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Troop-owned kayak/canoe fleets

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Eisely is sure right about that. I concur with regard to Coleman canoes. In addition to being way too heavy, they are pooly balanced and much less stable than other hull designs.

I bought one of the early Old Town plastic canoes back in 1973. It was the Tripper hull design, dark green, with no keel and decent rocker, and high gunwhales to keep the water out. I took it down every river I could get to and...I still have it. In fact I'm taking it out tomorrow.

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When I win the lottery, I'll go shopping for a dozen NovaCraft canoes in Royalex Lite for the local Troop. We got a new 16' prospector this spring, and I'm pleased with it.


Thanks for all of the information everyone. This forum is a great source of information!

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We have 5 aluminum Grummans and one Michicraft.


The boys claim the Michicraft is cursed as they have rolled her before.

My son and I took her for the last two days of a Long Lk.-Raquette-Tupper trip. Once I got some rocks under my son's seat(i'm fat)to trim us a bit the Michicraft was fine.


We got our trailer from Navy morale welfare and recreation(they were about to scrap it)


On buying:

We had the 2 Grummans bfore we went on a 4 boat buying spree. We paid from $250 to $400 for used canoes. The Michicraft was $250 she's dented but still running. The Three Grummans were more expensive but all in great shape. We had success with Ebay and Craigslist.


You don't say where you are from. Is water close?



Good Luck and go for it.

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uz2bnowl raises an interesting point about aluminum canoes. There are a great many small manufacturers of aluminum canoes scattered around the country. It is hard to comment on the hull design characteristics of all these manufacturers without seeing their products or trying them out. One thing that a buyer can evaluate is the thickness, or gauge, of the aluminum sheeting used in manufacturing the hull. Besides initial cost the advantage of a thinner gauge metal is the lighter weight. However, such canoes are not suitable for paddling environments such as rapidly moving water where collision with an obstruction in likely. So if you are opting for aluminum canoes check out the thickness of the hull material.

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Right on about the NOVAcraft...I have the 16 footer and she is a sweet lady on moving water...I can heel her over in a canadian lean and paddle for hours! Unfortunately we got a much better discount on the 17 ft Old Town Trippers and Mad River fleet than Novacraft was willing to do for us (a much better discount). The troop boat are still really great hulls but I LOVE my royalex prospector (sorta Bill Mason's boat in plastic)


For our hundred miler, the Old Towns can carry a bunch of freight and still stay dry and upright...good boats!


Keep your dreams alive and light the fire in others...when you can, take a patrol on a water trip...they will brag to others in the troop and you are off and running (if it goes well, of course)


remember to always try and keep your aft (and bow) above water!


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I am a Scoutmaster of a troop that owns a fleet of watercraft.


Our troop's fleet includes: 13 canoes, 3 kayaks, and 2 sailboats. We started creating our fleet in 1985.


The canoes were all purchased used, and the sailboats and kayas were all older craft donated by their owners. They needed lots of TLC.


Our canoes consist of 6 aluminum Grumman canoes, 6 royalex Indian canoes, and 1 poly Coleman Scanoe. We use our Coleman the least. I don't recommend Coleman.


Our kayaks are all canvass over frame. They need work.

The sailboats include a 16ft Luger Leeward, and a 12ft Sunfish.


We are fortunate to have a local industry provide us warehouse space for storage. Everything is kept indoors unless being used. We have two canoe trailers plus one tailer for our 16' sailboat. Our trailers can be pulled by a mini-van, van, or truck. It's usually not a problem finding a capable vehicle.


In Illinois, Scout canoes do not require registration with the Dept of Conservation, and charitable license plates are very inexpensive. The driver,s insurance covers trailers while being towed.


Check with your state for local requirements.


We generally loan canoes to other troops a couple times per year, and our troop might have 2-5 canoe trips each year, and that can vary.


Sometimes canoe outfitters sell off older boats pretty cheaply. That's where many of ours came from. Our canoes are old and beaten, but they float. We paddle lakes and easy rivers.


It's much easier for us to plan a float trip by having our own canoes and we save money by not paying rental fees. It's worked out very well for us.


Over the years we've paddled our canoes on rivers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Montana, and Minnesota.


Some web sources...


Canoe manufacturers:



Our watercraft page:



Our troop equipment page: http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/9857/t33equipment.htm#wa



Good luck and good paddling to you.



Cliff Golden

Scoutmaster Troop 33

DeKalb, Illinois

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