New and thinking of canoeing



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  • New and thinking of canoeing

    I have been thinking about canoeing since I saw this forum. Have done a couple river trips with my daughter, but only a few miles.
    Problem is I know nothing of canoes except that the one I was in was unstable and made me a bit nervouse, as my daughter was 9 and the river was cold!!!

    My intent would be to use it for hunting and fishing the river systems I could access. A moose is the heaviest load I would carry.

    My questions are.
    1. What is a good reading sorce to get smart on the types and purposes of canoes.
    2. Any suggestions here?
    3. Weight and stability would be a concern.

    Thank you

  • #2
    river canoes

    Jason, sounds like fun. when you go looking for canoes, ask to see the canoes designed for moving water. these canoes will have what is called rocker. some will have 2 inches or more from stem to stern. anouther thing I like in a river canoe is little or no keel line. this makes it easier to turn your canoe around tighter corners, or spin your canoe in anouther direction. If you are looking for a very stable canoe, consider one with at least a 36 inch wide, and good initial stablilty. I have in my fleet a mad river Tahoe that is short and fat, and has about 2 inches of rocker. it makes for a great canoe on easy river floats. there are many you can look at. take a look at Old town canoes in the river canoe section, also mad river, etc. just google canoes and then go into the company site to inspect the details of each type of boat they offer and what they suggest they be used for and what type of water..
    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.


    • #3
      Bill Mason's "Path of the Paddle"

      Howdy Jason,

      Link above will give a short descrip of the Mason book. It's a good one for learning via reading. Max gave some great advice on what to look for in a stable canoe.

      Canoeing Alaskan streams really requires a lot of skill and the only way to get it is to spend time on the water, on various rivers, with different loads. To my mind, there is no craft more versatile than the canoe, but also they are fairly dangerous for novices. It's real easy to literally get in "over your head," under a sweeper, misjudge a chute or riffle. Start adding moose meat or other weight and maneuverability goes way down. Just be careful with those kids in the canoe and keep your pfds on!
      Good luck,

      Mark Richards


      • #4

        I was in much the same situation 2-3 years ago. I decided on an Old Town predator, but none to be had. So, I ended up with an Old Town, Discovery Series. Its only 13' so its fits in the back of my pick-up with the tailgate down with little overhang. I love this canoe and have had it in the Little Su, Willow, etc. w/o a hitch. I have not had a moose in it, but have had it loaded down with gear and 3 people. It is pretty stable, but not real fast on open lakes. I wouldnt change a thing about mine if I could.

        If your into areas like the canoe trails, I would look to a lighter canoe, something of the mad river sort.

        If your looking to add going "up" river for more versatility, I would go with a 15' scanoe. You can add one of those little Briggs 5hp, and have a nice rig.


        • #5
          We have a Scanoe and it works well for us. No motor yet, but we've paddled around a fair amount with our four and five year old sons. They don't always sit still but I've never felt that we were ever close to capsizing. Of course we haven't tried any even remotely challenging water. We have our name on the list at Sportsmans Warehouse for a Briggs motor....Louis
          Louis Knapp


          • #6
            [QUOTE=TomM]I was in much the same situation 2-3 years ago. I decided on an Old Town predator, but none to be had. So, I ended up with an Old Town, Discovery Series. Its only 13' so its fits in the back of my pick-up with the tailgate down with little overhang. QUOTE]

            Tom: what you you think of the Old Town 16-foot Guide-160? Old Town has some very lightweight canoes, usually under 14' in length, and very wide. I plan to buy a Guide-160, since it seems that it's very popular with the rental places in town. It's a 2-seater, but there is room for more inside, and almost 40" wide. It weights 84 pounds, but I plan to use it in places I can drive my truck to.


            • #7
              Guide 160

              I dont have any first hand expierience w/ this canoe, but I believe it is made out of the same material (polylink3) as mine. Mine has held up well, despite ramming log jams and beaching it on gravel. 40" is a good # for the width. There are +/- to the length. A shorter canoe is more manuverable (dodging sweepers), but a longer canoe is more paddle efficient on lakes, etc. I prefer the shorter. Keeping the width the same, they are lighter, more stable and dont give up much is load capacity. Its all about picking one you like and putting it in the water. That's what I love about canoeing, its stress free and relaxing.

              P.S. with mine being 13' 3" I can lay it down in the back of a full-size truck (6' box), leave the tailgate open and it only sticks out about 2'. Anything longer than 14' and you would probably have to invest in a rack of some sort, or tie it up on the cab (pain in the @$$).

              I hope this helps out some.


              • #8
                Kinik Canoe and Kayakers Anchorage Canoe club

                We have a great canoe club in Anchorage, the web site is Each spring the club teaches classes in canoeing, rafting and kayaking. dues are only $10 a year and the classes are $75 sign up is in mid Aril for the classes.

                Good boating

                Jim King

                Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
                Commercial quality at Wholesale prices
                River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks, Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable
                Sport Boats, Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
                (907) 248-2900


                • #9
                  Ally pack canoe

                  I got an Ally pack canoe about two years ago for a fishing trip up on one of the Noataks lower tributaries (about 80 miles north of Kotzebue). This boat has been used the world over for expeditions of all types in all environments. It is the original pack canoe. Others are sold now under names like Folbot. This is the one they are all copied after from what I understand. It weighs 46 lbs and will handle a 800 lb load and fits in a large backpack. Too good to be true. I was skeptical. We drug it over gravel shallows and bounced off rocks for 40 miles. We had it loaded up heavy too. I weigh 330 and he is a good 200 + lots of gear. After the trip it still looked new.The boat is amazing. My buddy who went with me recently bought one himself. We got the 16.5 foot model. It comes in 15,16.5, and 18. We are taking them back up into the Noatak Preserve next thursday for a 13 day trophy dolly fishing trip. The smallest we caught last time was about 4 lbs. There are 20lb dollies up there. Back to the subject, the boat is made in Norway by Bergans. You can google search Bergans of Norway and see the boat. The only place in the U.S. that sells them is Cascade Crags in Washington state. I recently got the spontoons that strap to the side for stability. They are inflattable and about 12" thick and 48 " long. Taking the wife this time and dont want to scare her on her first big trip. The thing I like most about this is the fact that you can check it as luggage at the airport. Not many canoes you can do that with. This is perfect for bush plane trips. Equally great for taking in the trunk of the car. It is easy to put together also. Took maybe 45 minutes the first time and now only about 20 minutes. Extremely well designed and much tougher than you would think. The hull material is Tarpulon. Similar to Hypalon that the Zodiac rafts are made of. The Tarpulon is lighter and that is why it was chosen over Hypalon. It is something you would have to see and use to fully appreciate. I am not easily impressed. But this canoe, you just have to see to appreciate. Its that nice. In case you are curious, here is the email address to the contact guy at Cascade Crags who handles the Ally Canoes. He is a super nice guy and will gladly answer any questions. Tell him Dan in Nome sent you. [email protected]
                  The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


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