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Submitted: 08-05-2008 by JW
My dad bought the 15' footer almost 30 years ago. Like everyone says it is heavy and turns slowly, but man is it tough. The one place the flexing in the hull is great for is ocean swells, which we discovered off the coast of Maine.
The weight is an issue and if you plan on cartopping it, definitely get or make a swiveling mount for your car. I modified a canoe/ladder rack for a receiver hitch, so that it rotated. All I have to do is drag the canoe to the car, lift one end onto the rack and attach it, then lift the other end and walk it around onto the forward canoe rack or foam blocks.
As for the lousy paddling, I mounted two 10" gate hinges on the inside of the rail so that the long end sticks out just like sculling boat out riggers, mounted oarlocks on the ends... and now I have a boat that can pass any canoe, no mater what my loading is. This allows my wife to deal with our kids, read, or paddle from the stern seat as she feels like. I row from the front seat facing backwards with my feet braced on a bracket I mounted on the center post.
Don't buy the "improved" Pelican version of this boat, when they removed the center keel pole and seat frame poles it took the backbone out of the canoe, the pelican also doesn't have the flotation in the ends like the Coleman and I've heard of a couple sinking when they were rolled. The only time this Coleman was rolled was when I was paddling from the stern with the canoe empty and clowning around, it rolled right out from under me... but this has never happened any other time when I used it, in fact my wife who never was in small boats until we met, thinks this is very stable and has no problem with our three children climbing around in it while we are out. My children hang over the side to drag their hands in the water with out a noticeable tipping, however I notice any out of trim in my back when rowing for a long time. In fact more than once while out rowing on large lakes I have had the local patrol/harbor master come over to get a closer look thinking I had a motor with out a registration number. I guess the Coleman 15' just needs a little more power to get a good speed rating.
30 years and no holes even though it was dropped off the roof of my sisters car going down the road, and it has had many encounters with rocks, trees, and even once I dragged it across a parking lot to get it to my car.
My dad has dived from it many times from it and just had to add a ladder to get back aboard from the ocean. As you can tell we pass the canoe back and forth many times right now it is in his back yard on the edge of the lake waiting for his next paddle.
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