Submitted: 07-15-2010 by beaullieu
A buddy of mine borrowed a RAM-X 15 for a Father/Son canoe/camping trip we took with our 9yr old sons on Lake Jocassee in upstate South Carolina.
I loaded my Wenonah Solo Plus (60lb in Royalex) on my trucks roof racks, tossed the gear in the back and headed for Bill's house to pick up his gear. When I first saw the red beast, I was concerned if it would even float upright and when we hoisted it up on my roof racks, I couldn't believe how heavy and cumbersome it was. But, it was what he had and we headed for the lake.
Our trip to the campground was about 1 1/2 miles across a large lake. We paddled into a 10mph headwind and light chop. Both canoes were loaded with about 200lbs of gear. Bill immediately struggled to keep the Ram-X pointed toward our destination and no matter how he paddled it, the bow veered back and forth. Meanwhile, My Solo Plus tracked straight as an arrow. I paddled at a lazy pace with my 9 year old and Bill paddled hard and still I had to stop about every 5 minutes to wait on him. The 1 1/2 mile crossing took 40 minutes because the red beast paddled like a bathtub.
Paddling during the weekend delivered much the same performance on calm water. I paddled the Ram-X for a while and found it completely unacceptable for anything more than a small pond and for kids to learn to paddle. It bobbed like a cork and tracking was nil. It was, however, built like a tank.
I know this is a low price boat so maybe I'm being a bit too hard on it but it is a tank. A reasonably well designed Royalex canoe will cost a bit more but will greatly out perform this barge. Spend a few bucks more and get a real canoe....