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Thread: old aluminum canoes

  1. #1
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    Default old aluminum canoes

    gotta love 'em. wondering if it is worth doing any maintenance on mine. mainly, i have thought about painting it. just the outside of the hull. is this worth my time or shall i just enjoy it till the metal goes. none of the rivets leak.

    I believe it is at least 30 or 35 years old, when my dad bought it from someone in BC somewhere. ouachita is the make.

    Would post a photo but it's buried in the snow. good little craft. the bottom is rather flat but have done the chena and little su lots, and the delta a few times. it seems more a flat water canoe though.

    I remember when rafting thinking that the gulkana would have been a bit intense in this bpat, but the delta canyon wasn't bad, though obviously it is smaller water. I am comfortable paddling and have had my share of "upsets" if you will.

    is doing the gulkana reasonable for such a boat?

    is it better to do it solo?

  2. #2
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    Default

    I took a couple older aluminum's down Gulkana two summers back; will NEVER do it again in an aluminum; especially an older keepsake such as what you describe. When the sun was just right, we didn't see the rocks until we were too close to maneuver. Several rivets started to leak after that trip, not to mention the nice hole we put in one of the boats.

    I'd recommend getting a plastic, such as a coleman, so you slide over the rocks. The two coleman's only got caught up once on a shallow spot, the aluminum's were sticking to everything it could.

    I wouldn't recommend a total solo trip, have another boat with you for gear / trouble / etc...

    It was reported we were there with high water as well, so I'd hate to see it in low water.

  3. #3
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    Default

    have seen groups of folks in canoes going down...mostly solo i think. maybe they were with a raft for gear. i have experienced what you describe with the aluminum canoe hanging up a lot in the shallows. you went in from paxson lake or just below sourdough? i have soloed on lakes quite a bit from my knees in the middle, and the folks i have seen solo canoeing on the gulkana seem to be enjoying themselves. not sure if we need a third canoe just yet, will probably stick with inflatables for now.

    we ended up with the front of this canoe sticking out 4 or 5 feet over a boulder ledge a couple years back on the delta and didn't pop any rivets. good times. fyi when yelling "right" from the stern and your partner is paddling on the right, try yelling LEFT sooner than I did.

  4. #4
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    I must admit I also quite like the slap of water on an aluminium canoe... people talk about it as a pain but yeah, I see it as an advantage

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    cut "you went in from paxson lake or just below sourdough?
    We started in Paxson Lake and took out near Sourdough. Took a couple days on the river, had two aluminum, one plastic canoe and a kayak. Gear split between all vessels accordingly.

    Was a great trip, most of the other users at the time were utilizing inflatable rafts. Only saw two other canoes being utilized. Both were being run solo and were whitewater canoes. I didn't get a chance to quiz them if they were running with a group or not. Saw one at the portage and the other passed us after wards as we were looking at a sunk canoe that was left sometime earlier.

    Sometimes the aluminum's get a bad rep, I love mine and don't mind taking it down Tangle Lakes at all. Good fishing down that way too.

  6. #6
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    Default Old School

    In my opinion there is something special about an old school aluminum canoe that you just do not get from the new alternate material canoes. That's what I use and I love it. My dad put some sort of patch on it about 20 Years ago and have had no problems since. It just keeps on keeping on. I am in the process of painting my canoe as we speak. I spent most of the weekend sanding it down and next weekend I think I will give it a primer coat, then pain later. I will post some pictures in a few weeks so you can see how it turns out.

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