Submitted: 01-28-2008 by vcmtthws
I either own or have paddled everything from the Old Town, to the Mad Rivers, to the Clippers, to the aluminum Grummans, to the Home made strippers and fiberglass kits, to the Wenonahs, to the Moore Venom Racer, and a few in between.
My sister gave us her old RAM X-15, and somewhere along the line we picked up a RAM X-17. Both of these were aptly named the "Orange Brick" and the "Big Red Brick". Thought she was doing us a favor giving us the first - she wasn’t really. It was great at times, because we could loan it to anybody and always get it back. We have about 17 canoes and kayaks. The Ram X is the only one that we never had to worry about because nobody could hurt it, and… because nobody wanted to hang onto it. Worse, we had to sit and wait for the darn thing to catch up every time we took people with us. Morning adventures became an all day chore. No fun.
I could see it as a cheap and reliable duck hunting boat if you mount a motor, but then it wouldn’t be canoeing, would it? Highly recommend it for a Boy Scout camp boat on a small pond without wind. I keep hearing "you get what you pay for". In this case, I think you pay much too much for what you get.
Let’s break it down: $300.00 - $400.00 = an uncomfortable outing, broken back, over worked adventures, and a maintenance free yard ornament.
Now I’ve purchased old beat up canoes for under $100.00. Fixed them up for another $100.00, and had them ALL out perform the RAM X hands down. Sure the other canoes require some maintenance (although not much), but then again, I could own a door mat for a lot less and get more use than I would out of a Coleman RAM. We happily got rid of ours. We now let our friends use other canoes we’ve resurrected, and good canoes for the fiends who know how to canoe. I’d rate this backache barge a -5 if it were possible, since I can’t really equate it to a canoe…but alas, I’ll have to settle for a 1…And I’m being nice.
I just think this beast gets way too much praise without enough research backing its appeal. I fear it will lead to well intentioned buyers being suckered into getting one because well meaning novices don’t know any better.