I worked at an outdoor adventure camp in New Brunswick, Canada in the 1990s. Part of our services included a canoe ride down the Tobique and Nipisiguit Rivers once a week. It was at that point in time that I fell in love with the Old Town Discovery 169.
16′, 9″ is a very manageable length for two people, though when I was working in New Brunswick, I often found myself paddling alone. Often times, the boss would over order from the canoe rental place and we wouldn’t figure it out until the drop off guy was already on the road. Sometimes, kids would triple up in canoes instead of double up, which would leave me alone as well. After a few close calls with sweepers and rapids, I figured out the best operating procedure for me and began to excel at handling the canoe solo. I like to stand up in a canoe, which is frowned on by most canoe people, but encouraged by polers, which I haven’t yet tried.
I bought my Discovery about six years ago. I hadn’t been in a canoe in years and I was desperate to show my children the fun that could be had on the water. After some looking, we drove to Fort Collins and loaded it on our Volkswagen van. Unfortunately, we quickly realized that many rivers on the front range are downright dangerous for canoes and especially so with children on board. We ended up using it a few times on a lake every year. I hate canoeing lakes. Did I mention that? I’m a river rat.
After figuring out that we’re (probably) going to experience a life changing event soon, I decided (against my better judgement) to put the canoe up for sale. And like any good man who doesn’t actually want to sell his toys, I priced it much higher than it’s actually worth. Just because. Because it’s my friggin’ canoe and I wish I could keep it. There’s only been one person interested. And he’s a fruit loop. There are three players here; his response, my response and the (IMM) response, which is what I was thinking (I)n (M)y (M)ind before I responded. I’m really a nice guy, but I’ve been suffering from a head cold, which really throws my patience back to what it was when I was in my 20s. Really, I’m not this guy anymore. But sometimes he busts through. Here is the email thread:
I am interested in the canoe. Do the seats have back-rests? When can I view the canoe?
(I sent more pictures) I took more pictures of the body and the bottom. Mind you, it’s dirty. There are discolorations on the floor from kneelers or bladders – not sure which, but it’s a cosmetic issue.
I’ve received and reviewed your photos and I’m trying to come to a decision. There is some damage to the one end of the hull and would need to be repaired. The gunwales look chewed up, possibly from an animal.
I want to be forthcoming with you and not go radio-silent. I will pass on the canoe. For the money, it is a little beat up for my taste. My wife says if I am this much on the fence about it now, I will only complain about it years down the road.