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Reviews for Sportspal Canoe by Radisson


Rated: 8.67/10 Based On: 6 Reviews

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09-24-2014
Submitted by: SCSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We got our Sportspal for free. It was filthy and had big patches of moss growing on it. One rib was missing, and the foam was shot. We decided to paddle it for a while before investing the kind of time and money it was going to need. We threw a blanket in the bottom and started having fun. It leaked, not too surprisingly. A sponge tossed into the stern took care of that for the time being.

My son has since fixed that boat up (at the cost of $200+) so that it gets envious compliments wherever we go. While he had the foam out of it, I applied a generous amount of 3M 5200 sealant to the inside seams, working it into the rivet areas. No more leaks so far. He has even picked up a sail kit for it, but we have not been brave enough to try it yet.

This boat is a faithful little craft. You are never going to get anywhere in a hurry, but that isn't the point. It is the kind of boat you can spend the day in. Pack a picnic. Toss in snacks and cushions. Take your fishing pole and a kid, or a dog. It is wide and comfortable and seemingly impossible to tip. It weighs next to nothing and fits in the back of my pickup truck. We use it mainly on our local lakes and tidal backwaters. It's perfect for fishing and photography because it's roomy, maneuverable, and incredibly stable. In reality, it is more akin to a rowboat or dinghy than a traditional sleek canoe.

It paddles tandem well enough, but solo is not much fun. The flat bottom and short length make it feel like paddling an inner tube. When I take it out alone, I find that a long kayak paddle works nicely, but the best method is to row it. It moves along quite well under oars, and we use oarlocks that open at the top so that we can use our canoe paddles either way.

As far as outfitting goes, ours had none. We use a stadium seat in the stern and sit on a throwable cushion in the bow, leaning against the thwart. There is so much room that it's pretty easy to get comfortable.

All in all, this is a wonderful boat for folks who want a fun and leisurely way to explore reasonably calm waters. I gave it a "10" because it is so good at what it does. If I expected it to be a performance canoe, I would rate it much lower, but we already had a performance canoe. This one is just for fun.

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06-20-2011
Submitted by: lbSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     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.

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07-27-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     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.

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07-21-2008
Submitted by: MQSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     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.

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04-26-2004
Submitted by: Clark BurdickSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     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.

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03-31-2003
Submitted by: lvcampn
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife bought me a used Sportspal (the U.S. version of the Radisson by Meyers Boat Company in Michigan). It has a thicker skin than the Canadian version. Mine is the 14' pointed on both ends. Yes, paddling in the wind is a real chore with this craft. I bought a used (1984) Sears air-cooled light-weight 7HP gasoline driven outboard for it. It's is light enough for the engine fixture and if run on idle it is terrific for this craft. My grandson and I motor up class 1 rivers and paddle/coast down. Soon I hop to purchase the Radisson sail kit and juryrig it to work on my US version which is extremely simular to but not exactly the same as the Canadian version.
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