Submitted: 08-21-2007 by DanL
This is for the Pelican 15.5 (RamX), which I guess evolved into the Colorado 15.6/Coleman Journey 15.6.
I acquired it cheap enough, hardly used with all new goodies, trolling motor w/ mount, paddles, PFD's and 2 anchors for $250. My Gal and I took it out, we both weigh around 150, no gear aboard. it was just a shake down cruise. Very, Very Spooky, The smallest side to side movement had me double checking my PFD buckles, I was getting ready to go in at any time. Even changing over paddling sides, made for a heart skipping adventure. We didn't tip, but we are moderately experienced canoeist and were on very calm water.
It is decent as far as weight, it truck top loads okay and carries well with the handles. No Portage Yoke. The seats are lousy, we both kept sliding forward as we paddled. It made for the scariest incidents of the trip... to routinely try and scoot back up the seat without swamping the boat.
My family and I recently rented 3 similar length boats to canoe down the Cheat River in West Virginia. BlackWater Outdoor Adventures supplied us with Old Town Discovery 15.8's. My parents hadn't been in a canoe 25 years, my brother and his wife took their 2 1/2 yr.old daughter and no one had any complaints of stability. There is a massive difference in the Old Town and The Pelican, though 3 inches separate them in length. There is substantial cost difference also and I am thinking that any Old Town is better at this point. I don't like being nervous on the water and I took some flak from The Girl also. She never got comfortable in the boat and neither did I.
We have taken my brother's ancient/warped 17 foot Coleman out many times and it is very stable under all conditions. The Pelican looks all the world like a smaller version of that boat so I thought it would feel somewhat similar. At this time I am looking hard at the Rouge River/Old Town 14.3 for $350 (new) for our creek explorations and ultimately an Old Town Camper or Charles River to accompany it for camping and lake excursions.
If you're thinking of a Pelican and you're a lighter paddler I would save your money up and go Old Town when you can afford it, it is no fun to be nervous about something that is supposed to be recreational in nature.