Old Town Canoes Discovery 169 Review
Old Town’s Discovery 169 canoe is nestled amongst the sleek carbon fiber hulls, elegant silhouettes, and beautiful cherry wood trims in its garage. It’s a bit thicker in the middle and a little chunkier in its trim. It is certainly one of our most “bigger-boned” tandems, weighing in at 91 lbs.
You might be tempted not to buy this sturdy polyethylene tripper, but we won’t. For your next family adventure, the venerable Discovery 169 is a perfect choice. Here are the reasons:
Old Town Canoe offers a stable tandem canoe.
The Discovery 169 has been a favorite of Scout camps, outfitters, and trippers for over three decades because it is versatile and durable. It is also a popular choice for recreational paddlers who want a long paddle, lots of gear, and not worry about caring for their boats.
It’s possible that you already know the Disco’s handling because everyone has done it at least once. It’s agile, stable, and easy to maneuver if you do.
The stable shallow-arch hull design and 37″ beam allow the family dog and children to wiggle their way side-to-side with little effort. It measures just 17 feet and has a good hull speed. The bow glides smoothly through the water with a smooth glide. It’s easy to maneuver due to its moderate rocker.
The Discovery 169 recreational kayak has loads of carrying capacity.
The Disco is an excellent choice for carrying heavy items. This canoe is perfect for carrying all your camping gear. We don’t believe we could ever pack enough gear or passengers to fill this recreational canoe that it can carry up to 1,400 lbs. The best part is that the flat and fat plastic gunwales are the most comfortable we have ever used for an epic bob-off. It will be a hit with the kids.
The Discovery series was launched in 1984. However, its roots can be traced back to six years when Old Town Canoes built the Old Town Tripper at Royalex in 1978. This canoe was then a state-of-the-art canoe.
After the famous Old Town Canoes stunt where they threw a Royalex Tripper from their factory roof to show that the new boat was almost unbreakable, the team devised a heavier-duty material in 3-layer polyethylene.
Scott Phillips, an Old Town rep, says that the Discovery’s origin story began with the Tripper design. “They built the same hull using three-layer polyethylene and called it Discovery.” He adds that while accessories and seating arrangements have been updated, and the series offers five models in different sizes, the hull has not changed much.
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Old Town Canoe’s sturdy, but durable 17-foot canoe.
The three-layer sandwich is made up of closed-cell foam and high-density linear polyethylene. The Discovery is capable of taking a beating, so there’s no need to worry about bumping into rocks or running onto the shore.
Many of the 1980s paddlers are still out on the water today. Many paddlers have altered the model name on their bows. They scratched off letters, and now it reads Disco ’69. Phillips says that the jury is still out about how long these boats can last, but they keep going.
Phillips says that Royalex has been removed from the canoe marketplace. He also mentions a renewed interest in Discovery’s three-layer poly layup.
He says, “It’s not the best thing.” Royalex hulls were lighter than the three-layer poly. The Discovery is stronger, more resistant to abrasion, and even cheaper than the three-layer poly.
I would not be the first person to offer to carry this heifer solo, especially without a dished saddle yoke. For a more difficult portage, we might consider another canoe. We love the Discovery’s effortless handling and carrying capacity for any trip. There’s more to Disco 69 than meets the eye.