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Buy It For Life: Old Town Penobscot 16 RX Canoe

by Justin Thomas •

The Old Town Penobscot 16 RX canoe (MSRP $1,499.99) is built to last. Designed for versatile performance in calm water, waves, and whitewater, the Penobscot can handle a large range of needs. It is constructed with Royalex, a layered composite of vinyl, ABS plastic, and ABS foam. The exterior vinyl layers provide abrasion resistance and UV protection. Underneath the vinyl, ABS plastic provides impact resistance and rigidity. At the core, the ABS foam insulates and provides buoyancy. The layers are bonded via vulcanization.

Compared to polyethylene—a common canoe hull material—the Royalex in the Penobscot has lighter weight, greater stiffness, superior UV protection, and higher resistance against deformation (especially under heat and pressure). Complimenting its initial build quality is this canoe’s easy reparability; Royalex can be patched with fiberglass and epoxy. You can use this low-maintenance canoe year round without concern about extremes of temperature and humidity.

Though the initial investment is higher than average, the Penobscot promises decades of paddling. Reviews on Paddling.net stretch back to 1998, and not one of the dozens of reviewers rank the Penobscot less than a 7 of 10. REI customers give it 4.7/5.0 stars. Reviewers on these and other sites praise the longevity and flexibility of this canoe. This is a product intended to last a lifetime.

The Penobscot 16 RX features a 1920s throwback design and is available in red or green. Weight is 58 pounds. Its shallow arch bottom provides responsive turning as well as stable straight-line tracking. The Penobscot has two wood webbed seats and can be used tandem or solo.

The Old Town Penobscot 16 RX canoe is available from REI.

Comments 2

  1. Unless I’m missing it I’d like you to have a “Buy it for Life” category, or at least a tag. Thank you for your reviews!!

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