Submitted: 07-08-2011 by puddface
I (along with all my other paddling friends) used to snicker at the sight of folks paddling a Coleman canoe. We would refer to them as "coolers", as in "Look out, here come a couple necks in a cooler." However, I learned to set aside my Royalex snobbery after actually paddling a cooler on the Emory Obed in January. This was many years ago when I was still learning to boat, and really shouldn't have been paddling Class III rapids - especially in a Coleman. But the darn thing actually impressed me - not with it's handling, but with it's strength. We broached it on a rock less than a mile from the Emory's confluence with the Obed and couldn't get it freed for quite a while. I am still amazed that it did not fold under a great deal of current for about an hour. Later my partner and I ran fast and hard straight into a jagged rock that I thought would rip into the bow; but it didn't. It only left a nasty dent that miraculously nearly disappeared within a week. I love my Old Town Tripper (royalex, 17' 2") but I have respect for the Coleman "cooler" canoes. Of course, I'd never own one though.