For years, folks in the Penobscot Valley region cashed in on a secret little sale that gave them the opportunity to buy slightly dinged Old Town Canoes and Kayaks for amazingly low prices.
Eventually, word got out, and paddlers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the tropical city of Portland began making annual trips to the Old Town Canoe factory, where they’d buy a boat or eight, lash them onto the tops of their cars and trucks, and return home, heroes to their paddling brethren.
Alas, there were some concerns. It seems that the sale was so good, so effective, that local dealers of Old Town Canoes were getting cut out of the equation. Old Town Canoe officials knew they needed to make their dealers happy, and set about making that happen.
The result: The annual spring sale was moved out of Old Town in 2011, and was hosted by the dealers themselves.
Earlier this week I received an email from Scott Phillips, who represents Old Town Canoe for Northeast Outdoor Sports. Phillips announced plans for this year’s factory-authorized sale of blem canoes and kayaks, and said last year’s plan worked out great for vendors and customers alike.
“Like last year the sale will be held in various Old Town Dealer locations across Maine to make it easier for paddlers to find a boat closer to home,” Phillips wrote. “Dealers are heavily stocked for this event and I expect it to be bigger than ever this year. Consumers can expect to find a great selection of canoes, kayaks, and accessories to choose from and will of course find the bargains they are accustomed to.”
The dates of this year’s sale: April 13-15.
The eight sites: Kayak Country in Fort Fairfield, Johnson True Value in Calais, Indian Hill Trading Post in Greenville, Ski Rack Sports in Bangor, Maine Sport Outfitters in Rockport, Al’s Sports in Lewiston, Saco Bound in Center Conway, N.H., and Great Outdoors of Newport in Newport, Vt.
There you have it. Get paddling. See you at the sales!