I've been thinking about buying a canoe for a little while now. Growing up my family had an aluminum canoe so I've been looking at aluminum canoes in addition to the plastic canoes commonly seen in sporting goods stores. Today while looking at the canoes it struck me that the Osagian 17' canoe has very similar dimensions to the Old Town Discovery 169, and Old Town Penobscot 174. Both Old Town canoes have a capacity nearly double the 780 lbs. capacity of the Osagian canoe. The major difference that I can see is the Discovery is 2 inches taller and the Penobscot is 1 inch taller than the Osagian. I would be inclined to attribute the extra capacity to the height difference but Penobscot has 100 lb more capacity than the Discovery even though it is 1 inch shorter. This means that length is a bigger factor than height for Old Town canoe capacity.
Additionally the shape of the boats seems similar from a top view. Not that a couple of pounds weight would equate to hundreds of pounds of additional capacity but the aluminum Osagian canoe is lighter than either of the Old Town canoes. So why do the Old Town canoes have more carrying capacity? Is this just a meaningless marketing number so each company can claim whatever numbers they want?
I just found this Grumman aluminum canoe that has a very comparable capacity to the Osagian canoe.