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Thread: what canoe to get suggestions

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    Default what canoe to get suggestions

    I am wondering what canoes to consider for a couple of purposes, the main use will be on small lakes with the wife and three little kids, but I would also like to be able to float the upper kenai or motor up the little su with a fishing buddy, I currently have a 2.5hp tohatsu and from another post was told that a side mount on a double ender would be a bad set up for the little su does anybody here feel different or can explain more. and if double enders are out of the question what paddles good for lakes and down river floats many square sterns look like they paddle like oil tankers but I don't have experience with them. And last of all anybody here fit a family of five in a canoe and if so does it work for you or is it a bad set up. We currently have a 9ft zodiac type inflatable and the third kid just seemed to crowded this year.

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    Thumbs up grumman Frighter

    Find a older 70's model or older grumman Frighter

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    Bell Alaskan or the Wenonah Cascade...

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    Default large boat

    as our family's get older we need more room an yes a double end canoe with a side mount is not good on small rivers, lakes is OK , the 19 ft frighter Grum. is a good choice with a motor for a couple of years thoes HB canoe's look good but as you pointed out they are big an hard to paddle, there is a different choice have you looked at 2 canoes 17 FT each, if the kids are large kids but if you want only 1 canoe look to the HB out of white horse or an old Grummen 19 SQ, hard to paddle both , but it will hold a small family small kids, as far as handleing a 15 FT is great, an the larger the canoe you get the harder it is to paddle, there is no free lunch, it all depends on your pocket book, an what you want to do with the canoe , I hope I helped some
    I used a Frighter for a long time with wife, 2 kids, an a large dog, worked fine did not paddle it fishing, an a little hunting ,
    SID
    I ramble on some times

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    Member Alaska Bush Hunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Grumman Frighter 19'

    I have one with a 9.9 HP merc and Rockhopper guard with a lift........big canoe it will carry a moose and 2 hunters.......excellent cannoe.

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    Talking a Bit of a preferance for Square Backed Canoes here

    Just an observation not a criticism my any means.

    I was looking for pretty much the same kind of thing you were looking for. A versatile canoe primarily to play with the kids on lakes, secondary to play on smaller creeks such as Jim, do float camping trips down the little Su, or Kasilof, or some of the Canoe trails on the Kenai or Nancy. That is the kind of think I love to do and now that the kids are getting old enough....

    The trick is finding a boat with good stability for the kids, no keel to keep the ability to maneuver small creeks, and over 1000lb capacity for lugging camping gear, and still light enough to handle on my own if needed, (oldest son is only 6 after all... not much help in carrying stuff)

    I ended up picking and Old Town 16' Camper... kind of a jack of all trades boat. Also considered Penobscot - great boat but not as stable for the kids as the Camper, Tripper and Guide... also good choices but adding 30lb to the weight of the canoe. I did look at other manufactures equivalent models too but pretty much in Alaska your limited to Old town, Mad River, and Wenonah brands. (Pelicans are... well you get what you pay for right?) (amazingly there are few retailers up here, Craigslist oddly gives you the best selection of brands)

    Now using a motor for me is secondary so I haven’t done as much research yet. I figured I'd start with the canoe then figure out a motor to match.

    anyway In the last few years I've come to really REALLY like salmon fishing and would like a little more versatility to be able to get AT the fish. That means a motor to get up places like Twenty mile, Placer, Talkeena and little Sue. (I'll leave the lower Kenai to the guides thank you) Now you will not win any speed records with a side mount motor, but then I'm not a guide who's livelihood depends on getting clients on the fish as fast as possible. I also want to be able to mount and remove the motor easily as most of the time I won't be using a motor.

    I would challenge the idea that little Su with a side mount is a bad idea... yea you'd have to be careful, and yes there are sections you will likely be paddling not motoring, but really it's NOT that big of a river... Most of the boats I’ve seen there are WAY oversized. They have to scream up and down at ridiculously dangerous speeds just to maintain control. The professional Guides know what they’re doing but some of the others…. Eeek. There are rivers and conditions (i.e. Lower Kenai or some other rivers in flood) you would probably want to stay away from but otherwise as long as your patient, willing to pull over for bigger boats, and are slow and careful, (carrying a few propeller replacements) I can't see why a side mount 2.5 to 3 hp wouldn't be just fine, keep your boat weight low is all, I think Guide or Tripper Canoe would be perfect if you don't mind the weight, or if you want lighter the Camper (or their competitors equivalents of course).

    Personally I'm kind of leaning to the electric trolling motor with a recharger, (I'm a mechanical engineer and electric motors are just so much better than gas ones... ) fortunately I have all winter to figure it out.

    anyone on the forums with comments and evidence to demonstrate otherwise would be appreciated... I'd like to hear why I'm asking for trouble with my theory

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Regarding Electric trolling motors:

    They are decent for put-puttin around a lake....but that is it. Outboard motors were engineered so well.....that they last forever. The maintainence is relatively easy, and they are much better suited for Alaskan waters over a trolling motor. I had to pull a guy 7 river miles because he tried to use an electric trolling motor during duck season. The batteries loose juice quick in that kind of cold. With the price of electric trolling motors and a decent marine battery to match.....A small outboard would be much better.

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    Default Canoe

    as you can see there is no single answer to your question, every one has a different idea on what you need , the bottom line is the larger the boat/canoe the safer you an your family will be, the smaller the kids the more you need to look out for them, it is not going up or down a river, the problem with the kids an wife it is when the unexpted happends you need all the safty you have, what ever you end up doing is don't use a side mount on a river unless you have use one for a long time, , they don't like sweepers,
    log jams, gravel bars or rocks, things happen with side mount motors in trouble,
    if it was just you put a life jacket on an go to it ,even a friend an as you said "" kids an wife ""
    it is like the old modle T FORD great in it day but in todays world it would not pass any of the safty test of today,
    as far as I am concerned it is all about being safe an having a good trip an coming back alive,
    Electric Motors work great real quiet but for a trip no way to tell when you run out of go juice, with a outboard you can see by the amount of gas you have an if you run out the frist boat by can help not with a battery that is dead it might take out ""there"" charging system if you have a charging cable, an small boats don't all have a charging system but they do have some gas, think ahead a little,
    I have rambled on to long have fun an be safe on the water
    my 2 CTS

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    Smile

    can an outboard be mounted on the stern of a double ender? I am leaning towards the double ender because I will be paddling or floating ,most all of the time. I could live with not being able to motor up streams as the little su is the only one I am interested in going up and it kind of sounds like a good place to get run over or flippped, so i could go with the side mount for lake use only. I like the specs on the old town camper the lighter the better, are there any other light weight double enders to consider. And thanks for alll the other input everyone.

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    Default double end

    ""double end"" can you put a motpr on the end ? you can do anything. it all depends on how far the eng. will be from where you set an. is it the best I don't think so, an it could be great, it will be to far from where you set. go with the double end an think about it, if you want to go that way later change over then if not stay with what you have, it is your canoe do as you want, an you can paddle a sq end just as good as a double end it is just that most sq end canoe's have more of a keel than the double end units hard to slip them side ways in the water because of the keel

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    Default Family Tripper

    I would suggest the use of a Wenonah made Minnesota 4. It is designed for tour expeditions. Seen many guides using them with a side mounted motor on them to go ahead of the canoeing party carrying the palacial stuff that tours offer. Depending on your kids ages, they can learn to paddle in this nicely. Yes this is not a solo portager canoe. Team work makes this one go over land. But with this size, you can put the kids in, some camping gear as well as a couple of fuel tanks for the motor if you want to add it. My only heartburn to this one is it being kevlar. If you are not careful, then you could be up a river without the canoe in this case. I prefer royalex even though it is heavier just for it's durability. So if you find a canoe longer then 20' made of royalex then let me know. I am in no way willing to go to aluminum though since I do more carrying then that.

    http://www.wenonah.com/products/temp...ail.php?IID=42&&

    here is a link to one available used:
    http://www.piragis.com/usedcanoeandkayak.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Regarding Electric trolling motors:

    They are decent for put-puttin around a lake....but that is it. Outboard motors were engineered so well.....that they last forever. The maintainence is relatively easy, and they are much better suited for Alaskan waters over a trolling motor. I had to pull a guy 7 river miles because he tried to use an electric trolling motor during duck season. The batteries loose juice quick in that kind of cold. With the price of electric trolling motors and a decent marine battery to match.....A small outboard would be much better.
    see this is why forums are so great... I had not considered the cold degredation on battery performance... your right on that one. not as big an issue on warmer waters... bigger deal on Alaska's glacier fed lakes and streams.

    I looked a bit and I like the new Honda 4 stroke, 2hp motor, I just don't like the price tag... (typical of Honda I suppose) .

    Hey Sid... I just wanted to make a point that I for one apprecate your voice of experience. It's always appreciated and valued. I've always been a paddler first, so my motor experinece is somewhat lesser. When it comes to suitable motors I'm definately listening to what you have to say. Currenly I only have the space for a single canoe so as a paddler first I'll admit my bias to double ended tandem canoes. I'll recognize, accept and work with the limitations of a side mount, but beleive me I apprecaite your warnings and cautions on what will and will not work.

    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra Dragon View Post
    see this is why forums are so great... I had not considered the cold degredation on battery performance... your right on that one. not as big an issue on warmer waters... bigger deal on Alaska's glacier fed lakes and streams.

    I looked a bit and I like the new Honda 4 stroke, 2hp motor, I just don't like the price tag... (typical of Honda I suppose) .

    Hey Sid... I just wanted to make a point that I for one apprecate your voice of experience. It's always appreciated and valued. I've always been a paddler first, so my motor experinece is somewhat lesser. When it comes to suitable motors I'm definately listening to what you have to say. Currenly I only have the space for a single canoe so as a paddler first I'll admit my bias to double ended tandem canoes. I'll recognize, accept and work with the limitations of a side mount, but beleive me I apprecaite your warnings and cautions on what will and will not work.


    thanks
    Sierra,

    I'm actually not too impressed with the honda 2 horse. It has a centrifical type forward engagement (no reverse...just 360 steering).....very difficult for trolling, and manuevering. One of the ultimate motors in this horsepower class would go to the Suzuki 2.5 horse. It's probaby going to be a bit cheaper and has a genuine F-N-R shift actuated lever. The honda 2 horse is unbelievably loud! I recently heard one @ hidden lake and this thing had to have been twice as loud as my two ouboard motors (zuk two stroke 6 and 9.8 tohatsu 4 stroke). I believe it is forced-air cooled and does not exaust into the water which would explain why it is so loud. The prop is a composite material too....A big no-no. No option for an aluminum prop is not something i'd be too fond of. This Small honda motor is loud beyond belief. The zuk 2.5 is only 29 lbs.....or somewhere around there. It's def. one of the lightest with what it has to offer. Each horespower class has it's gems. Zuk: 2.5 yammy: 8 horse and 15 horse two strokes Tohastsu: lightest weight 9.9 Honda: Lightest weight and most fuel efficient 20 hp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beano View Post
    I am wondering what canoes to consider for a couple of purposes, the main use will be on small lakes with the wife and three little kids, but I would also like to be able to float the upper kenai or motor up the little su with a fishing buddy, I currently have a 2.5hp tohatsu and from another post was told that a side mount on a double ender would be a bad set up for the little su does anybody here feel different or can explain more. and if double enders are out of the question what paddles good for lakes and down river floats many square sterns look like they paddle like oil tankers but I don't have experience with them. And last of all anybody here fit a family of five in a canoe and if so does it work for you or is it a bad set up. We currently have a 9ft zodiac type inflatable and the third kid just seemed to crowded this year.
    I've truely taken in what you've described and it seems that you want to get that ONE canoe to do all. A family of five, lot's of room for gear, easily paddled, capable of being pushed with a small motor, stability, and versatility. The best deal you'll come by is going with a 20 foot oldtown canoe. The sportsmans warehouse and rei are both dealers.....so this will be the cheapest route. These 20 footers are amazing. I'm the kind of guy that has a canoe for a specific purpose...(I have three).....but for what you need....I feel the 20 footer (tripper xl) would be best. I've spent many days on rivers and lakes in one of these and I was impressed! This is a very safe canoe for a small sidemount. @ 100 lbs....you can drag this thing around....but don't expect it to win any solo canoe awards. It's about 40 inches wide and is plenty stable enough for your children. The length also provides a safer trip if the waves pick up. The massive load capacity will be there for you when you decide to get a lil more avid/bold in your outdoor adventures. Talk about a family freindly tripper! Go price them @ REI and Sportsmans and get back with us......and let us know what you found out......I'm guessing about $1,300. Make your own side mount from a piece of angle iron and a chunk of wood with a handful of bolts from the hardware store. And a can of black marine paint and some spar varnish if you want to look "30 dollars" fancy.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Go price them @ REI and Sportsmans and get back with us......and let us know what you found out......
    Th tripper was my second choice only because it weighs 30~40lb more than the Camper.

    $1500-ish, is REI's price, but I think thats for the 17ft version... I'm not sure they carry the XL..

    Also last I checked, (about 2~3 weeks ago) they had an AS-IS Tripper they used for demonstrations/classes over the summer sitting in the back storage for around $1100.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Sierra,

    I'm actually not too impressed with the honda 2 horse. It has a centrifical type forward engagement (no reverse...just 360 steering).....very difficult for trolling, and manuevering. One of the ultimate motors in this horsepower class would go to the Suzuki 2.5 horse. It's probaby going to be a bit cheaper and has a genuine F-N-R shift actuated lever. The honda 2 horse is unbelievably loud! I recently heard one @ hidden lake and this thing had to have been twice as loud as my two ouboard motors (zuk two stroke 6 and 9.8 tohatsu 4 stroke). I believe it is forced-air cooled and does not exaust into the water which would explain why it is so loud. The prop is a composite material too....A big no-no. No option for an aluminum prop is not something i'd be too fond of. This Small honda motor is loud beyond belief. The zuk 2.5 is only 29 lbs.....or somewhere around there. It's def. one of the lightest with what it has to offer. Each horespower class has it's gems. Zuk: 2.5 yammy: 8 horse and 15 horse two strokes Tohastsu: lightest weight 9.9 Honda: Lightest weight and most fuel efficient 20 hp.

    Good to know thank you very much!

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    The larger old town canoes look good, I probably will go the route of waiting to find a decent used one through craigs as it looks like that cuts the cost significantly. I probably will sell the boat I have now first. Thanks for all the advise.

  18. #18

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    Not sure if they are available to you, but I have an 18ft square stern Clipper MacSport in kevlar with a 2.5hp Suzuki 4 stroke. Easily fits 2 kids 2 adults and a dog, so 3 kids would be no problem. It weighs about 75 pounds so easy to load, very stable and runs great with 2.5hp. Paddles terribly, but a rowing rig helps. We end up using the motor all the time anyway.

    I much prefer kevlar over aluminum for comfort (less cold) and less noise. Rock bashing -- not so much.

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    Your still liking that MacSport 18 eh. Still considering that myself. Just worried about space for the rapidly growing kids though.

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    Default stitch and glue

    While searching elsewhere looking at canoe options I keep coming across the stitch and glue build it yourself kits and plans does anyone have any experience with these, can they hold up to sliding over rocks in shallows while floating or do they get tore up? and how about build time?

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