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Submitted: 02-27-2014 by CoreyR
Not the best but certainly a good boat. The Pelican 15.5 is the first canoe I have ever owned. I have used canoes my whole life, I am 44, but this is the first one I have actually purchased and I got it used from a Boy Scout troop which was disbanding.
When I got the Pelican my daughter was a teen, living at home and I had a 75 pound Chocolate Lab who went with me everywhere. My daughter is now 23 and in the Coast Guard, she plays with slightly larger boats, and my dog died Christmas Eve so it is just me.
This is a bit of a big boat for one person. I cannot haul it in the bed of my truck and it is a challenge to get it over the roof of my truck and secured by myself so I am getting a kayak. That said, I am keeping the Pelican, for when family visit or my daughter is home, because it is an excellent canoe for what it is intended.
It tracks well, is easy to paddle, hauls a good payload, is stable and will take a beating from a load of teenagers. My one problem is the same as everyone else, the seats. I am a disabled vet with metal pins in my leg, I have gained a bit of weight... I'm fat, 'nuff said. These seats did not cut it. The thin strip of plastic, between the mounting strip and the seat, tore completely off on the rear seat, dumping me, rather unceremoniously, on my butt while taking a trip down the James River. The middle seat is headed that way.
I have found that stainless steel corner brackets, the long ones, some self tapping screws a few nuts and bolts (with silicon seal) and a little work with a drill can make the broken seats quite solid again. I also painted my brackets and screw/bolt heads to match the seats/canoe hull.
The one caution I will give, as to the use of this boat is this, it is wide enough that you need to be careful in your load plan. I often use the canoe as a "base boat" for a group of friends with kayaks and smaller canoes. We put a good sized cooler, bait, maybe a couple of tackle boxes, lunches, and assorted other stuff into the 15.5 footer. If I am not careful in the loading, I will wind up tipped to one side or the other and the thing will track in a circle. I also had to watch my dog for the same reason. 75 pounds of Lab, switching from starboard to port, can really mess up the balance of the canoe.
Having said that, The Pelican handles anything we have thrown at it including being way overloaded.
I like it.