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Reviews for 811 Canoe by Ally Folding Canoes


Rated: 7.63/10 Based On: 8 Reviews


811 Canoe by Ally Folding Canoes

Length: 16' 5" - Width: 37.5" - Starting at: $1850.00
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05-26-2011
Submitted by: Jay SherwinSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We purchased 2 Ally 16.5 foot canoes for a trip down the Thlewiaza River in southern Nunavut in 2010. The canoes performed well in fast water and on big lakes. Each canoe developed a couple of pin hole leaks but suffered no other damage despite some dragging and lining in shallows.

They are a treat to portage compared to hardshell canoes. If the seats are placed so that your knees do not rest on the framework when you kneel, they are very comfortable to paddle in. We topped out at about 600 lbs in each canoe. With its weight the canoe was easily handled in all water conditions. Using the Ally, we saved over $3000.00 in air charter costs as fixing canoes on float planes is now very expensive.

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04-26-2010
Submitted by: paddlergrlSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have used the Ally 811 on several long river trips--10-15 days in length. I love the way the boat handles in flat and whitewater. It's really the only choice if you want a boat that handles like a hardshell canoe, but even better, because it flexes and moves with the rhythm of the water.

My main criticism is that if you hit a rock, you're probably going to get some damage to the poles. I haven't yet done any damage, but I do worry about hitting 'the big rock' sometime. Still, it doesn't keep me from taking to the water. I capsized the boat on a northern river by loading it up too heavy and taking a wave over the side, but even upside down, the boat was easy to hold onto, and nothing fell out of the boat--all stayed tied in.

Yes, the boat takes a little time to put together, but it's not an inflatable, so of course, you use the rubber mallet and carefully review the instructions and take your time, and soon you have a beautiful boat. The hull is rugged--no damage after 60 days on the water. With all boats, you want to wash and dry thoroughly before packing it away for the season.

My main frustration with the boat is that the Ally waterproof boat bag purchased separately for the boat is almost impossible to fit the boat parts inside. Takes a lot of planning and mostly, I just can't get it all inside so I put part of it into another bag. I feel that the aluminum parts are fairly fragile for traveling, so when going on an airline, I usually pack the boat into 2 bags, with lots of padding around the bundles of rods.

I love the Trapper seats, and I think the design is functional. Wonder if the boat is still made in Norway. If not, I will be disappointed to learn that it's made somewhere else.

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03-28-2008
Submitted by: DanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Ally canoe is clearly designed for remote wilderness trips. For extended trips in saltwater there are obviously better choices. The material is to be put in the sun to allow it to stretch before assembling. Not necessary, but it does help. Anyone reading the instructions would have no problem with this. I have paddled over 130 miles of arctic Alaska rivers in my Ally 811 and it has shown no signs of wear. Keep it clean and store it properly and you will have no problems. If you want a canoe for remote bush trips, or car trips where carrying a conventional canoe is prohibitive, or are flying a commercial flight to a location, there is no better choice than the Ally canoe.
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03-17-2008
Submitted by: GNSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     Additional comments concerning Ally canoes:
The skin over frame design of Ally canoes has inherent problems; the 16.5' fabric skin shrinks when stored -- when assembling after storage there will be much tension between skin and tubing -- note Bergans provides a hammer with boat purchase. When assembling after storage the aluminum tubing has to stretch out the skin; 1/2" aluminum tubing is not strong enough to do this without becoming fatigued. The fabric skin has memory so once the canoe has been assembled it will be easy to reassemble for several days.

Note: Ally canoes are the only folding boat that uses the boats frame to create initial unassisted tension with boats skin. Other folding boats use air sponsors or mechanical/hydraulic tensioner to create skin frame tension.

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02-28-2008
Submitted by: GNSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     I've owned a Ally canoe several years; I've put it together over 100 times and have canoed in all conditions in saltwater for many miles. The Ally is not fit for these conditions -- #1 problem with Ally canoes in saltwater is all those cable sets that hold the pole sections together are made out of low grade 304 grade stainless steel [you can pick up the steel that Ally used with a cheap refrigerator magnet] versus marine grade 316L stainless steel --- they rust and break within 1 season of use and are difficult to replace properly for the price paid Bergans should have used marine grade steel like all other boat builders do. Other than the steel, the tubes fatigue quickly; after 2 seasons they will look distorted; the fabric will wear through from assembly after 3 seasons.

Bottom line is that an Ally canoe will last no longer than 4 seasons of serious use versus a traditional canoe for the same money that will last a lifetime. Ally would be great for packing in on a wilderness trip; they are very stable but should not be considered if you are space constrained and expect to canoe a lot -- find storage.

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01-16-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just a follow up. We have now floated three Alaskan rivers in the Ally pack canoes. They are awesome. Very tough and dependable and we are very pleased with these canoes. They are made in Norway and imported into the US by one place in Washington state. They are the best pack canoe made. Don't get the imitation made here in the US. The Ally is the original real deal.
If anyone wants more info on these canoes, just email me (click on the envelope icon) and I would be happy to offer any insights I can.

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11-14-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I got this boat for a trip in the Noatak Preserve in NW Alaska. We went 35 miles down the Kelly River to the confluence of the Noatak River. Amazing trip. We saw hundreds of caribou and 21 brown bears. Fishing was great for arctic char and grayling. The boat was flawless. Very tough and durable. It was dragged on gravel shallows for the first 3 days. There was like 5 inches of water in the headwaters of the Kelly in August '04. We are planning trip to Kobuk river for Aug 06 and my buddy (who was on Kelly/Noatak River trip) has already bought his Ally Canoe. Incredible boat for these types of trips. Be sure to get the expedition repair kit from ally. It will fix any part of the boat that could break many times over. Also, if you buy two piece canoes paddles, they will fit in the bag with the boat. I found mine at the place I bought the canoe. It is in Washington State. Place called Cascade Crags. Great company. And I believe they are the only importer of Ally canoes in U.S. The boats are made in Norway by Bertram's Inc. Be sure to request VHS instruction tape and written instructions in English. The ones that came with my boat were in Norwegian.
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07-18-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is a great canoe for river trips. And you can take it places you can't take your regular canoe. Like the Noatak River in Alaska, which is why I bought mine. The canoe is light enough (45 lbs) and packs just small enough that you can ship it by mail to your destination and you'll have no trouble getting it on a float plane for the final ride in. Get the Ally Packsack (a huge drybag with shoulder straps) and you can pop the folded boat on your back and take off even farther in the woods. You can pack a lot of gear into the thing-we packed 3 weeks worth of provisions for two into it. An added advantage: if you pack the heaviest stuff in the center, you create rocker and the boat becomes even more maneuverable in whitewater. In Alaska, we had only a few Class II rapids to contend with and the boat, fully loaded, was very stable and maneuverable through all of them. We also had several days of flood conditions with strong currents and swells, and I felt as comfortable in the Ally as any of my other canoes. The way the boat flexes actually seems an advantage. The one thing I didn't get to try and still haven't, is taking it through something with a lot of rocks. Though after 3 weeks of landing and taking off from gravel bars, and scraping through shallows, the Ally's skin showed no damage or even scars. It's the same stuff whitewater rafts are made of. One piece of advice: Get it with the trapper seats. That gives you the option of kneeling which is very comfortable in this boat because the floor of the canoe is a big piece of dense foam that your knees sink into and add to your stability in going through rough water. I'd give the boat a 10 except I've only had it for a year and don't really know the durability of the thing. Some of the plastic pieces that clip parts together aren't as beefy as I'd like them to be.
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