Submitted: 04-02-2007 by Keith M
Just bought an older model RamX-17 (actually 17 1/2) for 100 bucks from a river touring outfit. Pretty much couldn't pass up the price, what can I say, I'm poor ;) . The thing looks like a beast: orange, big and feels pretty darned heavy, big skeletal aluminum framing, a little warbly in places - but was hopeful it wouldn't be a terrible canoe.
Well after it's maiden voyage (without the wife and son) I was a little impressed, or better yet comforted. I've since taken her out several times with the family, and aside from being heavy and awkward portaging & loading(the aluminum thwarts sit higher than the gunnels - so when cartopping or truck topping, kiss your paint goodbye! GET FOAM TUBING to cover the gunnels and thwarts... oh yeah, and watch the handles too - they'll drop down & take a good chunk out of your paint if you're not watching).. aside from that, the canoe is actually pretty great.
It really does track well thanks to the keel. It isn't the fastest canoe by far - but it's not a bear to paddle either. Won't turn on a dime, but considering it's size and the keel, it turns a heck of a lot better than I was expecting.
I thought it felt a little unstable the first couple minutes I was in it, but after giving it the shake-and-rock-and-wiggle, it wasn't flipping over. My son walks around in the boat while we're out and you barely notice it (then again he's only 50 pounds).
The previous owners beat this old canoe on lots of rivers - there's more miles on this beast than I could imagine. (I wouldn't dare take it out an anything that looks like more than a I.) But I gotta say, if you're looking for a canoe to just get on the water, if you find one of these at a yard sale or what not - you can't go wrong.
It's not the canoe I want, but all considered - this canoe does a fine job as a "family wagon" so to speak. Don't know what they cost new, or even how the new models perform (saw a new one & it didn't look anything like my dinosaur), but 100 bucks used - I give this an 8 simply for its performance and value....
..and someday when I have money, I'll treat myself to a nice light solo canoe ;)