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Bayou 160 Description

The Bayou 160 is a canoe brought to you by Pelican International. Read Bayou 160 reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other canoe recommendations below or explore all canoes to find the perfect one for you!

Pelican International
Bayou 160 Reviews

Read reviews for the Bayou 160 by Pelican International as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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Good canoe, lil tipsy.

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/21/2019

Good canoe, lil tipsy.


I purchased my bayou 160 in…

Submitted by: paddler429961 on 5/3/2018

I purchased my bayou 160 in 2005 at academy sports. I run a 3.3 merc on this boat. It's now 2018 and this boat is still in awesome shape. The only problem i had. One of the kids decided to fill it with water on trailer. It split the seats from the gunwales. I made stainless angle plates to reattach the seats years ago. This boat has hundreds of hours fishing and cruising on it and it's still in great condition.


This canoe is good; however,…

Submitted by: paddler234793 on 9/28/2012
This canoe is good; however, a few cheap modifications will make it safer and easier to handle with a gas motor. I as well felt and found out it was an accident waiting to happen when I put a 5HP Mercury on it. I took off, well, so did I - right into the water, more then once. However, being the hardheaded engineer that I am, I though there are some design flaws (which Pelican, corrected and implemented into the Bayou), but easy to fix - that is if you wish to use a gas engine.
  1. Place 3/4" Sch. 80 PVC pipe w/, cap ends, down the center keel between the inner and outer hulls (will have to remove some foam) and into the two keel on the port and starboard sides (three pvc pipes w/ cap ends (will keep water out of pipes) the full length (center) two appox 10' in three plcs.
  2. Next, make a support under the rear and front seats using flanges and pvc cond. (this will require some simple modification by putting an block of marine plywood attached to inter hull below and under each seat, (do not attach supports to pvc in keel- make same type of support for the center beam. (Cost approx $35.00-time- ?- depends on how skilled you are 4-10 hrs)
  3. Now, once you put your engine on the lightly modified canoe, you will feel your riding in a different canoe. Its response will be quicker, have more of a rigid feel, and its overall control improves 100%, and handles on coming waves like a skiff and you will feel much safer.
These little changes with make a 100% improvement in stability and performance. I know this is a very brief explanation, however it is very simple - just give it some thought and you can do it at your leaser and very cheap- just look at the Bayou Pelican put supports under the seats (the reason- more stability and it may even have an Al. channel down the center keel) that's a clue...

This canoe is great with a…

Submitted by: paddler233531 on 4/5/2010
This canoe is great with a trolling motor. I am a new boat owner and I made the mistake of buying a gas motor for this boat. I purchased a new Yamaha 4 stroke, 4 HP motor for it and my first weekend out on the water was disheartening.

I fish in saltwater on the Laguna Madre and I've found it is much more scary to use the gas outboard than it is to take it slow in rough water while using a trolling motor.

Although, when the bay is calm, the rig runs perfectly. The unfortunate thing here: It is rarely calm on the Lower Laguna Madre.

I plan on salvaging these two purchases with another purchase: Heavy duty stabilizers. I know I am over-reacting, but I do not want to lose my new outboard. If the outriggers do not work, I'm saving the Bayou 160 for electric only and putting the Yamaha on a Jon Boat.

Overall, a sweet canoe!


I bought this boat last year…

Submitted by: paddler233035 on 3/4/2009
I bought this boat last year due to it's versatility as a family canoe and a fishing canoe. I was amazed at how wide the boat was when I got it... Shipped from Sears for 50$... not bad I must say. It was fully assembled, and felt very durable... something I came to believe once I brought it out! I also purchased a Susuki 2.5 HP motor for it, and I must say, I travel along quite well in it. When using a motor, it is very important to properly balance the angle of the rotor. Without any weight in the front of the boat, you must adjust the angle appropriately or else the front of the boat will come way out of the water. Once you get it dialed in, it motors alone great!

Paddling, as mentioned many times, is not something you want to do alone for a long period of time. It is ok to go to the middle of a small lake and anchor, but definitely not something to take along with you on a river trip alone. With 2 people, it paddles not bad, although, at a nice leisurely pace! This boat was not made for river trips, it is a lake boat meant to be powered by a motor, plain and simple. It is steady, sturdy, and solid.

The seats are hard plastic, and I have had no problem with them as of yet. I am 230lbs, and my buddy is 220. He and I have fallen on our butts onto the seat pretty hard a good number of times, and the don't snap or break in the least. It honestly seems to be a very well made boat. I am going to have to invest in better paddles this spring, but all in all, they work fine as a spare set.

This is a sturdy, stable family canoe that performs flawlessly while using a motor. I wish I got a 5hp motor, but the 2.5 works just fine for my needs at the present moment. I would definitely recommend this boat to anyone with a family, that likes to fish, hunt, or just relax of the water motoring at a good even pace.


I bought my Pelican Scanoe in…

Submitted by: paddler232938 on 11/3/2008
I bought my Pelican Scanoe in 2005 at Academy, and I want to warn anyone thinking of buying this boat, it is apparently not manufactured as well as the old Coleman Scanoe used to be, though it closely resembles it. The shell is made of something called Ram-X, but the seats are made of some inferior plastic. Like BHT's seat in the previous post, my back seat broke at the gunwale connection, and the under-seat support collapsed. I weigh 180 lbs., sat on it carefully, and used a 1.75 hp Aquabug outboard motor. After documenting the problem and notifying Pelican, they sent me a new seat. Next year, the problem recurred. They sent me another seat. This year the seat broke again, and Pelican refused to replace the seat, even though the original problem occurred under warranty and had been documented with them. They stated they would no longer honor the warranty, but would sell me a replacement seat for $50.00. Apparently, they have a manufacturing problem with the seats that result in the seats constantly breaking, and Pelican is not going to help you after the first or second one. Though an otherwise decent boat, I would not recommend the Pelican Bayou 160 for anyone who did not want to replace seats every year. If you can find an older Coleman version of this boat, you might be happy with it.

Picked up my Bayou 160 last…

Submitted by: paddler231799 on 9/18/2006
Picked up my Bayou 160 last fall. The first time I used it, the back seat disconnected at one edge (I'm 220 lbs but sat down a bit hard I guess). This spring I sent a letter to Pelican, including a digital picture of the damage, and was very happy to receive a free replacement seat within a couple of weeks. Just be careful sitting down, I guess. I use an electric trolling motor and a 1.2 HP gas motor, which propel the canoe quite well (shouldn't be in too big of a hurry in a canoe anyway). I'm about to add a set of outrigger floats ($174 from to add even more stability, since I night fish for walleye in very cold weather and hypothermia doesn't interest me at all. I like being able to transport the canoe on top of an SUV, but agree it's a little heavy (123 lbs) for one person to get into the water and wouldn't want to paddle it alone. That's not really what this model was made for anyway, in my opinion. Love the monster capacity at 900+ lbs - that's a lot of fish! Dollar for dollar, I've been VERY happy with this canoe.

I use a 5 hp Mercury and the…

Submitted by: paddler231669 on 7/7/2006
I use a 5 hp Mercury and the canoe handles it great. I have had it in salt (ICW in Florida) and fresh (Ozark rivers) with no problems. The bottom does get scarred from oysters but these seem superficial. I did wear a hole in the bottom at the very end of the middle "keel" by dragging it down ramps. I have used a 2 part epoxy sealant but just applied and haven't tested yet. The back seat is cracking at the edge but is still intact. I put 240# + on the seat and am constantly leaning back to operate the motor. I am resinged to the fact that I will have to replace the seat. I still think this is an excelleant canoe.

Got it as a 50th B'day…

Submitted by: paddler231429 on 1/9/2006
Got it as a 50th B'day present along with a new Briggs and Stratton 5 hp ob motor(4 stroke). Been in use beginning of summer 2005. A bear to paddle, great for poling, motors like a champ. Made of ABS type plastic, very durable. This is a great boat for fishing, hunting, camping, and just having a good time!

I have had my canoe for a…

Submitted by: paddler230612 on 6/9/2004
I have had my canoe for a little over a month now and have used it many times. I have had three full grown men fishing out of it with now worries of tipping. I also had took it out with my labrador who refused to sit still. The canoe handled great. I put a 46lb thrust trolling motor on the back and it pushes is pretty good. I could not imagine trying to paddle it by myself though. Overall, great canoe!

Now for a negative note.…

Submitted by: paddler228741 on 6/4/2002
Now for a negative note. Since my first post (a little of a year ago) the canoe has been in almost constant use. The finish has held up very well, the only maintenence being to wipe it off and bottom paint as it sits in the water all the time. Usually I am the sole occupant of the canoe so ballast is necessary in the bow for stability and directional stability (about 100 to 150 pounds). This weight in the bow plus the weight of the motor has caused the bottom to "hog" or bow up in the middle. Fortunatly, this does not impair performance much at the low speeds I use but it may be of concern to others. Other than this, no problems of any kind.

I got my boat last April of…

Submitted by: buzz on 2/15/2001
I got my boat last April of 2000 and have put hundreds of hours on the thing. I do nothing but fish out of it, and it is stabble enough for 2 guys to stand and fish no problem. I own a 5 horse Honda 4 stroke and put it on the back. On the front I attached an old town motor bracket and run my trolling motor up front. the 2 things that I don't like are the flexibility of the hull and the nightmare it is to try and paddle. If you don't use a motor on it don't buy it. The old town discovery sport a better all around canoe but for the money this one can't be beat. I will put even more hours on it this summer and I can't wait.

Follow-Up: This is a follow…

Submitted by: paddler228741 on 12/28/2000
Follow-Up: This is a follow up to my earlier post regarding the Pelican 160. My earlier reservations regarding the durability of the seats has proven unfounded, they are holding up without any signs of stress. The boat is in use on average, every third day as it sits in a canal behind my house ready and waiting. There has been no deterioration in finish and no apparant damage despite running up on pilings, oyster shell bars, etc. Handling is better than I could have expected especially under windy or choppy conditions. The above combined with good load carrying capacity and stability makes me a happy boater.

I have been searching for a…

Submitted by: paddler228813 on 8/7/2000
I have been searching for a bayou 160 or a scanoe for a number of weeks and finally found a bayou 160 today. However the new canoe had bad cracks along the edges of both seats and the front end piece was also cracked in half. I ended up buying it so I can use it for my vacation with a written commitment from the vendor to order the replacement components. The canoe should be just right for myself, wife and young children to fish in Alberta lakes and am pleased I will be able to use a low hassle electric motor. I am somewhat leary of the quality. Again, time will tell.

The Bayou 160 is a very good…

Submitted by: paddler228741 on 7/11/2000
The Bayou 160 is a very good special purpose canoe. The hull is somewhat flexible neoprene, able to withstand bumps from rocks, cuts from oyster beds, etc. and is reinforced with an inner "sandwich" hull to aid stiffness and also provide foam flotation between the hulls. The 43" beam makes it steader than most (& harder to paddle) while the bottom of the boat has what the manufacturer calls "keels" & what I call ridges about 1" high. This gives the boat good direction under windy conditions (& less manuverabilty by paddle). In short, the boat is exceptionally suitable for power by an electric trolling motor or gas powered up to a rated 5 hp (I would suggest closer to 2 or 3). The 930 lb capacity can easily carry two batteries plus crew & etc. The boat is nicely detailed out. The one question I have regarding durability is the seats. They seem to be neoprene held in position by 4 screws on each side. My concern is that they might tear. Time will tell. So far, they have held my 200# fine. I am well satisfied for my application (with Minn-Kota 70# thrust electric motor) and would buy it again if needed.