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Thread: Light Weight

  1. #1
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    Default Light Weight

    Looking for a light weight canoe with a reasonable hauling capacity. My intention is to carry it on top of a river boat and use it in sloughs, ponds, and bays for hunting and bird chasing.

    I need to carry 2 people
    Be able to pack out a moose - (Not all at once)
    Tough enough to portage (drag through the woods)
    Light enough to throw on top of my boat
    Stable enough for a crazed lab duck hunting

    I have seen several online that look good but shipping to Alaska is not reasonable. Any ideas on where to start looking? Brands, dealers etc?

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Default Warning - long reply

    Do you have an idea what your definition of "light" is? And how much you are willing to spend? My personal cut-off is about 60lb to be considered "light". 65lb isn't too bad. I've used ones that are alot heavier, but they get to be a pain to load/unload and portage. Minimum size for general purpose use is usually 16'. Anything shorter than that will either sacrifice load capacity or will be really really slow.

    For the ultimate in light you need to go kevlar and you can stay <50 lbs. If you do that you are going to sacrifice some rock banging toughness, but it will be fine for dragging through the woods etc. The kevlar Mad River Explorers are a classic for general purpose use and you can get them from "Test the Waters" in Fairbanks. Very expensive but lots of hauling capacity in a relativly short 16' canoe. I've got lots of miles in my dads kevlar Explorer with kids, gear, dog, etc and been pretty happy with it. It has a shallow V bottom so it will "feel" a bit tippier, but is actually darn near impossible to roll over. And trust me, we tried.

    http://www.madrivercanoe.com/explorer-kx


    Second (and very good) alternative is get one of the lighter Roylex or Royalite boats. Royalex is pretty close to indestructable. And cheaper. It just happens to be heavier for the most part. Beaver sports here in Fairbanks sells Bell canoes. The Northwind is a nice paddling kevlar canoe that comes in at 48 lbs, and they also make a Roylex version that is pretty light @ 60lb.

    http://www.bellcanoe.com/products/de...=587&catid=193

    The problem with the kevlar Bell Canoes is that the flotation is a foam core in the bottom. It make for a very light, stiff boat, but also more vulnerable to rock puncture if you venture into those types of water.

    Beaver Sports also sell We-no-nah canoes. I don't have any personal experience with them, but they are good by reputation. I'd look at the Spirit II for general use. If you are going to be on mostly lakes, then the Kingfisher might be a better shooting/fishing platform due to it's flatter bottom. You would just sacrifice some paddling speed on the flat. I think they carry both in town.

    http://wenonah.com/products/template...ac7eee3b4cb900

    Old Town Canoe makes good boats, but most are REALLY heavy. There are some exceptions though. The royalex "Camper" is a flat bottom and relatively light canoe. Not a great river runner or rough water canoe, but that doesn't seem to be your primary use. Cost wise, Old Towns are usually a pretty good bet if you have a tight budget. Sometimes REI in Anchorage will have them on sale at the end of the season and Sportsmans Warehouse carries small selection of Old Towns.

    So there you are. Lots of local options. If you talk to them now, you can custom order whatever you want for trim, color, etc and it will come on the spring shipment. Can you tell I'm a bit of a canoe nerd? Comes from hanging out with Canadians.

    One last thing, make sure you get a portage yoke on it. Otherwise, portaging is a painful exercise. Have fun out there.

    Yk

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    Default lightweight canoe

    I went thru a similar search and selected the mentioned Wenonah Kingfisher. Stable, big enough, 64# in Royalex. I love the boat. And available at Beaver Sports.

    And it handles my hyped up Border Collie without challenge.

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    Default

    I've an older Wenona Odyssey that's 18' long in Kevlar that I may be getting rid of & it fits all your requirements but one. I wouldn't want to "drag it through the woods"! But at 50# for a 18' boat portaging (on the shoulders) isn't a problem.
    I'm going to replace the bat with aluminum since I use it on our church's youth trips & ours tend to get banged around. When one of my aluminum boats gets banged around I don't worry much. This year was the 1st with the kevlar & I found myself nervous & protective the whole time. Was sure nice on the portages though :-) I agree that Royalex is probably the best compromise.
    Vance in AK.

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    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Thanks for the replies and links to great information - Never even thought of looking at Beaver sports.
    Trying to stay under 50 pounds maximum if I can - I carried a Grumman sport boat last year and it was a pain to get on and off. Would like to stay around 12 to 14 foot if I can find something in that range that will still meet my capacity limits.

    Picture of the boat I am trying to carry it on:

  6. #6

    Default Old Town Guide 14-7

    I have an Old Town Guide, 75#, and just shy of 15' long. It has a 900# payload capacity and is very stable on the water. I have not portaged it very long, but have found that since it is short, it is easy to get on the shoulders and load on and off of my truck rack and camper by myself and carry to the lakes. I wouldn't want it any heavier, it is just right for me weight wise. As far as payload, we have routinely fished local lakes with 4 people (2 adults, 2 kids ) and sometimes the dog in it without a problem.

    Good luck on your search. -Hiker

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    You might also consider the Raddison & Sportspal canoes.
    http://www.bwmarineproducts.com/pointed_canoes.htm
    Seems like there is an AK dealer somewhere. Not sure.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    RR, what did you do with the sport boat?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    RR, what did you do with the sport boat?
    I sold it last spring along with an 8hp honda

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    Default canoes as sleds ....

    The Royalex canoes slide much more efficiently than Kevlar or fiberglass and are more tolerant of abuse. Aluminum doesn't slide.

    Check the Wenonah 14' Fisherman. 57# in Royalex; in Kevlar, for $650 - $900 more, 36# or 46#.

    http://wenonah.com/products/template...dd60fe46902da1

    When I bought my Kingfisher, I talked to Ev, Beaver's canoe man, on the -40 day the Yukon Quest started. Asked if I could get an off season discount. Yup .... 10% off. Don't think that's a standard policy, but it worked then.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Looking at that picture, I can see why you would want a short, light canoe! For a 50# limit you will have to go Kevlar or similar composite for sure. Agreed with Rick that Kevlar doesn't slide like Royalex, but on the flip side, at under 50 lbs it's going to be easy to carry on your shoulders which is usually the better way to portage anyways.

    In your case, I second Rick's idea of the 14' Fisherman and would also add We-no-nah's 15' Heron. There are very few other options that meet your specs in Alaska. Most short canoes are of the "entry-level" or "sportsman" type, which means they are made of the cheapest/heaviest plastic around. Most canoers that are dedicated enough to shell out the coin for a light canoe, are also going to pick something that is longer, faster and easier to paddle.

    One thing to note, is that length has a large effect on stability. Anything shorter that 15' has to get pretty wide to compensate for that. Wide canoes aren't fun to portage OR paddle. I grew up paddling a 14.5' Old Town. We had a ton of fun in that canoe, but "slow" and "alot of work" would be the operative words when it came to getting places. Just fair warning on the trade-offs.

    Yk

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    RR, here is a possible solution, 14'-8" weighs 44 pounds if you want to pay for it, square stern so will take a motor, dont remember if that was one of your requirements.
    Following statemant from Wenonah: "Wenonah still makes them per request. I will attach the sheet with Bluegill info. It is offered in Tuf-weave $1559, Kevlar flex-core $2049, Kevlar ultra-light $2349 or Graphite $2699."

    I am still curious about the Gruman sport boat, your riverboat looks to be nice size, guessing 22 foot? and well set up with rack, the picture does not show what you have on it for power? jet or prop? I cant see a powerhead so I am presuming IB jet? Were you loading and unloading solo?

    I have been thinking about doing what you have already done, so am real interested as to why it didnt work out. you mentioned the weight, i think the SB weights about 120? I am hoping to carry something with mt Riverboat and then go a little farther with the lightweight rig, or use it for day trips once camp is set up, scavenger motor so weeds would be ok.
    ??thanks
    Last edited by Akgramps; 03-21-2010 at 22:56.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    RR, here is a possible solution, 14'-8" weighs 44 pounds if you want to pay for it, square stern so will take a motor, dont remember if that was one of your requirements.
    Following statemant from Wenonah: "Wenonah still makes them per request. I will attach the sheet with Bluegill info. It is offered in Tuf-weave $1559, Kevlar flex-core $2049, Kevlar ultra-light $2349 or Graphite $2699."

    I am still curious about the Gruman sport boat, your riverboat looks to be nice size, guessing 22 foot? and well set up with rack, the picture does not show what you have on it for power? jet or prop? I cant see a powerhead so I am presuming IB jet? Were you loading and unloading solo?

    I have been thinking about doing what you have already done, so am real interested as to why it didnt work out. you mentioned the weight, i think the SB weights about 120? I am hoping to carry something with mt Riverboat and then go a little farther with the lightweight rig, or use it for day trips once camp is set up, scavenger motor so weeds would be ok.
    ??thanks
    Akgramps - Thanks for another link. I am starting to come up with enough good options that I can make a more informed decision

    The Grumman was just too heavy not only for getting on and off but I travel long distances and the less weight the better off I am. With two hunting buddies it went on and off ok but I want to be able to get it on and off with the wife and kids or on my own.

    Good eye on the river boat it is a 22 foot with a inboard jet. I drew the top design and had Karolds here in Fairbanks do the welding for me. I wish I had done it 20 years ago, it was like getting a new boat. One of my uses is exactly what you described above, transporting the smaller boat to gain more access, another is that it makes a great platform for viewing from while hunting, third is carrying bulky cargo, being warm and dry - Priceless.

    Here is another angle:


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    Looks like thge ultimate doanything (with in reason!) boat. Love the "comfort"/functionability blend.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    I thought I wanted a Gr. sport boat, but thinking about the weight as Raven has pointed out.
    I do have an older Gr. 17 foot square stern, I havent had chance to weigh it yet, but am thinking I could cut 2 foot off of it?
    It would make it a little lighter (10 pounds maybe?) and little easier to handle and possibly carry the weight of a motor better with the stern slightly wider. And I already own it!
    I have heard the sport boats were a 19 square with 4 foot cut off the stern.
    The Wenonahs are nice but defintely out of my price range.

  16. #16

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    How about this one.... http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/924357835.html

    If it's anything like mine it will weigh about 50 pounds.
    Wasilla Real Estate News
    www.valleymarket.com

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    Nice canoe, and price is ok if its built well.
    I just cant imagine banging around with a wood canoe where I would want to take it/ drag it, ect.

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