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interested in buying a canoe


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8 replies to this topic

#1 ridderbos3

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 11:21 PM

What type of things should I look for in buying a canoe. More often than not the canoe will just be for my to fish out of. Sometimes I will have another person in the canoe, but not normally.

john

#2 SmallieHunter

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 11:30 PM

Make sure it doesn't leak wink.gif

test


#3 Troutman

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 11:51 PM

John,
If you're serious about it I'd say look into Old Town Canoes. I've been looking at them for a long time and they have some very nice features. Their web site is very insigtful on choosing a canoe that best fits your needs. Just click on "canoes" at the top of the page. You might spend a little bit more then on something like the Coleman canoes but worth it. One of the features I like is the layer of insulation between the resin. Keep in mind that since you plan on using it alone a lot that you don't want one too big, 16' would be about the biggest you'd want to go (IMO). Anyway hope this helps and check out that web site.

Jim



#4 cornmuse

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 08:49 AM

QUOTE (ridderbos3 @ Mar 7 2005, 11:21 PM)
What type of things should I look for in buying a canoe. More often than not the canoe will just be for my to fish out of. Sometimes I will have another person in the canoe, but not normally.

john

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming work discussing canoes. Perhaps this will help...

"I love fishing from a canoe. There is traditionalism to a double-ender that brings a great satisfaction to river fishing, as though one were somehow connected to all those river explorers who came before. Paddling a well-designed canoe on a scenic midwestern waterway during the colorful months of autumn is a guaranteed stress-reliever and a great source of exercise. All canoes are not equal and what separates a good fishing vessel from a boat designed expressly for tripping is stability and mobility. A full discourse on the merits of various designs is beyond the scope of this book. The interested reader is encouraged to contact the various manufacturers for more information and a real education on the delights of paddling.

Canoes possess several traits that must be carefully weighed before purchase if practical versatility and a long-term relationship are to be cemented. The factors to consider are the size and beam (width) of the canoe, initial versus secondary stability, the rocker and the tumblehome. Let’s look at each of these in turn.

All other things being equal a longer canoe will be faster and will draft shallower. It should come as no surprise that an eighteen-foot design will carry more gear and is better suited for large water than a fourteen-foot design. The trade-off is weight and maneuverability. A solo fly fisher will do well in a twelve to fourteen foot boat, a pair of fishermen - especially fly fishermen – will quite likely feel cramped on anything smaller than sixteen feet (some might say sixty feet!).

If the length of the canoe is directly proportional to efficiency, the beam of the canoe is inversely proportional to efficiency. That is, a wider boat will be more stable, but slower and less efficient to paddle than a narrow design. Serious tripping canoes are often less than thirty inches wide – this makes for easy mileage but exhausting fishing. Conversely, a forty-inch wide canoe will make for a tough paddle against the wind – especially so if you have to cover a few miles to get to the take-out point before the skies open up on you! A wide canoe will feel very stable when drifting and casting, though. Most canoes sold as “sporting” boats for fishing and hunting will feature a thirty-four to thirty-eight inch or more beam.

My grandfather never liked canoes. Perhaps that was true because in his day most canoes small and light enough to car-top exhibited marginal to poor initial stability. Initial stability is a canoe’s resistance to tip or rock from side-to-side and is directly affected by hull design and tumblehome. Canoes which feature deep vee-type hulls often feel unstable to an inexperienced paddler. They feel like they are ready to roll over at a moment’s notice and with only the slightest provocation. Fishing from such a boat will give your lower back a real workout and total exhaustion is the likely reward for a full day spent on board.

On the other hand, properly designed canoes with deep vee hulls, which may exhibit moderate initial stability, may very well show outstanding secondary stability. Secondary stability is a canoe’s resistance to completely roll over and swamp while still allowing a good degree of tilt while paddling. The boat will tip, but then will reach a limit where it doesn’t want to tip any more. This is ideal for extreme maneuvers in fast water. Most white water canoes and some tripping canoes are carefully designed to maximize this attribute. In the hands of an experienced canoeist such a vessel can be made to virtually dance on the water.

The rocker of a canoe is the amount of upturn at the ends of the boat. A canoe with considerable rocker will have a distinct “U” shape. Extreme rocker is the purvey of white water boats – the greater the amount of curve the more maneuverable the canoe will be. Increasing rocker, while decreasing the turning radius of the canoe, also makes the boat more difficult to “track” straight. That is, pulling on one side of the canoe with the paddle will make the canoe turn quickly in that direction. When you are bearing down on an extreme curve in a river – and the current is moving you along at six or eight miles per hour- the ability to turn the boat before you bang into the bank or mid-stream rocks is a central concern. Fortunately most Midwestern waterways are quite tame compared to the beasts of the mountainous west and east.

A canoe with no rocker at all will track very true in flat water. This is a design used for paddling in lakes, ponds and other large waterways. My own Mad River Malecite is a design with minimal rocker and as such is quite efficient both in speed and tracking. A couple pulls of a paddle will send you scooting along in the direction the canoe is pointing. Carefully examine the nature of the waterways you are most likely to fish and choose a design that best suits that water. For most fishermen, only a slight rocker will be necessary.

Tumblehome is directly related to the design of the bottom of the boat. Tumblehome is the amount of inward curve of the side of the canoe from the bottom to the top. Flare is the opposite of tumblehome. Tumblehome makes the sides of the canoe look like a “C” and provides great protection in white water. A canoe with extreme tumblehome is also often designed with emphasis on secondary stability. A better choice for fishing is a canoe that exhibits only slight tumblehome, has a flat or nearly flat bottom, and places emphasis on initial stability.

In addition to the basic design of a canoe, material chosen for its construction must also be given some serious thought. In general there are three materials used for contemporary canoe construction: aluminum, molded plastic, and Kevlar™ or a Kevlar/fiberglass composite. Aluminum is tough, but heavy and noisy. While I have fished from many aluminum canoes and boats, I much prefer the quiet efficiency of a Kevlar or Kevlar/fiberglass boat. Kevlar, of course, is tough. It is the material from which bullet proof vests are made. That said, a Kevlar canoe would scratch and/or break upon impact rather than dent, like aluminum. Roto-molded plastics may be the best compromise in that they are tough, quiet and flexible. Plastic is tough – nearly indestructible – but less efficient in that the hull will flex slightly during paddling, robbing momentum and energy. The final choice is up to the individual and should be made based upon the nature, speed and composition of the streams, rivers and waterways one intends to fish.

Kayaks come in all the same configurations as canoes but are usually designed for a single paddler. Kayaks have grown tremendously in popularity in recent years, especially for fly-fishing. There are two basic categories of kayak one must consider if this is the path you choose to take. There are “sit on top” kayaks and “cockpit” kayaks. Cockpit designs are often white water craft and are what most folks picture when the word kayak is said. A sit-on-top design is usually less expensive and made from a roto-molded plastic. Before purchasing you should try both and see which one best fits your personality and fishing style. Most vendors sponsor events where a multitude of designs are brought to a local pond or river where you can “test drive” each. Nothing will help your decision like hands-on experience.

One thing to consider regarding the sit-on-top design is its ease of entry and egress. If you plan on paddling to key areas where you will hop out and wade, a sit-on-top design has much to offer. Getting in and out of a cockpit in waders can be interesting, to say the very least."

Excerpt taken from Fly Fishing Warm Water Rivers - Lessons Learned on Ohio's Great Miami ISBN 0-9765963-0-X. This book has gone to print this month and will be available in April for those who are interested.

Joe C.

"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each."
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Visit Fly Fish Ohio for great fly fishing and fly tying articles, the "Adventures in Fly Tying" monthly video podcast and the "Adventures in Fly Fishing" monthly audio podcast. The Midwest isn't a place you fly over to get to good fishing - it's right here in our own backyards.


Think globally - fish locally.

#5 cornmuse

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 08:53 AM

Oh, BTW - I can't recommend the Mad River Malecite too highly. I've owned and fished from this boat for nearly 6 years and I can't imagine a better choice in a canoe. Perfect for one man, very good for two. It is a little narrower than ideal which means you've got to develop a bit of canoe savy and feel - that said I fish standing from this canoe regularly. Get it with the optional center seat and Carry-Yoke. YMMV...

http://www.madriverc...Malecite_kx.jpg
"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each."
- Henry David Thoreau

Visit Fly Fish Ohio for great fly fishing and fly tying articles, the "Adventures in Fly Tying" monthly video podcast and the "Adventures in Fly Fishing" monthly audio podcast. The Midwest isn't a place you fly over to get to good fishing - it's right here in our own backyards.


Think globally - fish locally.

#6 conehead

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 11:05 AM

Cornmuse, great article, it sums up very well all the reading I have done on the subject. Ridderbos3 Cornmuse gave you all the info you should need.

I have used a canoe for fly fishing for several years now. In wide rivers, I just use it to get me and my partner from place to place. I find it is not easy to fish from in moving water.

I have a old Colman, 18 foot, 36 inches wide, flat bottom suitable for lakes and wide easy rivers. You need two people to use this big barge. I have a 2HP gas motor which turns it into a speed boat with 2 guys. and a 35 lb thrust electric for certain lakes (works well).

Becaus eof the size and shape it is not good to use in fast water where you must spin on a dime (I tried it and scared myself). I only paid $100. for the conoe and snagged the 2 horse motor while wade fishing (gotta love those crayfish) for smallmouth (cleaned it up, broke loose the frozen piston, new gas and it started right up), I guess it fell of in the middle of the river. It looked like it was there for only one season. Have used it 5 years now.

I use this rig because it cost me so little. If I were going to spend the buck I think I would check into a kyack or inflatable pontoon.

Conehead

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#7 lanvaettir

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 07:27 PM

My brother-in-law piched up a plastic and aluminum Coleman canoe for pretty cheap and he loves it. He has ab used the craft (including wrapping it around a rock or two) and it bounces back into shape. It's really ugly and harder to handle than a traditional canoe but he can mount a small motor to it and it's tough as nails.
Here fishy ... Good fishy ...

#8 Joe Hard

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 10:52 PM

When I was a kid I did most of my fishing from a canoe, it was great . It was a heavy fiberglass one. I could barley pull it on shore. It would track in the water well. Meaning that you could paddle as hard as you could on one side and the canoe would go straight. I got into one of the newer (at the time) lighter canoes and hated it. One stroke of the paddle and you went in the oppisite direction, sort of like a toy rubber dingy. Not to mention the wind. Just something to consider before purchasing one
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#9 Sean Juan

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 09:55 AM

I couldn't agree more with Cornmuse...

I just wanted to expand on the Sit-on-top kayak he mentions - I've been using one for three years now and I love it. Rivers lakes or the ocean its pretty sweet.

Its stable and fast (compared to a belly boat or a canoe paddled by one person) but the best feature is the ease of getting in and out.

I often will paddle out to a sand bar get out into waist deep water, fish and then get back in when the water is nipple deep or deeper...boat can't swamp.

Storage isn't as good as a canoe, but with a few hatches you can store enough for a three day trip - flip the boat (which I do for fun in the surf) and not lose a thing or even have it get wet.


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