So here's my dilemma, I plan on purchasing a new canoe next Spring/Summer. My question to my fellow paddlers is, can you give any advice on a suitable canoe that a family of four can use. I know that someone is reading this and saying "Well what’s your price range, choice of material and where will you be using it most often?" So to that person, here’s my answer.
I want to keep it in the $1,600-$1,800 range. I am looking for something in Royalex preferably, I canoe often throughout the year and mostly on Missouri Rivers where shallow shoals and gravel bars can be really wear down on a Kevlar canoe. I have no preferences on size and I have looked at three different canoes as a possibility but am open to suggestions. I have narrowed it down to an Old town XL Tripper 20’, Old town Tripper 172, and an 18' Nova craft Prospector. Also something else I should mention is that I use this for both day trips and multi day/week canoe/camping trips as well.
So if any of you approve or disapprove of these choices, I'd like to hear your opinions, as well as anything I should consider.
Thank you and God Bless,
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|Messages in this Topic|
I had a Tripper 172. A great boat but |
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-18-13 11:47 PM (EST)
heavy. Forget about the XL unless you can afford to hire bearers.
Posted by: jonsprag1 on Jul-19-13 8:41 PM (EST)
with you on the Tripper--great boat, stable, carries loads up to 1100 lbs but a 80 pounds empty weight it is a bit heavy on long portages
"Wearing down" the hull|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Jul-18-13 11:57 PM (EST)
4 giants or 4 midgets ?|
Posted by: Mattt on Jul-19-13 8:40 AM (EST)
assuming you are talking about two adults and two "little" kids - an 18' prospector model would work fairly well. if the two kids sit side by side in the center of the boat, you would have room for gear ahead of and behind them. that would work for a few years, but eventually little kids get big and you start running into issues with not enough room, especially if they will want to paddle themselves
Prospector and Trippers|
Posted by: kayamedic on Jul-19-13 8:55 AM (EST)
none are great for your intended use. I can see hernias abounding with the XL version at Round Springs on the Current. The Tripper is actually a narrow boat and if the kids (unspecified) are too big, they have to sit in line. Ergo reduced baggage space.
Posted by: pblanc on Jul-19-13 12:16 PM (EST)
Posted by: mcimes on Jul-19-13 5:13 PM (EST)
Posted by: canoeranger on Jul-19-13 5:29 PM (EST)
Well so far I have read through your comments and suggestions, and am very thankful for your advice. I like the idea of having a canoe that both me and my wife can paddle and let the kids go in separate kayaks, but it boils down to storage and the age of my children. My son is about to turn 9 and would have no troubles with a kayak, but my daughter is 4 and it would be several more years before my wife would feel comfortable with her being in one by herself. I have only room enough for one watercraft and would literally have to rent a storage locker for anything besides that. I would consider the composites or Kevlar, but I would realistically not be able to afford one of those until the year after next. I could, as you all suggested, look for a good used one, however, I don't know if I would find anything close to where I’m at since Aluminum and Royalex tend to be the trend here in the Ozarks. I have never rented before because I always had my own guide 14'7 that I used. Weight isn’t an issue because I have no reason to portage anything here in the Ozarks. My brother in law builds trailers and was going to put together a small trailer to haul the XL if I got it. I most definitely would like to get a composite or Kevlar someday but that will be a couple more years. I would love to come down for the Fall Rendezvous, since I was born and raised on the lower Current River, and know it like the back of my hand. To get to see and try out so many quality canoes would be worth the experience.
Guess I am the odd man out here - but|
Posted by: rpg51 on Jul-19-13 5:30 PM (EST)
I think a Tripper is ideal if you are paddling day trips and the XL is terrific if you have two strong people to wrestle with it. As far as royalex. I own two trippers that are more than 20 years old and they are still cooking along just fine after a LOT of very hard use including running up on gravel shores regularly and lots of white water - some of it while I was learning. You will want to put some kevlar/glass skid plates on the ends. I think the Tripper is the better boat than a prospector for use with the family because the initial stability is better and the secondary is fine. Personally I prefer the prospector for my own tripping use especially in whitewater but the tripper is a great durable boat for any kind of paddling except flatwater tripping with lots of carries. Then I want a narrower composite boat.
Here is an example|
Posted by: pblanc on Jul-19-13 9:13 PM (EST)
of a very high quality tandem composite tripping canoe that can be had at a price less than a new Royalex tandem within reasonable driving distance of you (if you look around):
Posted by: canoeranger on Jul-20-13 12:54 AM (EST)
That would definately be an option. I guess it helps knowing where to look, I havent spent alot of time researching. Maybe when the kids get back in school and things calm down at work I'll have time to look at some of the different web sites.
Canoeranger knows his territory|
Posted by: kayamedic on Jul-19-13 9:15 PM (EST)
My experience with the Tripper XL|
Posted by: rpg51 on Jul-20-13 7:49 AM (EST)
Well, How About This Idea|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Jul-20-13 5:51 AM (EST)
Posted by: richardp on Jul-20-13 11:39 AM (EST)
As a dad with 2 kids I understand your needs/wants. You will definitely want at least an 18' for overnights with the family. If you pack efficiently you may be able to squeeze in the 4 of you for a week. The canoe will be packed however. I don't agree with the 2nd boat idea because your 9 year old will want nothing to do with his 4 year old sister! At 9 he is ready to paddle hard and you should consider a 3rd seat. This will limit your carrying capacity though. If you and your wife don't mind moving a 105 lb beast around then go for the XL. If it is too heavy, then look at the Prospector and the Champlain. Not wanting to deal with a kevlar boat is understandable in your situation.
No, what others would be asking is...|
Posted by: bigspencer on Jul-20-13 3:11 PM (EST)
A Wenonah Champlain in Tufweave |
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-20-13 4:22 PM (EST)
would be a very good option, but speaking as one who, in his early years as man, father, and champion bowler, took the family in an 18.5' Moore Voyageur on river trips, I do not see how even such a large canoe can carry two adults, two kids, and camping gear for several nights on a clas 1-2 river. It's too much load.
Kids and Canoe Tripping|
Posted by: DanG on Jul-20-13 5:52 PM (EST)
We took our two children on overnight canoe camping trips when they were small, using a Grumman 17' canoe. However, it was all flatwater with a few easy riffles. As they got bigger, we added a second canoe, a Mad River Explorer, also 17', to haul everything. Now they have their own families and spend their money renting a house at the OBX for vacations.
Thanks to you all|
Posted by: canoeranger on Jul-23-13 5:48 PM (EST)
After talking to several of you and some personal emails from a few of you, I have been invited to try out some different models that some of you currently paddle.
Good choice and good luck|
Posted by: pblanc on Jul-23-13 6:09 PM (EST)
I know the rivers you plan to paddle and a Kevlar/fiberglass composite boat will hold up just fine. You might want to avoid a skin coated one though, because without gel coat there is little or nothing protecting the fabric from abrasion.
Posted by: canoeranger on Jul-23-13 6:28 PM (EST)
I wouldn’t have thought about something simple as repainting it. I did see someone on YouTube do pretty much the same thing with polyurethane and one where they re- epoxy coated.
Posted by: ppine on Jul-24-13 2:02 PM (EST)
You should be able to fit your family in a large tripper in the 17-18 foot class. Travel a little lighter. If your son is adventurous you can get him in a safe forgiving boat like an inflatable kayak very soon. Soon your daughter will be on her own too having grown up in a paddling family. I would buy a used boat so you can change your mind without losing much money.