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The NEXT Canoe is a 13' solo canoe with a kayak seat and foot braces. It has the room to carry plenty of fishing gear or duck decoys without feeling cramped like with a kayak.
The NEXT Canoe is a 13' solo canoe with a kayak seat and foot braces. It has the room to carry plenty of fishing gear or duck decoys without feeling cramped like with a kayak. (Andrew Aughenbaugh photo)

Since the age of 10 I have been paddling canoes. My first canoe was one of the first Colman plastic models when they first were introduced in the late 70's. I paddled that canoe for over twenty years. In the end, duct tape kept the keels from leaking and the frame had a slight twist from wrecking in the surf off of North Carolina.

For a few years, I owned a small number of motor boats, but soon tired of dealing with those noisy and messy things and returned to paddling in peace and quiet. In my mind there are very few things more enjoyable than a float down river in a canoe or kayak. Since the first canoe, I have owned several different models of canoes and kayaks and I think I have finally found my last canoe. My Old Town NEXT Canoe may be my last canoe.

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At the end of last summer while at REI to purchase a replacement clip for my roof rack, I saw a NEXT canoe hanging from the ceiling. Before I knew what had happened, the bright lemongrass colored boat was tied up on the roof of the truck and was coming home with me. This was the first time I had seen one in person, but I had been keeping an eye on the development and release of the new canoe from Old Town. When I saw it in person, I knew I had to give it a try.

The NEXT Canoe is a 13-foot solo canoe with a kayak seat and foot braces. It has the room to carry plenty of fishing gear or duck decoys without feeling cramped like with a kayak. But at the same time it maneuvers like a kayak with the lower seat and foot braces.

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Specs:

•Length: 13'

•Width: 28''

•Material: 3-Layer Polyethylene

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•Hull Weight: 53 lbs

•Seat specs: 21'' / 6 lbs

•Boat Capacity: 450 lb

Key Features:

•An open hull design which offers the storage of a canoe, yet maintains the maneuverability of a kayak.

•A low profile which allows for easy paddling with both a single-bladed and double-bladed paddle.

•Removable Element™ seating system that will make sure you remain comfortable on long trips.

•Adjustable foot braces for added support

•Light weight, making it perfect for solo trips.

I realize that Old Town was attempting to make a big splash with the new super bright colors. I do like the bright lemongrass color, except from a hunter's stand point. When I purchased the boat late last summer, I had planned to paint it camo before the beginning of waterfowl season. However, I could not bring myself to spray paint over the sharp looking lemongrass. For the little bit of waterfowl hunting I did this season, I resorted to using my green 16 foot Old Town. Once the newness wears off from a spring and summer of river time, I do believe I'll release my inner artist with a little camo paint on the NEXT canoe.

The first float with the NEXT Canoe was on a summer afternoon Monocacy river float. The river was lower than normal at the end of last summer. I quickly found that the NEXT canoe floated in only a few inches of water and I believe it takes less water to float than my old Ultimate kayak.

The biggest complaint I have with fishing out of a kayak is the reach behind to get to the tackle bag or fishing rod. With the NEXT canoe there is amble room to lay the tackle bag and rods in front for easy access.

My tackle bag sat at my front for easy access. Two fishing rods laid in reach in front of me. I paddled the canoe into the slow current, laid the kayak paddle to my side, grabbed a rod and began to cast. As I made cast after cast, even catching a few smallmouth, the NEXT canoe tracked straight down river.

The summer evening faded as I floated and fished the river. Before the evening float was over, I had fallen in love with the NEXT canoe and really believe it is the perfect combination of the good aspects of canoe and kayak. The Next canoe provides a more comfortable fishing platform than a kayak and better handling for the solo paddler than a larger canoe.

When I had purchased my Ultimate Kayak a few years ago, the driving force behind the purchase was the seat. The adjustable back and mesh fabric made for several hours of comfortable fishing. The Element™ seating system in the NEXT canoe is a very similar style seat and provides the same outstanding comfort.

This past fall I used the NEXT canoe to reach a deer hunting location via water. Instead of walking across the fields and through the woods spooking the deer in route to my stand location, I paddled to my stand. The climber tree stand, backpack, and bow easily stowed in the NEXT canoe. There was even enough room left in the canoe to haul out my buck, if I would have shot one, but there is always next year. Currently I am down in South Carolina hunting wild hogs via my NEXT canoe in the swamps of the Pee Dee River. Hopefully I'll test the hauling capacities of the NEXT canoe by loading it up with a hog or two.

After 30-some years of fishing and hunting out of canoes and kayaks, I think I finally found the perfect solo boat.

At 53 pounds it is easy to load and unload off the truck and carry to the water. Old Town's NEXT canoe has enough room to haul my hunting and fishing gear while handling with the ease of a kayak.

410-857-7896

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