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Your recomendation on a canoe please

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If I go out with one of my younger children, I will outweigh him or her by over 100 pounds and have the same problem that you describe. I have a 16' Wenonah Adirondack, and the solution in that boat is to turn it around, i.e. the bow paddler is actually facing backward in the stern seat and I am sitting backward in the bow seat. It works in this boat because there is no thwart immediately behind the bow seat. The same cannot be said of all boats.


I agree with the advice to avoid the discout store plastic boats. I happen to see one of these recently on a rack at a store, a Water Quest, and they had the boat resting with right-side-up on a rack with two bars. The contact spot at each bar caused the hull of the boat to "oil-can" a good 3 inches. (Incidentally, a canoe should never be stored on a rack this way - rest it on the gunwales). You are much better off watching paddling.net, Craigslist or eBay for a good used boat.(This message has been edited by the blancmange)

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As has beensaid, intended use will determine what/which boat you purchase. I have two, for which niether I paid any money. I have the 15' ABS (polylayered plastic) on long term loan (it's 8 years now) from a friend who thought better of it's use after he and his wife turned 70. The Grumman 17' is at least 30 years old, was a tour boat for an AYH council that I was on the BoD for. When they disbanded the tour program, now 25 years ago, we divied up the supplies, well used and all but unsaleable. Tradition. We use both about 5 or 6 times a year for family and Scout trips, lake and easy river and easy white water. The difference in handling is obvious. The Grumman has been banged straight and rerivetd many times.


Find like minded folk (American Canoe Association?) and go canoeing.

Don't forget the PFDs! Something for the knees: basketball kneepads, sponges on a string, glued in pads, Hats on a string, camera in a zipper baggie, tie everything in...

It's all down hill...

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There are several questions you need to ask yourself. What is my budget? What is my intended primary use (flat water or moving water)? Who else might be using this canoe? Serious canoe camping? Portages necessary?


The suggestion to shop on Craig's list is a good one for a novice. You can also visit web sites of the major manufacturers such as Old Town and learn a lot.


Stability also relates to the overall size of the canoe. A larger canoe will be more stable simply because it displaces more water. I would not get anything less than sixteen feet for a tandem canoe.


The cheapest canoes are generally made out of fiber glass. I would avoid these for two reasons. Harder to repair and overall weight. Because these canoes are themselves made of dense material they do not have the carrying capacity of similarly sized canoes made of other material. They are also heavier to carry.


Aluminum is more expensive than fiberglass, but probably the best option when kids are involved. One disadvantage of aluminum is that it can get very hot on a summer day. You can get a first degree burn off of an aluminum canoe. The second disadvantage of aluminum is that it is noisy. The canoes reverberate like drums. Since aluminum is a dense material flotation tanks are built into the bow and stern of aluminum canoes. When aluminum canoes first came out these were sealed tanks filled with air. More recently manufactured canoes may have had those tanks filled with styrofoam. This foam crumbles with age and comes out of the compartment. I suppose that the compartaments could be refilled but I have never had occasion to try it.


Canoes made of Kevlar are the lightest weight.


I own and recommend canoes made of mulitiple layers of plastic material. These canoes have small air bubbles entrained in the thickest layer of material and so the density is reduced. There are no flotation tanks to provide support when swamped. Kevlar canoes are not like this and do have flotation compartments.


The shape of the hull will affect the canoe's performance in the water and primary and secondary stability. A v shape or round shape will seem less stable initially, but will be less likely to go over in moving water.


Another thing to know about any canoe is the rated carrying capacity. I would not consider anything less than a canoe capable of carrying 1,000 lbs.

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