginner any canoe is going to be a handful in wind so don't let this put you off. As you become a better paddler you will learn how to control a canoe in light wind by making small adjustments in each paddle stroke to compensate. Paddling a canoe in a head wind which sometimes is a cross wind becomes a completely different sport anyway above 15mph and as a beginner you'll want to avoid all but a breeze anyway which makes the question of how it handles in wind irrelevant I feel.

    When looking at which canoe to buy I read a lot about hull shapes, how well each tracked, how manoeuvrable each were but have come to the conclusion that much of this talk is really technicalities that the beginner isn't going to notice. All I can say is this canoe tracks well enough, can be handled easy enough and is stable and being only 62lb in weight can be moved easily. This canoe isn't going to be the best at anything as it is more of a general purpose canoe and in general conditions for general uses is excellent.
    --
    Andy

  51. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    manchester, uk
    Posts
    841

    Default New friend

    No one, should have no friends Andy,so I've fixed it for ya,buddy
    Steve
    "Access all areas, Under the radar"

  52. #52
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TOPTEC View Post
    No one, should have no friends Andy,so I've fixed it for ya,buddy
    Steve
    What a Pal Although I've just had to change my signature to show off!
    --
    Andy

  53. #53
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Stone, Staffordshire
    Posts
    381

    Default What is the difference in paddling experience between RX and 158?

    I currently own an Apache 16 which my wife thinks is far too tippy to take grandchildren in (she took us both swimming a couple of weekends back just trying to get in!). I have seen a good secondhand Charles River 158 advertised at 500 and wondered if it will be a) stable for young children and b) is that a reasonable price, or whether I should pay the extra for a new RX? Also how does the 158 stand up to the hard knocks of life in comparison to Royalex? Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Nigel
    PS Thanks to all who take the trouble to answer this . . . .

  54. #54
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nigelphoto View Post
    I currently own an Apache 16 which my wife thinks is far too tippy to take grandchildren in (she took us both swimming a couple of weekends back just trying to get in!). I have seen a good secondhand Charles River 158 advertised at 500 and wondered if it will be a) stable for young children and b) is that a reasonable price, or whether I should pay the extra for a new RX? Also how does the 158 stand up to the hard knocks of life in comparison to Royalex? Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Nigel
    PS Thanks to all who take the trouble to answer this . . . .
    The differnece between Royalex and 158 paddle wise seemed minimal, if none. Knock and bump wise I would have thought they are going to be pretty much the same apart from Royalex does scratch quite easily. The canoe club had a 158 and it had been through the wars a bit but held up well as it needs to for a club.

    Main difference though is weight. If weight is an issue then it has to be Royalex as 158 is much heavier.
    --
    Andy

  55. #55

    Default

    I've heard the Apache 16 can feel a bit twitchy for tandems. The OT Charles River will feel much more stable. The basic polyethylene version will be quite strong enough for your purposes but it will be a bit heavy to man-handle by yourself. If you can cope with this without the Dacron reinforced undercarriage, it will be fine. Yes the Royalex will be lighter but for general paddling, the strength will not be an issue.

  56. #56

    Default

    The rx and the plastic canoes are completely different park them up side by side and have a look the rx is faster canoe due to its 16'3 length and better length to width ratio as well as a different shape to the chines.


  57. #57
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Norfolk Broads, England
    Posts
    20

    Smile Pressure wash off transfers

    I left my Charles River upturned under a tree where pigeons roost with the inevitable consequence. I used a pressure washer to remove the guano and blew away some of the transfers so I now have a 'harles iver' canoe.

    In fact the transfers are only stuck on so take care when moving near other objects.
    Brian
    Not me!

  58. #58
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,487

    Default

    Brev, you should get a "Mud River" canoe like mine !


    IMG_1476 by ezwater, on Flickr

    I've been reviewing all the comments on the Charles River because a buyer in the States is interested in one. It appears that the Charles River is one of Old Town's more successful designs, especially in Royalex.

    I have two comments based on peoples' observations. First, if you wear off the vinyl and the "white" ABS is showing on your Royalex boat, don't wait too long to protect the ABS from UV light. You can repeatedly put 303 protectant on the exposed area, or you can spray paint the exposed ABS. Sometimes, putting on skid plates will cover the exposed ABS, if the damage is confined to the stems. The effect of sunlight on ABS is that eventually it gets brittle.

    Second, some commented that the Charles River's flattish bottom flexes or ripples with changing load on the water. If this bothers you, and you want to gain a solo seat, you can get or make a whitewater type minicell kneeling pedestal and cram it under the center thwart, so that you're kneeling with your thighs somewhat supported by the center thwart. If you have a preferred side for paddling and heeling the boat, you can put the pedestal somewhat toward that side. A longer pedestal can be widened at the rear for sitting. You can glue low foam wedges to the bottom to stabilise the pedestal at the rear.

    The presence of the pedestal between the boat bottom and the center thwart will stabilise the bottom considerably. The pedestal adds some flotation. If for some reason you can't countenance a pedestal seat (e.g. you want a kneeling thwart instead), you can put minicell columns under the center thwart, or all thwarts, to stabilise the boat bottom.

  59. #59

    Default


  60. #60

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brev View Post
    I left my Charles River upturned under a tree where pigeons roost with the inevitable consequence. I used a pressure washer to remove the guano and blew away some of the transfers so I now have a 'harles iver' canoe.

    In fact the transfers are only stuck on so take care when moving near other objects.
    Just spotted this - if you contact OT they will send you some nice new transfers for free!
    ​Change is inevitable; progress is optional.

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