Choosing a Canoe

Old Town offers a wide variety of canoe models and designs, each with features and design elements to meet specific paddling needs. In choosing your Old Town canoe, keep in mind that no single boat can do everything well. At Old Town, we make specialized canoes designed to do one thing very well, along with general recreation canoes that will do most things pretty darn well. To choose the right canoe for you, first make an honest evaluation of your intended needs and uses.

  • What types of canoeing activities will you participate in most of the time?
  • Will you paddle mostly on calm lakes and ponds, in waves and whitewater?
  • Will you seek lazy days fishing and exploring wilderness rivers, or the thrill of competition?
  • Will you paddle alone or with family and friends?
  •  How much money do you want to spend? 

 Once you've determined these parameters, you can choose the canoe design that will fit your needs most of the time.

Using This Site

CWhen determining the canoe that is best suited for you, take some time to compare all available models in each category. We have defined each category to help you narrow your choices. Definitions for each category are located on the right of this page.

When you know which models you are most interested in, link to our extensive Dealer Locator. You'll be able to find the Old Town dealers near you. Our dealers can also help you select a model that will best meet your needs.

Also in this section is "Canoe Anatomy," a handy primer on the basics of canoe design to help you understand the terminology and technology, and how subtle differences in size, shape and configuration can make a big difference to your canoeing experience.

One final thought: Canoeing is meant to be a pleasurable and exciting sport. Having the right canoe to meet your needs will greatly enhance your enjoyment on the water, as will having the proper safety equipment and accessories. As time goes on, you may seek new canoeing experiences and other designs. At Old Town Canoe, we're confident that no matter what type of paddling you're into, we have a quality canoe for you.


Canoe Types

To make it easier for you, we've organized our complete line of canoe models into four distinct categories based on how they function on the water and what sort of activities they are outfitted for. If you have any trouble finding what you are looking for, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.


Recreation canoes are suitable for a wide variety of on-water activities. They are perfect for people who want to paddle their local lake, pond or a quiet river.While these canoes may not have the performance features found in more specialized canoes their stability and versatility make them the right choice for families and newcomers to the sport of paddling.


Our Sporting canoes are designed and outfitted for a variety of outdoor activities. These canoes offer high initial stability and are versatile enough to be paddled, rowed or even motored.


Designed for easy transport, easy paddling and easy adventure. Make it a personal paddling experience.


Tripping and expedition canoes are designed to have a higher volume capacity. They can not only haul a large load, they are also designed to do the distance. Built with added rocker for maneuverability, these canoes can handle the abuse of most whitewater adventures.

Classic Wood

Not so much a specific use or activity, but a feeling. Old Town began its 100+ year history building wood and canvas canoes, and we still take great pride in our wood classics which capture the hand-crafted heritage that takes any Old Town canoeing experience back to its roots.

How to Choose the Right Canoe

In this episode of Canoeing TV, Andrew Westwood explains how to choose the right canoe for your type of paddling.



Whiton Wedding
twhitonTim and Tara Whiton got married at Camp Susan B. Curtis in Stoneham, ME. Camp Susan Curtis is a camp for disadvantaged Maine children and all of the wedding proceeds went to providing tuition for a…