Canoe questions - for wild ricing
Posted by: ilikefood on Apr-20-14 9:57 PM (EST) Category: unassigned
I am a new member to the forum. I live in Wisconsin and enjoy canoeing on local lakes and larger rivers. In the fall, I harvest wild rice when time allows. Up to now, I have always used a canoe of a family member or friend. It's time to take the plunge and buy a good canoe. Right now, the canoe will be used mainly for short day trips on the water with fishing gear. In the future, it might be used to carry some heavier loads, but that would likely be the exception, not the rule. I will usually be paddling with one other person, and maybe a third, being our young daughter. On occasion, I could go alone.
What is a good canoe for my intended uses? Here are the complicating requirements: it can't be too heavy in case I go alone or with Grandpa (who is not able to help load/unload the canoe from my car), and it must meet Wisconsin regulations for wild ricing. Basically, the canoe cannot be longer than 17 feet and 38 inches wide (more info can be found here: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/outdoorrecreation/activities/rice.html). Since the canoe will be used for harvesting wild rice, the person who sits in the bow seat must be able to sit facing the stern of the canoe. Many canoes have a thwart directly behind the bow seat. This is can very uncomfortable for the person sitting in the bow seat and facing stern because their legs have to rest on the thwart. Other canoes come with molded seats, and if used for wild ricing, would have to be replaced. I would prefer to avoid canoes that have a thwart directly behind the bow seat and have molded seats.
Because this will likely be the only canoe we buy for many years, I am interested in something that will likely last awhile.
I apologize if this issue has been discussed to death before. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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I suggest the Wenonah Spirit II in |
Posted by: ezwater on Apr-20-14 11:20 PM (EST)
their Tufweave layup. Not as light as Kevlar, but cheaper, durable, easy to repair. Get aluminum gunwales. I think seat type is an option you can arrange with your dealer.
So many choices|
Posted by: birren on Apr-20-14 11:39 PM (EST)
You have so many boats to choose from. Assuming ricing isn't the only use you'll have for the boat, you'll want something fairly versatile. That excludes any boat with a beam greater than 36". That said, the Spirit II is a good choice (but not in Tuf-Weave unless you like to heft 65 lbs). So is the Mad River Explorer 16 in Kevlar, the Bell MorningStar (15'6" x 36"), and other similar craft. Get clear about your weight limit and that will help you decide. Suggest you also look into poling, since as I'm sure you know it can be hard to paddle through wild rice beds.
Uuuuh, the way I read it, the Tufweave |
Posted by: ezwater on Apr-21-14 2:53 PM (EST)
Posted by: jhb8426 on Apr-21-14 12:39 AM (EST)
From what I've seen in MN and N. WI it's mostly Alumacraft and Grumman boats used for ricing. They can be heavy (60-70 lbs) so that may be an issue for you.
Posted by: bushwacker on Apr-21-14 10:55 AM (EST)
my old town penobscot 16 to be quite versatile
Find one that |
Posted by: Ayornamut on Apr-21-14 11:08 AM (EST)
meets your size and weight specifications and make sure it has a symmetrical hull. Thwarts can be moved, but more often depending on their placement, the canoe can be paddled "reversed", especially if the reversed-bowperson weighs less than the stern paddler. I paddled my Dagger Legend 17 for many years as a solo WW boat...reversed. We ran some big stuff that way!
What's the issue with a symmetrical |
Posted by: ezwater on Apr-21-14 3:02 PM (EST)
hull? (You don't want to answer that, because there never has been a real issue, only imagined.)
Posted by: ilikefood on Apr-21-14 9:38 PM (EST)
Thank you everyone for the input. I wasn't aware that thwarts could be moved. That opens up a lot of options.
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Posted by: ezwater on Apr-23-14 10:30 AM (EST)
Posted by: ppine on Apr-23-14 11:32 AM (EST)
Any canoe can be used. Wood canoes would be awkward because of all of those pesky ribs in the way and heavy. Any reasonably light weight fiberglass or Kevlar boat will work fine. If the bow thwart is in the way take it out.