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Thread: Info. re. Alumacraft Square Stern Canoe

  1. #1
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    Default Info. re. Alumacraft Square Stern Canoe

    I've been offered an Alumacraft OC-17 Camper model, square stern canoe. It's not one of the two sq. stern canoes that I was originally seeking.

    Inside compartment measures less than either the older Grumman or the Osage, at approximately 37.5" at beam, it's 17' long, which is 'doable,' and the free-board ranges from 2.5" to 3.5" more shallow than either of the two 'preferred boats' I'd been seeking, coming in at about 12.5" at the shallowest point, which was measured from the center thwart to the interior immediately above the keel in a vertical line...

    The newer (less desirable) Grummans are stated to be at about .040" thickness, compared to the older Grummans and the Osage, which are at .050" thickness in the aluminum. The Alumacraft is right in between, at .045".

    Weight capacity is rated at about 810 lbs, for motor, gear, occupants, etc. Compared to 1,000 lbs for the Osage 17' sq. stern, and 1,153 lbs. for the Grumman Freighter sq. stern.

    The boat that I've been offered is stated to be in very good shape, used very little (likely a 90's manufacture), and the price isn't too awful bad; I can likely acquire this boat for $550.00 or so; initial offer price was $600.00.

    Now for the BIG QUESTION. The last time I had anything
    at all to do with Alumacraft boats was their skiffs/lake boats, decades ago, as a kid.

    Has anyone had any experience with these Alumacraft sq. sterns??

    The free-board and width are my greatest concerns right now, along with the .045 thickness in the wall.

    Thoughts? Criticisms? Deep, dark secrets concerning bad journeys??

    Thanks,

    ruffle

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up ruffle's canoe search......

    Be patient...the Alumacraft sounds, by the details you offer, to be a bit marginal for use in the Interior. 19' (original) Grummans are available - if you are patient - and appear for sale with some fequency here in the Interior.

    Broaden the places you are searching...Fbks Daily News-Miner...Boat Trader...Craigs List...bulletin boards...ask your friends and neighbors...etc.

    The primary consideration is to carefully evaluate the condition of the hull. If the hull is good, the seats, braces, thwarts, etc, can be replaced with parts you can buy from the "new" Grumman maker...Marathon Boat Group. I bought 3 new thwarts for my old 19footer for $48 plus shipping. They bolted right in. I looked at 3 old 19 footers before I settled for the one I bought...$1000. And I was pleased with the purchase.

    I found only one used 17' Osagian and it was over-priced... $2300 w/ lift, PFD and paddles.

    The boat you asked about sounds too small, with too little freeboard. Keep looking...When you find a good one it will last you for many years and many hunts.

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks

    That's kinda' the way that I'm feeling/leaning; the price on the Alumacraft is a pretty good price, but it doesn't necessarily foot the bill for the project I have in mind.

    Nonetheless, it seems to be a pretty good deal, and I hate to pass up a good deal when it stares me in the face; less than half-price of current new cost, and in pretty decent shape..

    I almost threw in, for trade, an older S&W 29-2 4" with greasy-smooth hammer and trigger job that I've had for many years as part of the bargain, and had mixed feelings about that as well.

    I probably need to listen to my gut more often than I do; it's not like it doesn't try to talk to me. ;^>)

    Thanks for the input, Rick.

    ruffle

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    Lightbulb my thoughts....

    I just happen to see you post and couldnt help but think back...to some of my *good deals*...and after i got them home even tho they werent what I was lookin for,it was such a *good deal*....And as time went by I would always say,"Gee that isnt really what I wanted,but I got such a *good deal*....and then I would eventually pay the money and get what I really wanted.Then I would be stuck with 2...so my 2 cents,..either wait till you find what you want or pay the money and be done with it and be happy that you spent the money and got what you really wanted with no regrets.
    ps.by the way,I owned just the canoe you are talking about,I used it one season and sold it....bought what I wanted,you ask what did I buy?..an Old Town SS predator 16ft square stern and a new 4 hp Yamaha motor.( great combo ).Its heavier but a great canoe,carries lots of gear and moose meat. Keep seachin ..Gene

  5. #5

    Default I own one

    I have an alumacraft 17ft square stern. I think it is likely the model you have although mine is probably older.

    Mine does have a square transom to mount a motor, but the hull actually comes to a point in the stern down near the water line. It's great for the way I use it which is primarily with an electric trolling motor. I have had a 2 hp outboard on it and I think it could handle a 4 hp but nothing like a grumman 19.

    I have hunted with a friend in his grumman 19. It was an impressive rig. He had a 20 HP merc with a lift. I think his motor was likely too big, but it did work great. We came out of clear creek one year with ice running in the creeks and rivers. All the jet boats were stuck with slush in their impellers. We took several notes home to their families telling them they were stuck for a few days extra.
    Wasilla Real Estate News
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    Default

    Thanks for the input, folks.

    I cancelled the offer yesterday evening, and have decided to continue hunting for one of the two boats I would prefer; either an Osage 17' sq. stern freighter, or an older Grumman 19' sq. stern.

    The amount of free-board and the stability is really crucial for the 'project' I'm hopefully going to put together this Spring/Summer.

    I hope to have 8'-10' (long) x 10" (diam.) 12 guage (thick) hydro-dynamic, marine-grade aluminum pontoons made up, with 9/16" aluminum all-thread x2 coming vertically off of each pontoon, and attached to a frame of 1-1/2" (3/16" thick wall) aluminum sq. tube, sleeved in the middle, and braced to each other, crossing the boat at the location of at least one, if not two, existing thwarts, with an over-all width of roughly 10' for open water, lakes, and bays.

    The frame and cross members would be solidly clamped to the gunnels/gunwales and thwarts, so that they are strong, but removable.

    The cross-members outside the boat to the left and right, spanning out roughly 3' to either side of the boat, could be sheeted with marine plywood (possibly with outdoor carpet as well) and fixed with eye-bolts every foot or so around the perimeter, for a cooking surface and gear lashing/storage area.

    At that point, it can be easily returned to a narrow creek and river craft, or used in the open water with our kids/large dog, perhaps even with a sail kit or oars, retaining the motor craft option as well.

    Sounds convoluted to some, but I suspect that it would be one heck of an adventure craft, capable of -all kinds- of uses.

    But for this to be as stable as it can be, it needs to be a proven and tried design such as the two boats mentioned earlier; free-board, width and angle of the bottom of the hull, etc., will be crucial.

    And now I can keep my old 29-2, 4" .44 mag. ;^>) I've had it so long that I didn't really want to part with it anyway. .

    Thanks,

    ruffle

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    Thumbs up pontoons....

    ruffles...
    I have a pair of pontoons for my 19' Grumman, and have experimented with them under motor power and was nonplused...they get me entirely too wet...my canoe is plenty stable under way. I do use them while fishing, that way the boat is uber stable so I can stand to cast ...particularly fly casting. Other than that, I have no use for them.

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    Hi Rick,

    What were/are the dimensions of your pontoons? Factory or custom??

    I'm wondering if your spray problem is something that could be over-come with a change of design?

    Were they hydro-dynamic, or just bluntly oblong??

    Curious, as the fabrication of what I have in mind, particularly with marine-grade aluminum, is not an inexpensive venture.

    I posted a link in this forum, under the topic of 'canoe stabilizers and outriggers' that comes close to those I'm considering building.

    The ones that I'm currently planning would ride about 3.25' to 3.5' from gunnels the widest part of the boat; in other words, out a ways, though not ridiculously far from the boat, increasing the over-all width of the boat with the floats attached to about 10' +/-.

    A friend who works with aluminum in fabbing parts for his aricraft also recommended that I fab the pontoons out of a fairly solid foam and cover them in fiberglass, in order to save hundreds of dollars, but I really want them to be as solid as possible if I do this.

    I also figured that they'd be -the- ticket for a sailing kit to be attached on occasion..

    Thanks,

    ruffle

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up ruffles...pontoons....

    In order to get the best use out of a 19' Grumman or a 17' Osagian, first things first....

    After getting you boat, there's the motor, the lift, the lift skirting and then - to my mind - a Rockhopper Guard on the motor. And perhaps a hydrofoil on the motor. Those items make the canoe work for our Interior conditions. Pontoon experiments as you described sound expensive and might not seem so "trick" once your canoe is set up....There is a learning curve with these boats and you may want to go thru that before working on your pontoons.

    Ah, yes...you also need a 50" u-jointed adjustable tiller extension handle.

    Bought my pontoons at Beaver Sports...they are the same ones that Cabelas sells.

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    Thanks Rick.

    I grew up with canoes, and we spent a fair bit of time in the older style, more broad freighter canoes as were being made in the Yukon Territory some years ago (marine canvas covered, over white bending oak ribs, gunnels, and thwarts). Some were made in Teslin, and some were made elsewhere, including some by friends of mine near Whitehorse.

    Persons at the school that I attended in Carcross in the 70s built cedar strip and fiberglass dbl enders for sale and personal use. I still have an old beater of a fir strip and fiberglass dbl. ender by my shed that I finished about 20 years ago.

    I'm acquainted with the tiller extensions and the hydrofoil 'fins' on the lower unit for 'lift' from my time in the canvas covered freighters in the Yukon...

    I've looked at the stabilizers at Beaver Sports, and available through Cabelas. In that regard, I think that we're talking apples and oranges here.

    My understanding is that the smaller foam stabilizers aren't really made for continuous water contact during travel, where as I'm looking at a tapered, long, water-cutting pontoon in an outrigger configuration.

    I believe the stabilizers you have are foam, about 40" long, and 'blockish' in shape, with a slight bevel on the under-side of the noses. My plans, if completed, will be somewhere near 10 feet long, narrower at the bottom than the top, a bit wider at the rear, and tapered dramatically at the front.

    My purpose for this boat that I'm hoping to modify is to expand its use beyond the Interior rivers and creeks, and to be able to use it in larger lakes, and even calm salt water; thus the pontoons

    A friend, years ago, took a Coleman Scanoe (not typically a preferred boat for attaching a motor to in larger bodies of water) and attached some very crude outriggers made out of a piece 2'x8' of ACX plywood, crude foam, and some very soft aluminum that was wrapped to fit the foam, with the foam glued to the ends of his outrigger plywood. With a small motor he traveled from Valdez to Cordova, and then to Eyak Island.

    His set-up was MUCH more crude than what I have in mind, but he did quite well.

    Thanks

    ruffle

  11. #11
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    Default glad I read through this before posting

    I came across this canoe

    17 FT. ALUMA CRAFT Canoe Model C-17 camper/lake style. Side motor bracket, paddles, cushings, excellent condition, $350.

    and thought it was a good deal, but I too was worried about the size...thanks for the posts, I will keep looking!

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    Hi BucknRut,

    From the research that I've been doing, and the description that you've given, my best guess is that the C-17 you're looking at is a dbl. ender, whereas the OC-17 I was considering is a sq. back.

    I just finished drooling through the Michigan Sportsmen's classifieds on-line; I know that in some of the tiny cross-roads towns I lived in back there in the late 50s, 60s, and early 70s, the economies are hurting badly; some always were (UP for example), and others more recently, due to factory closures, etc..

    But MAN!!! What a sporting goods supermarket for those with mobility or a way to get stuff transported up here.

    I'm thinking of calling an old friend back there who'd contemplated coming up here for a visit one Fall, and seeing if I can subsidize a small portion of his fuel in exchange for delivery services.

    For those in the market for an older, aluminum, canoe-style, sq. back boat, I had NO idea what an 'aeorcraft' was. I saw one in the Alaska Craigslist today, and did some more research. Nice looking narrow boat, wider than a Grumman, and likely as thick of aluminum (based on the vintage being 40s and 50s), made by a WWII-era company. I located a 12 ft. model (too small for my purposes), on a trailer, with a running 7.5 horse Evinrude or Johnson (I forget which) for SEVEN-HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!

    I keep catching my left hand reaching for my truck keys, and having to stop it....

    ruffle.

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