I bought this canoe used a year ago. An Old Town made Penobscot 16 decaled "LLBean", has wooden gunnels and cane seats. Serial number would indicate a 1980 date of manufacture. Hull is green Royalex and she feels like about 55-60#.
I wanted a nice "work horse" canoe that offered good handling, decent performance and would work well under a broad variety of uses…our use is flat water family fun about 50% (2 adults, with or without 2 kids); and 50% mild whitewater (C1-C2) day trips and 1-2 day overnighters – typically WW is solo or tandem.
I wanted the Royalex hull for sturdiness and weight – I think this hull is 25 years old and it's still kicking! Also, getting older, no canoe ever gets lighter with advancing age. I would strongly recommend that you consider this... weight is a key factor to consider if you don't have a home on the water and your own dock. Think about this when you look at similar models in other hull materials that weigh in at 85+ #. We also have a nice Kevlar canoe... but needed something for rocks and dragging... the Royalex delivers here. I need to add Kevlar strips to bow and stern – or beat my kids more so they will lift/not drag to shore.
The Penobscot offers a blend of hull features that does a lot of "canoe work" well. It is not perhaps the best canoe for any one thing, but a hull that gives you access to the entire range of beginner/intermediate canoeing. I did want some keel/v shape for tracking and also for leaning a bit... this put the OT Discovery model out of the running. Not throwing stones, but the initial stability of a pure flat hull can be quickly "out grown" and the option to put a bit of a lean into your style gives you more paddling options than a wide flat hull.
Our other canoe is a light weight Kevlar solo/tandem 14'... and is of course limited in load carrying. For families, overnight trips, or having more that two on a canoe…go at least 16'. I have found that solo this hull is "light" if empty... a water bag filled with some river water or some gear used for ballast/balance makes the "big P" a good solid handling solo hull (person & gear say 250-300# minimum).
I can't say this is a perfect model for everyone... but it is the best "station wagon" IMP. Best guide is to consider your honest loading requirements and range of use when considering any canoe.