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Thread: Square stern options?

  1. #1

    Default Square stern options?

    I am interested in buying a square stern canoe that would be a good two person hunting boat (w/ a 3.5 hp) but would also make for a decent paddling boat with my girlfriend. I have been looking at the Wenonah Back Water the Old Town Discovery sport and the Esquif Herron. I am looking for any personal reviews or and input from the forum.

    If there have been other posts like this one I'm sorry for the redundancy.

    Thanks
    Brian

  2. #2
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Hi Brian,
    You'll want a canoe used for hunting and fishing to grow with you. The longer Sqaure Sterned canoes actually glide better than the shorter ones, are safer, and have more load capacity. If you truly want a good square sterned canoe that paddles well, the Mac Sport 18 would be your best bet. The shorter canoes really are of limited use up here in AK. I've lost motor power a few times and had to paddle back, it works with sport canoes, but about half the speed of a good tripping canoe. The mac sport 18 is a bit more rounded than most sport canoes, so will naturally glide through the water much easier. The places that I usually go, my 17.5 ft. is ideal, the 18 foot Clipper would too. With that said, my 17.5 ft. Old Town(they don't make it anymore) is for sale, PM me if you're interested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv5cfW8C4S8

    http://www.clippercanoes.com/boat_sp...p?model_id=120

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    I also like a canoe in the 17 ft to 18 ft range in length, and something less than 40 inches wide.
    going any wider than that is really hard to paddle if you want to do much of that.
    also consider if you will portage and distance.
    Lots of good canoe manufactures out there that offer products that will fit your multi task ideas.
    look at the web sites of them and they can guide you thru the offerings they have.
    Old town, Mad river, Esquif, Wenonah, Scott canoes, etc. just use your search engine with words that match your interest and you will find lots of info.
    you will also find that each manufacture will brag hard on their product, so take it all into perspective.
    Sometimes new .. is not the way to go when you are sorting out what will fit the bill for you.
    keeping an eye on Craigslist etc. is a good way to see what is available around here.
    I have more than once put an ad on Craigslist looking for certain types of canoes, hoping someone had one in the garage or shed that was not being used... Once I needed 4 coleman canoes to fill and order for a big group going down the Swanson river...
    I advertised that I was looking for used colemans and was able to fill the order in just a few days.
    keep on reading here on the forum and looking at some of the old posts here and you will get some ideas from the users here.
    Some of the folks here have considerable experience, and can give sage advice.
    you will know who those folks are after reading a few of their posts..
    Some will have some serious bias towards brand , and you need to read into that part too..
    one thing about canoes, they come and go and one size does not fit all..
    keep and open mind and enjoy the search..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the info guys. That Mac Sport looks like a sweet rig.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Biased yup "Scott canoes"! Sage:"one thing about canoes, they come and go and one size does not fit all"! My opion: get a good padler and a frieghter. The preformance of a sqaure stern will never make you happy when padling it and one small enough to padle won't carry enough gear for you and your hunting pard to be comfortable. My wife and I have several boats, right tool for the right job. Usefluness of said advice: questionable.
    BHA Member
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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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    Smile like a boy scout, be prepared!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    keeping an eye on Craigslist etc. is a good way to see what is available around here.
    Max is right the craigslist is a great way to go, but I add that you should check CL daily or more often and when you see your boat go get it that day, if not that hour.

    Square stern canoes have never stayed on the market for long. Mine will be willed to one of my kids and NEVER sold by me. Most people stay pretty attached to theirs.

    Show up at seller's place with cash and a flatbed trailer, and it might also help you make a better deal if you brought along a wife that frowned a lot.

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    bias is never a bad thing when the bias is towards the very best tool...
    that being said... most of the guys here that really use their freighters are in the middle of it all, looking all the time, talking all the time, and putting the equipment to the test..
    its the guys here that talk endlessly about lifts, and jacks of various construction, the drawings on napkins of ideas that form into usable products for safety comfort and usability.
    the folks in the above posts and many more that just have not showed up at this thread yet to lend a hand, are such great resources.
    I have so enjoyed the pictures posted here of the guys and their families using these craft in so many venues in Alaska.
    It makes me drool to read the stories of the adventures so many of you guys here go out on..
    Last year I botched getting a hudson bay delivered to a fellow over in valdez, and it haunts me every day,, he needed a boat and we could not get it to him in time, and he had to go anouther route.. I would love to be reading his posts of his adventures out in the Fjords and bays of his place on the planet in Valdez.
    If you are not in a really big hurry, see if one of the owners on here,,, will give you a chance in one of there boats this spring when the water is not so tight as it is now..
    But as suggested above..
    If one that looks like it will work comes up on Craigs list or any other ad,, you may need to jump on it....
    that was good advice,, familyman..
    One thing for sure is that most of the good quality canoe frieghters will not lose much value over the years, if taken care of, so buying a used one is not as much of a risk as buying a brand new one..
    You could find a used one in good shape, find it is not what you need and move it for the same amount,, and sometimes more depending on what and how you made your deal.
    When Rick got that HB this year we all we watched him work fast to get the deal... He knew what he wanted and made it happen.
    just be ready when that comes up so you can dive on it.
    doing your research will make it easier to decide if the boat is right, the price is right..
    Bounce it off the guys here... of course if you have the time.....
    and if you get the Old " If you don't buy it, will you give me the number to call them".
    then you may be on to something..
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    If wanting a dual purpose [paddle/power] canoe and limiting myself to 3.5 HP, I would seriously consider an 18' or so double ender with a side mount.

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    side MT motors are not for rivers [small] less than 75 ft across sweepers an sarp bends will do you in [I feel ]

    SID

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    bailsockinstall15.jpgI have an inflatable canoe that has a transom about 3/4 back in the canoe, with a hole thru the floor , and a boot that keeps water out of the canoe. It works great. you can put like a 3 hp motor on it and it travels very nice, is very stable and can haul a much larger load than a standar canoe, and it paddles very nicely.
    its 17 ft long.
    this thing will haul a moose and all your gear for a week or more.
    the pictures are not the greatest, but here is the canoe I speak of.
    here is a link to the website .
    http://www.alaskaseries.com/Tripper%20canoe.htm
    We have paddled these canoes down the kenai canyon and thru class three water with no problem.
    Very tough canoe and has an 5 year no fault warranty.
    You are welcome to try this canoe this spring once the water opens up on the rivers.
    Its extemely stable and can be rolled up and put on an airplane and taken anywhere you desire.
    I plan on doing a remote fly in trip this year with mine.
    just an idea,, and its so very versitile..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Sid,

    Please explain your position on side mounts and sweepers......I'm not catching on.....Thanks....Vern

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    I have two side mounts that have very little use over the years with gas power boat motors.
    we have used the side mounts with electric motors for trolling lakes.
    I had a 2.5 hp evinrude and used to put the side mount on various canoes in the fleet.
    would go up the Moose river, or the swanson river with it.
    You had to keep checking the brackets that keep it tight on the gunwhales.
    vibration is constant and more than once, I have had the bracket come loose.. and had to catch the motor.
    i have gone up and down said rivers using the side mounts, but have never been on a river where sweepers were a problem.
    seemed to turn easy enough for said rivers and slow currents.
    I just do not like the fact that the mount is so easily loosened by the vibration..
    I have really put the power to the hand wheel nuts and still it will come loose.
    If I were to use the side mounts again, I would drill some holes in the gunwhale and mount it so it did not fall off..
    steering is better when the canoe is pushed from the back, and on a transom, rather than from the side.. your canoe never really travels perfectly straight using the side mount, it kinda crabs along a little.
    as I said before, I just don't use mine anymore unless I am renting out a canoe to someone that wants a trolling motor for lake fishing.
    I will hold on to mine, because they are usable and do work though.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    side mount it is just as it says SIDE MOUNT
    # 1 it puts a an load on the side of the canoe depending on size of motor
    # 2 when traveling small rivers an streams it sticks out from the side, it is easy to get caught up sweepers don't want anything sticking out from the side of the canoe it will get caught an tip it,
    when the waves are up the waves will put lots of water into the canoe also
    what ever motor you get make sure it will start in netural, some of the old small engins won't

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    Thanks for the clarification. I have logged hundreds of miles with side mounts but never experienced the sweeper situation as I ran mostly lakes and slower rivers.. The motor should be of minimal size.....probably not more than 3.5 HP depending on canoe.

    I can see Max's experience with steering with a slight crabbing......my previous experience was 90% with canoes with keels and little if any rocker. My Mad River had no keel and still gave me little if any steering problems.

    It's a matter of trade-off for paddling a square stern vs. steering with a side mount.

  15. #15
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I would like to add that a tiller extension is a major requirement on smaller technical rivers so you can stand and see where your going, rocks, boulders, shallow riffle, sweepers, etc. With a side mount, they don't do too well because the tiller handle isn't directly behind you......thus no steering, and/or hindered steering ability on one side.

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    lakes an large rivers [slow] you can run side mount, but if the water is moving you need to stand to see what is in front of your rig, you need to stand so you have time to react to what is in front, the further in front the better, if you are under size on a motor you don;t have the power to get out of the problem in front of the rig, I am a beliver of the 19 ft grumman lift an 15 HP, if I run into trouble i can carry it some [not to much ] 125 lb enpty no lift ,
    SID

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    I have two side mounts that have very little use over the years with gas power boat motors.
    we have used the side mounts with electric motors for trolling lakes.
    I had a 2.5 hp evinrude and used to put the side mount on various canoes in the fleet.
    would go up the Moose river, or the swanson river with it.
    You had to keep checking the brackets that keep it tight on the gunwhales.
    vibration is constant and more than once, I have had the bracket come loose.. and had to catch the motor.
    i have gone up and down said rivers using the side mounts, but have never been on a river where sweepers were a problem.
    seemed to turn easy enough for said rivers and slow currents.
    I just do not like the fact that the mount is so easily loosened by the vibration..
    I have really put the power to the hand wheel nuts and still it will come loose.
    If I were to use the side mounts again, I would drill some holes in the gunwhale and mount it so it did not fall off..
    steering is better when the canoe is pushed from the back, and on a transom, rather than from the side.. your canoe never really travels perfectly straight using the side mount, it kinda crabs along a little.
    as I said before, I just don't use mine anymore unless I am renting out a canoe to someone that wants a trolling motor for lake fishing.
    I will hold on to mine, because they are usable and do work though.
    Max
    Max is correct!!

    I have the same problems with vibration so I bolted thru the gunnels as well and that stopped the problem. I never used them until last summer when I fell and hurt my shoulder and using the motor was the only way I had to get around....wfie was not interested in doing all the paddling.

    I use a 28 lb thurst electric with a garden tractor battery and it works great but if I put my bigger one which I think is 50+ lbs, the 16' Penobscot runs sideways since there is no keel. I have been swung around by a sweep or two but I can usually see them coming and stop the motor to deal with the sweeper. WInd is also an issue since it grabs the bow and moves it around alot.

    I've since bought a 17' Grumman sq stern and a Merc 3.3 and the shoulder is healing nicely so I think the side mount may be a little used option. If I do use it, I think I will make a bolt-on mount and use some Alum plate to mount the motor as close to the side of the canoe as possilble. I don't really like the way the canoe handles with the side mount, but I must admit it allowed me to get out when I would not have be able to otherwise.

    I also have one on my Ultimate 12 and it works great because of the tunnel hull. I can troll until the battery dies with it and spend my time fishing and not paddling. That works great for fly fishing as well...head up stream and set the trolling motor to hold your position and you can lay a fly where ever you want with only s few couse corrections needed to hold position. It's kinda like "not drift" fishing.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    I have posted this a couple of time but thought that you might like to see it. This thing worked like a charm and was put together for me by tracy at ARK.


    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    By the way, it takes a little work but the traveler will roll up and fit in a jumbo military sea bag and tha motor weight is 28 lbs and pushed two guys across the lake at 7 mph.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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