I bought one of these as a first canoe in 2006 when I was younger and inexperienced. I put many, many miles on it paddling class 1 rivers with riffles and small rapids.
For the price, it filled my needs at the time. It could handle a lot of weight as I used it to haul 2 guys and a ridiculous amount of food, drinks on 4-5 day float trips. Others have called it unstable, but I can't really agree. It had poor secondary stability because of the flat bottom and hard chine, but we stood in it often and never had an accident.
Another reviewer mentioned the seats coming apart where they meet the gunnel. This was true for mine as well (on the stern seat, I believe). I had to install aluminum angle pieces for reinforcement. I must say Ram-ex hull could really take a beating but it was wavy and oil canned at the center seat a bit.
In a nutshell, if you want a beater canoe for your kids and it is very cheap, go for it. There are much better options for any type of paddling.
This canoe is no longer produced, and I think it might be due to the poor design. Just be forewarned before buying one of these, they are unstable, and with no rocker, they aren't all that maneuverable either.
My wife and I have been very pleased with the Touring. We canoe camp almost every weekend on the rivers in MN and WI and take a few afternoon lake trips. The Touring is stable enough with just the two of us, but really shines when you start packing it full of camp gear. The draft still isn't that bad full loaded and due to the construction you don't really have to worry about the scrapes and bumps.
Overall this is a great 'affordable' canoe for a beginner couple or family just looking for something to take leisurely trips or day paddles with. I've haven't portaged it yet, but have loaded it onto our Subaru wagon and a full size sedan by myself with no problems.
It tracks alright in flat water and turns moderately in current. We've been through numerous Class I-II rapids with ease and my wife is no experienced paddler let me tell you. The keel along the bottom is a bit scary, but you just have to keep her straight or remember it's there and lean up stream if you get sideways and are in the shallows.
The one thing I will warn prospective buyers of is the seats. I built a free standing rack for the canoe to be stored on along the side of my garage. I made it so some 2x6" planks spanned the inside between the gunwales and the seats rested on them. This wasn't such a great idea, as I put the canoe on the rack by myself a few times which wasn't a gentle process. Both the front and rear seat developed cracks in the plastic where they attach to the gunwale. Interestingly enough, the center seat also shows this same cracking in the same spot but the rack doesn't support the canoe there, so it may be more of an issue than my rack...
I've ordered replacement seats (the canoe is out of warranty period, which is determined by manufacture date, not purchase date) and extended the rack so the canoe rests on the gunwales now. Hopefully these new seats hold up better.
The Pelican stadium seat backs are a must. I love being able to lean back, put my feet up on the cooler in front of me and lightly paddle down a calm section and just take it all in.
Yes there are better canoes out there, but they cost a quite bit more and you'll always be worried about that cost as it scrapes and bumps it's way down the river. Buy one of those for the lake, buy Pelican Touring for the river. It'll take anything you dish at it and keep on going.
We plan to enjoy this boat for years to come.