Submitted: 11-02-2009 by grandpa
After considerable print research in the late 60's, I bought a 17' standard Grumman, aluminum with keel. Because my wife thought it dangerously long on top of our VW Bug, I took a 15' one and used it for about 10 years--perfect boat for what we wanted, one I could car-top and that could hold me, wife, 2 small kids, and lunch and other stuff on lake and placid river day trips. At 15', it was sluggish--traded Bug for VW Squareback and 15' for 17', a more efficient boat.
DEFICITS: aluminum sticks to rocks (my son and I were stuck on one for five nerve-wracking minutes way off shore on windy and wavy Attean Pond in ME). With its flat bottom, its initial stability is rock solid; but heeled over just a hair too much and wham! you're in the drink. And compared to my 16' Royalex Penobscot, the Grumman was sluggish. And I began to find 75 lbs. a real strain to car-top.
ADVANTAGES: real solid--I kept it outdoors all year, never did any maintenance except wash out the bugs and debris from sitting upside down 6 months of the year. Also, for me paddling solo, because of its keel it tracked much better on a lake than my present 16' Penobscot (reviewed here under 'Old Town'). It was great for what I bought it--young family, no trailer, manageable, and bomb-proof. If I were to live my life over, I would probably buy the light-weight 17' Grumman.