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#104233 - 10/04/08 08:53 PM Canoe frustration....
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Ok, perhaps this belongs in the beginners forum, but I'm feeling chatty tonight, and this is something that has bothered me for a while..

See, I don't do anything like backcountry canoeing - much. I haven't done anything with a canoe since boy scouts. I certainly know there are places here I wouldn't mind going for a paddle and camp, but frankly, don't know where to start as far as boats go. Yet, when I look around there is such a horrific price and feature difference, I don't have a clue - so I don't bother trying to figure it out, and just go somewhere I can walk - something I can do easily <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Is it just me, or is the price range of canoes wildly insane? sure, there is feature this and feature that, but I can't help but thinking that if I give up and buy one I'm just walking into the old trap of getting upsold on something I don't really need, and ending up with the equivalent of a freighter canoe for class 5 whitewater cargo with 3 friends as opposed to something I can enjoy wandering around with with usually myself and maybe another, and
occasionally go through some riffles and bumps.

So, how does a newb go about finding a canoe? I'm perfectly willing to spend money where it's warranted, but hate paying for extra junk or creeping featuritis or stuff I'll never use.. Jim? is all the marketing as much BS as I think it is and I should just find one? or is there things to look for?
_________________________
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My 3 season gear list
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#104234 - 10/05/08 05:16 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Shopping for a canoe is like shopping for kayaks...tons of chices, megs-tons of opinions.

First, go here:

http://www.paddling.net/

Enter the drawing. You might win a canoe. Then surf around, ask questions and read. Look over the reviews. There is good info there.

Look on Craigslist every day. I've bought good kayaks there for a fraction of the new price, complete with paddles, PFD's, etc. Any canoe is better than no canoe and if you are only paddling flat water, you don't need any special features. Personally, I like to start with weight. It has to be something I can manage myself without wrecking my back. I cartop my boats and usually paddle solo. Just like anything, less is more with regard to price. These things are really easy to re-sell, so a used beater to start with is a good education toward any upgrades. You'll probably end up with two or three, anyway.



Our old canoe is a Grumman aluminum....bullet proof but requires a trailer...19ft long! You can paddle, hang an engine on the transom (it's flat), even sail it. But you won't lift it or put it on the car top.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#104235 - 10/05/08 01:30 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Dryer]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Phat Dryer
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Hey Dryer, whatsa matter - can't pick up the Grumman? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Phat,

I agree with Dryer, weight is first, but so is function. While there are a lot of canoes and a lot of bells and whistles, you have to ask your self what you need. If you are truly solo get a solo canoe big enough for your weight and your gear. I think you are a big boy though, and a small canoe won't do too well for you. I think my 12 foot old town weighs 34 pounds. You would most likely want at least 14 feet and that would work well for 2 people or you and your gear, but for 2 and gear or for you and a moose (Yes I have the moose song in my collection <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />) , a 16 footer would be better. You probably do not want a white water canoe and any canoe can do riffles. Get a lake canoe. Do not buy a Coleman. Maybe get a one seat and use it or not, or sit on a saddle and give the seat to the front seat-er. With your weight you would be better on a movable saddle located just aft of the center of the boat. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Get a canoe that you can easily paddle in a straight line while solo. Decide whether you will need to portage it, and shop. Stay under 50 pounds if you can. Old town is a good mid range boat. I am leery of the people who sell canoe frills - like "congratulations on your new car purchase sir. Would you like a steering wheel and rear view mirror with it? Oh and what about seats?" <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104236 - 10/05/08 01:31 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
Phat,
yes, the price range for canoes is wildly insane. You can get a good used boat for under $500 or you can pay several thousand for a new one.

Rent and borrow, preferably from an outfitter who has a variety of quality boats - until you find a boat that fits your style. Most outfitters have gently used boats for sale. I have a tandem racer handmade by Gene Jensen that I bought from an outfitter for $300. It was not gently used but the outfitter fixed it up OK.

Take lessons. Most folks learn bad habits early and keep them forever. Learn to make a canoe dance. Learn to use a 'challenging' boat. Challenging means tippy but high performance. When you get comfortable with a performance boat, you won't want to go back to the abominations foisted onto an unsuspecting public. Like with backpacking, skill increases your options.

Make a decision between solo and tandem. I prefer solo open canoes. But there are a lot of good options for every taste, including kayaks and sit-on-top rubber duckies. Nothing wrong with the latter, IMHO. In general, I think it is better to buy a solo boat for starters. Rent when you need a tandem boat. There are no adequate compromises.

I prefer going for light weight instead of durability. I can keep a lightweight, high performance boat out of trouble. A heavy, dull boat needs to be able to take abuse because it is hard to keep out of trouble and will get beat up more.

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#104237 - 10/06/08 12:38 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
alanwenker Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
Lots of choices are out there.

Tradeoffs to consider:
Rivers versus lakes
Solo versus tandem
Day recreational use versus multi-day trips
Amount of portaging involved

As someone else mentioned, avoid a Coleman - they are junk.

Lower cost options:
Gruman or Alumacraft aluminum canoes - they last forever and you can do a lot worse than this option

Old Town Penobscot - a good, all-around canoe at a decent price

Old Town Discovery - a cheaper, heavier alternative to the Penobscot - I'd choose the Penobscot over the Discovery simply based on weight.

Likely Old Town and Mad River make more models in this range.

Higher cost options:
Bell Canoe Works makes canoes that are simply beautiful to look at and paddle very, very well and are lightweight. However they are not inexpensive.

Wenonah canoes - not as beautiful as Bell, but they paddle well and are light.

There are many more brands out there. Bell and Wenonah are made in Minnesota so I'm more familiar with them; I have a Bell solo and a Wenonah tandem.

I would rent or borrow as many canoes as you can before you buy one. Buy something you like as you'll likely be stuck with it for a while.

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#104238 - 10/06/08 05:22 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I agree with the idea of renting or borrowing. Defining your needs is also good advice.

I do tend to disagree with ruling out a Coleman. If your use does not include portaging and is just a matter of getting down the lake to a remote spot to do some bushwacking or a base camp a cheap $200 or less Coleman may be the answer.

You could also try myccr.com.

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#104239 - 10/06/08 06:26 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Rick]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Quote:
I do tend to disagree with ruling out a Coleman.



I agree....like I said earlier, any canoe is better than no canoe, and the same goes for kayaks. I've got two 10.5 ft. rec boats, with skegs....frowned upon by the sea yak crowd (have one of those too...) and have had many hours of great paddling and fishing in them. In fact, my cheapest, beat up boat is my go-to boat for uncharted fly fishing waters. I don't care if it gets scratched....nothin' duct tape can't handle. It gets rolled, swamped, bashed, dragged and still looks good. It, a $100 PFD, a $150 paddle, all purchased for $325 off of Craigslist, all like new.
Your best boat is the one you use the most.

The local Brazos River outfitters all use Grumman aluminum canoes. Some have unbelievable dents in them and are probably decades old. My old Grumman still looks new and with the trusty Mercury 6 on the back, you can knee board!

Phat, don't shop it to death.....boil you choice down to two or three and buy something. Used or demo if you can. You can modify these things endlessly too.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#104240 - 10/08/08 04:44 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
ajherman Offline
member

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 208
Loc: Rock Springs, WY
i am a fan of michicraft aluminum canoes. they are build like tanks, a bit heavy though. the sportsmans are nice, lighter than the other models, but also thinner hulls.
http://www.meyersboat.com/michicraft/index.htm


Edited by ajherman (10/08/08 04:45 PM)
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www.hikeforacause.wordpress.com

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#104241 - 10/08/08 07:02 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
phat

hey I was just thinking - when I was way up north on Lac LaRonge they said they only use grumman or other aluminum canoes in Canada because the thin ice will slice through fiber and plastic hulls.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104242 - 10/09/08 12:05 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
phat

hey I was just thinking - when I was way up north on Lac LaRonge they said they only use grumman or other aluminum canoes in Canada because the thin ice will slice through fiber and plastic hulls.
Jim


Yeah, and don't forget we live in igloos too... and use dogsleds year round instead of cars <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Sounds like they were giving the yank a bit of the old swamp donkey smart pills.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#104243 - 10/09/08 07:09 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Quote:
aluminum canoes in Canada because the thin ice will slice through fiber and plastic hulls.


That's a good point to consider, phat....even though I advocate the lightest of boats (yet own an aluminum canoe <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />), you'll need something to protect you form the sea ice you contend with on a daily basis...maybe even charging walrus's.
A titanium canoe! You'll be the first! (since a google search turned up nothing)
Lots of old SR-71 Blackbirds in the scrap piles....you should be able to build you ice-cutter canoe for......$250,000 US. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#104244 - 10/09/08 07:34 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Dryer]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Yeah, I'm envisioning a dual use canoe and giant pot... Or perhaps with some plumbing parts and a stove a backcountry hot tub... just what I need... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#104245 - 10/09/08 10:01 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Bob,
I am thinking of this for next spring:

https://www.alpackaraft.com/store/index.cfm?CategoryID=53&do=list

This seems like a good in between. And we can actually carry the darn things with us if need be <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#104246 - 10/09/08 02:24 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: bigfoot2]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Bob,
I am thinking of this for next spring:

https://www.alpackaraft.com/store/index.cfm?CategoryID=53&do=list

This seems like a good in between. And we can actually carry the darn things with us if need be <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />


Yeah, I followed the path of that couple that used them going up the coast from seattle to alaska. - they're neat, but still kinda like paddling an inner tube - although lighter than the solution of packing same.

They're attractive to me for carrying a boat into a lake to fish, but not so much for a long canoe jaunt where I'd rather haul a bit of gear in the canoe.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#104247 - 10/09/08 04:40 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Dryer]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Dryer
Just what makes you think the SR71s are in the scrap heap? Do you know the mean of decommisioned? It means someone signed a piece of paper, it also means that people should stop being interested in the (scrapped? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />) planes so they can "go away". <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> I for one don't think theres been any changes except for the base of operations and call signs. Just my $.02 worth.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104248 - 10/09/08 05:07 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Jimshaw]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Generally, decommissioned means they have been mothballed. Maintenance is typically not done. But they are definitely not for sale!

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#104249 - 10/10/08 04:55 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Jimshaw]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Just what makes you think the SR71s are in the scrap heap?


I think NASA was flying a couple of 'em. I do know there is a dead one on display at the Air and Space museum in San Diego. Might require a late night, clandestine operation and a truckload of cordless drills and carbide bits. (just kidddddiiiiiiiiig mr. government eavesdropper, sir <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />)

According to this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SR-71

80% of the titanium skin was rejected due to metallurgical flaws. There's our canoe!! Where'd they stash that stuff??? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Goes on to say:

"The Air Force quickly disposed of their SR-71s, leaving NASA with the two last flyable Blackbirds until 1999.[23] All other Blackbirds have been moved to museums except for the two SR-71s and a few D-21 drones retained by the NASA Dryden Research Center.[22]"


Me again....SR71's were crazy expensive to fly. The "Aurora" project was to replace it....and I'm not sure it made it to production. Turns out that all the unmanned drones (predator, global hawk, et al) than can loiter over spots of days provide much better coverage, and much lower operational cost.
_________________________
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#104250 - 10/10/08 02:08 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Dryer]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Dryer
as is often the case, those who know can't say.

Heres one great big huge "DELETE" ... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

You'll probably get more used titanium wings from Russia...
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104251 - 10/16/08 12:58 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
Quote:
phat

hey I was just thinking - when I was way up north on Lac LaRonge they said they only use grumman or other aluminum canoes in Canada because the thin ice will slice through fiber and plastic hulls.
Jim


Yeah, and don't forget we live in igloos too... and use dogsleds year round instead of cars <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Naw, ya don't say <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Me thinks you need to live further South, like Miami <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Sounds like they were giving the yank a bit of the old swamp donkey smart pills.
Ya think <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Glad to know there are some yakkers' here <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> See Bob, no problem at all 'yakkin' up a few folks to 'yak about 'noes <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Thise Bells are THE Sheetz huh Alan <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> Wenoah's are nice paddling boats just not as pretty like you said. Old Town's are the F150's in the canoe world...

Two ways to go about this Bob; first you buy a tandem like an older used 16-18fter and take yer kids out as often as you can drag 'em. Then you go for the nice little ME boat, explaining to the wife how you still want to go but the 'big canoe' is too much alone <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Let us know if she buys it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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#104252 - 10/16/08 01:01 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Dryer]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
Quote:
aluminum canoes in Canada because the thin ice will slice through fiber and plastic hulls.


That's a good point to consider, phat....even though I advocate the lightest of boats (yet own an aluminum canoe <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />), you'll need something to protect you form the sea ice you contend with on a daily basis...maybe even charging walrus's.
A titanium canoe! You'll be the first! (since a google search turned up nothing)
Lots of old SR-71 Blackbirds in the scrap piles....you should be able to build you ice-cutter canoe for......$250,000 US. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Huh, not with the direction this economy is taking Paul, I think you misplaced the decimal a wee bit to the right there....$2.50US <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#104253 - 10/16/08 01:07 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Dryer]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
There's another intact at the FortWalton location too. I have some pics of it, just have to find which cd it's on <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#104254 - 10/16/08 02:50 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Earthling]
alanwenker Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
I know Maine guides who take wood and canvas canoes in, over and through ice. Aluminum canoes are much colder on your feet than a royalex canoe.

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#104255 - 10/16/08 08:21 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Earthling]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
explaining to the wife how you still want to go but the 'big canoe' is too much alone <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Let us know if she buys it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


After 20 years I think she's a bit too wise to any sort of line I can feed her about the gear I buy <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> - So I probably just give up and say "dear, I bought a toy to play with".
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#104256 - 10/17/08 10:41 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: phat]
gmagnes Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 562
Loc: Upstate New York
Phat

I both backpack and wilderness paddle and would really encourage anyone who loves the wilderness to expand their horizons beyond just foot travel. You can get to places you just can't reach purely on foot, and although there is a lot of overlap to enjoyment of the wilderness from a boat vs. on foot, paddling definitely has its own, different pleasures as well.
As far as getting started, I agree with much of what's been said in the earlier posts. Here's a few suggestions that have worked for me:

1--If there's an outdoor club that runs paddling trips in the area, that's a great way to start. In our area (Upstate NY), the local chapter of the Adirondack Mtn Club has weekly evening paddles (a couple of hours), week end day trips, and the occasional overnight. If you can find anything similar near you, it's a great way to start paddling, learn from more experienced paddlers, and often you'll hear about boats for sale, trips folks are planning, and maybe even get to try out different types of boats.

2--As far as getting a boat, I tend to agree with some of the others who've said not to worry too much about which boat at first. All boats are not created equal, and there is definitely a wide range of boat quality, from really elegant, high performance boats that are an absolute joy to behold and paddle (I'm a big fan of Bells) all the way down to others that more resemble trying to move a floating box car across the water.

3--That being said, at first, I'd also agree that the best thing is to just get a half way decent boat and start learning to paddle, so you can learning what your interest is in the whole enterprise and start to build your skill. You don't need the equivalent of a floating sports car to do that. One general recommendation I'd make though is to try to get a boat that's weight won't be a big disincentive to putting it on the car and going for a paddle. Generally, a decent plastic (Royalex is a common type of plastic material) tandem boat (15-17 ft) can be found from the 50- 70 pound range. See what you can comfortably handle just in terms of weight--getting it on and off the car, down to the water, and for the occasional carry (oh, I mean portage for you north of the border guys). The aluminum Grummans are pretty indestructable, but they're really heavy, generally heavier than the plastics. Kevlar and/or carbon fiber are the lightest, but much more expensive than other layups. As you get better and more into the activity, you can grow into a more high performance boat that suits your style and interests.

4--A lot of outfitters will rent you a boat and be willing to put the money toward a purchase. Also, some are close enough to water to let you try different boats out on the water. You might need a bit of experience/lessons before you can check out a boat on your own. Some also have used (rentals, returns, etc) for sale at good prices.

5--Bill Mason, one of the guru's of North American paddlers and a Canadian by the way, has an absolutely wonderful series of books and videos on paddling--both the techniques and the joys of paddling. His basic instructional video (Path of the Paddle, I think) is a terrific instructional video and is guaranteed to make you want to immediately jump in a boat and get on the water, even in the middle of winter in minus zero F. temps. He passed away at a relatively young age (in his 60's) but his kids (Becky and Paul) have also produced some books and videos too. While they're also good, I'd start with Bill's. Cliff Jacobson (or maybe Jacobsen) has also written some excellent books on wilderness paddling.

6--There is definitely a skill to canoe paddling. It took me a while to just be able to paddle in a straight line( I was slower than some), so lessons, instructional books and videos, mentors if you know more experienced paddlers, are definitely important at the start. Nevertheless, it's not rocket science, and it shouldn't take that long to be able to get out there and propel yourself in a generally forward direction.

7--From what I've seen, it's easier and quicker for new paddlers to learn the basics and start paddling in a half way decent straight line in a kayak (almost right away) than in a canoe, so many prefer to start with a kayak. I do both, and although they definitely both have their place, I'm a much bigger fan of canoeing. Also, the techniques are different (double bladed paddle vs. single bladed-at least for most canoes), and the basic paddling techniques don't necessarily transfer directly from one to the other. So, although given my druthers, I'd go with the canoe, you definitely have a choice.

Hope that's helpful for starters. Feel free to post more questions or pm me if I can be of any more help to you.

Gerry Magnes
Schenectady, NY

PS--After writing all of that, I reread your original post and realized that it was more focused on finding a boat than on learning to paddle. Hopefully some of it is still of use to you. Feel free to disregard the unsolicited instructional advice.


Edited by gmagnes (10/17/08 10:53 AM)

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#104257 - 10/17/08 06:29 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: gmagnes]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
gmagnes

No _ you were right to focus on paddling skill, it is not instinctual. I take for granted the skills of the paddle from skulling to rotating the paddle in your hand, instead of J strokes.

So maybe we should add - don't get too long of paddle nor too short, but do get one with a large thin wooden blade and a nice smooth rounded handle. As far as double paddles - its up to you, but canoes were designed with paddles, and the double bladed paddles were designed for kyakers already sealed in rain gear and water proof boats. Its really more of a biomechanics thing related to kneeling in one case and sitting in the other and where the most power can be used effectively. While kayaks are certainly up to a lot of exciting sport, I think canoes are more "work Boats" designed originally for bringing home the groceries, and transport, whereas Kayaks were almost exclusively hunting boats for hunting either marine mammals at sea or caribou as the crossed inland rivers. A kayak had to be a well balanced platform to throw a harpoon from and stealth was important. Canoes are a more primative concept of birchbark glued with boiled pine pitch and formed around a framewaork of tied saplings. The kayaks were precision made, seal skn covered, wooded objects with many pieces designed flex and move with the seas.

If its rough, yu will be safer sitting in a low sealed craft than sitting high in an open craft, as long as you stay upright.

Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />


Edited by Jimshaw (10/18/08 12:54 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104258 - 10/18/08 11:56 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Jimshaw]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
Jimshaw,
I gotta agree and disagree on a coupla things. Practice and training are certainly key. A good paddler can make up for a poor boat, but the best boat cannot make up for a poor paddler. And I agree about using a feathered stroke instead of the old J-stroke.

Double or single paddles? Canoes have used both since before pale-faces landed. Double paddles are ideal for small solo canoes and paddlers figured that out long ago. BTW, both Russel and Rushton used double paddles in their solo canoes. One reason the double paddle was common in solo canoes was that narrow, fast solo (and structurally sophisticated) boats were used for going upstream and the double paddle gives an advantage there.

In regard to stability, one must account for the metronome (or pendulum) effect. A low center of mass (COM) has a faster period of oscillation than a high COM. A kayak may feel more stable initially, but when it tips, it tips quickly. A kneeling paddler in a canoe has a lot more time to put out a brace because when a high COM starts to tip, it moves slowly. That is one reason the Eskimo roll is so important for yakers; they are more likely to need it.

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#104259 - 10/18/08 01:10 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Spock]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Spock

Hey
They period of oscillation is most important in a gunship, so when firing broadside salvos the ship has enough stability to hit the target. Firing sideways in a canoe with a shotgun is a good way to get wet. However I can stand up in a canoe and fly fish and I realise that a canoe is a lot like a motorcycle in that the rider keeps it upright with his balance. I was always sort of jealous of the low center of gravity and backrests of kayaks, maybe the envy was misplaced.

phat - you'll just have to take lessons. [Whoa - hey you could fly me up there and I'll teach ya to canoe] <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />Remember - no plastic blades. A wooden paddle with some thickness in the middle can have "lift" whereas the plastic does not. Are you pretty nimble? I know yer a big guy - you might like the more spacious feeling and cargo capacity of a canoe over a kayak, as long as your knees can take it.

For me with aging knees, I find myself sitting in the seat sometimes, but more often than not - kneeling on a life preserver.

Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104260 - 10/18/08 03:17 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Jimshaw]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Do you trip with two PFD's? One to kneel on and one to wear. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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#104261 - 10/19/08 10:53 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Rick]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Rick
No I do not trip with 2 PFDS - If I am forced by law to have one, I kneel on it - I do not wear PFDs, bicycle helmets, OSHA protective clothing, or Depends. Wear a PFD? Maybe scuba diving...
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104262 - 10/19/08 06:05 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Jimshaw]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
Jimshaw,
I second the thing about paddle shape. It should be like a wing or a prop blade so you can fly it through the water. In big water I like to use the inwater recovery stroke, never taking the paddle out of the water. That way I always have a brace in place. Ya gotta have a slick stick to do that. Plastic don't cut it unless its something like a Zaveral.


Edited by Spock (10/19/08 06:07 PM)

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#104263 - 10/19/08 06:30 PM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Spock]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Spock
Even the worst old hand carved wooden paddle is better than a flat plastic blade.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who "flies my canoe paddle". <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />As I was learning to paddle my solo canoe fast, I started to consider lift and paddle rotation. Its a natural extension of sculling. My wife was pretty blown away when I sculled us right up to a mountain beaver without taking my paddle out of the water. I started to consider "sculling" while moving quickly forward and the lift became apparent. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />


Edited by Jimshaw (10/22/08 09:27 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104264 - 10/22/08 05:39 AM Re: Canoe frustration.... [Re: Jimshaw]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Hey Jim, I used to have (it was stolen) an inflatable pontoon style boat that I would float fish with. I noticed that the rubber raft rentals were slow and cumbersome. There are a lot of rocks in most of the rivers that I fish and I find that the plastic canoes glide over them while the aluminum seem to grab the rock like a set of brakes. I've seen many aluminum canoes caught on rocks and spun around dumping all the contents. Sometimes they swamp, turn upside down and are held to the bottom by the current. It then gets very hard to retreive your boat with tons of force holding your boat. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> I would never consider a fiberglass or cedar strip canoe in such waters, although they would be great on lakes and deeper rivers.
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#118050 - 07/05/09 09:56 PM Re: Canoe frustration....(and help) [Re: alanwenker]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Having been an ACA instructor, done many canoe river trips, raced canoes and canoed in Quebec and Ontario I have definite personal prefernces for canoes - for different canoeing pursuits, that is.

HULL MATERIAL: But for all around canoeing I'd go with an Old Town style of a sandwiched linear polyethelene hull. It's far tougher than any other material, quieter, insulates against cold water and has its own flotation sandwiched between the poly layers. Good boats have wooden gunnels and seats for esthtics. The Penobscot by Old Town has a fairly fast but stable hull. FLAT hulls (like the Grummans)are a no-no for overall stability.

Next is HULL LENGTH: No shorter than 17 ft. for speed (i.e. ease of paddling)Longer hulls, beam measurement being equal, are faster hulls but turn less fast. 17' to 18' is the typical range of tripping hulls.

HULL SHAPE: rockered hull with a hint of chine. You should be able to lean it up on its chine while solo paddling W/O fear of flipping it (as you would in flat, heavily chined a Grumman hull if you put it on edge). A plastic sandwich hull with a slight V hull will track straigher (read less effort on long hauls) and be inherently stronger and still turn well. In other words you want a generalist hull shape and length that does most things well.

Yeah, fiberglass and Kevlar hulls are sexy looking and light(er) but they break their gelcoat easily. Don't ask me how I know. You want a canoe hull that will handle the nasty stuff, like kids and wilderness trips, rocky landings and shallow rocky river bottoms.

Paddles. Nothing but nothing says comfort like a well made, glass or Kevlar reinforced laminated wooden bent shaft paddle. Keep a spare straight shaft paddle for the stern man for whitewater. Paddle lengths are very personal. Be sure yours fits by sitting in your canoe IN THE WATER and trying the length. Seat height has a lot to do with this.
Hope this helps.

Eric
BTW, never EVER walk inside a hull that is not fully supported by water or you could permenantly bend the hull.
P.P.S. You need to learn the many paddling strokes B/C, believe me, you'll use them all. Get Bill Mason's classic "Path of the Paddle". None better. Paddle skills come faster than skiing skills but you still need to practice as much as possible.


_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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