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  New to Canoeing - Advice on Aluminum?
  Posted by: Frank81 on Oct-22-12 1:26 PM (EST)
   Category: Canoes 

I have no experience in canoeing but am looking to purchase my first one before Spring. The only advice I have gotten so far is from a friend of a friend who I would call a pro - he's canoed on several continents and published a book. So I am not sure if his recommendations are over-engineered for my needs.

I am seeing lots of canoes on Craigslist with aluminum being the most affordable. My question is, are these a good choice given the following background info:
- I live in the Ozarks and will be using it mostly in Osage River/Lake of the Ozarks drainage area, the Niangua and Gasconade headwaters are a few minutes from town.
- I work at a full line aluminum boat manufacturer who used to make canoes, some of which are the ones I see on CL, so I have quick and cheap access to any materials, fabrication, etc.
- Work also gives me access to materials and knowledge for deadening sound in an aluminum hull.
- I mainly want it for wilderness trips and to gain access to hunting areas. I don't fish too much, and if I'm in shallow water/streams I would prefer to wade out.
- I'm not worried about weight for loading, I'm still youngish and most of my friends and I were athletes in college. A little extra exertion to move through the water isn't a bad thing either as long as I can keep up, I could use the exercise.
-I'm a cheapskate until A) I know I enjoy and will use something then I will spend real money or B) I will lay out a little extra cash for a higher end product if it lowers cost of ownership but not going to drop $2k.

Would an aluminum canoe be right for me to begin with? Or do the cons on the water, for the way I will use it, outweigh the price and maintenance advantages? I trust my friends for advice, but I always like to have some independent info.

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Messages in this Topic

 

  I think it'll be okay for you.
  Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-22-12 1:42 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-22-12 2:15 PM EST --

One nice thing about used boats is that you can usually get a 100-percent return on your purchase price if or when you decide to re-sell the thing. If it gets you on the water and you already are planning that you'll upgrade IF you get bitten by the paddling bug, it sounds like a reasonable choice to me.

I bet your "professional" friend has already given you a list of reasons not to get aluminum. As I see your situation, the reason at the top of the list might be the way aluminum "sticks" to rocks. However, if you take the learning of paddling skills somewhat seriously, it won't be long until you are hitting far fewer rocks than rental boaters and very casual paddlers. Paddle a year or two with improvement in mind and you'll be avoiding even more of them, but you'll still hit a rock now and then, and when you do your boat will often stop dead in the water. When you "upgrade" to another hull material, you'll appreciate sliding over the rocks instead.

If you find two boats that are a pretty equal match in design and cost, with one being polyethylene and the other aluminum, the odds are really good that the poly boat is badly warped, because finding a used one that isn't warped is pretty rare. A warped poly boat may paddle "well enough" in the short term, just as is true of aluminum. Find the same match between aluminum and Royalex, and I'd tend to go with Royalex. But if aluminum is what gets you started most conveniently, go for it.

 
 
  Friends..........
  Posted by: thebob.com on Oct-22-12 2:44 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-22-12 2:47 PM EST --

"Friends don't let friends paddle aluminum".

Frank, I seriously doubt that you live more than an hour, or hour & a half from my house.
I would be happy to show you a variety of solo canoes, in varied lengths, and let you test paddle some of them.

If interested, contact me by PM.

BOB

P.S. Yes, I have owned & paddled aluminum canoes.
My advice: If you chose to buy an aluminum canoe; buy a cheap, used one, instead of a new one.
I have purchased at least 25 Royalex, kevlar, or fiberglass, solo or tandem canoes, in very good to like new condition, for less than the price of a new Osagian.

 
 
  Might take you up on that
  Posted by: Frank81 on Oct-22-12 3:42 PM (EST)
Not sure where you are at, I am in Webster County and most of my time is spend between here and Camden County.

What I am seeing is 16-18' tandem aluminum for $250-400 on Springfield and LOZ Craigslist, 14'-15' solo are around twice that, and didn't see anything explicitly say Royalex. I buy a lot of used vehicles on Craigslist and know the dangers (especially around here!) so I feel more comfortable with aluminum if I go that route but keeping my options open as that's not the only place to buy things.
 
 
  x2
  Posted by: mcimes on Oct-22-12 3:27 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-22-12 3:29 PM EST --

I second what guideboat said. Aluminum is, obviously, not a first choice hull material for the avid canoeist, however if it is your first boat, you have a limited budget, or want a durable/minimal maintenance hull, Aluminum boats often work fine. Their main drawbacks are the typical 80+lbs weight and (my non scientific opinion) that the hulls have less engineering in them. By that I mean I dont think the typical Grumman or Alumacraft has consulted much with respected designers like Kruger, Jensen, or Bell for their hull design. That said, I have paddled alumacraft canoes up until recently and think they work well for what they're designed to do for and they're cheap.

I have watched canoes all season on craigslist and seen a few grumman's go for $300 in good condition, so thats hard to beat if you're just looking for a cheap boat to get you on the water. And like GBG said, you can probably resell that $300-500 boat for the same you paid in a year or 2.

On the other hand, if you're patient, look often, and are lucky enough to catch a great deal in time: I saw a Rx Spirit II for $600, a Tuff weave Spirit II for $600, a MNII Kevlar UL for $650 all in good/great condition on craigslist this year. All those are less than 30% of original MSRP, so if you can wait you can find smokin good deals on intermediate/top end boats too.

So all in all, you can buy an aluminum boat, use it, see if paddling is your thing, and sell it if you lose interest or want a nicer boat, with little or no downside, so why not? If you think you'll be into canoeing you can watch CL and find a good deal on a nicer boat too.

 
 
  Aluminum
  Posted by: mr_canoehead on Oct-22-12 4:11 PM (EST)
I wouldn't buy a new one any more, as they aren't great at anything.

I would jump on a 17' Grumman for $400 or so, though. They last forever, can be fixed, can be treated very roughly, and are the lowest-maintenance boats on the market. They tend to be stable and predictable.

I agree with GBG in that used poly just isn't worth it unless it is very cheap and you really really need to hit a bunch of rocks.

Used Royalex and Kevlar usually is a good deal, but starting with aluminum and then finding what you like makes sense (and a Minnesota2 is a very different boat than an Esquif Canyon)
 
 
  Aluminum is OK
  Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-22-12 4:49 PM (EST)
I tripped for 20 years in one..but the hull grabs every rock it can; rocks that other materials slide over..

Its kind of up to you how much wading you want to do for one bitty annoying rock in the Ozarks..and you have plenty of itty bitty annoying rocks.
 
 
  A used aluminum would be fine
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-22-12 4:58 PM (EST)
One of the biggest disadvantages of aluminum is the carry weight. But if you're young and strong, and not portaging long distances, a used aluminum canoe would be fine as a first canoe. Many of us started that way, even the boat sluts and collectors.

I agree you should look for a used one. They don't age much and you should be able to find one for a decent price.
 
 
  Links
  Posted by: Frank81 on Oct-22-12 5:16 PM (EST)
I rarely buy new anything, and I look at this like your first motorcycle - get something safe and easy enough to learn on and cheap so you don't lose too much money when you inevitably do something stupid to it.

As far as wading I meant fishing - I fish from the bank or wade out, I would only fish from a vessel in open water.

Here are the cheap ones that catch my eye on the local craigslist. I know they are pretty ugly, but that's what I like - restoring vehicles is my first hobby.

http://springfield.craigslist.org/boa/3293226987.html
http://springfield.craigslist.org/boa/3327206899.html
http://springfield.craigslist.org/boa/3289997656.html
http://springfield.craigslist.org/spo/3288006240.html

That last one catches my eye in particular. I guess my decision now comes down to which one will carry all my gear and not be too big of a slug on the rocks? Not in a rush, but if the right one comes along I will pick it up before Spring.
 
 
  Two of the first three are damaged
  Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-22-12 7:34 PM (EST)
only the last one seems to be the most OK. One has been folded. Alu thwarts do not fold that easily. One is hogged. You dont want that either.
 
 
  A good aluminum canoe is great.
  Posted by: roanguy on Oct-22-12 6:17 PM (EST)
they are not fast, but are all a all around boat.

Guy
 
 
  The Osag is a winner!
  Posted by: mickjetblue on Oct-22-12 7:40 PM (EST)
I've paddled one a few times, and it is a good aluminum canoe with a strong build. Will last and last.
 
 
  Number 2
  Posted by: plaidpaddler on Oct-22-12 9:15 PM (EST)
Number 2 is an old lightweight Grumman. The rear thwart is bent down, but the gunwales are clean; no kinks, a smooth radius from front to back on both sides. Can't believe this canoe was wrapped or broached. Ribs are hard to see in the photo, but no shadows of a broken one. Not many showing, which indicates its a lightweight. The bent thwart could be from someone stepping on it or a drop in storage. Easy to replace. The oval serial number plate on the front deck and just barely visible Grumman decal on the bow date the canoe. I could not make out the stamped "G" on the end tanks, which would confirm to me that it was a genuine Grumman.
Good deal at price, good starter canoe which later becomes your 'loaner' canoe. Grummans are the canoe that you can survive loaning to your relatives and keep your good Kevlar Wenonah safe at home. And when the stream is low and you still want to paddle you take the Grumman.
More first descents of wilderness rivers were made after WWII in Grumman aluminum canoes than any other type of canoe. There are better canoes now for almost any purpose, but good aluminum canoes still can get the job done.
Bill
 
 
  Lots of drawbacks...
  Posted by: Al_A on Oct-22-12 10:36 PM (EST)
to aluminum canoes on Ozark streams. For one thing, it can't be stressed enough that aluminum grabs rocks, and even gravel and logs. You won't slide over anything you'll find on an Ozark stream very well in an aluminum canoe. And unless you confine yourself to the Niangua below Bennett Spring and the lower Gasconade, you WILL be scraping over shallow riffles a lot. Of course, aluminum is also extremely durable...you can scrape over a lot of miles of shallow riffles without a lot of damage, while doing the same with any kind of plastic boat will have you putting on skid plates pretty quickly. But on the other other hand, all that scraping bottom is NOISY in aluminum.

One other drawback to aluminum that always bothered me when I owned one, and I used aluminum canoes exclusively for 15 years or so...the gunwales and other exposed aluminum parts get HOT in summer sunshine. Hot enough to burn bare legs sometimes. And if you do any cold season paddling, aluminum also gets very cold. You'll stick to it in freezing weather!

But...your aluminum canoe will be serviceable, and get you on the water reasonably cheaply, and it'll last a LONG time.
 
 
  My experience
  Posted by: rblturtle on Oct-23-12 7:33 AM (EST)
I have tripped hundreds of miles in alumunum canoes as a scout leader. Here's my experience;all brands of aluminum canoes are not equal-some perform more poorly in the water and some have less tough,weaker softer metal. Also the performance difference between 15' and 17' seems greater than other canoes. Avoud ones with a promenant keel. Grumans are among the best in toughness and performance,but the liteweight Grummans are fragile-I have been on 2 trips where they were holed,never a standard weight other than a previously bent thwart that broke. Once bent or dented,they are never the same after being bent back in shape,always a weak spot there so i would avoid one with old damage. Aluminum canoes have a lot of virtues,but personally,other than to sit in the sun for years next to my pond,not for me.
Turtle
 
 
  A few guys
  Posted by: Lanky189 on Oct-24-12 1:23 PM (EST)
Did fairly well with an aluminum canoe a few years ago. There was a movie about it.....Deliver- something or other.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:15 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:17 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:17 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:18 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:19 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:19 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:38 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:38 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:38 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:38 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  Al canoes
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-24-12 1:48 PM (EST)
Any boat is way ahead of not owning a canoe. They were the rage in after WWII. The serious drawbacks are that they can't be formed into complex shapes, they are heavy and definitely stick to rocks.

On the otherhand you can leave one outside in a snow bank with little effect. They are durable, used ones are cheap, and it takes a good wrap to ruin one. Find a Grumman with some length, at least 16 feet so it won't be so slow, and join the ranks of canoeists instead of wishing you were one. Later use it as a loaner and for rocky low flows. Good luck.
 
 
  I probably wouldn't get aluminum
  Posted by: pblanc on Oct-25-12 8:28 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-25-12 11:21 AM EST --

Like many others here, I started out in aluminum canoes and have a soft spot in my heart for them. And if you want a completely maintenance-free boat that is durable and can be sold for scrap metal (instead of taken to the landfill) when it reaches end of life, aluminum is unmatched.

But unless you are buying a boat that is going to sit out exposed to the elements all year, I think you would be happier looking around for a good deal on a used Royalex or composite boat. And if you aren't concerned about the weight, I would still prefer a polyethylene boat to aluminum. Even a slightly hogged or oil-canned Old Town Discovery will paddle at least as well, and probably better than a pristine aluminum hull.

For me, the disadvantages of aluminum just outweigh the virtues. Most have been chronicled here: heavy, very limited selection of hull shapes (none very efficient), hot as hades in summer, cold as a pump handle in winter, noisy as all get out, sticks like glue to rocks.

One disadvantage that hasn't been mentioned is the keel that all aluminum boats have. Nearly all aluminum canoes have a T keel with a fin that sticks down into the water. These are very undesirable in boats intended for river use. The T keel makes it even more likely that the boat will stick on rocks and ledges, makes lift overs more difficult, and resist turning the boat when you need to.

If you plan to paddle rivers, especially headwaters where you are likely to encounter deadfall, and you really want aluminum, I would look for a boat with a rounded "shoe keel" that is a little less onerous, but good luck finding one.

 
 
  ok
  Posted by: paddletothesea on Oct-25-12 11:13 AM (EST)
Ya gotta start somewhere.
Cheap is good. sounds like it serves your purpose.
Drawback?
Noisy as hell
Cold as hell...metal absorbs the cold.
Heavy as hell.
The perfect hell boat!!!
 
 
  Aluminum weight varies greatly.
  Posted by: Yanoer on Oct-25-12 11:29 AM (EST)
I have a 17' Grumman and a 17' Alumicraft and the Alumicraft feels much lighter and I can get both boats up to my shoulders by myself.

I don't think they're any heavier than many royalex boats of similar dimensions and certainly not heavier than the Mad River and Old Town triple layer boats and lighter than some fiberglass canoes of similar dimensions that I've encountered.

A positive trait is that they're very stiff and responsive to body movement and paddle input.

Design matters - my two tandems by different manufacturers vary in handling characteristics.

My Grumman G-129 Solo Handles very nicely, very crisp & maneuverable, but a little deep and wide at the gunwales for my best fit. At 44 lbs, it's nearly as heavy as my royalex Bell Wildfire/Yellowstone Solo, which I don't use much because of it's 49 lb weight.

The main drawbacks for aluminum for me are:
1) The keel that grabs rocks on non whitewater shoe keeled boats.
2) Cold when it's cold.
3) Hot when it's hot.
4) Glare in bright sun if not painted in strategic locations.
5) Much noisier than royalex or plastic and somewhat noisier than composites. Some composites I've had have been pretty noisy when scraping over rocks or gravel or when setting a paddle down in them.
6) Once the keel or gunwales are bent, they can be a beast to straighten out to near original lines.

The ability to store them outdoors without concern for related deterioration can not be ignored.

There are still several aluminum canoes that get used in our local group river trips and the people in them have just as much fun as the people in non-aluminum boats.

If you find a great deal on an aluminum boat, try it. If you're not happy with it after a few outings, sell it and try a different model of canoe. This approach applies for canoes of any material.

Have fun searching.
 
 
  Ya but----
  Posted by: rblturtle on Oct-25-12 3:38 PM (EST)
Try building a fire inside a roylex boat to keep warm? (I saw a picture of this in aGrumman once).My scouts also developed a drum band with variously "tuned" Grummans. Also an inverted flat botton Grumman makes a good camp table.
Turtle
 
 
  Fire inside the boat?
  Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-25-12 5:05 PM (EST)
Really? Aluminum has a pretty low melting point, I believe much lower than the temperature at which iron or steel barely begins to glow, and those metals WILL glow bright red-hot if put into the coals of an established fire. I HAVE heard of using aluminum canoes as campfire reflectors!

Of course, Royalex will melt if it's a couple inches away from a 75-watt light bulb, so I see the nature of the comparison.
 
 
  Yeah, campfires in cold weather
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-25-12 11:40 PM (EST)
My very first bowman in 1980, when I lived in northern California and had just bought my MR Royalex Explorer, used to tell me how he and his high school buds in Minnesota would go out in their aluminum canoes in cold weather and build a fire right in the canoe. Then they imbibed a lot of antifreeze.
 
 
  Okay, that would work
  Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-26-12 8:27 AM (EST)
I suppose it would work while on the water. It would be just the reverse of boiling water in a pot, with heat on one side of the metal and water on the other. For some reason, the thought of having the fire while paddling didn't occur to me! Somehow, I figured the idea was using the canoe on land when there wasn't a good dry site available.
 
 
  Advantages
  Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-25-12 7:10 PM (EST)
1. Makes a great lobster cooker on the beach. Particularly the 129
2. Makes a great container for compost. It won't melt when decay produces heat.
 
 
  Thoughts on keels...
  Posted by: Al_A on Oct-25-12 10:28 PM (EST)
The T keel on my old 15 ft. aluminum Grumman never did much to keep the boat tracking straight, nor did it inhibit turning all that much. I found the 15 footer with T keel a little more responsive to turning strokes than a 17 footer with the shoe keel that a buddy had. Of course, the T keel meant that the boat drafted about an inch more water (or, on Ozark streams) scraped bottom in an inch more water) than did the shoe keel. But that wasn't necessarily a really bad thing because that aluminum fin protected a lot of the bottom of the boat from wear due to all that scraping and dragging in shallow Ozark stream riffles.
 
 
  Keels don't bother me either
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-25-12 11:44 PM (EST)
I have a full 1" lake keel on my 17' wooden Old Town OTCA. It's very easy to turn with a modest heel, which raises the keel out of the water.

The keel probably inhibits sideslips more than turning, but I think it's an advantage for straight ahead lake paddling, which is what you do 99% of the time on lakes.

If you really hate a T keel on an aluminum canoe, I suppose you could just grind it off with some sort of power tool.
 
 
  Fire
  Posted by: rblturtle on Oct-26-12 6:53 AM (EST)
The canoe in the photo with a fire inside was in the water of course. Ever boil water in a paper bag? It was in an writeup in Canoe and Kayak upon a big anniversary of the Grumman canoe company along with some other neat pictures and stories. The Grumman aluminum canoe was a big factor in the popularity of canoeing today.
Turtle
 
 
  T keels
  Posted by: pblanc on Oct-26-12 7:46 AM (EST)
I do volunteer work for a nature society that runs day trips on a local creek that is commonly pretty shallow, at least in spots.

We had a Grumman with a T keel donated to us. The boat is in pretty good condition.

We will use it on lakes and ponds, but we have given up using it on the creek. Whoever is paddling it invariably gets it hung up, not once, but multiple times. Of course, paddlers get our Royalex boats hung up at times as well, but not anywhere near as frequently.

In shallow water, it isn't uncommon to have some portion of the hull in contact with the stream bottom at times. With a T keel canoe it is invariably the keel fin. When attempting to maneuver around an obstacle by turning or side slipping, that keel just digs in.
 
 
  Aluminum
  Posted by: thebob.com on Oct-26-12 11:00 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-31-12 3:12 PM EST --

I'm betting that no matter whether the feedback given regarding aluminum canoes is positive or negative; the vast majority of those who "used" to paddle aluminum, do NOT do that anymore. Nor do they wish to do so.

I had an old, aluminum "beater" that I paddled for a couple of thousand miles in my youth. That was all I could afford. It got me out on the water; that was my only concern. I upgraded to a near mint condition 17 foot standard Grumman. After I bought an Old Town Discovery 174; the Grumman just took up space. I sold it many years ago, and have never missed it in any way.

BOB

 
 
  There's so many Grummins around...
  Posted by: suntan on Oct-26-12 10:47 AM (EST)
maybe you could just borrow one for a while. Try it out and see how fast you will outgrow it. Then buy something better.
 
 
  Keep it forever
  Posted by: remintn on Oct-31-12 2:39 PM (EST)
If your the type who likes a true work puckup over a fancy rig or car .....
If your the type who preferes a dual sport over a fancy Harley or crotch rocket......
If your the type who likes good old work boots over nikes or columbia ......
Or if you just prefer to paddle the toughest canoe out there and not worry about the sun breaking down your $2000 canoe, You just might be the type to keep it forever and ignore the fancy canoe snobs.
Later on you can get that fancy Scott canoe.
But witch one will spend the entire summer on the roof rack just waiting for a quick paddle between work and you appointment.
Grumman
Try that with Kevlar and see if you still have it in 20-30 years.
JOHN
 
 
  iN aRIZONA
  Posted by: rikjohnson on Nov-01-12 2:56 PM (EST)
those old aluminum canoes are popular with the scouts and a few old-timers. you can generally get them used cheap..

Pro: they take a LOT of punishment adn are easy to repair.

Con: They are hot, reflect heat tothe paddlers and drop snything and the echos scare all the fish within a mile away.
 

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