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Reviews for Discovery 164 Canoe by Old Town Canoe


Rated: 8.07/10 Based On: 27 Reviews

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08-06-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Old Town Discovery 164 has been my primary canoe for the last 10 years. A durable, if not indestructible canoe the 164 has proven itself on flat water as well as fast flowing rivers. With the Royalex hull it takes a beating yet remains ideal for all skill levels. This craft is easy to maintain and remarkably stable in rough conditions.

The only drawback is the weight, although I can still portage it alone I do tend to grumble more than I used to while carrying it.

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07-11-2012
Submitted by: AdamSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     After reading all the reviews here about how the Discovery handles, I was surprised with the poor reviews. I understand that it wasn't every review but still... So, I decided to write my own.

We have a Discovery 164, I know, 5 inches shorter than the 169 but the 169 was the replacement. My 164 is spectacular. She handles great on every type of water. When my wife and I go, unless we are in heavy water, I paddle the entire time. Same with when we go with my kids. With no help. On rivers and lakes. In wind and no wind. I haven't had a bit of trouble. I'm not a giant bodybuilder type either. I'm 6'3 275lbs.

I guess the bottom line here is that I love our Discovery and find it to be a very capable boat. I like it even more than our kayaks. I'd say that if you're looking to buy, I'd recommend the Discovery series every time! Enjoy.

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08-01-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I got my Old Town 164 from a very wealthy man in a Chicago Suburb for 200.00. His kids used the seats as a trampoline and I had to replace the seats and had a very new like canoe. I have taken the 164 to the UP of Michigan and it handled very well. Took a ton of camping gear and bottled water (wife afraid to use filters). It tracked well with the weight and we seems to make great time. A bit heavy at if empty somewhat tippy but still great fun. My two sons and I did dump it once in a nice little river and they decided to swim along side the canoe the next mile or so on a hot day. A pleasure the youth of today have not experienced. Brought back great memories so thanks for the dump. The 164 has served us very well and brought much joy. Will never sell it.
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06-20-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just bought a used Old Town Discovery 164. This boat has been stored inside and might have seen the water a dozen times. I took it out yesterday on our lake and I was impressed. First I paddled it solo, then with my youngest son and then my wife. We love it! It is fast and tracks super but the only con is its weight. But you can't have everything... Looking forward to getting back out on the water with it.
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01-20-2010
Submitted by: John RSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Have owned mine since 2000 and love it. I have over 400 miles on it from lakes to class 2 rivers and it has performed well. Mine came with the seat drop kit already installed from the dealer and it is very stable. This boat has taken a lot of heavy abuse and still keeps going. Initial stability is iffy but when underway it is steady provided the bowman is used to canoeing. I even folded mine a few months back and it popped out by itself and it continued the last 8 miles of the trip!
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06-27-2007
Submitted by: MatthewSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Yes it's heavy... but you are in the wrong price-range if you're used to kevlar. I've had this canoe for about 4 years now. I use it on small and large flatwater and some medium sized slower moving water. It handles two people and LOTS of gear easily and tracks like a champ. It doesn't have much rocker (hardly any really) so it will not turn on a dime very fast so it's probably not going to be great for fast technical rivers, but I have had excellent performance on larger rivers where you don't have to turn really sharp and quick.

It's durability is near impossible to beat as you can read from other reviewers. I got mine with nylon webbing seats (special order) and they are way better (more comfortable and durable) than the usual cane option.
Yes, it has very low initial stability but extremely HIGH secondary stability. This canoe is hard to beat if you're wanting a really tough canoe that will perform well and if you will pretty much always have two people to load and unload it. If you are really ever going to go solo and have to do the loading/portaging yourself... get a kevlar canoe or you will break your back with this baby. She's heavy as lead but her durability and performance (agility when on the water) will impress you for sure. The guy that said he's a canoe guide and bagged on it's performance must have been using it on a spring creek or something way too small than what this is designed for.

Lastly, once you lower the seats about 3-4 inches (hardware kits available from Old Town--or do it yourself with a trip to Home Depot like I did) you will discover that this canoe will come to life for you. It's kind of an awkward boat until you do this. I don't know why other's haven't figured this out way before now... but it is a MUST DO for this boat to get real performance out of her! Until you do lower the seats I would rate this boat at around a 5-6 on the scale of one to ten... but once it's gone through it's rebirth (3-4 inches lowered seats) it's a new animal altogether! I did my research before I bought this canoe and I can say that I did it right.
REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE TO LOWER THE SEATS ON A DISCO 164 ABOUT 3-4 INCHES BEFORE YOU WILL BE REALLY HAPPY WITH IT!

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08-22-2003
Submitted by: David SackettSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Pretty durable, but I've experienced a separation between the outer layer and inner layer due to lots of abrasive river trips. The boat is about 7 years old now. Also the long bolts that suspend the seats from the gunwales break occasionally, especially if you've got a paddler who moves around when he paddles quite a bit. I'm buying a new Mohawk Intrepid 17, for a little more capacity, lighter weight, better seat design.
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04-28-2003
Submitted by: JETSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought the Old Town three years ago, and haven't regreted it a bit. It is indeed a bit unstable when empty, and heavy for anything but a short portage. But once I load this baby with 300 lbs of gear and another human, it is virtually unsinkable. In fact, the heavier configuration seems to increase stability, dampering the initial instability displayed when totally empty. Turning is a breeze, but some lead time is required. She's got a few battle scars from submerged rock encounters in class II and III rapids, but despite some brutal head on collisions, she's never gone over and remains structually solid. Handles lakes and stream with ease, though a little wobbly for lake fishing -- recommend ballast or pontoons for this activity, especially if kids or dogs are involved.
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09-09-2002
Submitted by: Gary
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently used my 164 on a short trip on flat water in the Adirondacks with my 8 yr. old. The only other canoe that I have used extensively is the old town tripper. The 164 was a gift, and not what I would call a family boat based on its lack of initial stability. I was somewhat concerned about using this boat on a trip with kids. However, there are some advantages to this boat. Once one gets used to the "tippiness", you realize how easily this boat paddles. With my son and 300 lbs. of gear, it was easily paddled and is agile.
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12-17-2001
Submitted by: no name
Rating: 9 of 10

     The old town 164 is a great boat for any one joining the sport.It's tough,fast on flat water,and can handle class 2&3 white water.You can put a fare amount of gear in this boat, or the whole family.It's not as wide as most tandem canoes (34 in.)and I find it to be easer to paddle solo.Plus you can't beat the price for what you get.
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08-23-2001
Submitted by: ChrisSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I like this boat for all that it brings to the table. I read the review that stated it does not have much room for gear, and wondered if that guy read the right name on his boat...I go to BWCA, and Ontario canoe camping, where we pack almost 1000 pounds in this boat. In 2 foot waves with a load, you'll be glad you're paddling it, trust me. It's tough as nails, if you're like me and don't like to walk in the water all the time. I just ram the boat into shore, and it takes it fine and keep going. It's heavy, but a cart solves that. If you're into a lot of portages, you're in an area that will more than likely chew up a glass or kevlar boat. It's a tough call. I hate the weight, but can't bring myself to get rid of the disco. It's just everything in one package.
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08-22-2001
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a great all-purpose canoe. A bit on the heavy side, but it handles and turns good. It has a very acceptable weight load and is quite durable. Cruises nicely for speed paddlers and handles waves extremely well. I haven't flipped mine yet, which says a lot considering I'm the king of clutzes! The Discovery 164 also has a wide enough bottom to accomodate a dog bed for the furry travelers. I do recommend a cart for those of you who aren't too strong for those distance carries. Tandem or solo, kids or adults, all in all an excellent value for the price.
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07-27-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     My family and I are very happy with our purchase of the Discovery 164. It's very solid, relatively easy to paddle, and it holds a family of five ( two adults and three kids ).
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07-16-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought my Discovery as a factory second and have been very pleased with it. Mostly paddling it solo, sitting in the bow seat reversed, I have found it to track well and move quickly. A bit heavy at times and when the wind picks up on the lakes and open water, it can be quite a workout. At 6'2" I wish the seats were mounted a little lower in the boat. I wound recommend this boat for its speed, tracking ability, load capacity and industructability. (If you are in the New England area and looking for a deal on an Old Town, great savings are found at the factory store.)
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06-28-2001
Submitted by: BKSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After 2 years of local flatwater and small riffles, my brother and I took the disco downriver through some serious Class II and Class III whitewater. It was the first time for both of us in a canoe and we learned we had to plan ahead more than we do in kayaks. We were also amazed. Sure, we got wet, but only from the head-high waves we blasted through. I have enough hardshell kayaking experience to know that we should have capsized about four times, but we did not. Staying upright had nothing to do with us, as we misread the river more than once and had way too many unfortunate surprizes. Being an uncovered canoe, we shipped lots of water, requring a bailing stop after each big rapid, but this craft performed like a Timex watch: not much to look at, but it just took its lickings and kept on ticking. And perhaps the most amazing thing was when we hit a rock dead on and slid over it the whole length of the canoe the disco not only did not dump us, it also only received a minor, but lengthy, superficial scratch!
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02-27-2001
Submitted by: KS
Rating: 9 of 10

     This boat is an excellent recreation canoe for 2 paddlers. It is stable, tracks well, and will more than handle class II and III. I added a center seat and solo it more often than tandem. It's more like pickup truck than a Porsche as a solo boat, but it's responsive and tracks in a wind. I'm a 250# paddler and fairly strong and skilled. It's a good boat for me. The only drawback is lifting it onto my van alone. Doable but not pleasant. I'll hang on to this one when/if I ever get a true solo canoe.
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02-19-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I would agree with the heaviness factor, but found the overall comfort of the craft to be nice. It was nice enough to sell me on the Old Town Canoe line, now I want to buy another, probably an upperline Old Town.
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02-08-2001
Submitted by: JFSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     For a poly boat I thought this boat performed fine. Lots of usuable room and medium tracking, better than usual in open (wide) rivers. Noticed the seats after awhile (cane seats could be switched). Had lots of fun in medium waves of 2-3 ft. could surf some. Very stable and good buy for general and heavy recreation. Tough boat.
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12-16-2000
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We owned this canoe for one season and were very happy with its performance. We used it exclusively on quiet, and sometimes very shallow, small lakes and rivers. It is very durable. It tracks reasonably well. It can move quickly, although it takes some effort. I found it very easy to maneuver, even with opposing wind. I mainly went with my 9 year old son in the bow. I added about 50 lbs directly behind him to improve steering. It made a big difference. A couple of times I went solo, sitting backwards in the bow, with about 100 lbs. in the opposite end. It worked fine. The boat has very good secondary stability as we found while reentering during some tricky portages. It also has great capacity (we once went with 4 people including 2 kids). The boat is heavy, but I found it quite managable during shorter portages. Overall, I would rate it as very good. It does many things reasonably well.
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11-19-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     This canoe might be a bit heavey for smaller paddlers, but at 250 lbs. and a strong paddler I have can only say good things about it. In fact I will be going down the Mississippi next spring for a 2 years checking out the river. I paddled the on the Green River in utah for 2 weeks no problemo. Paddled 275 miles on Lake Powwel for 13 weeks last year, large waves up to 6 ft. no capasizes, just fun a very good boat for the money. Happy paddeling, Rico in Utah where I have spent 45 years paddeling around the western U.S.
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03-19-2000
Submitted by: MJBSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Good canoe for the money, especially if you can find a used one. Have paddled in high wind and big waves and this boat did very well! It is fast for its size...definitely not a floating bath tub! If you can afford to buy a $1500/2000 canoe, this boat will seem heavy to you...but compared to 70% of the canoes out there, it is a winner!
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01-28-2000
Submitted by: AlSend Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     If all you want to do is go in a straight line this is the canoe for you. I finally sold mine because it was slow, heavy, and had lousy performance. It also has very limited capacity for a true wilderness tripper. If you paddle small windy creeks do not touch this canoe you will begin to hate it. I am a canoe guide and a skilled paddler and the only positive thing I can say for the canoe is that it is durable.
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07-14-1999
Submitted by: DerekSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Great canoe for the money. I got a great deal on mine since it was a factory blemished boat (only one small discolored spot inside). Although it is somewhat heavy and not too fun to portage it is absolutely indestructible. I canoe mainly small rivers with some whitewater (Class I and II) and find that the boat is responsive for its size and is very durable. Small streams with some whitewater is the kind of conditions this boat thrives in. Initial stablity isn't great but secondary stability is very good. This is to be expected of a boat designed for rivers. Overall a great boat with the only negative attribute being the weight.
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06-14-1999
Submitted by: Jim O.Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I bought my 164 to use with my younger children. I would never want to use it for long trips but it is great for taking down a calm river. It is almost impossible to tip even when I try. I feel perfectly safe with my younger children moving and bouncing around in it.
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05-09-1999
Submitted by: flint river rat
Rating: 10 of 10

     I will admit the 164 is extremely heavy (especialy with gear) but as far as the cane seats with a coleman back rest to me it is extrmely comfortable. I have only paddled two other types of canoes, Mohawk & Blue Hole and I'll take my Old Town over EITHER one any day. It tracks great on all types of water conditions and is extremely durable. I bought mine used, have had it for five years and i don't see it wearing out anytime in the near future.
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04-20-1999
Submitted by: W RobertsonSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I thought I was buying the best Too heavy chincy vinyl gunnel warped, seats too high it didnt feel as stable as it should Not a good choice for me.
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04-09-1999
Submitted by: ModoManSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Despite other reviews about the 164 being unresponsive....I think it's very responsive, Im a heavy paddler and can make the 164 turn and pivot very easy it can hold big loads and tracks very quickly through rivers and lakes. I have paddled class III waves as well. It's a good canoe.
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