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Submitted: 04-04-2005 by C Brice
Bought my canoe as a family rec boat from a discount store. I have a 16' Blue Hole that I use most of the time but needed something that would handle an impatient 3 year old while putting around the lakes and slow rivers. The boat is wide and stable and I "liked" the middle seat/cooler/dry storage. It also seems indestructible.
That being said it has many drawbacks. #1) The boat is a handful to get on top of my truck. Being extra wide and having the center seat instead of a center thwart means there is nothing to grab so you can't roll it towards you and lift it up. #2) When it is car (truck) topped the latch on the center cooler opens up and the cooler door bangs on the roof. Duct tape it shut before loading. #3) The dry storage in the center seat is anything but dry. Even in rain it will get wet. #4) The bottom warps in the sun (if stored outside) and when any wave/log/rock hits it. Wide and flat with no keel makes for a very flimsy bottom.
To correct this I am planning on getting rid of that awful center seat and installing a center thwart. I will then be able to grab it for car topping and the kids can sit on the floor or a small cooler which will work better than the one it came with. I am also toying with the idea of gluing a 1" x 2" keel INSIDE on the bottom of the boat to firm it up. It will add weight but removing the center seat will save some. Never tried this so if someone has an idea, send me an e-mail.
All of that being said I gave it a 7. Anything that floats and gets a family out enjoying the sport of paddling deserves at least a 5. This is not a bad boat by any means, the drawbacks can be easily fixed and there is no way you are going to beat the price. Just don't think that a $350.00 boat will be as good as a $1000.00 boat. But it gets close enough to give you plenty of bang for your buck. Whatever you get, get off your can an enjoy it. You and your kids will never regret it!
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