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?
(Name changed, of course)
In my mind (IMM), I’m thinking what kind of Sally are you that you need backrests? It’s a canoe!
It does not have backrests. I’m around today of you want to look at it. Here are some pictures. It’s dusty from the snow. It cleans up well. I’ve also included a picture of the third snap in seat, which is nice. I’ve got a few paddles I’ll throw in as well on a full price offer.
I just listened to your message. Do you have photographs of each side of the hull? What kind of shape is it in?
(IMM) Are you hard of reading?
I’ll get pictures in a bit. It’s just got normal wear and tear from being used. No cracks, holes, etc. It’s really in great shape, but well used.
Okay. What are you offering for oars? I’m not sure, but it seems there are two sets of oars and the buyer gets to choose one set. Is this correct?
(IMM) You know, Captain Obvious, you actually use oars in a boat and paddles in a canoe. I’d like to tell you this, but I’m afraid it will make our conversation longer, which I’m desperately trying to avoid.
(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.
For paddles, we have two Carlisles, one unmarked and what looks to be a handmade wooden paddle, which was what I used.
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.
The scratches on the bottom of the hull are normal, as well as the discoloration and pitting on the inside when stored outside. The discoloration from bladders is unusual. It almost looks like resin.
I’m really excited about this canoe, and now I’m chewing the fat.
(IMM) Thanks for the insult. And seriously, Watson? You think a rodent chewed on my canoe? That’s called use where I’m from and it happens after you take your canoe out more than once and don’t insist on fart-buffing it to a shine every time you get back off the water. Furthermore, are you some sort of Nigerian scammer? Did you really write what I just read? Do you even know what chewing the fat means? And the hull has no damage to be repaired. You’re obviously proof of why weed shouldn’t be legal in Colorado.
I didn’t respond. At this point, all I could have written is above.
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.
(IMM) What is going on in this world when a guy like you can find a wife? Tell me you didn’t meet online and exchange emails. If you did, you need to run. Because she’s obviously that desperate and she’s probably going to kill you in your sleep. That, or your parents are actually paying an aide to make sure you don’t win a Darwin Award and she’s pretending to be your wife because it’s not as cruel. And I’m glad we never get to meet.
And that, folks, is why I love craigslist.
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,
Mike, Oscar, Hotel…..out.