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#5375331 - 06/29/11 CANOE ADVICE
BikerRN Offline
Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 122
Loc: State of Discombobulation
Howdy all,



Wife is wanting to get some form of watercraft and our financial situation being what it is we settled for a canoe. We will be camping at local lakes and I'll do some fishing by myself while she does whatever it is she does. She wants to paddle around on the water a little and just have some fun. We will also do some class 1 and 1+ stuff nearby on a local river.



Niether of us has canoe expirience, but that will change shortly. I've been looking at two different canoes and need help making up my mind. Do I get the Mad River Adventure 14 or the Old Town Guide 147? Please tell me why you selected what you choose. Thanks in advance for your help.



Biker

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#5375356 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
Dan_Chamberlain Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 09/30/06
Posts: 5779
Loc: Illinois, by Missouri
I have an Old Town, but it's the one with three seats, cup holders, rod tiedowns and a wide stable platform. I wanted to do fishing in mine and in the end, built a stern trolling motor mount and even purchased a set of outrigger floats so I could stand up and cast. My wife, daughter and I spent 3 hours in it on Sunday. They read while I caught bass.

Dan
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"It's a source of great pride, that when I google my name, I find book titles and not mug shots." Daniel C. Chamberlain

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#5375359 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
Lslite Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 651
Loc: Texas
Unless ya'll are both small folks,move up to at least a 16' with a 17' being even better.We had a 14' Mad River and it was a nice canoe but too small for us along with a cooler and a days gear.Any of the mid range canoes from either company are fine products.Research their websites to pick the boat best suited to your needs and type of water.Paddlingnet.com is a good source of reviews on differant canoes.Some dealers will have rentals so you can give some models a test run.
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#5375368 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: Lslite]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 30987
Loc: Minnesota
If I was looking old town I'd get the "camper"
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#5375382 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
Dan_Chamberlain Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 09/30/06
Posts: 5779
Loc: Illinois, by Missouri


Here's my solo set up for an all day on the water fishing trip. For a quick dip the paddle trip, I don't take the outriggers or the motor.

Dan
_________________________
"It's a source of great pride, that when I google my name, I find book titles and not mug shots." Daniel C. Chamberlain

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#5375401 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
Birdwatcher Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 16542
Loc: San Antonio TX
We got our little 13'3" Old Town as a gift. Its flat bottomed and dead stable but at 36" wide is dog-slow to paddle.

My nephews up in New York still use the 17' canoe I bought in high school. A longer canoe holds a bunch more, is intrinsically more efficient to paddle, and transports about as easy as a shorter one; get the longest canoe you can afford.

What separates canoes is the shape of the bottom; flat bottoms are dead stable in calm water but track poorly, OTOH while all canoes have a shallow draft, flat bottomed canoes will float in mere inches of water, sometimes a blast in swamps and wetlands.

Rounded bottom canoes are "livelier" and track better, they also paddle more efficiently.

If you are going to power it I ain't sure it matters WHAT hull shape you get since you'll be powering it past the intentions of the hull design anyhow.

Birdwatcher
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#5375412 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
Pugs Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 12671
Loc: Maryland :(
Originally Posted By: BikerRN
Wife is wanting to get some form of watercraft and our financial situation being what it is we settled for a canoe. We will be camping at local lakes and I'll do some fishing by myself while she does whatever it is she does. She wants to paddle around on the water a little and just have some fun. We will also do some class 1 and 1+ stuff nearby on a local river.Biker

While I've spent a lot of time in canoes and need to get another because I do like them but for what you're looking at doing you'll likely have a lot more fun with a couple 10-12 foot recreational kayaks. Fishing solo out of a canoe designed for two works fine until wind comes up and then it's just frustrating and having two independent boats to go for a paddle on the lake is much more fun than the canoe where someone is always stuck in front and the person in back can't hear you unless you're talking loud.

We have an Old Town Dirgo and a Wilderness Designs Pungo and we're very happy with them.

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#5375426 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: Pugs]
Birdwatcher Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 16542
Loc: San Antonio TX
Quote:
having two independent boats to go for a paddle on the lake is much more fun than the canoe where someone is always stuck in front and the person in back can't hear you unless you're talking loud.


Apples and oranges. My wife likes to stretch out like a princess in ours while I labor away/operate the motor/whatever in back. Plus you can fit a large cooler, fishing rods, two dogs and a teenager as well as you and her in a canoe (once in that mode in our 13 footer, on Lake McQueeney crowded with high dollar power boats, some guy opined that we looked like the African Queen grin )

Birdwatcher
_________________________
"...if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we would take great care in their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them." Canasatego 1744

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#5375445 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: Pugs]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 30987
Loc: Minnesota
My own personal "dream canoe" is a Souris river QT-17.

It's a 17' tandem, my layup choice would be their "el tigre" kevlar in a red or natural color. Weight is around 45 pounds with portage pads and the hull is a well thought out shape that fits in the "general purpose" category nicely.

Birdwatcher explained the hull designs nicely. We have a 19' wenonah sundowner at home that fits closer to the "racing" category. It lays in the water like a floating sewing needle. It's crazy fast and tracks straight. It's awesome for getting across a lake fast, but it's not any fun in small tight winding rivers and it's no damn fun to fish out of.

We had a smoker craft that was the complete opposite, it had rocker and width, it turned better than it tracked and it laid in the water like a garbage dumpster. Good to fish out of... and I guess it floated. Those are the only nice things I can think to say about it.

The old grumman aluminum canoes have a strong following for good reason, good quality and effective general purpose hull shape.

I would liken the water manors of the Souris river qt-17 to that of an old alum grumman 17 foot double ender but at roughly half the carry weight.

And at roughly quadruple the price frown

I'm getting wordy, sorry for that but I have one more I'd like to mention. I'd feel bad if I didn't mention the alumacraft QT 17. I've used them a lot and feel they are quite a value. The hull shape gets the nod for nice general purpose water manors, quality and durability are there, weight is manageable at around 65 lbs and they are quite affordable.

like others have said, I personally wouldn't have a 14' canoe even if it was a center seat solo, certainly not as a tandem.
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#5375446 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: Birdwatcher]
Pugs Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 12671
Loc: Maryland :(
Originally Posted By: Birdwatcher
Quote:
having two independent boats to go for a paddle on the lake is much more fun than the canoe where someone is always stuck in front and the person in back can't hear you unless you're talking loud.


Apples and oranges. My wife likes to stretch out like a princess in ours while I labor away/operate the motor/whatever in back. Plus you can fit a large cooler, fishing rods, two dogs and a teenager as well as you and her in a canoe (once in that mode in our 13 footer, on Lake McQueeney crowded with high dollar power boats, some guy opined that we looked like the African Queen grin )

Birdwatcher


The answer is clearly a canoe and a couple kayaks. smile

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#5375478 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
Rock Chuck Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 29423
Loc: Filer, ID
I have a 40 year old aluminum Smokercraft 17'. It's big and heavy but very good for lakes. It's too heavy for fast water, though. I have an electric motor on it that I highly recommend. It's a 35lb that really scoots the canoe along. The only problem is that the shaft is too long to be the most convenient thing. Also, you need to get the prop far enough in the water so it won't hit the boat and that means you need deeper water to use it. You can't get into 6" like paddled canoe can.
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#5375484 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: northern_dave]
Powerguy Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 5771
Hey Dave, what did you think of the Souris River you guys used on your trip this year?

Ive been debating those versus a WeNoNah Minnesota 3, your thoughts?

Thanks, John

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#5375502 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: Powerguy]
JimHnSTL Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 11/18/06
Posts: 2240
Loc: St. Louis, MO
i had an older Old Town Tripper that was a great canoe for floating with gear in shallow water. it was a tad heavy but you could put a pack mule in the center of that thing and it still wouldn't take but an inch of the wet stuff to float. the longer wider canoes as mentioned above will be a bit more stable the shorter will be more nimble which is great if you prefer to float swifter water but from what you stated above it sounds as if the more stable platform would suit your needs better. for the record, we had that tripper of mine packed with gear for a 3 day float in late feb one year on one of our ozark streams here in missouri (current river)and had no issues in any of the swift bends. good thing too as it was in the low teens that day. both manufactures are good in my opinion however i am going by what i knew of them in the late 70's and early 80's. i don't know much about the present day stuff.
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#5375524 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
rob p Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 5731
Loc: rhode island
About a month ago, I paddled up the Wood River and anchored in Frying Pan Pond, out in the middle of a wildlife management area. I heard voices that sounded like a baseball game or something. It got closer and closer. I caught a couple trout and around the corner from up river comes 3 canoes. As they got close, they were big muscled, tattoo covered guys with white coolers in Old Town Guide canoes. They said Hi, and I might want to pack up because about 20 more boats would be paddling through my spot. I sat there and 20 more boats came through. One guy was sitting in the middle of one, paddling it backward. It sounded like they were drinking pretty good. I picked up and paddled back to the put in point. The guys were pulling out. They said they were fireman and they do a canoe trip every year. They all had the same red Guide canoes. Nobody seemed wet! A local rental place must have gotten a bunch of them.

When I see something like that, I imagine they must have a good track record. They're on sale at Dick's for $599 all the time. I like the material. It reminds me of their old Crosslink. It's indestructible. Not bad if you're ever thinking about bouncing off rocks! I have a 15ft Camper that is the same design and it paddles easy and is very stable - at first. I've had it 20+ years and can find no fault with it. It's a flat bottom, so it is very stable if you don't lean. That's what they call primary stability. I had a Mad River long ago and they all had V hulls. It was a kevlar boat and I spent good money on it. If you didn't sit perfectly still, you'd rock side to side. It felt like you'd roll right over but the more you lean, the more solid the boat got. The sides flare out from the bottom, and as you lean, more of the boat gets wet. That's secondary stability. The advantage is that if you're sitting right, and the boat is balanced, the minimum amount of hull is in the water, so it's less drag to paddle against. It's nice, but nobody I brought out in it liked it! They want to feel that initial stability. The thing is though, that you still can't lean out too far because it will go from flat to roll over in a couple short, critical degrees.

The standard Maine canoe is 14 feet long and 36" wide, and that's a do all canoe. For fishing or duck hunting, I like a little wider canoe. I have a 12' Bear Creek that is 42" and I can stand up in it. It's much harder to paddle. I have to J stroke and leave the paddle in the water 90 percent of the time, but it's way nicer to sit in once you get there!
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#5375530 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: Powerguy]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 30987
Loc: Minnesota
oof, MN III is heck-fer a lot of bote!

long!!

Souris makes a QT 18.5 too though which I suppose is their compeditor for the MN III

I really liked the Souris QT 17's we rented.

Being rentals with what looked to be many seasons on them they had to be about the poorest representation of a souris kevlar you could find. Yet I found no faults with the 3 we rented.

They were awesome, I want one bad lol!

The wenonah MN II & MN III are easier to find in the used market from $1000 and up, and I'm sure I'd be happy with one of them but I think I would favor the souris a bit for there layup with epoxy resin. Very durable and very reparable if damaged.

I've read reports and seen pictures of terrible things happening to these souris river canoes like trees falling on them or a canoe that got loose in a rapids and tried to turn itself into a river dam sideways between rocks resulting in a folded canoe...

The folks that had that particular accident (river fold) were able to pop the canoe back out to it's original shape and use the canoe to get back out from a trip deep in the BWCA. Even with busted gunwales the hull held it's form and they made it back out. The canoe was repaired by the rental outfitter it belonged to and it was put back into service.

I understand wenonah has a new layup but I don't know much about it yet.
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#5375556 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
schoolmarm Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 04/24/10
Posts: 2788
Loc: Mississippi
We've got an old Michicraft 17' aluminum that my wife and I have fished and squirrel hunted out of for years. We're in our 60s and it still works for us..

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#5375580 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: schoolmarm]
bluffview Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 12/20/07
Posts: 455
Loc: Michigan-U.P.
If I could I'd like a Souris River like N Dave mentioned or a Wenonah MN I can't justify $2000+ for a canoe, however. I do have a 17' alum. Smokercraft. It gets used on smaller lakes for bass fishing and camping trips in the Sylvania Wilderness.

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#5375654 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: Lslite]
JRaw Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 1248
Loc: VA & AK
Originally Posted By: Lslite
Unless ya'll are both small folks,move up to at least a 16' with a 17' being even better.


I think 16' is the way to go, especially if you are both fishing. In a 15'er or smaller, the bow fisherman must be very careful with backcasts.

If you get a 16', I recommend a symmetrical boat with the bow seat designed so you can reverse the boat and paddle solo from the bow seat, with the boat backwards. Many 17'ers - in standard, all-around recreational configurations - will be challenging to paddle solo.

I currently own a Dagger Legend 16, which is an all-round boat but definitely more of a river design than a lake boat. In hindsight I wish I'd purchase a MR Explorer 16, as it would be slightly better on flatwater. Now, with three kids and a dog, I feel the need for a 17' in one of all-around designs, like the Camper or Tripper.

Good luck!

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#5375686 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: JRaw]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 30987
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: JRaw
If you get a 16', I recommend a symmetrical boat with the bow seat designed so you can reverse the boat and paddle solo from the bow seat, with the boat backwards.


But then you can't do sweet canoe wheelies.

lol!



grin
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Something clever here.


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#5375734 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: BikerRN]
johnw Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 8668
Loc: old gap grove
hey biker,

here is an old thread from 2004 that is still mostly pertinent today... there's a lot of good info contained...

Canoes
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#5375747 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: johnw]
UtahLefty Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 22178
Loc: O town UT
Oldtown Guide is what I have. I can highly recommend it.

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#5375756 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: UtahLefty]
sgt217 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 4987
Loc: Arizonan transplanted to N Wis...
I would buy used and see if you like it...Some people don't, and others like me have more canoes and kayaks than I know what to do with...
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#5375880 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: sgt217]
Nebraska Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 9831
We were in the same "boat" laugh with similar needs and I considered Old Town, Mad River and Bell. After trying them out on the water, I went with a Bell North Wind. It's suited our needs perfectly and we could be happier!!


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#5375892 - 06/29/11 Re: CANOE ADVICE [Re: Nebraska]
VAnimrod Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 61130
Loc: gone
If the location is anywhere near SW Va, a VERY good option might be had fast and for a great buy.
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