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Name: mesten

Most Recent Reviews

The Penobscot 16 is classic, and it is still one of the most versatile, all-purpose canoes I know. I have used it for river trips on class 2 white water, taking the kids out on lakes, winding through twisting, narrow streams, and it does all this well.

It is faster than most 16' boats, and handles very well with a full load when properly trimmed. I have the royalex version, which is very light and tough, making portages relatively easy while standing up well to rocks and other abuse.

Obviously, there are specialty boats that are better for specific pursuits and conditions, but for an all around, general purpose boat that you can safely and comfortably use for camping, cruising, river running, and fishing under a wide range of conditions, the Penobscot 16 is worth serious consideration.

This is an update to an older review (Jan. 2008) now that I have had the boat, a Kevlar model without rudder, for four years.

This is a truly superior kayak in every way I know to measure. The handling is superb, and I have never felt that a rudder or skeg is needed. It has taken some real punishment over the last few years, but has needed no repairs. It is fast, stable, a joy to paddle, and it holds more gear than I ever need on multi-day trips.
You really can't go wrong with this boat

I bought a Tybee on Ebay at a great discount for a friend who does adventure races. He loves the paddle, and I borrowed it recently for a trip down the mighty Oswego river in southern NJ. It is a fabulous paddle for the price. Highly recommended if you don't want to spend $300 or more for high-end gear.

I just upgraded from an older 14 foot Perception Carolina to a Kevlar QCC500. I only had it out once so far, a January trip down the Oswego River in the NJ Pine Barrens under flood conditions. This is a tiny stream, in places narrower than the kayak is long, lots of hairpin turns, strainers, etc. I know the '500 is a sea kayak and not intended for this kind of run, especially at flood stage, so I was absolutely amazed at how easy it was to carve tight turns. Crossing the lakes at both ends of the run was a breeze too, as I was able to easily outrun a tandem canoe manned by experienced paddlers.

The QCC 500 is a fabulous boat, one that I doubt I'll ever outgrow. I can't wait for the weather to improve and get her out again in bigger water.

I've had the Illusion for 2 years, and I really like it: great stability, fast for a sit-on-top, and great storage below decks. I've used it for 3 day camping trips on the upper Delaware River, and there is more than enough storage. It is also nimble enough for narrow Pine Barrens rivers that twist and turn constantly. Tough poly hull that doesn't damage easily. Terrific, versatile boat!

I bought a used Pack and love it. I've used it on the Delaware River in recent flood conditions (not recommended for inexperienced paddlers) and on the Oswego River in southern NJ during drought conditions. It is an amazingly versatile, stable boat even with my 80 lb dog in the bow who can't sit still for 5 seconds.

After my youngest went off to college, I got this to replace an Old Towne Guide, which I don't enjoy loading and unloading solo. At about 30 lbs., the pack is a breeze to handle by myself.

Buying this boat is a no-brainer if you need a light-weight all-purpose boat. I give it a 9 because a 10 is ideal for everything, and no boat is.

This is a good multi-purpose boat which I use for fishing and getting around. My son and I have brought it on several multi-day river trips along with a Perception Carolina. Compared to the Carolina it is quite slow. However, it is incredibly stable. My 85 pound Labrador likes to ride in the back, and I never have to worry about tipping it over.

As a previous reviewer wrote, the Guide 14 is a great canoe if you get it for the right reasons. I use the guide for fishing on bays, lakes, and class 1 and 2 rivers, and for multi-day camping trips with my son. It's a tough boat and handles the rocks very well. It's not fast, but it cruises adequately when not overloaded. For a 14 foot canoe, it can really haul a load! My son and I are each about 200 lbs., and we had plenty of room for gear for a week long trip last year. When trimmed properly, it handles well. If not trimmed properly, it's a devil to turn quickly. Reasonable primary stability with very good secondary stability. I've used a variety of aluminum and fiberglass canoes over the years. For a very reasonably priced, all purpose canoe, the Guide 14 is hard to beat.