We got our 14' Sportspal in 1972 in Callendar, ON Canada at the factory. Over the years we have dented it and the aluminum on the bottom must be pretty thin! We have had one bad incident when we took in out overloaded and in rough Lake Ontario water. This canoe has been our buddy for longer than we have had our children. It is light enough that my arthritic ex-husband can lift it. We car topped it on a canvas top convertible when we were young and crazier.
There's no way I would trade this wonderful little boat for a regular canoe. We have had several motors on it, and there is nothing nicer than scooting along silently with an electric motor. I hate paddling; I am a rower so it is perfect for me when the battery gives out. Ours is not a Radisson and I understand that they are even sturdier. We had ours out twice so far this year and have decided to give it a real workout this summer.The Radisson 13'6" Sportspal is a canoe of extremes.
I bought one because a.) my 8 year old found my Old Town Disco 169 tippy b.) I found my OT Disco 119 tippy.
The Sportspal is NOT tippy, and it is very quiet and light. These things it does very well. The cost for this is that they are very flimsy. Most times I use it there will be a new dent or scratch that looks like I came close to puncturing the hull. I've only used this canoe on very still water, am not hitting rocks and trees, but it always manages to come back marred. The canoe is basically a sheet of very thin aluminum folded into canoe shape and caulked at the folds. Do not drag on the ground, beware the bottom when you launch.
In retrospect I would have purchased the Michigan made Sportspal and gave up the weight advantage in favor of durability. This shouldn't be considered at all as a "paddling" canoe, it does not handle or glide very well. It is good for little kids.Bought my Sportspal (Raddisson) this past spring. Its been everything I hoped for. Very light and extremely stable (I carry it on my Honda Civic). Itís stable enough that I am able to stand, and I have rigged a seat that sits on top of the gunnel in the middle of the canoe so that Iím able to sit very high. I power it with a 40 lbs thrust Minkota or a 3.5 hp outboard, depending on the lake and conditions. Actually, I have occasionally rigged it with both the outboard and trolling motor.
Itís a fragile canoe, which is a consequence of the light weight materials. Its not as fragile as some posts here would imply, but this is definitely a canoe for lakes or slow rivers. I have a few dents in mine, but you would have to hit something pretty hard to puncture it.
I would highly recommend this Raddisson to anyone looking for a light, stable fishing canoe.I bought my Radisson 14' wide-transom 'canoe' about four years ago. I bought it for fishing and casual touring. I never bought it for white water or rough use. Anyone who bought this boat expecting to run it over gravel and rocks and branches is not thinking right. This boat is an awesome cartopper that I can use to reach any NY State hand-launch fishing access. At 54lbs, and with my 2hp Honda 4-stroke weighing 28lbs, I have an 82lb aquatic assault vehicle that can cross a lake or fight against a river current, and can then be lifted back onto the roof of my Dodge Dakota by one person at the end of the day. The triple keels make the boat track well when there is enough weight in it. With a person up front, one in the back, and the cooler and tackle boxes in the middle, this is a stable and sweet handling boat.
Nothing is perfect, and I had to make a few improvements. I added some thin bungee cords, with quick-detach clips, that run between the oars (or paddles) and the hull. I found that the oar could slip out of the oarlock and float away. The bungees solved that problem and should come with the boat as standard items. I also had to add a piece of wood (1x3 pine about 6" long)at a couple of places in order to mount rod holders. I also recommend that owners of this boat purchase a length of ribbed runner carpet (from Home Depot) to lay in the bottom of the boat. I realized that I like the foam lining of the boat for quite and insulation, but that I needed mor durability. I carry a 14' length of this heavy runer material with me. It rolls up to about a 10" dia. Before I load the boat with gear I roll out the runner in the bottom. This runner traps any water and dirt. The ribs running the length of the runner keep items from rolling around in the boat. When I get home I just open the runner in the back yard and it is soon dry and ready to use again. The runner cost mer about $36 dollar and is still in good condition four years later. The foam lining in my boat is still in perfect condition.
Other than that, I love this boat. I will be getting a Ram-x or ABS boat to beat up on the rocks, and keep the Raddisson for fishing. Used for what it was intended, the Radisson is unbeatable.