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Thread: Looking for some canoe wisdom

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for some canoe wisdom

    I am looking for a lightweight canoe to use in the Nancy, Swanson River area's for general camping with family, fishing and some hunting. I currently have an Old Town Discovery 13' that is great for river's but a bit heavy when portaging (78 lbs), and tends to "oil-can" when loaded.

    So I am thinking something less than 60 lbs. Possibly Old Town Camper, Wenonah Kingfisher or Prospector, or Mad River Explorer. Anyone have any experience with these models?

    Also, is Royalex the best way to go? Does it tend to oil can like the 3 layer superlink? How durable is it?

  2. #2

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    youll find better performance in royalex vs crosslink in any practically any make/model canoe. lighter, stiffer (less oil-can action), maybe you cant drive your truck over it like crosslink, but you know, compromises...
    i actually tacoed an old town royalex boat a few years ago and got it to pop back into shape.
    i like the prospectors lines a lot, classic.
    mad river boats are well made and there are some good designs out there. a bit spendier than old towns.
    if i were going for a we-no-na i would go all the way and get a fiberglass or kevlar ($$$) model, they are truly cadillacs, but definitely require a little care in launching/landing. good luck

  3. #3
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    I have a king fisher by Wenonah great fishing boat! Way lighter than the 78 pounds you listed, 50ish I think. Anyhow It has circumnavigated Isle Royale twice and been all over Alaska without issues, even hauled a small spike fork out with it once. It's made of royalex, great stuff!
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    Hey Rick, How did the King Fisher do with the spike/fork as far as load? Did you transport the quartered moose in one trip, or several trips?

    I am thinking a 15-16' canoe like mentioned above would be minimum as far as fitting a quartered moose, gear and a paddler. Any larger of a canoe of royalex is probably gonna break my #60 limit.

    Thanks for the help fellas. Kevlar, like steev mentioned is an idea, just need to see how much more $.

    Sounds like I need to give wilderness way a call, because SW and REI are about picked over. Didn't see much when I was there last week.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Mad River 14

    I just got an Explorer 14, a month ago, (see this thread for extensive review and pics,
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=82435)

    and it is Way tough, can't imagine oil can action with this material (it is the 3layer poly) but it is pretty heavy, around 72lbs. I can pull it up 6ft from sealevel to the top rail of my boat and then get it up on the top of stern shelter by myself, not easy though.

    Seems perfect in every other way, had a Black Bear 150 or so and my son, 65lbs plus my 195 in there and it didn't even feel heavy or look to be riding low at all. I think they listed 850 as the capacity? Also had the entire family in for a short trip to the beach once, Myself 195, wife 135, sons 65 &35lbs. Bit of a squeeze, but doable on a calm day. Really nice with just my son and I and it handles like a Very Well Designed vessel. Extreme secondary stability.
    If planning to do a lot of family cruising 14ft is borderline long enough.

    My last boat was an Old Town Pack Royalex and only 33lbs. but 12ft long and probably not big enough for family or moose. But that Royalex is quite a factor in going lt weight. Had a hard time not buying another Royalex boat though they are pretty spendy these days, but that Mad River name and reputation swayed me in the end. Royalex is a Super Material, tough beyond belief.

    I am Totally Convinced and a Believer in the Mad River name now. The Explorer 14 for $850, a pretty good deal by my experience.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    In a word poorly Tom, I would not recommend hauling out a quartered moose with the kingfisher. I did it in one trip and even though I had packed ultra light the boat handled like a hippo. I have a Hudson bay for hunts and everything but the skinniest of waters now.
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    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    A Wenonah Escapade is 16'6" weighs in at 40 lbs in Kevlar. My 70 pound Old Town is now a river boat where portages are minimal. Basically, you trade 30 pounds of cash for the weight saving. If you look at it as a 20 year investment, it can feel ok. Especially if, like me, you think about what canoe you want to hoist when you're 70 years old. The Escapade seats two and a long weekend of stuff for lakes with weight capacity to spare. Very fast in the water. Just don't loan it to your kids as it takes about $10 of kevlar off every time it touches gravel.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Let us know

    Let us know what you decide Tom,

    as Too Few mentions that Kevlar is soooo attractive for the weight savings, spendy, but for the long term being able to hoist it around is pretty big factor,

    If you are mostly doing lakes and rivers up north this doesn't apply but for the coast I've found that either Royalex or the 3 layer Poly is tough enough for the barnacle covered rocks that are Everywhere. I think I'd be weeping everytime I pulled a Kevlar boat up on those beaches, they are Harsh on hulls, just something to consider if you're considering the Sound or other coastal areas.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Well, think I'm gonna watch the classifieds for a lightweight rig. If nothing pops up by mid-winter I will be placing an order.

    Actually considering a penescobt. Good source of info here -

    http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/Canoes.html

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