Submitted: 03-04-2008 by PaPaddler
These canoes are just large, stable studs. Mine is actually the heavier gauge aluminum (makes it around 85 pounds) and have used it for close to ten years in a variety of settings including class I/II whitewater, large lakes and smooth rivers from Pennsylvania to Ontario.
The design of these provides what you should expect: a large, slow, difficult to turn-on-a-dime behemoth of a canoe. You can load these with everything including the cast iron kitchen sink and they will still offer a very stable and safe platform to work from. There is also nearly no concern for protecting your valuable asset - just bounce off the rocks and enjoy the view!
I've actually taken this beast on longer trips with required portages (longest portage was 3.5 miles!) and, with a home-made padded yoke attached to the middle thwart, was able to carry this beast. Mind you, I normally wouldn't recommend carrying these much more than a few hundred yards but I was too cheap to spring for some fancy rental when I own a perfectly functional canoe.
The maneuverability of these canoes make them a challenge in small winding rivers or streams but, as your paddling skills improve you can anticipate the canoe's behavior and actually get it to behave in a fairly nimble fashion. It takes wind and waves better than most other larger canoe I've been in but it ultimately is a canoe that behaves more like a flat bottomed jon boat. Can hold all of your camping gear or your guns and decoys with room to spare and is just about bullet proof!
Indestructible, huge, roomy, safe, loud, heavy, inexpensive and still going!