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Old aluminum vs. new Ram-X

I'm looking at buying my first canoe, and I'm torn between buying a used 17' Loweline aluminum or a new Pelican Dakota 15.5' canoe. I'm sure the Pelican is lighter, but I really like the look of the older aluminum model. I'm not planning to do any whitewater travel; mainly slow local rivers and lakes, and primarily day trips with one of my kids or my wife (so I won't be packing a lot of gear).

My guess is the 17' is probably more canoe than I need, but I also wonder how well the Pelican will hold up long-term (especially being stored under my deck, which is likely where it'll end up).

A friend said aluminum boats almost always leak, and they're heavy relative to those made of plastics; but I also think the aluminum boat would probably hold value better than the plastic ones.

The price is the same for both boats...so any suggestions as to which would serve me best?


  • IMO
    -- Last Updated: Sep-14-10 12:30 AM EST --

    I would take most any good condition aluminum boat over a pelican any day. I don't think the weight difference is that much. And unless mistreated, they don't leak in my experience.

    Unless they're painted camo... ;)

  • There's some variation in aluminum
    quality, but I see more Pelicans wrapped around trees than I see aluminum canoes.

    Or, you could patiently shop for a used Royalex canoe. Durable, repairable, quiet, cool in sun, warm in cold water.
  • Ram-X material is prone to warping
    I can't be sure about the new models, but ALL older canoes made of Ram-X plastic are severely warped. By "severely warped", I'm talking about deviations of several inches. Some of the boat-rental places that I drive past on a regular basis have Coleman canoes (the predecesor of Pelican) made of Ram-X, and even though the boats are stored on racks 300 feet off the road, the warping can easily be seen when driving by at highway speed. I don't think there is a worse hull material than Ram-X.
  • you said "river" ......
    ...... do these rivers have rocks ??

    Do they flucuate in guage depths during the year like most mountain and piedmont rivers ?? Do the get shallow sometimes , deeper other times ??

    Any plastic canoe will be far superior in a mountain or piedmont river than an aluminum canoe . Don't believe me ... buy an aluminum and find out for yourself .

    In a mountain or piedmont river that has rocks , gravel bars , ledges , shallow sections , etc. the plastic canoe will flex over the obstical as you run it ... the aluminum canoe will not flex (but it will dent like an auto wreck) , at worse case it will grind to a halt and stick like glue to the rocky obstical .

    Get a canoe "without" a keel .

    Is there a river that doesn't have rocks , ledges and bars ... I guess that's a different type of river than comes to mind for me ??

  • I almost agree...
    Aluminum sucks on rocks and gravel, because as you said it sticks rather than slipping over it. Plastic is much better...except that the Ram X plastic is so inferior otherwise that I'd still prefer aluminum over it. And as for keel vs. no keel, I agree completely if it's a plastic boat, because the keel does nothing on a plastic boat but get the preponderance of wear and tear, rather than spreading it around...it is totally ineffectual for keeping the canoe tracking straight. However, on aluminum I actually prefer a regular inch-tall keel, rather than a shoe keel like that which was on the old Grumman whitewater models, because on aluminum, the keel catching all the wear and tear is better than spreading the wear over the whole bottom.

    I owned a Grumman from about 1970 to 1988 or so, and put tens of thousands of miles on it on Ozark streams. Finally gave it away to my brother-in-law, and he STILL uses it. The only leak it ever had was where the aluminum actually wore completely through near the stern. I've pretty well worn out the bottoms of several plastic boats since. Say what you want about aluminum, the stuff defines the word durable, and you don't have to do anything at all to maintain it.
  • Options
    Taking the plunge
    I've committed to the Loweline aluminum canoe, and should be picking it up this Saturday. I don't know if I'll get a chance to put it in the water this weekend, but we'll see.

    Initially I'm probably not talking about doing any rocky rivers or rapids; likely local lakes and calm rivers. Within a year or two I'll know if I'm actually using the boat enough to justify buying something better/new or not, and at that point I might upgrade to something nicer, and my venue might also change from placid streams to something more challenging. Or if I find I don't really have the time/interest that I think I'll have, I'll sell it and move on...but at least being aluminum it won't deteriorate from just sitting there like a poly one might.
  • aluminum is noisy ......
    -- Last Updated: Sep-15-10 12:35 PM EST --

    ...... it can get mighty hot in the sun , it's cold in the cold months , it dents (alot) instead of flexing , it has a keel , it has sharp edges here and there , and gets sharp burs , seats are basically uncomfortable , it's metal-it's hard , it reflects sunlight in your eyes , it's got a gazzilion rivets , has crap foam floatation in bow and stern at best ... but it's a canoe .

    Go ahead and get an aluminum canoe (metal gets hot and cold , much more so than poly) , you'll get more "bang" for your buck . They paddle OK though , so enjoy .

    Why don't you just get yourself a nice Oldtown or similar "great" 3 layer linear polyethylene canoe ... or a Royalex canoe ?? ... you can't hurt these canoes , I don't care what you do to them , leave them set out side uncovered all year , crash and bang em ... who cares , they are indestructable (almost) .

  • Easy there
    -- Last Updated: Sep-15-10 1:33 PM EST --

    The cheaper Old Towns have seats that are even worse than the seats of aluminum canoes, because not only are they hard, but they have front and back sides that prevent you from tucking your feet under them. Their cheap canoes have the very worst seats in the canoe world, in my opinion.

    You are greatly over-stating the tendency of aluminum canoes to become dented. I'm not sure about the brand that the original poster is getting, but Grumman canoes are mighty tough, especially the shoe-keel model. Most of the really old Grummans I've seen have been quite abused, but the dents are few, and MUCH less significant than the warpage that occurs with Ram-X plastic. Alumicraft canoes weigh much less than Grummans, but even those boats usually only have minor dents when abused. The "normal" dents you get in Ram-X plastic cover a distance of two to three feet and are four to eight inches deep. Ram-X plastic won't maintain its shape at all. It's hard to over-state how bad that material is for boat building.

    As far as reflecting light goes, don't forget that the poster is buying an old boat. OLD aluminum is dull gray, and doesn't reflect badly at all.

    There's nothing wrong with that "crap foam floatation" either. It works as well or better than the floatation provided by low-density Ram-X plastic. The only downside I've seen with foam floatation is that you need to be careful that carpenter ants don't make a nest there while the boat is in storage.

    I think the original poster has the right idea. Of the two cheap boats available to him right now, he's picking the one that will handle better and paddle more easily. He says he'll be willing to spend more on a different boat in the future if he "catches the bug". If that day comes, used aluminum canoes can be sold for the price you paid for them, which can't be said for Ram-X, which just gets uglier and more warped the older it gets.

  • yeah, the old style flat poly seats in
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 3:05 AM EST --

    ....... in the "old" Oldtown canoes are hard on the butt and need a pad at the least . I carved out and contoured the bow seat in our 84 16'-10" Royalex Oldtown , very comfy now , but seats can be changed easily if one desires .

    I'm not going to argue with you gbg , there's no comparison between an Oldtown Expedition 169 (Discovery 169 ??) (or any other Oldtown for that matter) and the best Grumman ever made ... the Oldtown wins hands down by miles in every category without question ... I know the difference . If one wants to upgrade to something lighter and faster from there , well that's about what you get for the extra bucks , but that's all you get , lighter and a tad bit faster (maybe) .

    I know of a fleet of old Grummans , rented and paddled them long ago for down river runs , over nighters , etc. ... they look like a train wreck , leak some , and have been banged and banged ... but they still float ...

    I don't recommend either a RamX or an aluminum canoe ... there is no reason to buy either when other much more preferable canoes exist , both new and used . One might have to be a bit more patient or drive a little farther to find one but that will be worth it after the fact .

    OP , if you can call any one of the Bass Pro Shops in the boardering states to AR (AR doesn't have a Bass Pro) ... I strongly suggest you consider riding over the boarder and purchasing an Oldtown Expedition 169 or other Oldtown from them ... they should give you a 10% discount on everything you purchase from them the first time if you sign up for thier Bass Pro credit card (cut the card up afterwards if you want) .


    click "Stores" when page comes up ...

    ps., ... you'll have to call the Bass Pro (Outdoor World) store and talk w/ them about the Oldtown canoes they have in stock ... they won't be listed or shown on the website

    ed: ... link corrected

  • This is funny, but expected
    You say "I'm not going to argue with you gbg" And then you proceed to do exactly that, using the same style of argument about boats as you do when espousing the merits of super-cheap paddles.

    "There's no comparison between an Oldtown Expedition 169 (Discovery 169 ??) (or any other Oldtown for that matter) and the best Grumman ever made ... the Oldtown wins hands down by miles in every category without question ... I know the difference." Your statement - "I know the difference" - is truely proven wrong by the very next thing you wrote: "If one wants to upgrade to something lighter and faster from there , well that's about what you get for the extra bucks , but that's all you get , lighter and a tad bit faster (maybe)." Ha! It's clear you need some butt time and perhaps a few hundred miles in a greater variety of canoes. The Old Town Discovery is near the bottom of the heap in terms of performance - You just don't know it yet. It may be better than an aluminum canoe, but not by much in terms of performance, and in comparison to lots of other boats (including a few by Old Town), it's a pig.
    Sure, it's okay for general use, but it provides nothing that would justify the praise implied by your statements. The only thing stellar about that boat is its ability to withstand tremndous abuse, and that's hardly something the average person really needs to consider.

    By the way, rental fleets are hardly the thing to look at when judging a canoe's quality, especially for aluminum canoes that are commonly still in service after 40 or 50 years. Those dents you see in aluminum rental boats didn't get there just by normal hits on the occasional rock.

    Again, you really might want to lighten up. The poster asked about his choice between two boats, and all I did was compare the two choices, and then point out that real world experience in aluminum canoes is nowhere near as unpleasant as you seem determined to make it appear. For a person who has the chance to get a decent boat "right now" (as opposed to searching for a deal on something better), the advice to get the aluminum boat seems okay by me.
  • And I can add:
    I have a OT Disco and have had it for a long time.
    Several years ago we rented two canoes from the US Park service down in the Everglades to take some other people paddling with us.
    I have no idea what make they were, but they had a indian logo on the front.
    I would take one of those any day over my OT disco. they were lighter, and handled beautifully.
    I am not deemeaning the OT at all. it was just that the particular aluminum canoe was better.

    Jack L
  • Aluminum is noisy in part because it
    is thin and stiff, like a soundboard. If there is one thing I don't like about my new, very light, very stiff Millbrook OC-1, it is that it is about as noisy as aluminum. I don't even have to hit any rocks or gravel, the boat can sound like a trap drum as the flat underside of the bow hits the waves.

    Aluminum disappeared pretty fast from ww rivers when Royalex/Oltonar canoes appeared. But compared to Ram-X, and to whatever the later Pelicans are made of, aluminum will stand up to ww abuse well enough.
  • Weights, Aluminum vs Discovery Poly
    There is only one Grumman 17' that weighs close to the 85# of a 169 Discovery. It would be the Whitewater 17 with shoe keel. The conventional 1740C model is in the mid 60's.(Will look up the exact weights when i get home). And the Loweline canoe the OP asked about is in the range of the 1740C and is certainly no heavier.
    On the water, the Disco 169 has no great advantage. The aluminum hull can be painted inside to keep down the reflection of infrared, the noise can be dampened with carpet along the bottom. Paddling wise, in water deep enough to bury the paddle blade, there will be little difference. If the Lowe has truss rivets and a deep keel, it might be a few strokes slower, but hardly noticeable at a recreational pace. For the price, the OP is well off to buy the aluminum canoe and get started.
    He will always have a handy "loaner" canoe. He certainly is aware of the aluminum drawbacks; and he can live with them. Thousands of miles of rivers were explored in aluminum Grummans after WWII. Tens of thousands of us were taught to canoe in aluminum canoes in Scout Camps. And we went on many wilderness trips in them and enjoyed it. Many of those Grummans from the 50's and 60's are still in service in those same camps. Dents do pound out of aluminum.
  • Floatation in the ends
    If the floatation in the ends is suspect, you can usually knock out the rivets that hold the cover plate and pull out all the old stuff and replace it. I have a michi-craft from 1978. I picked it up and put it on the car roof. While driving down the road, a snake slithered out onto the hood. When I took the end covers off, there was only half the original foam left, lots of dirt and garbage. Cleaned it out and filled it with pool noodles and spray foam and sealed it up. Used bolts to hold covers back on. It is old and dull, so there is no glare, and besides that's what polarized sunglasses are for. I also haven't been burned yet by the metal. Cut the keels off - it had three- and now the thing turns on a dime and I can heel it over a bit. It's a 17 footer and I often paddle it alone. Have fun.
  • Aluminum boats work
    I had an alumacraft for 50 years and it had no noticeable dents, and didn't leak when I gave it to my son

    Recently while staying at a resort in northern MN with my family we took out a 17 ft. alumacraft. (Hard to get everyone in the magic.) We had a good time in it. Paddled nicely. Handled nicely. Did the job.
  • I wasn't arguing w/you gbg ......
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 8:53 AM EST --

    ...... I made statements , and I fully support every word I said . You can re-write my statements till the cows fly and they will still be exactly what I said , meaning exactly what they say , not what you want them to say or mean .

    Curious how it is that many of us started paddling in the ol aluminum Grummans many moons ago but chose/choose to purchase plastic boats , composite boats and never looked back with any desire to purchase and paddle the aluminum canoe again .

    As for those paddles I use and you call super cheap ... I guarantee my paddles will either match or blow the doors off anything you think is better for the river enviroment , I guarantee it . You haven't a clue what kind of paddle is needed in the river gbg or you wouldn't have made that statement . The lightest , powerfulest , toughest , meanest rock eating paddle that can be had is the best one in the river , and the ones I use fit the bill perfectly . Not only do they fit the river bill perfectly , they are a pleasure to use and paddle any water with , all day long from first light to solid dark , miles and miles and miles and miles .

    I run rivers mostly , rocky mountain and piedmont . I may push up stream 4-5 miles in about as fast of water as a canoe can go , sometimes my paddle nessasarily becomes a pole ... I may run down stream nessasarily jumping rock ledges , skirting skinny streches as they come up , weaving the rock gardens , having a glancing blow off a barely submerged rock , the usual river stuff , etc. ... the river is constantly changing from deep swirling pools , deep channel flows , to light rapids , roaring fast to near still slow , to unavoidable ledges and drops , to suck shallows (sometimes even scrape shallow) ... my OT Expedition 169 shines like a star with 500-600 lb. load and moves like speeding train when the current runs hard and fast (it could handle another 400 lbs. w/o the slightest concern too) ... it manuvers and turns like a champ ... it may be matched or bested by other canoes and canoeist , but not by much ... that's saying something coming from me ... so take it for whatever you think it's worth .

    "ANY" canoe can be paddled around on calm flat waters and be pleasant ... not any canoe can take the river enviroment and shine , the OT Expedition 169 can and it shines like a champ , most plastic canoes can ... the ol Grummans (best of the aluminums) ran many a river but they didn't do it well at all , they took the beating better than wood and canvas of the prior generation , plastic boats are far superior in the mountain river enviroment than either of the former generations of canoe materials ... why ?? ... because they take the abuse the river "ALWAYS" dishes out and walk away smiling , not dented and rivit busted leaks , not torn canvas , rib busted and holed .

    Plain common sense should see that no seams , one piece hulls , one part instead of 100 parts are much more practical and care free , the mile wide gap in advantage between plastic and aluminum canoes only starts there , the gap gets bigger with every practical consideration about canoes there after .

    Not argument , these are statements ... facts .

    and I don't even do WW , just "normal" everyday easy river stuff ... this OT Expedition is also a "GREAT" large reservour canoe , when things get rough and the water blows big , it smiles and we paddle on without concern , like I said the only thing I'd trade it for is Royalex 172 Tripper ... I've paddled enough canoes for long enough to know what I'm saying ... I'm not guessing

  • pp , add 500 lbs. or more and then .....
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 2:14 AM EST --

    ...... see if it makes any difference if the canoe weighs 64 or 84 pounds .

    It does , but maybe not the way you think ... the heavier , sturdier , stronger boat is better .

    It just struck me that everything you said about aluminum canoes seemed to confirm every advantage I mentioned about the OldTown 3 layer linear polyethylene canoes or similar construction canoes .

  • and if you had an Oldtown or similar ...
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 1:57 AM EST --

    ...... construction plastic canoe (3 layer linear polyethylene or Royalex) , ogre , you wouldn't have had any problems or repairs to the deteriorated spray foam filled ends , no knocking out rivets and dismantling the metal ... Oldtown and similar are full hull floatation , the center layer is solid floatation that doesn't deteriorate .

  • sure they work , they are even pretty ..
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 9:05 AM EST --

    ...... and nice paddlers , just keep them shiney , dent free and use them in calm to easy , non-rocky waters and they can become antiques like the ol wood and canvas canoes , classics in everyway .

    Navy Jelly for aluminum shines them up like new every time .

  • None of which is applicable to the ...
    ...original post.
  • You are applying an extreme situation...
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 10:32 AM EST --

    ... to everyone. Believe me, there are advantages to good paddles and there are advantages to purpose-built canoes. Your response to every question about paddles is to get a cheap rock-basher, and your response to every question about canoes is to get an Old Town. To me, that defies any implication of having all sorts of experience in all sorts of different boats and conditions. Not everyone is crashing around in rivers the way you describe. Lots of people have used aluminum canoes in rocky rivers for years and found them inconvenient at times but usually nothing worse than that, and they are not "wrong" for saying so. This wouldn't have taken off like this if you could take other people's comments in proper context rather than reaching for extremes to insure that you can be right, if you would keep the purposes of the original poster in mind rather than imposing new ruling parameters of your own, and if you'd just "lighten up already". The guy just got a good deal on a boat that will do the job and which will probably never be worth less than he paid for it. I'm happy for him.

  • most aluminum canoes I've seen ......
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 10:52 AM EST --

    ...... "and paddled" , have that high recurved bow and stern , call it the Indian look if you want .

    Great big wind catcher sails that look really neat , but get pushed around by every breeze ... add any significant wind (which is almost "ALWAYS" the case) and you get to enjoy the big fight with the wind to go where you want to go instead of where the wind wants you to go (good muscle building stuff) !!!

    What is noise in a canoe ?? It's the sound of things the canoe bumps into , it's the sound everything that's inside the canoe when those things get touched or moved about (picking up & setting down a paddle , grabbing a container or sliding something forward or backward , , it's the sound of the water lapping the canoe , it's the sound of picking up & setting down a fishing rod or anything else , it's the sound of beaching and parking the canoe on shore , it's the sound of the paddle against the gunnel on prys or under canoe strokes , it's the sound of loading and unloading the canoe , it's the sound of dragging the canoe , it's the sound of standing up and sitting down in the canoe , and many more things that have anything to do with a canoe . Clunk , clunk , bang , thunk , echo , echo , scrape , grind , clunk bang thunk !!!

    What is quite in a canoe ?? ... it's the same thing that noise is but it's very very quite noise and unabtrusive , pssst , psssst , tip , tap , woosh ... aluminum is LOUD irritating noise !!

    Oldtown has a construction they call "3 Layer Superlinear Polyethylene" ... it's not the same as 3 layer linear polyethylene . The Superlinear is quite noticably stiffer (far less prone to oil canning , my Expedition doesn't oil can at all) , it's HDPD and extremely tough also . The Expedition 169 is Superlinear and I believe the Disco 169 and some others are now also .

    The polyethylene floatation core in the OT canoes makes them float high and ensures great load carrying capacity . A canoe that floats high smooths across the water and is agile instead of burrying in it and bogging down . A loaded canoe that floats high as loaded canoes go , is better than a laoded canoe that burries itself in the water deeper (load capacity is a big deal even when loaded lightly) .

    The reason I purchased the OT Expedition 169 (Disco ??) was not a guess , it wasn't because I didn't have enough experience (butt time to gbg) , it wasn't because I had not paddled enough canoes to know better (I've paddled nice Royalex , single layer polyethylene , aluminum , and FG composite ... I purchased the Oldtown because of what it is , what it does , what it can do , because it's a great canoe and I know the difference .

    Aluminum canoes have form ribs (the more the better since it's aluminum) ... those ribs don't allow for sliding things forward and backward as needed between bow and stern paddlers or for any other reason you want to rearrange something . Those ribs are "catch alls" and collect garbage and sometimes thier edges stick up some and can be sharp ... Seamless one piece plastic hulls like OT's have no obtrusive ribs !!!

  • Did you sleep during science class?
    You say

    "The polyethylene floatation core in the OT canoes makes them float high and ensures great load carrying capacity . A canoe that floats high smooths across the water and is agile instead of burrying in it and bogging down . A loaded canoe that floats high as loaded canoes go , is better than a laoded canoe that burries itself in the water deeper (load capacity is a big deal even when loaded lightly)."

    You don't understand bouyancy at all. Making the hull out of a material that floats will NOT make the boat float higher if the overall hull is heavier, which an Old Town poly hull is. If you take two boats of identical shape, one made of aluminum and the other of poly, and if the poly boat weighs 15 pounds more, the poly boat float slightly lower in the water simply because the whole boat weighs more. It's NOT that hard to understand, but of course, differences of 15 pounds won't make much difference in most cases anyway. You are reaching for extremes again, but this time what you said is totally wrong no matter what situation you apply it to. I think it's time to quit.
  • Get The Lowe
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 11:11 AM EST --

    That was our first canoe, 17' Lowe made in Lebanon, MO. It was heavy, hot in the summer, cold in the winter. Aluminum does tend to "Hang" on rocks in shallow water. But I could stand to look for my line, the seats were fairly comfortable, it will definitely paddle more efficiently and easily than the Pelican. We paddled a lot of different Ozark streams and it served us well. I sold it because my wife had difficulty helping me load it (mine was 80 something lbs) and it was too heavy for me to load myself all the time. But that canoe is a very good choice for a "Starter" canoe here in the Ozarks. WW

  • what is it about those blow moulded
    ....... plastic Oldtown seats (the new style , not the old flat ones) .

    Well , they are contoured and make for very comfortable butt fit , they are filled with extra waterproof floatation (waterproof means the floatation won't rot , shrink or absorb water) , they are strong (very) , they need zero care , they are structural , they also have adjustable seat backs (but I removed them right away w/o ever even trying them) , they are the type of seat that one can sit in all day long and be happy about it ... add a thin pad layer to the contour if you need to , we don't ... they are solid smooth construction from side to side , no holes or gaps to snag on your butt cloths and things in pockets , the shaped contour keeps your butt planted when the canoe starts rocking and rolling , that shaped contour also eliminates the straight edge on the front of a seat that puts unnessasary pressure on the underside of your thighs (like straight front edge wood woven seats , planks , aluminum seats , etc. that "do" pressure the underside of the thigh) . All facts , OT poly seats are good stuff for all the reasons mentioned .

  • gbg , you must be totally cluesss ......
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 12:44 PM EST --

    ...... either that or you just want to pick a fight and be argumentative .

    Floatation is what "helps" to make the load ride higher (it's called bounyancy) , and in Oldtown's case it's a fantastic ballance in draft-freeboard verses load capacity .

    I can run my Expedition 169 through 3" of water (or very shallow water in any case) with a 500 lb. load and it smooths right on through . That bounyancy due to full hull floatation (and hull design) also raises faster when it does touch something below , it's a rebound effect .

    I think your problem is gbg , you think too much and come up with inncorrect comprehensions .

    A canoe with a given load (call it X lbs.) will displace that amount of water vol. required to equal the exact same weight X as the canoe load . Some will float higher in the water (less draft) , some will float lower (more draft) , but both will displace the same amount of water by weight X .

    Let's see , a PFD is filled with floatation , why does it hold you up ??

    Why do things that float come "up" to the surface , and things that sink go "down" to the bottom (like aluminum) ??

    Why do things that have more bouyancy float higher with a given load X than things with less bouyancy do ??

    Why does an ice cube float and a rock sink ??

    Why does a cu. vol. of salt water weigh less than an equal cu. vol. of fresh water ??

  • sure it is gbg ......
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 1:13 PM EST --

    ...... everything I've said is apllicable to the OP .

    OP is purchasing a canoe for the very first time , he has choices/options that are not Pelicans or Aluminums and I am encouraging him to weigh those choices , consider the advantages/disadvantages by providing information , explanations and reasoning .

    Why don't you go out and purchase an aluminum canoe gbg , it's your boat of facination , why paddle anything else ... your such a knucklehead sometimes , gbg !!

    The OP has far better choices available to him ... every one here has litterally confirmed most all of what I've said , but say to OP , get the aluminum .

    The OP lives in AR and intends to see rivers ... AR has great mountains and rocky rivers ... he will most likely desire to expand to those rivers after day one and see what they are all about ... everyone "loves" the rivers and quickly feels comfortable with them , and then it starts to get more interesting and fun , quiter , more serene , less people , more wildlife critters ... great fishing , adventure , explore , possible camp !!

    This fella will love the rivers , he lives in AR , it's in his blood . Geesh , this fella is going to take his kid into the great unknown and show him that life is not all concrete and asphalt , but things of great amazement and beauty exist beyond the manmade habitats , things that build character and wisdom and give ballance and understanding to life ... the mountains and rivers that run through them draw us all if we but dare go and seek ... he will , I'm certain of it , and a canoe that will serve him tons better there is where I'm coming from . he'll find his way to the mountain rivers as all who have gone before have , I'd bet money on it ... it's in his blood , and his kid's too !!

    But for the OP's sake I will say , "an aluminum canoe will get you out there on the water too , it will just have "all" the disadvantages I've mentioned here" , and if you can avoid them , then why not do so ... that's all , not more , not less .

  • if a plastic boat gets a burr ......
    ...... a gouge that has peel stick up , and can draw blood (especially on wet hands/skin) ... an aluminum boat can draw much more blood .

    Sure , file them both down ... after the fact !!
  • This isn't worth it, but it is you who .
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 1:29 PM EST --

    ...doesn't get it. Bouyancy is controlled by the overall weight of an object compared to its overall volume which is available for the displacement of water. The "density" of a floating boat is the overall weight divided by the overall volume as determined by the dimensions of the portion of the hull that is in contact with the water. What the boat is made of, or what it is carrying only contribute to the overall weight, not the volume, and thus only affect the overall density. Only when the boat becomes swamped does the density of the hull material or cargo become important, because in that case the volume of material bouyed up by water is only the volume of the hull material and cargo itself, not the empty space within the hull. Don't hurl insults when you don't understand this. It is very easy to come up with examples if you'd like. Do you think a 200-pound dugout canoe floats higher in the water than a 70-pound aluminum canoe just because aluminum sinks in water and wood floats? That's just a more extreme example of the same principle I illustrated when comparing a poly boat to a slightly ligher aluminum one.

    All of your examples miss the point completely and shows your lack of understanding. If you put 100 pounds of PFDs in the water, they will provide tremendous floatation for whatever object you care to attach to them. If you put 100 pounds of PFDs in your canoe, it becomes nothing more than 100 pounds of cargo (except that it is much more bulky cargo than normal), and they will make the boat sink deeper into the water exactly the same as 100 pounds of any other cargo. They will do nothing to help the boat float higher UNTILL the boat becomes swamped, because only then do all those PFDs displace water with their own volume rather than by means of the boat's hull. Again, when in a floating boat, 100 pounds of PFDs displace 100 pounds of water by sinking the hull more deeply into the water.

    A rock would float if you could make it hollow, showing that it's the volume as determined by external dimensions that matters, not the material itself. You nearly showed a glimmer of understanding when you said that the same weight of water is displaced as the weight of the floating object, but everything else shows that the true concept eludes you. This really shouldn't be so difficult. Maybe if I get time later on, I'll try to find a link to some site that explains this on an elementary-school level, but until then, don't be so sure of yourself. You truely do not understand bouyancy. Let's leave hull shape alone for now too, but that's actually the most important thing controlling how a boat rides in rough water.

  • Try reading
    This guy has no plans to carry 500 pounds of gear, and thus plaidpaddler's statement is quite relevant. The statement was probably relevant even with that load, but that isn't what he was talking about.

    You really need to read what people write, and that includes what I write. I am not enamored of aluminum canoes, but you insist that I am, not because I have said so, but because it makes it easy for you to villify my position that aluminum canoes are "okay" for what the OP describes. Lighten up. Really.
  • Can you adjust them? Can you put ...
    ...your feet under them? Seriously, you are sounding more like Pamlico_14 all the time.
  • gbg , the OT hull that has the .......
    ...... full floatation core is in contact with the water (it's not inside the canoe being payload like persons , gear etc. ... it's floatation is reacting to the water , it's floatation is resisting the desire to sink , it's floatation is floating up (called bouyancy) ... it helps the canoe hold up a greater payload , it floats higher for x payload . it's all those gazzilions of tiny tiny air bubbles trapped in the floatation core . The poly and floatation core poly are lighter than water , they float "up" , and can carry a greater payload x than a single sheet aluminum boat .

    You said it yourself with the 200 lb. wooden dugout canoe comparing it to the 70 lb. alumi,um canoe . The 200 lb. wooden dugout canoe floats that 200 lbs. up high like the 70 lb. alum. canoe ... why is that ??

    Because the wooden canoe is more bouyant . Now take a floatation core in an Oldtown , it doesn't weigh 200 lbs. but has much greater bouyancy per pound than an aluminum canoe , so the floatation core has a reserve of bouyancy to carry a greater payload higher in the water than the aluminum canoe .

    200 lbs. of PFD inside a canoe are 200 lbs. of payload ... 200 lbs. of PFD in contact with the water are 200 lbs. of floatation bouyancy , resistence to sinking .
  • I give up.
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 2:01 PM EST --

    Got kids in school? Go see their science teacher. The floatation must DISPLACE water with its OWN VOLUME to aid floatation. Inside a floating hull, it's just weight.

    I didn't say what you say I did about the dugout canoe. You incorrectly assumed the nature of how such a boat will float.

    Any floatation material that cannot be surrounded by water is just weight. Build the hull out of it, and all the material on the opposite side of the surface that contacts the water is just weight, unless the boat is swamped. In that case, a hull made of a floating material will float and a hull made of metal will sink. Do you think the air bags in whitewater boats make them float higher when they are dry and upright? Any interior floatation, whether tied in, glued in, or built into the hull won't provide "its own" floatation unil its own volume is displacing water, rather than displacing water with an air-filled hull. Using your reasoning, filling the entire interior volume of a dugout canoe with the wood that was originally carved out of there would make if float higher than if it were empty (it will do the opposite). You still don't see what's going on here?

  • you vilify yourself gbg , i have no ....
    ...... desire or intention to act such a way toward you .

    You ask ask for it repeatedly by your insults and put downs , that's why you are a knucklehead sometimes in my book .

    I read all of what others post , I consider well and long what they are saying , I respect what they say and thier reasons for speaking it ... I offer my insights , experience , explain them , and leave to others to consider my words and ponder them for validity , usefullness .

    You gbg , call names , make personal put down coments ... in return I declare you a knucklehead for doing such .

    You won't verify anything I've stated in this post referencing comparisons of advantage - disadvantage thoughts or opinion between an OT Expedition 169 (or any other similar plastic boat , high end , low end , whatever) , and the aluminum canoes ... a thousand times the same things I have referenced to plastic boats as advantage have been repeated , paraphrased , expounded on and upheld throughout this site , year after year , after year by so many others .

    I speak and write as simply and clearly as I am able . I don't mince words or play silly mind games games ... my words speak what you here and I believe are very understandable and hopefully informative .

    If anything I say is in error , then it should be challenged and corrected in a constructive manner ... my intentions to you gbg , are to show me what I have stated in error and "explain" why you feel it so ... then we can talk about and see how it works out , boils down .
  • no gbg , you can't adjust them ......
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 2:40 PM EST --

    ...... they are fixed position , just like all the other fixed position type seats such as seen in canoes that cost thousand more . No they are not sliding or IQ that to me are worthless contraptions with many parts that outweigh thier usefullness , but others may disagree .

    The contoured tandem Oldtown seats are designed to be sat on and forgotten about (as in tandem canoe) , not put your heels under while kneeling as in a solo canoe .

    You say I sound more and more like Pamlico 14 all the time ... you are such a knucklehead gbg !!!

    Pammy had some issues with people picking on him , he was a young man without the skills and life experience to deal with knuckleheads like yourself ... I on the other hand am a man , have sound control of my emotions and would punch you in the nose off if you wanted me to , w/o the slightest show of emotion .

    Pammy was also quite intellengent and acted extremely mature for his age against the knuckleheads who always picked on him . A-holes found it fun to upset him on purpose , they worked overtime and applied much effort thinking about how to push his buttons and put him down ... the young man showed 10 times thier maturity in almost every case as I remember .

    gbg , sometimes you act just like another one standing in line for thier knucklehead diploma ... pammy had it all over you gbg , you just couldn't know it .

  • cut a one foot square section out of ...
    ...... the bottom of an OT canoe , cut the same out of an aluminum .

    Set them in the water and push down on them ... what happens ??

    The OT hull core resist and floats back up (called bouyancy) ... what happens to the aluminum square ??

    Lighter than water or heavier than water by mass as in common weight terminolgy (not volumn) , no more , no less .
  • Again, try reading
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 5:57 PM EST --

    I have stated what I and lots of other people have experienced in regard to the suitability and durability of aluminum canoes. I've never said they were the cat's meow, only that they work reasonably well and don't need to be avoided like the plague when it comes to the kind of use described by the original poster. In addition, no one has said anything to support your extreme position, in spite of your insistance that this is so (no else has experience rivets popping out, leaks, or dents making the boat look like a car wreck as a result of normal use on rocky rivers, so clearly that's your view and now one elses, so far) If I point out a bit of short-sightedness on you r part because you never believe that high-quality boats and gear have any significant advantages over cheap plastic stuff, it's because I believe it to be so. Instead of trying to think of every concievable way in which an aluminum boat might have a disadvantage and not even acknowleging that many of these factors are easy to deal with, try actually reading the words that I and others have written. Your take on this whole thing is way out of proportion to anything anyone else has said.

  • Exactly!
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 3:06 PM EST --

    Now, READ what I wrote in previous posts and see how THIS example is within the terms I already described for a swamped boat. With those cut sections, you have removed the ability of the hull to displace water by means of its overall shape, and now all it can do is displace water by means of the volume of the material itself. There's a big difference between displacing water with a solid material and displacing water with a material shaped to include air within the volume of displacement. I already described this situation in principle, but you are not reading carefully enough.

  • my take is my take gbg ..........
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 4:01 PM EST --

    ...... I have mentioned many things in comparison between plastic canoes and aluminum canoes .

    They were mentioned solely for the educational purpose of the OP to consider and think about , he may consider them or ignore them at his will . My responsibilty here is to make such things known about for consideration ... I've long ago discovered what's available , what it does , what strengths and weaknesses each have to offer ... I can make educated discisions and choices that I perefer from what I have understanding of ... it's not my responsibility to make those decisions for others ... I just offer them food for thought (options) to consider when making such decisions .

    I have some friends who have owned a Coleman RamX 15' for probably near two decades . They leave it outside on the ground , they are not avid paddlers and probably haven't used the canoe in 10 years . Other friends of mine barrow thier Coleman RamX sometimes and go paddling with us ... That ol Coleman is a fine little paddler and in is not warped or distorted in any way ... it's actually kind of a tough little boat . I doubt it would hold up well in the mountain rivers for prolonged use there , but it's a good back water and pond boat for a reasonably light load . That little ol Coleman has all the same advantages over the aluminum canoe that I've mentioned so far , it's just not going to be as tough as the old Grummans are , but in mant ways I feel it's the superior canoe by a large margin .

    I don't like all the plastic interior infrastructure I see in the Pelicans . I don't believe the ol Coleman RamX 15's are anything like the newer Pelicans , completely different construction designs .

    The old Colemans have a pretty tough single layer poly hide ... I think (but am not certain) that the Pelicans are using two seperate thin skins , sort of an exterior hide for the hull shape , and an interior (for support) hide to help maintain hull shape . I've seen how the sun deforms the interior thin plastic hide and makes it pull away from the exterior hull skin , looks wrinkled and funky , twisted and deformed by the sun and heat .

  • Seats - Good Grief!
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 6:17 PM EST --

    Are there no limits to the way you will stretch your interpretation of these things? So far there are none.

    All seats in canoes "costing thousands more" can be adjusted to suit your needs. Sure, seats that adjust on the fly are rare, but I'm talking about making the boat fit the needs of the paddler. With traditional seats, it only takes simple hand tools and a few minutes of your time put the seat at whatever height and whatever angle you desire, and there's no conceivable way that you don't already know that if you've been on this site as long as you have. Also, kneeling in a canoe is NOT restricted to solo canoes at all, and it was the normal practice for decades in tandem canoes before the average person ever had a chance to see a solo canoe simply because the style barely even existed. I have no doubt that you are aware of that too. To think otherwise makes no sense, especially with all that experince you have.

    I'm a long way from being the first person on these boards to knock the lack of versatility of those huge, box-like seats that are bonded to the floor so you can't kneel and which can't be altered in any way (short tearing them out and replacing them). So, I ask if this super-comfortable seat might meet the needs of the average serious paddler by posing a simple question and look what happens. You throw convention out the window just so you can be right and I can be wrong.

    Anyway, my Pam_14 analogy was in reference to the way that for every aspect of your favorite canoe that is the way it is simply due to cutting costs for the mass market, you manage to find a way of saying it's the best thing ever. I thought you might understand that. My mistake.

  • If you are saying that the Coleman
    Ram-X is a better canoe than a aluminum canoe, then you don't know diddly squat about either of them !

    Jack L
  • Old Town Seats
    The blow moulded seats used in the Discovery series do allow kneeling. they are thicker and heavier than the usual Old town cane seats. They do offer greater durability and increased floatation when swamped. Both good things for outfitters. Pilotwngz will think they also make the canoe float higher in the water cause they are bouyant; but their extra 5 pounds of weight will add to the total hull weigh and displacement. When swamped they do help to keep the hull upright. All the hull floatation from the core tends to make a swamped Discovery turn over. The bouyant core in the hull bottom wants to rise to the surface.
    Guess we need to assembly a Lowe Aluminum canoe and a Discovery 169 with rotomoulded seats and put them in the water and measure the displacement depth.
    I checked all the old Aluminum brochures and the old 1990 buyers guides. 17' aluminum hulls from 0.040" aluminum weighed in the mid 60's. 0.060" aluminum hulls were at 80# depending on the number of ribs and the keel. The Grumman and Michicraft livery hulls with 0.060" hulls and WW rib layout were the heaviest, around the 85# weight of a Discovery 169. And the 169 weight is 85# with cane seats. There has been no change in the Old Town published weight since they went to rotomoulded seats. Its been the same for them in their royalex canoes; the Penobscot published weight is with aluminum trim and cane seats, not the standard vinyl gunwales.
    But all this Discovery vs Aluminum stuff is not what the OP asked. His question was Lowe aluminum vs. Pelican Dakota; and the Dakota is a very different canoe from the Disovery. It is akin to the Rockport.
    Guideboatguy, thank you for your attempt at explaining the bouyancy physics. Pilotwingz is missing it about the foam core not doing a darn thing till the hull swamps. The hull could be made of stainless steel; if the shape and weight are the same; the floating displacement will be identical.
    May the Original Poster enjoy his Lowe and later we can totally baffle him with our preferences in more advanced hulls.
  • what , are you another one jackl .......
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 11:34 PM EST --

    ...... who can't read what I said ??

    If I wanted to say the little ol Coleman RamX 15' is a better canoe than an aluminum canoe ... that's what I would have said .

    I did not say that did I ??

    The aluminum canoe has "some" favorable advantages over the Coleman RamX . In the same breath I will say that the little Coleman RamX 15' has advantages over the aluminum canoe also .

    As for your concern that I may not know diddly squat about either of them ... I know all that needs be known about both of them , that from experience and plain common sense . So what do think about that jackl , satisfy your reading into words that aren't there , written or spoken .

    Some people hear another say something that was spoken clearly , directly and understandable ... and they have the ability to believe the person meant something other than what was said . Are you one of those type people with that ability jackl ??

    The attitude you just directed towards me in your post was arrogant . If you had wished to know whether or not I believe a Coleman RamX is a better canoe than an aluminum ... you could of simply asked as opposed to acting like a knucklehead . And just because you opened your arrogance with the word "IF" , does not excuse you in my book . I think you have "assumed too much" .

  • gbg , you ask if the Oldtown seats
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 11:05 PM EST --

    ..... were adjustable . I said no they are not adjustable . They are fixed position .

    They can be repositioned in the same way as the wood frame seats in expensive canoes can be . They can be lowered . They can be tilted , etc. , they can be moved forward and rearward , I call that repositioning because it requires changes . They can be swapped out for a different style seat as well if one desires . They are not adjustable as in sliding or IQ type as I previously mentioned .

    The Oldtown seats are fastened to gunnels by through bolt , pretty much the same way the wood frame seats in canoes costing thousands more are .

    What are you talking about floor mounted box style seats for ?? You asked about the Oldtown seats I mentioned as if you don't know what they are , how they attach , what can be done with them .

    You understand what there is to understand about the Oldtown seats , don't you ??

    Again you act like a knucklehead making degtading accusations about me , gbg (knock , knock , knock) . I'm not stretching anything in my interpretation as you have claimed ... I spoke about Oldtown seats , made some seat observations and wrote some about those observations in a post on this thread ... simple as that , no stretch , no dramatization , no fiction , no mind game , no illusion , no animation , no "hidden" meanings .

  • you act like a knucklehead also pp .....
    ...... pilot would not think the floataion in the seats would make the canoe float higher (unless swamped) .

    Did you say the bouyant core in the Oldtown wants to rise to the surface ??

    Hmmm , the bouyant core wants to rise to the surface . Does that help the hull float higher in the water with an X payload ?? Does that mean the hull material itself has bouyancy beyond the displacement factor ??

  • I've offered about as many things ......
    ....... as I am aware of , thoughts for consideration , as to why the OP might want to consider other canoes , other palstic constructions (OT's 3 Layer Superlinear Polyethylene , Royalex , or other similar canoe constructions) , other than either the Aluminum or Pelican .

    I think the OP has a right to hear the comparison things I've mentioned and the explanations of them .

    nosirrahg , if you purchase the aluminum canoe , I believe you will enjoy it very much and wish you good journeys ...

  • Options
    I am sorry to say I read the whole thrd.
    Pilot, you don't know WTF you are talking about. From what a good paddling canoe is, all the way to how buoyancy works. For you, I think it is STFU and learn before you pipe up. Your facts aren't facts, your opinions are puerile.

    I agree with the idea it doesn't sound like you have enough experience to gauge what you are talking about. It really sounds like you are arguing these points to defend your own decisions rather than offer seasoned advice. Not long ago you were here asking questions as an unabashed novice, now you're purporting to *know* what's what. I think you don't know enough to know what you don't know.
  • Your words -Not mine !
    "it's just not going to be as tough as the old Grummans are , but in many ways I feel it's the superior canoe by a large margin ".

    Jack L

  • good enough jackl ,
    ....... in "many" ways I feel the little Coleman RamX 15' is a superior canoe by a large margin .

    And in many ways it is ... most of which have already been mentioned here by myself . If you'd like to discuss my reasoning behind that statement , we could do that .

    The little Coleman is good paddler with a light load . It's single layer plastic hull is tough and I have yet to see one all twisted up , to the contrary they have all been straight and undeformed . It is a single piece "plastic" hull with tubular reinforcement . It has a number of the advantages of plastic over aluminum construction (not all , but a number of them) .

    Just checked the reviews here on p.net about the Coleman RamX 15 , about 43 of them rate it an 8-10 . The be fair , about 8 of them rate it a 4 or less .

  • you've said "nothing" kanoo .....
    -- Last Updated: Sep-17-10 2:30 PM EST --

    ....... all you've done is make degrading broad sweep statements towards me , and have offered nothing to support them other than your arrogance . The words you've choosen to address me are fighting words (STFU) , instigating pushing words ... in person I'd insist you back them up ...

    I first paddled a canoe in 71 ... since that time have spent many miles and hours paddling . I own 2 canoes (both Oldtowns , one 3 Layer Super Linear , the other Royalex) , and have paddled about 9-10 different ones , spending enough time in each to know enough about them . I've "never" asked questions here as you say "like an unabashed novice" ... I have asked a few questions about some things , but very very few , canoes are not a difficult thing to understand , they are simple things . Paddling a canoe is not a difficult thing , it's a simple thing (heavy WW and freestyle are not included in that statement because they are advanced disaplines , niether of which skills have I aquired) .

    You made the statement "your facts aren't facts " ... another broadsweep useless comment . What "facts" in particular do you speak of , and what factual opposition do you have to offer in support of your opinion ... I will support my words with further explanation than has already been offered if you want .

    I came on p.net in 06 , and know the difference between a knucklehead like yourself and someone who has something useful to add to a conversation . I could make degrading broadsweep statements about you as well , but that would offer nothing of worth and then I would be acting like a knucklehead .

    For your information I do know what a good paddling canoe is . And here is a clue , a good paddling canoe has to be well suited to what it is being used for , the enviroment it is in , and not all use enviroments are the same . What has favorable advantages in one enviroment can be the worst possible canoe in another .

    High end super light expensive canoes can easily fall into worst possible canoe choice .

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