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Old 04-16-08, 02:27 PM   #1
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Canoe advice needed

With my economic stimulus check, it would like to get a canoe for my family. It needs to seat 4 people, I would like to hook up a outboard motor to it, someday. It would only be use on lakes an some slow rivers.

Any suggestions on materials, transporting, life jackets for adults and kids and anything else I should know.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:35 PM   #2
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A canoe that holds 4 (adults) would be huge 18+ feet.
Look for a 3 seater, 16ish feet in length.
You want one that has a flat stern to mount the outboard.
You will need a trailer or a very good roof mounting system to transport a large boat.
Mine is too long to fit in the bed of my truck, I use a ladder rack and the top of the cab.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:37 PM   #3
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I would keep an eye on craigslist, etc. for used canoes. I just gave Cuda a sailboat, he might sell that to you cheap!
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:43 PM   #4
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A canoe that holds 4 (adults) would be huge 18+ feet.
Look for a 3 seater, 16ish feet in length.
You want one that has a flat stern to mount the outboard.
You will need a trailer or a very good roof mounting system to transport a large boat.
Mine is too long to fit in the bed of my truck, I use a ladder rack and the top of the cab.
Ok, if I go with a 3 person and keep the load under the weight cap, is that ok? I have a Dodge Ram Van 1500, I was thinking about a roof mount system. However I don't know how easy it would be for my wife to manage if she wanted to take it out with our kids.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:48 PM   #5
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I would keep an eye on craigslist, etc. for used canoes. I just gave Cuda a sailboat, he might sell that to you cheap!
It had better be cheap if you just gave it to him

I have tried sailing it was fun. However I'm sure I lack the talent to do it now and I could just see one of my kids being behead by the boom. I'll check out sail boats, I'm going to be some what limited on my price and canoes seemed to fit my budget more.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:49 PM   #6
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I would keep an eye on craigslist, etc. for used canoes. I just gave Cuda a sailboat, he might sell that to you cheap!
Do you have to have registration on your boats to use at the State Parks?
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Old 04-16-08, 02:55 PM   #7
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No, if it is unpowered, you do not. Or at least I did not on my Dolphin. I did on my Cal 20, but it had auxillary power. If you add a motor, this might change.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat..._registration/

According to this, under 14" and unpowered, no reg. Over 14 or powered, reg. required.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 04-16-08, 03:00 PM   #8
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Something like this?

http://www.1stdirectproducts.com/os17squarste.html

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Old 04-16-08, 03:04 PM   #9
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http://www.canoedallas.com/
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Old 04-16-08, 03:06 PM   #10
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Yeah that is nice, I may opt for something smaller since I don't need to seat 4 adults but rather 2 adults and 2 kids. But that is nice, I would need a tailer for that canoe. Do you have that canoe?
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Old 04-16-08, 03:11 PM   #11
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http://www.hightrailscanoe.com/
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 04-16-08, 03:16 PM   #12
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Thanks for that link.

I have heard about people, starting at Possum Kingdom and taking week long trips down it, I think it flows into lake Whitney. I would like to try that with my family sometime.
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Old 04-16-08, 03:27 PM   #13
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I listened to a radio documentary on public radio, about a man who canoed the Trinity from Dallas to the Gulf. AT one time, there was a series of locks and dams, in an effort to make the river navigable for barge traffic. They can still be seen to this day apparently.
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Old 04-16-08, 03:46 PM   #14
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I just notice the canoe/sail rig. What is your take on it, gimmick or not?
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Old 04-16-08, 04:57 PM   #15
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Have you ever tried to get 4 people..2 kids in a canoe? They make outriggers for canoes that come off easily for transportation, you might want to consider one depending on the age of the kids. Canoes do not handle side to side motion well at all. You need to be very careful when buying a used canoe. How much rocker does the canoe have.. is it a stable tracking canoe designed for stability or one with less stability but more speed. Trust me if you get the wrong type of canoe it will be very much like getting a great deal on a 58cm Madone... when you need to be riding a 54.

edit: just noticed you are in Texas as well.. more than 10-15mph wind and you might as well leave the canoe at home,,,even if you get a motor. The wind catches the side of the canoe and makes it nearly impossible to track straight.
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Old 04-16-08, 06:08 PM   #16
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An aluminum canoe is a nice first canoe,
Grumman is a good maker, see http://www.marathonboat.com
To fit four people probably an 18 ft model is ok, can mount an electric motor
for quiet power or a small 1-2 hp gas motor.
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Old 04-16-08, 06:41 PM   #17
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Have you ever tried to get 4 people..2 kids in a canoe? They make outriggers for canoes that come off easily for transportation, you might want to consider one depending on the age of the kids. Canoes do not handle side to side motion well at all. You need to be very careful when buying a used canoe. How much rocker does the canoe have.. is it a stable tracking canoe designed for stability or one with less stability but more speed. Trust me if you get the wrong type of canoe it will be very much like getting a great deal on a 58cm Madone... when you need to be riding a 54.

edit: just noticed you are in Texas as well.. more than 10-15mph wind and you might as well leave the canoe at home,,,even if you get a motor. The wind catches the side of the canoe and makes it nearly impossible to track straight.

My kids are 6 and 7, I'm not sure how many times all 4 of us will be in it, I personal have never been in a canoe with more then 2 people self included. I have been on the lake in on windy day, I wanted to end up by the Damn

How do you measure the stability of a canoe?

Thanks
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Old 04-16-08, 06:42 PM   #18
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An aluminum canoe is a nice first canoe,
Grumman is a good maker, see http://www.marathonboat.com
To fit four people probably an 18 ft model is ok, can mount an electric motor
for quiet power or a small 1-2 hp gas motor.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 04-16-08, 06:47 PM   #19
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Yeah that is nice, I may opt for something smaller since I don't need to seat 4 adults but rather 2 adults and 2 kids. But that is nice, I would need a tailer for that canoe. Do you have that canoe?
I have a 17 foot Grumman Aluminum Canoe my dad bought in 1963. It's not a square back but he made a bracket to mount a 1-1/2 hp Johnson motor. I can take pictures this week end if you want to see what it looks like.

http://www.marathonboat.com/

http://www.marathonboat.com/doubleend-17.asp



It will hold two adults (200 to 250 pounds) and two kids easily. You can fit three adults but the person in the middle should be under 150 pounds. Our Scout troop had 9 and got 2 new ones a couple o years ago.

It has been carried by vehicles ranging fro a Mazda GLC to full size pickup truck.

PS We filled it with water and made a pool when I was in grade school.

The bottom is on the flat so it is relatively stable. The ends have foam floats so when swamped it does not sink. Kinda fun for the kids to paddle when swamped. Normally they take on water and down flip like a flat bottom boat.

Get life jackets. In Virginia it's the law. A seat cushion float does not count here.

Here are a few. Mine has a Osprey on the bow.

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Old 04-16-08, 06:55 PM   #20
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I would definitely skip a square stern canoe. You want the canoe to be symmetrical so you can paddle either way to keep the canoe balanced.

For example, have you ever seen a canoe with one person and the bow is sticking way out of the water? They are doing it wrong. It's easy to tip and the slightest wind will "weather vane" the canoe in the wrong direction. You want to be sitting in the front of the canoe facing the rear. This sits the canoe flat in the water making it more stable and easier to paddle. This is a picture of me on a borrowed 17 foot Old Town Penobscot paddling it solo.

Avoid aluminum if you can. Aluminum a material that allows for the most abuse (scraping over things, leaving outside, etc), but it is heavy and it tends to stick to rocks on rivers. They also require a keel to aid in construction. An aluminum canoe large enough for your whole family will probably be somewhere between 100 and 150 pounds. Can you imagine trying to cartop that by yourself? For reference, the 17 Royalex canoe in the link above weighs about 65 pounds.

As far as pushing with a small motor, something like this or this will work for nearly any electric or any gas motor less than 3hp. It's about a hundred bucks.

For serious shuttling, I really like my Yakima bars with canoe carriers (the red suv is mine). Otherwise, foam blocks that clip to the gunwales are adequate. Just tie it down carefully.

Choosing a hull is a lot like choosing a bike. You wouldn't take a road bike on the trail and a mountain bike is far less efficient on the road. Similarly, for lake and up to class 1 water, a canoe with a sharp entry and no rocker would be best. You definitely want to avoid anything with a keel or a flat bottom. A slightly rounded bottom will provide good initial stability while providing far better final stability than a flat bottom.

From what you state, I would be considering some of these:

Mohawk Nova 17 in Royalex
Old Town Discovery 169 (If I could get ash seats instead of the cheap molded ones)
Old Town Penobscot 17
Wenonah Cascade

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Old 04-16-08, 06:56 PM   #21
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what you really have to watch in a canoe is the way your WEIGHT is distrbuted- i've got class 4, open, and putting your 115 pound wife up front, and a 70 pound kid in the middle, with you running 250 in the rear runs it just about dead even- slightly tail-heavy- now you add a 3.5 hp motor to that( typically about 33 pounds) and your center of gravity goes way aft -think of it like a long lever- on my canoe the flotation is fore and aft,and sticking a motor on the rear compromises the aft flotation, so i made a motor mount that outrigs and attaches to the side- you have to compensate a little in the steering, but it handles way better- this year, however, i've switched to an electric 55 pound thruster with the battery midships -there's only the weight of the head- maybe 20 pounds aft of me- basically, i've got about 115 lbs fore, 115 middle,(70 +45 batt) and about 270 aft- with the motor attached- and it's a coleman 15 footer- that's including camping gear, foodstuffs, etc- if you don't run the battery flat, you've also got lights, radio, and a way to start the car if you need it
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Old 04-16-08, 07:01 PM   #22
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No, I have a 16' Old Town Spruce canoe. It's been in the family since it was new in 1919 and I'm the current guardian of it.

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Yeah that is nice, I may opt for something smaller since I don't need to seat 4 adults but rather 2 adults and 2 kids. But that is nice, I would need a tailer for that canoe. Do you have that canoe?
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Old 04-16-08, 08:00 PM   #23
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I just notice the canoe/sail rig. What is your take on it, gimmick or not?
http://www.sailboatstogo.com/catalog...gory=CANOE_RIG

Here is another link. Never sailed one, but as long as it has outriggers or a leeboard, it seems like it should be okay.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:43 PM   #24
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Don't drill a hole into the bottom of the boat to solve a leak
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Old 04-16-08, 10:25 PM   #25
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Lots of good suggestions from everyone and the only thing I would add is, (without knowing your skill level) is how to recover from a tipped over canoe. This includes flipping over a swamped canoe leaving very little water inside the canoe when done and then getting back inside.

Nothing like a little practice from the "You never know what can happen book of survival".
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