I spent several Summers canoeing the Missouri River National Recreation River near Ponca, NE with this canoe. I thought it was very stable. I bought it used in 1999 and paid $300 for it. They cost about $950 dollars new. I could easily sell it today for $300-$400.
It was much faster than the plastic Coleman canoes we were also using and it has better tracking. I recommend this canoe to beginners because it is inexpensive, durable, and stable. I would like to try a more expensive ABS canoe like a Mohawk Nova or Intrepid to see how much better they are. They are slightly lighter, 79 pounds vs. 72/76 pounds. I'm not sure an $1100 dollar canoe is considered a real canoe though.The only thing good about this canoe is stability. I mostly pole it. Everything else is sub par. It's horrible in the wind, a bear to carry after a long day on the water, and don't believe that it's durable. It dents way too easily. Aluminum also pits and becomes brittle with age. The tracking is horrible for a 17 foot boat even with the ugly keel. The keel makes it hard to pull over beaver damns and logs because it cuts into them like a knife. It's also one of the slowest canoes you'll encounter. The worst part is that once you use it you'll never be able to get more than 200 bucks for it.
My suggestion is to steer clear of this one and get a real canoe, and if you really need to save money then get a royalex Mohawk Nova or Intrepid. Both cost less. The Nova is much faster and the Intrepid is more stable. Both are more durable. And for the guy in the earlier review that said it was much too unstable, you might want to stay clear of canoes all together.I bought this caone acidentally because it was advertised in the newspaper as just an 18' aluminum canoe and I was loking for something bigger than my 15' grumman to take all my friends in. The guy brought it over to my house and it turned out to be the 17' Osage. He really wanted to sell it badly I gathered because it was too tippy for him and his girlfriend so he dropped the price and I bought it, but if I had to do it again I would have looked some more until I found another 18' aluminum and bought it instead. I figured it would be fast because it is narrow and long. It is that, however it is also VERY tippy. My 15' Grumman feels more stable but the Osage does moves faster through the water.
The weight on this tank is awful at 79lbs. so it doesn't get used much. But for going down creeks with lots of deadfall you can paddle right over most of it and not worry too much about punctures like I do when using my ultralight kevlar canoe. Being aluminum it's really tough and sitting on the ground upside down for several years hasn't hurt it a bit. An outfitter would love that part of it but it really is too darn heavy and tippy for my tastes. It was cheap at $350 and in new condition so I'm not complaining about that part a bit but there are better canoes out there although you might have to pay more for them, naturally. I think they have sponsoons available for them but I made an outrigger for it and that sovled the stability issue completely, you can't tip it over under normal conditions but then you have the hassle of transporting the outrigger with you and putting it on and taking it off later, also the outrigger does cause a little bit of drag. If I had waterfront property where I could leave it on all the time it wouldn't be an issue. For what it is, it is an OK canoe and it fit my budget at the time but if you are thinking of buying one it really isn't a great canoe and for the same money you could find a used Grumman that would be more stable and lighter. Comparing this to my Grumman, to be fair, the Osage has a welded seam down the center and a big "shoe" to protect it so it probably will never leak there. I live about a mile from the ocean so there is some salt in the air all the time here so I noticed the anodizing on the Osage isn't as good as the Grumman and shows more micro pitting inside even though the Grumman is 30 yrs. old. It isn't a bad canoe, but it's not great either, just sort of in between I guess so I give it a 5, but I gotta say that of all the canoes that I have owned in the past and do currently own this is at the bottom of the list, but then again if you never owned anything better you might really like it.