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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.
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 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.
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.
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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