I have owned the Old Town Pack 12 canoe for five years. I know that kayaks and paddle boards are more popular these days, but I much prefer my Pack 12. It is made from Royalex, which is impervious to bangs and scrapes. The 12 foot canoe only weighs 33 pounds, so even an old guy like I am can easily load it. I have gone camping with it and it easily handles all my camping and fishing gear. I paddle it with a double blade kayak paddle and it paddles and turns quite well. Although Old Town no longer makes this model due to the termination of Royalex production, similar canoes are available.
You learn to get in and out easily with a little practice and it is worth the practice because you want to go extremely remote ponds and lakes to explore.
We are about to buy our second and can't wait to try out a couple of the vastly expanded product line. When I bought mine, it was a three boat choice - 9', 10' or 12.'
Great boat Peter! Thanks for taking me to lots places I may never have gotten to...
Light weight, easy to carry/portage and easy to load and unload on the car. It is also very comfortable and stable as a solo.
Forget using it as a tandem unless you have two smallish passengers that are very similar in weight. It was also very reluctant to turn in small steams due to the hull shape and no rocker. You get a "workout" when you paddle on small streams with frequent turns even when you edge it. Mine was a few years old so, perhaps, they have modified the hull to make it turn easier but the one I had was very hard to turn when you needed to turn sharply.
The final weakness was speed - it's just a slow boat.
While much more expensive, I sold the Hornbeck and bought a Placid Works Rapidfire which I am thrilled with.
I was looking for a light weight boat to add to my fleet and one I could easily carry anywhere and this was it. When I got it home I even had my wife pick it up, she did so with one hand and said "WOW" it's light. I had a chance to paddle other similar boats the WENONAH Wee Lassie and the Placid Boat Works Spitfire while I liked all three boats I could only purchase one. The wee lassie was nice but it did not track as well as the Hornbeck and was not as stable, so why settle when for a few extra dollars you can have a custom built Hornbeck with superior quality and workmanship. If you purchase a Hornbeck lost pond 10 it's actually less than a wee lassie. The Spitfire was also very nice but I felt it was out of my price range and more for an advanced paddler. I did not feel it was geared as much toward fishing and recreational paddling. It was more lively and to a new or beginning paddler it could feel a bit tippy.
The 12' Hornbeck is extremely stable, although getting in and out does require a quick lesson, very well built, looks super cool in carbon and kevlar and best of all when you purchase one you get to deal with all the great guys at Hornbeck boats. This boat is so impressive a friend of mine who has never paddled before came to paddlefest 2008 with me to look at and try different boats after seeing everything available there he also purchased a Hornbeck 12.