Submitted: 04-29-2002 by RayPerryman
I purchased the Coleman 17 for $200 in the early 70's. I used it for Boy Scout trips & to teach scouts for their canoeing merit badge. We had many types of canoes on our trips, but the Coleman was by far the toughest. The fiberglass canoes shattered; the aluminum Grumman canoes were split wide open by rocks, and others wound up with large holes, but the Coleman merely got scratched (very sharp rocks along the Colorado River). It handled better than most of the others on 10 foot swells in San Diego Bay, the two foot chop in Mission Bay, and on many 100-mile trips on the Colorado. It is heavy, but if you know anything about scouts, you know that they are usually overloaded (being prepared for everything), and the Coleman handled the weight well. Young boys are abusive to equipment, and destroyed many of the canoes on our trips (accidentally, of course), but the Coleman could take anything they could dish out, including being stuck on a large rock mid-stream, with several hundred pounds unsupported at both ends. Most canoes would have folded, but not the Coleman. For youth groups, I rate this canoe a 10 for it's forgiving nature and indestructability!