Read reviews for the Discovery Sport 17 by Old Town Canoe and Kayak 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!
I got my first 17' Discovery Sport around 12 years ago and have enjoyed many day trips with my wife and 3 kids, fishing days on rivers and lakes, and lots of 3 and 4 day river trips with friends. It's always served my exceptionally well with never a complaint. I usually paddle it but often put the 4 hp Evenrude on for the family outings. I added some camo swivel folding back boat seats last year which made fishing more enjoyable. I picked up a second 17' DS just last week for only $850 and it's in even better condition than my first one. It will be great having a second boat for friends without and for when our kids get bigger.
These boats paddle great considering their size and yes you can paddle them solo - I've personally taken mine on multi day trips down the Cains River in New Brunswick and loved it! If you can find one and don't mind moving a 120 lb canoe from, storage, to trailer, to water and back, then buy it - you'll love it.
The DS17 can be loaded solo (may cause hernia)onto the Thule racks of the Saab but creates a real loss in mpgs and provides the drag coefficient of having a piper cub strapped to your roof...... If you can still find one of these boats buy it 10-10+
I’ll echo the others and say that the width and weight of this boat makes it unfriendly for solo use and it’s even a handful for two paddlers. It’s a lot of boat. It will move decent under paddle but your going to have a sore back if your covering even a mile or so of water. We use the paddles for positioning only and even then have gone to a electric trolling motor (hung off a home built side motor mount since there is only room for one motor on the transom). A 40# electric motor will scoot this rig along faster than you could paddle or row it anyway. As for an outboard: when loaded down with 650-700# of people, gear, motor etc, the boat will do an honest 12.5 MPH with a 5hp 2 stroke. Lose some weight and trim the boat correctly and that will go up into the upper teens easily . That said, I find anything over 10 mph "uncomfortable" in this "canoe". 1/2 throttle on the 5 will give me 8 mph and run 12-15 Mi on only a 1/2 gal of gas.
@ 114#, and 17'+, it is a handful but is car toppable and can still be carried/dragged over land and over some pretty steep banks with two guys. The trick to truck topping is to only lift one end at a time and slide it on /off the racks from the rear.
I’ve spent up to 6.5 hrs straight in this boat and never felt like it was unstable or overly cramped. (Even with the above mentioned load filling the boat.) Webbed seats are spacious and forgiving but a set of "sitbackers" helps for longer trips. One of the nice things about this boat is that the front and rear seats are spread far apart which gives you allot of room for swinging fishing rods, etc.
Polylink 3 does scratch but is pretty tough stuff. I have no issues about dragging it over stones, stairs gravel etc. Ah, the joys of plastic boat!
I think this makes a VG general purpose flatwater fishing platform for two people where portability /access is an issue. The boat is big enough for good comfort and plenty of room yet is reasonably portable and easily propelled by a 40-55# electric or 3-5hp outboard. All that said, if I planned on paddling this boat, even occasionally, I would look elsewhere.
What most don't realize is that this boat handles Class III water with the best of them. The ride is high, dry, and confident. No, it doesn't turn on a dime...more like a buck and a quarter..., and the square stern washes out sometimes on swift turns..., but if you pay attention and set up for the rapids like you would a drift boat or raft, it runs with Appalachians and Rogues...and comes out drier on the backend. No, we did not play in the hydrolics, but it was fully loaded with gear and performed well above it's purpose.
AND......as to it's durability. We high-sided at the end of three full sets of Class III+ rapids. Totally the paddlers' fault...hubris caught us as we prematurely celebrated our (almost) successful descent. The boat bent in half over the boulder...both bow and stern filled with water. The center seat broke and splintered... irretrevably pinned 5 miles into a 70 mile river trip. Z-drag...nothing. Found a leverage point upriver...got it out. Popped right back into shape. One gouge...no holes...went the remaining 65 miles without incident. There is no other canoe as far as I'm concerned. IF this one ever meets it's demise, I will buy another one the same day.