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Submitted: 02-07-2011 by tssplash
I bought this canoe specifically for using on a small Class I-II creek with lots of gravel bars to hop over. Being an almost exclusive kayaker for the past 15 years, I've found that jumping out of a canoe to pull across a gravel bar, is significantly easier than a kayak, so this is my 3rd try with a canoe.
Tried 14' canoe, and it was just too burdensome to try to turn in fast water, close quarters, etc..so decided this time to try the Discovery 119. First thing is of course that if you're going to use a canoe paddle, you'd better have a solid/comfortable J stroke, and be in no hurry. The side-to-side drift is terrible if you don't, and you certainly won't get anywhere in any significant head-on current. As stated by many here, a proper length, style kayak paddle is almost essential with this boat, or you'll work yourself to death, in wind, and current especially. To it's credit, this canoe did track surprisingly well on a glide on flat water with no wind. Primary stability was also better than I'd hoped considering what I'd heard about these canoes. The secondary stability however is as stated by most, and leaves a lot to be desired. It can be fished out of, but takes some getting used to.
The seat, although reasonably comfortable for the first 1hr., became increasingly uncomfortable after that.
I bought this canoe used, but like new for about half of the new price. I never would have paid the new price knowing what I know now about the canoe, although since I got a great deal on it, I have a place for it specifically for what I bought it for, only to run gravel bar creeks. It seems to have plenty of room for camping out of for a night, or two, and I'm confident that I'll be pleased with it.
I find this canoe better than most, and for the price, it's a real bargain if you can find it at a significantly less used price. I do not recommend this boat for flatwater, unless you're in an almost no wind/sheltered location. Otherwise, it's a nice little boat. I strongly recommend making sure your kayak paddle is of sufficient length, and has drip rings to keep water out of the boat.
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