close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Is there truly a best all-around canoe?

Discussion in 'Kayaking, Kayak Fishing, Canoeing, Canoe Racing' started by Andy G, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Andy G

    Andy G

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jamestown, MI
    I'm searching for a canoe for all-around use. I'd like to be able to do some one or two night camping trips, a bunch of day use trips, and for fishing. Mostly inland lakes, ponds, and slow moving rivers. I understand that I'm looking for a canoe that most likely compromises in everything it does, but still is able to do everything.

    I've got a wife and 2 boys (15 and 9). It'll mostly be my boys and I, with the youngest in the middle, for the day trips.

    I have seen that Dick's carries the Old Town Saranac 14'6" canoe for $550. Has good reviews.

    Just starting to learn about BUYING a canoe. I've mostly rented the big old aluminum ones from the local canoe livery places on the Platte, Pere Marquette, Muskegon, etc. so that's really all I know.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ebijack

    ebijack Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,391
    Likes Received:
    451
    Location:
    warren
    IMHO a 17' used aluminum would be best for your group and wants. Long enough for each to have their own space and still have room for gear. I used to take my 3 kids and spouse in the one I used to have. My shorter canoes were more tippy and confining compared to the 17'. Also making fishing for all aboard more difficult. Most friends I took fishing preferred the 17' also.
    I ended up rigging it with an electric trolling motor and depth sounder, seat backs for the front and rear seats. Some comfy fishing right there.
     

  3. burntcabin

    burntcabin Premium Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Commerce Twp
    Hey, Andy. If cost is important, I'd go with the aluminum like ebijack suggested. Keep an eye on them on Craigslist - you should be able to buy good condition Grummans for ~$300. You can find them as cheap as $150 but they are usually beat up. The only real issue for aluminum boats that make them imperfect is that aluminum and rocks are like velcro. For $150 / $200 more you can hold out for a royalex Old Town Discovery or similar - 169 =16'9". I would say that is the perfect all around boat - and they slide over rocks like they aren't there. Stable, you can remove front or rear seats if you need to change up the configuration. Hauls a ton, easy to paddle alone if you need to, not too heavy. I would not buy new unless you want to pay a premium for an unscratched bottom - which will quickly become scratched. Also keep an eye on FaceBook Market. I've found prices for boats to be significantly cheaper there.

    On a budget? You may want to look at these: https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/boa/d/canoes-for-sale/6484458097.html

    or this version - https://nmi.craigslist.org/boa/d/old-town-canoe/6520693787.html
    a lot of times people don't really know the materials - I doubt that's fiberglass as advertised, but you'd need to look closer. I really think you'll want to go with a 16' ish boat for what you described.

    Good luck shopping!
     
  4. knu2xs

    knu2xs Canoeist Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,633
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    Location:
    S.Genesee Co.
    For your use I would agree that a 17-footer, or close to it, would be your best bet.

    When my two sons were young we primarily used an 18-footer, but would pull out a 17' for river use.

    For many years we travelled to states like Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia etc. in April for some early season paddling and usually took our own canoes, but, on the times we had to rent, I would always try and choose a livery that offered Old Town Discoveries. The 16'9" was a nice canoe that handled well and would carry a load, if need be. Maybe I was spoiled, but, at around 80 lbs. I thought they were heavy for a canoe under 17'. The Discoveries are a tough, rugged, canoe that can stand up to heavy use.

    When it comes to storage, you can't beat aluminum. They can stay outside with no ill effects but, like burntcabin said, they are "grippy" when it comes to shallow water river work and you have to deal with rocky bottoms. They are also noisy.........

    Because I have inside storage, none of my 10 canoes, down from 14, are aluminum, although I used a 17' Michi-Craft for years during my younger days and for fishing lakes it did a good job after I cut some outdoor carpeting floor mats for each seating position to cut down on noise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  5. burntcabin

    burntcabin Premium Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Commerce Twp
    Knu2xs - Canoeist - I dig you style, man.
     
    knu2xs likes this.
  6. Andy G

    Andy G

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jamestown, MI
    Awesome, thanks everyone. Only thing I don't like about the aluminum canoes is how HOT they get and reflect the sun. I'm definitely gonna keep my eyes peeled for a nice Discovery. I can modify the $$$ amount a little bit, in order to get something a bit more comfortable.
     
  7. ESOX

    ESOX Staff Member Super Mod Mods

    Messages:
    33,479
    Likes Received:
    8,590
    Location:
    The D, MI
    I have an old (like 50+) fiberglass 18' square-back freighter canoe. Wide and yet still fast enough. it has been everything from a duck boat to a turtle trapper. Love the versatility of that old boat, even though it seldom gets wet any more. With it's payload, It's been all over the continent, and holds a lot of memories.We would load that sucker with two weeks worth of gear and portage all over the Canadian shield in my younger days.
    Particularly with the advent of good electric motors, I think it's hard to eat the versatility of an old school squareback.

    Edit: HMMM Just occurred to me that that boat hasn't been wet in years. It's at a buddies in Brethren, if he isnt using it (I bet he isn't) It may be available cheap........:)
     
  8. brushbuster

    brushbuster

    Messages:
    11,064
    Likes Received:
    4,702
    Location:
    Trunkslammerville Mich.
    I would go with the prospector design, These are as close to all purpose as you can get. 3inches of rocker if you ever decide to do some fast water. 750 lb load capacity for tripping, and it tracks fairly well on flat water. this design came out of the early 1900s used for Canadian voyaging. I think old town uses this design as do some of the Kevlar makers. I have one in a woodstrip. best canoe I have ever paddled for multipurpose.
    Hear is an article on it
    https://www.rapidmedia.com/canoeroo...pector-became-canoeing-s-most-enduring-design
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018