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Thread: canoe for off-river ponds?

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up canoe for off-river ponds?

    Looking for a canoe for moose hunting on ponds that lie in the marshes that border many Interior rivers....

    Size....14' to 16'...?
    Weight...50# to 65#....
    Material...Royalex (plastic)....fiberglass or Kevlar are not as rugged and too pricey...besides may want to use boat as sled to haul, rather than carry, meat across marsh and bogs...?
    Maker - model - availability in Alaska...?
    Experience...?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    Default

    Rick,

    I have no moose hunting experience, but I have a lot of canoeing and deer hunting experience. After an exhaustive search for the best hunting and fishing canoe, I bought a Sportspal canoe a few years ago. See link below.

    http://www.castlecraft.us/sportspal_square-stern.htm

    If you're going to be hauling heavy loads like game animals, meat and gear, you need a canoe that is easy to steer and hard to capsize. That's the Sportspal. I bought the square stern model so I could easily add a motor if necessary. However, I have never used a motor with this rig. I enjoy traveling light and quietly and I like the exercise and romance of paddling. I have had great times with this canoe on fishing and hunting trips in Michigan. The canoe is made of aluminum and I think you will be impressed by the stability of this rig. I paid about $600 but prices will likely range from $600 to $750 depending on your area. I bought the S-13, 13 foot model and it weighs 57 lbs with a 625 pound capacity.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up off-river pond canoe....

    What I'm trying to figure out is which canoe to buy for the following:
    Hauling beside and behind - in the narrow places - my 19' Grumman to my hunt area...
    Portage the smaller boat over the bank and onto the moosey ponds that dot that area...
    Have any of you done this? Suggestions and experiences appreciated....

  4. #4

    Default Hunting Canoes in Alaska

    I have three: A 19.5 ft Grumman Freighter with square stern, and two 16' Old Town Discoveries. I have also used a Coleman Scanoe. The plastic boats are great for indestructibility, and I think that includes Kevlar boats. The other nice thing about plastic is that its coefficient of friction is low, so it slides easily. I would not get a fiberglass boat, but one day I would like to own a Kevlar Freighter.

    I have dragged the Old Town for a mile portage. On the other hand, the aluminum boat is like bubble gum. It sticks to everything, especially rocks. They are also destructible. However, that Grumman will carry a load. I tried to get out of the Brooks Range one year with a full camp, my brother Pillsbury, and a moose. It floated, but the first riffles we came to knocked a hole in the bottom. The dough boy is pretty handy though, and we fabricated a patch with part of the transom, the Coleman stove and a sleeping pad and made it out in a couple of trips.

    The small canoes will overload in a hurry and they are not as stable. As long as you are backpacker light and solo, you could probably get a moose in it. But unless you are a really big guy, you will not drag it very far with a load if it is not floating.

    I took the Grumman and one Old Town out last year, and made it round trip with a heavy load and a moose on the return. I pulled the Old Town upstream for 35 miles. That was a goofy ride that I will think twice about doing again. I only swamped the trailer twice and threw my buddy in once. It was unpredictable how it would respond, and I wasn't sure if he was snoozing or if it was just hard to control from back there. It would never follow along up river without a rider and rudder. On the return trip, we lashed the two together and made a raft, which put us in a sweeper cause it was hard to control, but was stable enough not to swamp there. A canoe hunt gaurantees adventure.
    Arctic Chuck

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up auxillery canoe...towing ....

    Arcticchuck....

    Look back at the thread from 10-30-06 about "how to tow a canoe behind a 19' Grumman?"...some great advice on how to ... that makes good sense. One response suggests how to tie a bridle on the trailer that pulls from almost under the bow.

    I'm thinking about making a tubing and rope rig to pull the trailing canoe with...set up like an old sled dog freight harness - single tree harness - or weight pull harness - two tubes, one from each side of the Grumman attaching to either end of the rear thwart, and joined by a short (2' ?) tube about 8' - 10' behind the canoe forming a tapered hitch with a short rope from each long tube joined to the trailer bridle by a carabiner.... But first I need the trailer ... it's likely I'll buy a Wenaha Kingfisher (16', 40" wide, 65# in Royalex) unless someone changes my mind.

  6. #6
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    Default inflatable?

    small inflatable be of any use? travel in very shallow water, not sure how "slick" they are in brush, etc. collapse and "tow" very easily. good luck.

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