09-05-2012Submitted by: fjp110
Reviews for Discovery 119 Canoe by Old Town Canoe
Based On: 58 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought a used one in March and love it! I called Old Town and it is exactly the same as the Discovery just a different color made exclusively for Dick's Sporting Goods.
I mainly use a long kayak paddle to get around on flat water. It handles great with that paddle. I did have to buy a longer one to keep the drip off my legs. When floating rivers I use a regular canoe paddle. The boat is really stable, I have no idea where the other reviewers get the idea it is tippy. I am really impressed with the stability and have had no close calls.
I use the boat to fish and tour. I really prefer a canoe for fishing due to the higher walls, they seem to keep the gear in better. no really fast water use, but it is not built for that. I will be using it to crab out of on Maryland this month. I expect it to work great for that too.
I really think if you are looking for a solo canoe this is a great boat: light weight, durable, and the price is right
07-05-2012Submitted by: adirondackrustic
- Rating: 9 of 10 Got my 119 at Dicks. I have other canoes, but this is my first solo. I agree that the seat isn't the most comfortable, but with a seat pad from the Kittery Trading Post, it's not to bad. I love everything else about it. It may not be as light as an Old Town Pack, but cost a lot less. A great boat for the money.
06-17-2012Submitted by: Bucky
- Rating: 8 of 10 I bought the Old Guide 119 recently at Dick's Sporting Goods. Used it once on a local pond with a single blade. Wx was fairly windy, and the single blade was adequate. This is a great quiet water boat; stable and tracks fairly well with the single blade. A long kayak paddle would bring out the best of this boat on open water.
For me, the 43 lbs (actually 46.2 lbs) was a chore to get on and off the Yakima racks on my pop-up truck camper. I just turned 65, and it's not a boat I want to carry very far to the water. I think this would be a good boat for a younger guy/gal, or for someone who didn't have a high lift to the racks. An open pickup bed would work good, too.
Returned the OT Guide 119 to Dick's, and got an Old Town Pack Angler at Kittery Trading Post (Maine) the other day. (Just got back from the Pack's maiden voyage on Harpswell Sound. Look for that review).
06-14-2012Submitted by: JB
- Rating: 4 of 10 Old Town makes great products! I know this because I have purchased several canoes (Katahdin, Discovery, etc.) from them in the past and have had nothing but great reviews and experiences.
I recently purchased the Guide 119 (Camo) and have to say that with all my experiences on the water (lakes, rivers, bays, etc.) over the years I felt like a novice in this canoe! I felt like I was on a carnival ride the moment I sat down in it. I'm not a big person (5'6"; 170 lbs.) but just could not feel comfortable reaching for anything (tackle box, rod, fishing net, etc.) during my time on the water. Within an hour and a half on my maiden voyage, I was in the water with all my gear floating inside the canoe! It happened so fast that I had no time to recover from the top heaviness feeling I had just before entering the water! I swam to shore, emptied the water out, filled all my gear, and headed for the boat ramp. Loaded the canoe on the car and headed back to the store where I purchased this and asked for a refund.
This OT Guide 119 canoe is made of quality materials, is very light to handle on/off the car for one person but have to say that I was not impressed with the handling of this unit on the water. Not many folks have spoken of this in their reviews but I actually purchased this unit based on the entire positive (10 of 10, etc.) feedback that people gave. Stable is mentioned in the product description! I beg to differ!
Buyer's: do yourself a favor and go out and purchase a little bigger canoe than the Guide 119. You will not regret it!
05-03-2012Submitted by: gator1
- Rating: 10 of 10 I read so many people complaining about this seat. No, it's not the greatest seat set up but instead of moving up, down, all around... install a nice sidelock foot brace system and it ties you nicely to the boat. for what you can pick these up for at the some of these big sporting stores under 400.00 you have one helluva nice little boat for fishing or just spending the day on the water with your pooch and lotsa gear. GREAT BUY
04-30-2012Submitted by: tj
- Rating: 8 of 10 Well lets all remember this boat is a $400 Dicks special so for all of you comparing it to a wenonah or something like that should probably realize that maybe some people don't have 1,100$ to sink in a weekend toy. With that being said here's my opinion.
Stability- id rate stability a 7 until you get used to how lose the boat is in the water. Like all round bottom slightly rocked canoes its gonna have some tip to it but i took it down brashears today and snagged up sideways on a branch in current and held it upright and straightened it back out.
Tracking- id rate tracking about a 5 because your gonna be doing a little work to keep it nosing forward and paddling to keep going because it doesn't carry a lot of momentum to keep going but in twist and bends of our Kentucky creeks the boat controls like a kayak in fact i was able to run shallower water then my buddy's whitewater kayak.
Some notes to think of is although the seat seems comfy it is in fact not comfy at all and a kayak paddle is almost a must for this boat. So i would have to say overall this boat was perfect for what i wanted it for and for the price as well. In fact were headed to elkhorn this weekend to try it on some class 3 rapids.
04-30-2012Submitted by: ltlsandypaddler
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just got one of these for my birthday, took it out today with my son and what a pleasure it was. He has an OT Otter (I also have one) and with the increased weight capacity, I was able to ride in places where I would normally have been walking. Seems very stable and fast with a 2 blade paddle. I doubt that I will ever use my otter much now. The original owner had added home made foot braces which worked very good. Very happy with this boat, can't wait to use it more.
04-17-2012Submitted by: NT
- Rating: 8 of 10 I am a novice solo paddler so I don't have much to compare it to. I bought this model because I like to camp alone. This model can carry my tent, sleeping bag, and cooler with ease. The kayaks I looked at seemed like they were tight on space for the above items without careful lashing (Of course)
It is light and easy to load up alone and be put in water quickly. When I hit some areas that could not be navigated, I led her from the bank like a calf on rope. Problem solved. I would not want to try this on really rough runs alone.
It tracks well enough for me and I can handle it on small creeks and calm river with a dual paddle.
I did lower the seat four inches with long stainless steel bolts and plastic spacers. It helped to stabilize the load.
This canoe fits my needs and I am glad I bought it
04-15-2012Submitted by: kayakcrazy
- Rating: 8 of 10 bought the Disco 119 couple months ago. enjoying it. seat is different for sure. I added foot pegs and a thin pad. solved my issue. Maneuvers well and tracks good. It's the third canoe to the fleet and would do it again. its a good compromise between a kayak and larger canoe.
10-21-2011Submitted by: rnsparky
- Rating: 8 of 10 Got the Guide 119 from Dicks which is the exact same boat as the Disco 119, only $150 less retail because of Dicks volume national purchasing.
Boat is adequate for easy lake paddles.
Much has been said about the seat, which I lowered about an inch and tilted back by using longer spacers in the rear. With a seat pad I find no reason to replace the seat.
08-01-2011Submitted by: otter_one
- Rating: 10 of 10 Everybody agrees: The seat isn't comfortable. Tolerable for an hour or so maybe. I took mine out and replaced it with a $10 steel and canvas beach chair from Walmart. Much more comfortable with the added benefit of lightening the empty canoe a bit.
The boat is stable. You can move it with a single paddle and a J-stroke but not against wind and/or tide. A double paddle is the way to go. Out in the bay it handled boat wakes just fine.I bought it to fish mostly fresh water, ponds, small lakes and creeks. I wanted a boat that I could easily handle myself. I would love a $2000 24 lb kevlar canoe but for the money this is the perfect boat for that. Sweet!
06-07-2011Submitted by: lanky189
- Rating: 8 of 10 I love this boat. I read the reviews over and over and they are accurate when it concerns the seat. It's terrible. Get rid of it. I swapped in a webbed seat, moved it 2 inches forward with no drop and I'm very happy with it.
Is this the most stable canoe? No. It is not! There was a learning curve for me. A double bladed paddle is a must for any length of slow moving water, as the keel is way small and really pointless, a flat bottom would be more appropriate. I'm 6'4" 235lbs, so I'm not the normal sized paddler for a short canoe. However I carry about 40lbs of gear with me and with my dry bag under my seat and my cooler tethered to the front thwart, I can lean back in my seat and kick my feet over the sides in calm water with no stability issues. For anything over a class I rapid I prefer to kneel for extra stability. I've also added a 48 inch float bag in the front and 30 inch in the back (will likely go to a 48 inch in the rear next spring), just to keep the extra water that will crash over my bow out of the boat and keep it easier to handle when I take on water. I routinely float a river section with multiple class II and III rapids. Can't wait to add some camping gear for our overnight trips.
CONS: Seat, keel, stability.
04-22-2011Submitted by: macblount
PROS: Weight, maneuverability, price
- Rating: 8 of 10 I bought this boat after reading all the reviews. I was hoping the problem with the seat could be handled easily and it was. Because I'm a kayaker I'm familiar with foot pegs. I went for one paddle and decided that the foot pegs were the only thing required to make this into a great boat. I added adjustable foot pegs made by Wilderness Systems that I ordered from Austin Kayak in just a few minutes. It made all the difference in the world. Now with my feet braced against the pegs I can paddle all day without sliding out of the seat. (Old Town needs to experiment with adding the pegs.) After about a year of paddling the canoe I'm glad to say I'm VERY pleased with it. It's easy to transport and launch, easy to paddle with a kayak paddle and gives me plenty of room to take my dog with me. Love it – recommend it.
02-07-2011Submitted by: tssplash
- Rating: 8 of 10 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.
01-26-2011Submitted by: LRB
- Rating: 9 of 10 After my fishing from a SOT for close to a year, I decided it was time to add another boat so friends could come along. Due to price and reviews, I ended up choosing the Dick's version of the Discovery 119. At 43 lbs. I can carry, load, and launch it by myself with ease. On the water, it responds and tracks like a champ. The carrying capacity allows plenty of cargo for a multi-night camping trip. I primarily fish smaller rivers with limited rapids.
As others have stated, this canoe works best with a double bladed paddle. My only complaint, like so many others, is the seat. I remedied this problem with the purchase of a lightly padded plastic seat and a little ingenuity. It is now the most comfortable canoe I have ever ridden in and fishing/floating all day is not a problem. I have found this canoe to be very stable. More often than not, I fish from a standing position.
I was so impressed with this boat that shortly after buying it, I sold my SOT to buy another 119. I would recommend this boat to anyone. For $399 plus a seat upgrade, I don't think you can beat this boat for solo fishing/ camping/ floating.
11-03-2010Submitted by: mocreepus
- Rating: 10 of 10 after months of reviewing solo canoes online I went with the camo version of the 119 from Dicks. I just couldn't justify spending the money on the lighter pack canoe. I must say I have only paddled the guide 147 which is a beast solo. I use mine for transportation for deer hunting. I needed a good solo boat for when my partner could not go. The 119 was very stable for my and I'm fairly new to paddling a canoe. I use a j stroke and a single paddle. Never felt tippy and was easy to portage vs my tandem guide. I have no complaints about the seat. Great boat for the money. when deer season is over you best bet that I will be fishing out of this fine little canoe.
11-03-2010Submitted by: LB
- Rating: 7 of 10 An update on the seat/canoe.
I finally made a new seat out of some varnished 3/4" plywood and installed it using the original metal seat brackets. I used longer bolts and some EMT tubing as spacers (with appropriate washers, etc), dropping the seat 4 1/2" in the back and 3 1/2" in the front.
Finally took it out yesterday for a trial run and was very impressed. I used a seat flotation cushion against the thwart for a back rest, sat either cross legged or straight legged and was comfortable. No tippy feeling at all, and it would really move using the long kayak paddle.
07-23-2010Submitted by: jkkight1
- Rating: 9 of 10 I also bought the Guide 119 from Dick's sporting goods knowing I was going to change the seat. I bought a cane seat and hardware from Austin Kayak for $47 with free shipping. Using a J-stroke I had no problem keeping the 119 straight. With a 240cm kayak paddle this canoe will really move. My only concern is that the the material the canoe is made of becomes very thin and flexible as it nears the gunwale. I am told by Old Town this is normal. I have to assume the reason is to keep the weight down. I use this canoe on up to class 2 water. I'm not a fan of the keel so I plan to install skid plates. This canoe is a great alternative to a kayak and with the upgrades I still have less in it than the Discovery 119.
07-22-2010Submitted by: LB
- Rating: 3 of 10 I am very disappointed in Old Town's view of their products and customers.
I bought a new Guide 119 from Dick's (no try out) several months ago. One trip on the water and I couldn't stay in the plastic seat. Slid right out. Read all the reviews and tried several things. Finally took the seat out and figured I would just sit on a cushion. Realize now that I have had the canoe for several months and only had it out for one trial run. Since then, it has been sitting in my garage while I tried to get the time to obtain things to try. Missed the spring fishing.
Last week OT sent me an email to complete an on-line customer satisfaction review. Other than the seat, I like the boat, but after completing the survey I had to ask myself WHY, after buying a brand new canoe from a supposedly experienced canoe maker, was I having to spend my time trying to make a seat that would work? I called OT. Their response was that they had never heard of a seat issue on those canoes and that I must be the only one having such a problem. The only options they offered were to buy a woven seat and bolt kit from them for around $100, or take the boat back to where I bought it for a refund (over 500 miles one way).
One would think that an outfit that has been making canoes a long time would know what makes a good seat. Well, I wasn't such a big deal until they asked for my opinion. After talking to them and finding out that they don't really give a rat's @$$ I got kind of worked up.
I'll fix the seat myself, but I'll go out of my way to never spend another dime on an Old Town product or anything from their parent company.
By the way, I have been paddling canoes for over 30 years, but this is my first, and probably last, experience with OT.
06-10-2010Submitted by: flycastfortrout
- Rating: 10 of 10 Great little boat!
I have experience with many different canoes and currently own a Disco 158 as well. This is my first solo, but I have borrowed a OT Pack before. I have the "Guide 119" molded in camo from Dick's. It is in fact the Discovery 119. Best $400 ever spent in this sport.
I find it tracks really well on flat water with a reasonable J-stroke (even better with a 5 yr.old sitting in front of me). I tried a kayak paddle on the river today and was really impressed with how quickly it will scoot up river for a canoe.
I've attached some bungee rigging for storage and paddle keepers. I also am using a 1.5 lb folding anchor on a 24ft retractable dog leash. It holds well in the current and the leash keeps the floor clean and the rope free from tangles. A rope cleat secures things as to not put too much stress on the leash holder.
06-08-2010Submitted by: marcguthrie
Best fishing boat for solo or Dad and 5 yr. old yet.
In a few weeks I plan to add some DIY outriggers with Scotty rod holders so I'll be able to stand up and sight fish on the river with a fly rod.
I can't wait to take this one out for multi-day trip.
- Rating: 9 of 10 Great little canoe. I am over 300lbs and it floats me just fine. It tracks well and glides faster than I wanted in some sections. It handles rapids well and only took water when I got sideways below the rocks with water coming over them. It then began to pour into the boat. I just laughed and took a swim. I should have approached the rapid faster and more straight on. A kayak paddle is a definite must and I thought I would hate it. It seems heavier than 43lbs but that is probably due to the length. The seat needs to be fixed with better hardware rather than rivets for big guys, but that is a $5 fix. I have paddled everything from whitewater canoes(hate them) to the Colemans, Grummans, MichiCraft, and Old Towns (the Tripper is my favorite). This one is as good as any of those and doesn't steer like a battleship when solo. I prefer it to a Kayak due to load carrying capacity.
05-11-2010Submitted by: Dave Pringle
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought this canoe after seeing it sitting outside a 'Northern' Store in Sioux Lookout Ontario. It was s surprise seeing an Old Town canoe at this location. The price was $649 Cdn.
I looked at this site for reviews and what I saw made me decide to buy it. Thanks to those who reviewed it therefore!
I gave it a 10 as I am on a lake which can get rough at times. I'm used to a 16 foot kayak and this canoe is quite stable compared to my kayak. I was prepared to have to change the seat given the reviews but the seat location is perfect as far as I'm concerned, but then I use a kayak paddle, not a canoe paddle. The first kayak paddle I used was a bit short (230 centimetres). Am now using a paddle now that is 250 centimetres and it is a better fit.
It was a lucky find in that I had considered buying a solo canoe years ago but then my back started giving me problems. This solo canoe, allowing for the use of the kayak paddle means that my back is okay. On a big lake with a kayak paddle this canoe is a joy! It bobs in the big waves like a cork and is extremely stable. It's not fast, but having a good paddle helps to make it as fast as it can be. Synchronicity?.... I wasn't looking for this canoe but it appeared before me.
04-22-2010Submitted by: mark
- Rating: 7 of 10 I have the Dick's version "kay-noe" which described before is a Discovery 119.
Overall it's a good small and extremely cheap boat. Is it even remotely close to a $2600 Bell? No, BUT...can I throw it in the back of the pickup, scratch it and feel good that I am just using this $300 boat to it's limits? One big YES.
I use a double paddle to go up river (not too swift) and a single back down. It's really tough to J stroke this canoe, and a C stroke doesn't work either. You can move this canoe best with a longer double paddle. Correction strokes just stop this canoe dead in its tracks, it's just too short.
The seat is terrible as well. It was too high to start and the backrest was taken off within minutes of purchase. I modified the seat numerous times and ended up just tearing it out. I sit/kneel on a large yoga block which works out well.
I also fashioned my own thwart for it that attaches to the gunwales, which makes it a ton easier to portage. Make one if you want or just drag this beast around. Did I mention it's cheap? Ha.
04-14-2010Submitted by: oldtownpete
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just purchased my Disco 119 from Dicks Sporting good for around $350.00. Reading all the reviews about the stability issues I was a bit concerned. But they are all wrong. This gem is a stable little canoe. I even stood up in it with no problems. I agree the seat is tragic! But I will be making some modifications.
I use a single paddle and have had no issues, even in heavy wind. A "J" stroke is a must. I found that once you got going the tracking greatly improved. As a 42 yo paddler tired of lugging around my disco 169 this is a breath of fresh air. I will say that trying to carry this canoe around on your shoulder gets old real quick. I made a carry yolk that slips on and off when needed and it was a great improvement.
For the money you will not find a better solo canoe out there period...
04-12-2010Submitted by: nineoaks2004
- Rating: 10 of 10 I pick up my disco 119 at Sportsmans outfitters in Dothan Ala. yesterday. After reading the reviews, I lowered the seat 3 inches. I also made a thwart and moved the forward thwart 6 inches to the rear so my large dry bag would fit. I installed small bungees fore and aft to hold the painters when underway and installed a bungee on the rear thwart to hold rain gear etc. I ordered and received a 102 inch Mohawk break down paddle with the "t" grip adapter set (makes each half a single paddle).
Today I took it to a fish pond and tried it empty, I could stand up in it, I also leaned it to the gunnels and never went over. I then loaded it with enough gear for a week long trip, It was great, and handled great. I am looking forward to my first river trip next week.
I give this canoe a 10 because it is really stable I stood up in it loaded and empty with no problem and I actually tried to dump it to see how far it would go. It handles easily, especially with a double paddle. The single with a "c" stroke takes a little more work but it is manageable. I will use the double paddle on the slow rivers and use the single in tight places.
10-02-2009Submitted by: Henry T
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought this canoe summer 0f '09 from Dick's for $399 on sale. It is badged "Guide" on the hull but it is the Disco 119. I have canoed and kayaked off and on over the years. This is my first solo. After using a while I lowered the seat 4" and moved it 4" forward. Before it was somewhat delicate but now very stable. I use a single mostly, but for speed a double, and have no problem keeping up with 11' and 12' yaks on lakes. It is more maneuverable on rivers than the same yaks. I can stand up in it on flat water, no wind, but right now it is just a bit too delicate to pole up a river. I use this more than any other boat I have. Learn to paddle with a single blade and you will have no problems. Very nice boat.
09-10-2009Submitted by: Joel Bolden
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought the Kay-noe version of the Disco 119 late last winter at Dicks for $400.00.
I've been canoeing for around 20 years, and at the time also owned an old Sawyer Guide and a 14' Wenonah tandem. I've used it mainly on small lakes, but have done some class II creeks with it. With no problems.
Like most folks are saying, the seat is awful. I removed it and installed a Mad River web conversion seat smack in the middle and lowered it around 3 inches. That took care of both the stability and paddling problems. I wouldn't even consider using a single paddle with this boat except for maneuvering around when I'm fishing (great little fishing canoe). I've a 9 foot Shaw & Tenny double canoe paddle that cost damned near as much as the canoe and is worth every penny. By placing the seat midships, my paddle reaches to the bow and allows me a long, easy stroke. I can flat move that canoe. Had a couple of kids in kayaks decide to race me last Sunday, and they lost. I was a bit bigger and stronger though, but not by much.
The canoe does feel a bit unstable for the first few minutes until I bond with it, then it's no problems. I don't understand people climbing into something that narrow and then complaining about instability. Buy a rowboat. It's a canoe for heaven's sakes. Ended up giving the old Sawyer away, and while I love the Wenonah, that 40 lbs(different seat) and really good performance with that great paddle made it my goto boat this past summer. Between this one and the Wenonah, I'm having a hard time justifying another....but I will:).
09-24-2008Submitted by: GB
- Rating: 8 of 10 I just bought the Kay-Noe, which is actually the Old Town Discovery 119 per the owner's manual. I took it out yesterday for the first time and really enjoyed my time on the water. I bought a kayak paddle, 230cm, which worked pretty good but could use maybe a 240cm or 250cm. Kayak paddling seemed to be the way to go. I found the seat placement to be just about perfect and had no trouble. The boat tracks well too...I didn't have much wind yesterday but a few breezes with which the boat worked seemingly great! I spent about 3 hours on the water at which point the actual plastic seat seemed to get a bit uncomfortable, just needs a pad or a little modification. No worries. I leaned back most of the time and paddled away covering the extent of the reservoir I was exploring with ease. It could easily be used for fishing...I am bringing my tackle on the next trip. It is best launched like a kayak. Get in on a beach and shimmy yourself out into the water and enjoy!!! Sláinte!!
08-27-2008Submitted by: basstrackerman
- Rating: 10 of 10 Well I also lowered seat about 5 inches, also moved it forward 6 inches. I bought a new folding seat from Cabellas. The seat was the only problem with the boat.
I'm 6'5" 280 lbs and the boat is very stable. Best little boat out there. It tracks very well, easy to fish from, and I use double ended paddle. To be honest I don't see me using my larger canoe at all. I do have a kayak but this is a lot better. Buy this little boat and have some fun... change the seat though.
08-22-2008Submitted by: Wildbuc
- Rating: 9 of 10 I was looking for a relatively light solo canoe short enough to be carried in my pickup and able to be paddled with a double paddle. The 119 fills the bill. Immediately after buying it and before putting it into water, I lowered the seat, 4 inches in the back and 3 inches in the front. That provides a degree of rake that prevents you from sliding forward. I found no need to move the seat forward, although 1-3 inches might not hurt.
On the water, the 119 felt very stable and seaworthy. I paddled it in heavy winds the first day without difficulty. In a calm cove, the boat was a joy to fish from, with plenty of space for tackle.
The main problem with the canoe is the seat, which I would give a rank of 0, or minus 0 if possible. It is the worst designed seat I have ever encountered in 30 years of boating--a complete disaster. Here's what is wrong with the seat:
1. Positioned too high making for instability.
2. Bottom of seat is completely horizontal with no rake.
3. Seat bottom is about 4 inches too short, providing no leg support.
4. The back of the seat is rounded, giving support only where the back touches the backrest--with no low or high support.
5. The backrest does not begin until the first few inches from the bottom.
6. The backrest will not fold neatly down on the lower seat.
7. The backrest will not recline more than about 90 degrees.
8. Seat is too heavy.
With seat modifications, however, and using a double paddle, I was very pleased. It is the boat I have been looking for.
Although the seat is a monster, it can be improved 90% and made useable by lowering it as described and increasing the rake. I will probably remove it at some point and build my own seat.
08-05-2008Submitted by: witewtr58
- Rating: 10 of 10 Wow...what a lot of different evaluations of the Disco 119. I believe it is in the synergy of the paddler with the boat whether you like it or not. In other words, some call it art, to others it is just a painting, I guess. I found the Disco 119 to be exceptionally stable and very maneuverable: a rare combination. I run Class IV-V whitewater in an open canoe so of course it feels stable. But I rec race 19' solos, too, and I find the later far more difficult. To each his own, I love the 119 for its RAISON D'ETRE.
07-15-2008Submitted by: Brian
- Rating: 9 of 10 After being in the market for a solo canoe that I could use fishing area rivers, I ended up purchasing a twice-used Old Town Discovery 119K. After paddling the almost new canoe on an area river, I was happy with it, but felt I would be more comfortable paddling the canoe kneeling from just in front of the back thwart. I removed the seat and fashioned a middle thwart of light but sturdy oak that I finished to match the existing thwarts. I installed the thwart in the rear seat mountings and finished by gluing knee padding in the bottom between the thwarts "whitewater style." Long story short, I paddle the boat in fairly swift rivers kneeling between the rear and middle thwart and couldn’t be happier with the performance of this nimble little boat. Too bad Old Town halted production. But if you find a used Discovery 119k and don’t mind a bit of modification, I really recommend you consider same.
07-25-2007Submitted by: djo
- Rating: 8 of 10 I am a little surprised that my Old Town Discovery 119 is considered tippy. I got this little red canoe about 15 years ago because I wanted a solo canoe to fish out of that was light enough to cartop by myself. At the time this was the only solo canoe available locally.
Having spent thousands of hours fly fishing from the boat, I have never noticed that it is unstable and I have never taken water accidentally – as someone that is 6’3”, 230 lbs. and not very coordinated I could do it if anyone could. I did manage to boat a 50+ lb grass carp in it and I would not suggest anyone try that trick again.
Having said that the boat is sufficiently stable for my purposes I would have to agree that it does not track well and paddling in a variable wind takes a lot of attention and a well varied J-stroke. I am not sure that any canoe under 12’ long will track much better. Old Town has apparently discontinued this boat but I would still recommend it should a used one float by. It is a great little short distance knock around and fishing platform for one person. - David
02-05-2007Submitted by: DougA
- Rating: 9 of 10 I owned this boat for 3 years. Great alternative to a kayak for small stream floats. Lack of stability takes getting used to. I dropped the seat about 3" and it helped quite a bit. I fished out of it and you can consider doing overnight trips but keep the weight down. It is lightweight and durable. Tracks pretty well.
09-14-2005Submitted by: Gail
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased my Old Town Discovery 119, used from a woman who did WW. She claimed to have even gone over a 4' fall with it. I didn't plan on using it for WW. Just something to bob around on the water in. I've had 4 other canoes and a kayak in the past, but sold all over the years I was raising a family. Time to get another one...and this came up. As others mentioned, I found it tippy and the first canoe that I ever tipped over in. Disappointed....for a while.
Then I made a rowing outrigger for it (I've done so on all my canoes) and discovered I had a very versatile boat. For years, I've been rowing it on lakes and rivers, even some class II. Not satisfied with just rowing, I decided to try sailing it. Thus began a modification project that turned out better than I expected. YES, I SAIL A Discovery 119!
Like anything, it has its limitations. There isn't any one boat or car, or anything that can do everything, so you just have to learn to live with its limitations. I continually go with others in their kayaks down rivers. It may be a bit slower than a kayak, but the comfort is greater, you can get in and out easier and carry much more equipment.
The 'freeboard' is a bit high thus creating a bit of wind resistance. I've been thinking about drilling out the rivets that hold the gunwales on and cutting down the sides a few inches and then reinstalling the gunwales. Will lessen the effect the wind has in it, but also lessen the carrying capacity. I did make a spray skirt for the 'front', which is held on with strips of stick on velcro just under the gunwale. Makes for drier runs in WW.
All in all, I 'discovered' that the Discovery 119 is a good all round boat that I've probably had more fun in than all the others I've had, combined.
11-15-2004Submitted by: edcanoebear
- Rating: 8 of 10 My wife is a relative novice and wanted a solo boat so that she could develop her canoeing skills rather than become a "front seat only" paddler. We got a Discovery 119 from a friend and we are both delighted! We use the boat on the rivers of Northern France (Canche and Authie) which are mostly class 1 with occasional class 2 drops and the occasional weir. Initial stability is good and this promotes confident use of strokes on the onside and cross deck. As one would expect for a short boat it is necessary to use a good J Stroke to keep the boat in a straight line but my wife found that tracking was good compared to other short boats that she has paddled. Overall we both felt that this is a excellent little canoe that encourages good use of strokes and boat control.
11-02-2004Submitted by: CA_Clydesdale
- Rating: 8 of 10 Excellent little canoe to poke around lakes with. Very stable and easy to paddle. I've paddled up to 8 miles/day in flat water just screwing around. All the noise about it being unstable or hard to paddle must be from people who have no clue what a J-stroke is.
10-05-2004Submitted by: ThomasL
- Rating: 9 of 10 I researched this canoe, OT119k and found very little info other than this site with the mixed bag of comments. I'd like to say that I'm 6'2" 220 lbs and was concerned about the size of this boat which will be used on ponds only for fishing. This canoe is short and easily moves around but after time you get use to how it is. At 43 lbs it's light, but still 43 lbs picked up and positioned on top of a SUV is still a job, esp. trying not to hit or scratch anything! At 459.00 the price was good for a quality canoe but use it for it's intended purpose not for a family boat.
06-15-2004Submitted by: mg
- Rating: 10 of 10 Read this before deciding not to buy a Discovery 119K. All the hype about instability, bad tracking, entry and exit problems, is just that--hype. I put mine in the river the day after I bought it and found it to have the qualities Old Town is noted for. It is not unstable. It tracks well unless you don't know how to paddle. It'll take an easy stroke much nicer than the power strokes the big guys are trying to give it. It's not a boat for fat folks who are apparently the ones giving the bad reviews. I used it in still water, took it upriver, and downriver through rapids, and not once did I experience anxiousness over the boat's stability or handling. It's not supposed to perform like a nineteen footer. If you wanted a longer canoe, you should have bought one; a shorter canoe can't do everything the longer ones do. Decide what you need, then buy. If you want a solo canoe and you're not the macho type that does everything in a hurry, and you want a boat that won't dunk you, get the 119k. I deliberatly leaned mine to the point of dunking, and I found she'll go all the way over to where the gunwale touches the water before she flips. That's a lot of lean. If you want to carry a lot of stuff, or take someone with you because you're scared to go alone, or if you want to race, by a longer canoe or get a bass boat, but don't whine about the best solo canoe on the market just because you can't handle it.
06-06-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 4 of 10 I've owned lots of canoes and kayaks, inc. several OT products (Penobscot 17, Loon 111, 120, 138, Guide 147), all of which I really enjoyed paddling. I didn't like the Discovery 119k. At all. Heavier than it should be, absolutely won't track at all, incredibly slow (A 12' non-WW canoe doesn't need any rocker). At least it turns fast. Compared to my Mohawk Solo 13, this boat was a pig that never got used. Perhaps it would be OK on moving water, but on a lake you'd be better off swimming. I sold it after a week. It did hold water.
05-22-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Wow, what a grab bag of reviews so far. I read most of them before I purchased my 119K and I really don't see what all the complaining is about. The boat has decent stability, you can easily fish out of it. I was actually expecting it to be less stable after reading the other reviews. I'm 6'4" 200lbs and the boat had plenty of stability for me. It's also faster than I had though. Paddling it with a one blde canoe paddle put me at about the same speed as a tandem canoe, with a two bladed kayak paddle, I could easily paddle away from a tandem with two people. The boat was a bit hairy in rough water, as was expected (It's not even 12 feet long). My take is, this is a great little, relativly light weight solo canoe, that I'm going to enjoy using for many years to come.
08-16-2002Submitted by: SpongeBob
- Rating: 9 of 10 People seem to either love or hate this canoe. After reading the reviews here, I wonder if I even have the same canoe. I've had my OT 119 for 3 years now, and I still like it as much as when I first bought it. Sure it's a bit tippy at first; it's only 11ft 9in long and 31.5 in wide at the gunnels (the lit says 32.5, but mine measures 31.5). The tippy feeling dissappeared after the first 20 min on the water. It feels very stable (at least to me) as long as you keep your belt buckle inside the gunnel. Sometimes I sit, sometimes I kneel, but I've never been dumped by it. As for tracking straight, you will have to work on your strokes more than you would on a long skinny Wenonah, but the practice will work wonders on your paddling technique. A pitched C-stroke works best for me. I've even done some basic freestyle in it. A 55-56 in Bending Branches straight with a 6.5 in wide blade works very nicely for me most of the time. I also carry a 250 mm Sawyer double for windy days or when I want to go fast.
All in all, my OT 119 works great for me. It's manueverability is a joy on narrow creeks, and it works just fine in my hands on open water. Your milage may vary. I would definitely buy another one, but I expect the one I have will last me a long time.
08-05-2002Submitted by: rbfish
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have a Discovery 119K. I spent about $10.00 at the hardware store for 3/4" wood dowel rod,10-24 brass threaded rod and acorn nuts.I lowered the seat 3". This made all the difference in the world. Now the canoe is much more stable. I didn't expect it to track like the longer canoes, but this a fair trade-off for a 12 ft,43# canoe that I can load on the car by myself. I thank some of your other readers for this idea.
07-17-2002Submitted by: Paul
- Rating: 4 of 10 The 119 was not my first canoe nor my first old town but it is by far the most disagreeable canoe I've ever been in. I really wanted the 119 for it's handy size any light weight but the trade-off is not fair. This canoe is tippy all the time and will wear you out just trying to keep from taking a swim. It tracks NOT AT ALL. You have to drag alot of rudder stroke to keep on line and that takes away the LITTLE TO NO GLIDE this canoe has. This canoe has been a total dissapointment. I have tried removing the seat; moving the seat back; kneeling; sitting; half sitting, I just cannot enjoy myself in this canoe and I really enjoy being in a canoe. I have contacted Old Town and told them that I think this canoe ought to be removed from the product line. If you are interested in owning a 119 take mine, I've had enough of fighting with it.
06-05-2002Submitted by: mike
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just returned from four days on the John Day River. Lots of class 1 and a class 2+. Compaired to my OT pack, the boat was much drier, tracked better and was great in windy conditions. It felt goosy for the first hour or two, then we reached an understanding and it worked great. Swallowed 4 days of gear without problems.
03-05-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 4 of 10 The 119k was the worst canoe buy I have ever made. It is light, cute, and tough, but it handles real bad. You can't expect a boat this short to track well and it dose not. It has poor secondary stability. It is very slow. If you take it down any rapids even easy ledges it fills with water. I've canoed for many years and owned 3 Old town boats that have served me well. There are many better boats out there for the same money. The 119 should be recalled.
02-18-2002Submitted by: Bill
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned my 119k for about 5 years and primarily use it on fairly calm lakes and streams. I have customized it for additional stability and comfort -- the canoe lends itself to customizing for those with the inclination. If you don't mind being a non-canoe-purist (even the Olympics admit new sports and ideas from time to time) try taking out the seat and sitting on a closed cell foam camping bed pad doubled over on the canoe's bottom. For a back rest, put in a new thwart where you'd like your backrest, then lean a plywood backrest against the thwart. Secure the back rest to the thwart with ropes from the bottom corners of the seatback up to the thwart so the seat back can only slide down to that point. Very comfortable and adjustable. However, now you will want to consider a new way of paddling. One paddle in each hand. Buy an inexpensive double-bladed paddle designed for a rubber raft, take it apart and use half in each hand. Buy some rubber gloves to take the strain off your hands. Now you don't have to keep switching one paddle from hand to hand to keep the little darlin' tracking straight, even in a breeze. Or, you might like paddling with a stiff Frizbee in each hand. Then, you might make yourself removable custom plywood outriggers with floats that ride a couple of inches above the water on each side of the middle of the canoe. They only touch the water if the canoe tips to the side, and then the float (an inflatable boat fender) stops further tipping. Insures the dry, safe comfortable ride I enjoy in street clothes. Put marine varnish on all wood surfaces. Now you have your go-anywhere, lift easily, strong, attractive, inexpensive canoe to give you lots of pleasure afloat. Keep experimenting and please pass along your ideas.
12-26-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Discovery 119K Well I have read the above and have decided to put my 2 cents in. On this boat lower the seat by using longer bolts and wooden dowels set at least 3 to 4 in. and you will find a new world of stability as I did I carry a single paddle for a back up but I use the longest 250+ cm in length double paddle to move it with. I also use a 35 lb anchor under the forward thwart to add some extra ballast down low, I also carry a 12 lb anchor for anchoring when fishing. The 35 lber is also used as a balancing weight, the trick is learn to paddle on one side for long periods of time and move the 35 lbs to the opposite side to trim the boat and when paddling in to larger waves slide it to the center to raise the bow. I weigh in at 235 lbs and with the more weight in the boat then you have to balance it and it tracks better and it is more stable. So if you play around with it you will learn to love this little boat.
09-06-2001Submitted by: DWMacaulay
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased a 119K two years ago. I took it into the BWCA with some friends. We canoe our campsite in one day - it takes about seven hours with two portages. It did take some effort. But -It was a lot of fun and I felt confident in big waves with my boat. I found that it turns on a dime and this was extremely beneficial when I was fishing for Walleyes. I never caught more fish ... in fact - this boat is like a fishing machine. I fished in windy and rainy weather. I especially feel that this boat is tougher than heck. I banged it on rocks and this didn't phase it. It was worth the $500 I paid.
07-20-2001Submitted by: R.L.
- Rating: 6 of 10 I bought a used 119k in new condition for $400 last April. I had hoped to use it for solo fishing in small ponds and poking around in marshes. I took the 119k for its maiden voyage while most of the water in our area was still ice-covered and, rather unexpectedly, discovered this boat has almost no secondary stability whatsoever. I have more than 30 years of canoe and kayak paddling experience, own 2 canoes, a kayak, a sailboat and a small motorboat and my swim was a total surprise. Although I would not call this boat "stable", its decent initial stability belies its utter lack of secondary stability. I have not been ejected again but I would not be surprised if it happened. Once May arrived and the water was liquid I took the boat out for a more thorough test. My wife and I have paddled the boat about ten times since. We are both stuck in a love/hate relationship with this boat! My conclusions are as follows:
PROS: This is a very pretty little boat - especially for the price. It is very nimble and a lot of fun to maneuver in tight places. It acts a lot like a kayak in many respects but it is considerably less stable than our Perception Dancer. It cartops almost effortlessly. Outside of a float tube this is about as easy as it gets. It is quite rugged, especially for a 43 lb. boat.
CONS: The lack of secondary stability requires you to be constantly vigilant. It is more "tippy" than you first expect. This is NOT a good boat for any kind of fishing. If you are really focused on fishing you will end up in the water with the fish! The boat is extremely manueverable and paddles very nicely with a double bladed paddle but it blows all over in more than a breeze (a double bladed paddle is almost essential in wind). The boat is fun to paddle with a regular paddle but it is very slow. It will track straight but not without effort and skill. The seat is too high to be stable and too low to fit feet under in a kneeling position. I outfitted mine with a backrest and accept the extra instability in return for comfort. When the water gets rough I slide forward and kneel completely. It's not ideal.
I am sure you COULD paddle this boat in whitewater but you would be doing it mostly for the challenge,the boat is not suited for moving water. Just for fun I tried paddling the 119k with two big adults (about 400 lbs.- 75 lbs shy of its 475 lb rating). It was miserable. We swapped ends (seat and thwarts are better spaced with two when the stern is forward) and each kneeled but the boat simply would not quit jumping around. It ended up working best with a double bladed paddle in the stern and the bow person just sitting very still. Not fun. I had really hoped to be able to press this canoe into service for fishing in ponds but the sad truth is that it requires too much attention to allow one to enjoy the fishing. Flyfishing would be almost impossible and I can't even imagine trying to hunt from it.
CONCLUSION: Don't even consider this boat for hunting/fishing! It is the right size but far too tippy for kids. It might be OK for solo tripping but I think there are better choices. If you are an accomplished paddler and want a very nimble open boat it might be the ticket but paddle this boat BEFORE you buy it! We will keep the boat because it really is fun to paddle but I would hardly call it practical. I find myself looking at stabilizers and sponsons with the hope of improving stability but contraptions are not the answer. Instead I end up just taking one of our other boats for fishing.
03-30-2001Submitted by: Fireman
- Rating: 8 of 10 I just got back from a 72 acre lake where I spent the afternoon paddling my new OT119K for the first time. I must say is a very fun little boat. I agree with comments that it is a little unstable at first. I test paddled it for 20 minutes or so, and I felt fairly comfortable. I then went back and retrieved my fishing rod and began fishing. A hour of fishing and I was quite well adjusted to the "tippyness" of the boat. Two hours later, the boat and I had become one. When considering this boat, keep in mind that it is a low cost recreational solo boat.
CONS: The length is 11'9" long which is shorter that the more serious solo boats on the market, and it doesn't sit real deep in the water. It isn't very good at tracking, and is prone to catch the wind. The build of the boat and the seat height make it a little tippy with out much secondary stability.
PROS: The boat is low cost, aprox. $549 retail, which makes it much more affordable than some of the true soloing boats on the market. It is very light and has good car topping ability. I glides smoothly across the water and is very quite. A little work and practice, this boat becomes predictable. I found it to be a joy to fish out of rather than my kayak which is just not designed for fishing at all. Most importantly, this boat is FUN.
If you are looking into a fun little soloing canoe to mess around in and maybe even fish out of, it is great. If you looking for the performance of a top dollar full lenth canoe or kayak, you won't find it here. Take it for what it is designed for, cheap fun.
Also, remember that new Polylink 3, Royalex, and other synthetic canoes are very different from the old Grummond aluminum canoes that rental places provide. When making that step, keep an open mind and spend time learning the virtues of your new synthetic boats. Once you take that time, you will certainly apreciate the fine finesse, performance and speed these boats have.
01-13-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have owned a 119k for seven years now and I love it. It is short and slow but very forgiving and a great first solo boat. I have found that a nice steady J stroke helps keep the boat on course.
12-10-2000Submitted by: John
- Rating: 9 of 10 I find this short and light canoe a fine craft to paddle. I go on weekend trips 4 times a year and many day paddles. this canoe holds all my gear and my dog (when she sits still). I find it very easy to paddle. You just have to know how to paddle. even in wind on the rivers and lakes I have been on 5 to 10 mph. It handles fairly well for a little canoe. but there's one thing i could do with out is the keel how ever small it is. I prefer rivers so the keel doesn't allow me to slip off the shallow rocks and trees. But the bottom line is I paid 399$ at the old town factory store. I love that it's only 43lbs. and the load cap. 475lbs is just fine for my needs. I love it and would buy it again. one more thing.....LET THE RIVERS FLOW FREE
07-23-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 5 of 10 This canoe has some good points. It is tough, durable and quiet, very quiet. It is also small and easy to handle out of the water. In the water, it is good for getting into tight places, and back out. I have loaded it to the max (480lbs. +/-) and it behaved fairly well on very shallow, very still water. I have been down a twisty class I river with my 5 year old in the front and all went quite well.
This canoe also has some bad points. I have not tried a double paddle, but with a single blade it just goes in circles unless I switch every stroke. I made a paddle with a smaller blade (roundish and about 85 square inches). This does help some of the problems. The larger the paddle the more it turns with each stroke. I can, however, turn it completely around with out moving in the water. The keel is worthless, too. The wind blows it sideways with ease. I also installed a keelson and the bottom oilcans less, but does not behave better.
The initial stability is good, but it has virtually no secondary stabability. Lean it close to the gunwale and LOOK OUT! I raised the seat about an inch and a half. This made kneeling much more enjoyable, but it still does not stear well. I am sorely dissapointed that I spent my money on a canoe that will not go straight and cannot recommend that anyone buy a 119K.
04-25-2000Submitted by: Chris
- Rating: 8 of 10 I agree with the previous reviewer's comments. This is a great little boat for the price. I too
picked up a blem for about $400, and have enjoyed floating the 119k down tamer streams and on flat
water. I have yet to pick up a double-bladed paddle, but I think that will help with tracking
trouble on flat water. I'm going to use the bejeezus out of this boat.
04-06-2000Submitted by: REM
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have a Discovery 119K that I use for day paddles on local ponds and lakes. It's light (43 lbs), easy to store, and easy to car top and carry to the water (just put the rail on your shoulder). It tracks straight with either a 57" straight paddle and a pitched C-stroke or with a 240 cm double blade paddle. No, it's not fast, but it is stable, very durable, and just a lot of fun for the money ($435, new blem). There is not much of a difference between the OT Pack and the 119, other than 10 lbs. Both pretty much share the same hull dimensions. I preferred the 119 - 2 thwarts rather than 1 (easier to pick up) and better abrasion resistance of the Crosslink over the Royalex on sand and gravel. If what you want is an inexpensive, durable boat for exploring local inlets and relaxed flatwater paddling, it's an excellent choice IMHO.
04-15-1999Submitted by: Jim
- Rating: 8 of 10 For what it is, it's a nice little boat. I have just used it in flatwater, and find it a little slow, but it does track well in wind.
09-03-1998Submitted by: agarick
- Rating: 8 of 10 Very stable, tracks well on flat water and fun to paddle on Saluda River in Columbia, SC and Section II & III on Chattooga River.
Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
90,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!