Submitted: 06-05-2008 by KSV
I purchased this canoe used as a fishing platform and I have to say, that with all the ranting and raving about these boats, I am more than a little disappointed. Mine leaked. It took a hit to the bow and that was that. The aluminum sheet itself is quite flimsy.
Mine has an actual seat, but these are designed from the factory to have little foam seats that simply sit on the bottom and one is expected to sit/kneel/crawl directly on the floor. I found the floor to pop and buckle whenever I tried to put any directed pressure on it, as in getting to a kneel or putting a foot in during launches. It hasn't broken. Yet.
I find it hard to paddle solo and cramped with even the smallest of co-pilots. The back seat puts too much weight too far back for solo use and it gets tossed by the wind even with my considerable ballast kneeling in the center. It looks pretty beet up and dented and dinged in many places.
Again, I bought it used so I'm not sure how hard a life she led before me but I have put a scrape or two in her myself and I think that I am probably, in fact, even more gentle of a canoeist that I think I am.
Still, it is very light weight and stable and if that is all you are after it's a good boat. If you have some expectation of durability then the Radisson might not feel particularly solid to you nor fill you with much confidence. I enjoy mine but will have to sell it with the coming of my Big Boy (17 foot Grumman) which should fill me with that sense of bullet-proof confidence that I found lacking in the Radisson.
I image that I will be shopping for another small, solo canoe before the season's end as the Grumman is too big and heavy for my solo adventures which out number my tandem/group outings by far. When I do it probably won't be for a used canoe and it probably won't be for a Radisson...