Old Town 119 Solo Canoe - a quick test today...!

A few weeks ago I readily acquired two Old Town 119 Solo Canoes and a trailer to boot in a job lot... After a long round trip south of London to pick them up here's my initial view of this canoe as I paddled it today on my BCU 2 Star Training and Assessment course....

I'm used to paddling a Venture Prospector 15 foot open canoe, with plenty of space for kit and our dog Smudge (who's well into trim training!) so jumping into a boat that's 11 foot and 9 inches long was quite a change!

The two boats I acquired are both set up as standard from the manufacturer, with a seat and two thwarts providing strength to the boat. One boat has the seat slightly lower than the other. In terms of stability, I personally found the seating positions offered no significant difference!

How did the boat handle?
I found that the Old Town 119 offered very good primary stability - by this I mean when the boat is flat in the water it has a very stable platform to work from. It also has very good secondary stability. This means that when you put the boat on edge the boat feels as stable as it does when it's flat. I found I could quite easily heel or edge the boat over with the gunnel an inch or so from the waterline and still felt very stable.

For a short boat it tracks very well in a straight line and is actually quite fast for an open canoe which I quite like. In an kneeling position on the seat, you can see that the trim of the boat is ever so slightly to the rear which helps this straight line tracking. 

This boat though is nimble and very light weight to manoeuvre around. We can easily set the boat up to perform significantly differently with subtle changes in our body. If we shift our body weight and micro-trim the boat forwards or back we can easily affect tighten or widen turns and the differences are stark! 

Is it a multi-day journeying canoe?
Probably not - once I get the buoyancy blocks fitted I can imagine it'd get a bit cramped with expedition kit and a dog to boot! Is it a great little solo canoe for single day trips - absolutely! White water trips... well you'll just have to wait and see my next blog on these boats but I'm looking forward to taking this little boat out on some moving water to see how it performs in that environment!

Thoughts so far... All in all a great solo canoe and a great addition to our fleet of boats available for you to use on my BCU 1* or 2 Star Courses or expanding your knowledge of canoes on my BCU 3 Star Open Canoe courses.

Happy Paddling!

Paul