1st Canoe?


I’ve been looking for used canoes and I think I have found one. Its a used Michi-Craft 17’ aluminum in very very good shape. Price is $275.

Any pro’s or con’s to this vessel? I know the weight is about 80lbs.

This is going to be used for quiet paddling on lakes and maybe slow rivers. No whitewater. Just my wife and I and our beagle. Evening trips on the water.

Opinions please.


I have only a $400 budget. I’v ebeen looking at the Coleman’s and Pelican’s but can’t make myself buy one of those. The Coleman I can get for $280 but it seems so cheap. Weight is the same is the Michi-Craft.

Is 17’ too long?

Not a bad boat
Nothing wrong with aluminum canoes. They just tend to be a bit noisier than plastic/glass and they tend to stick to rocks instead of slide over them in shallow creeks.

Definitely a better boat than the Pelican.

aluminum canoe

– Last Updated: Jun-20-07 4:19 PM EST –

If it's in decent condition (minimal or insignificant dents), doesn't leak and isn't hogbacked, $275 is a fair price IMHO.
It may not be classy looking or as easy to paddle as some of the sleek upscale composites, but if you just want to "mess about in boats" go for it.

I still have the 1st canoe I bought in'72, a 17' Grumman and still can't bring myself to sell it. It's pristine considering its age and use and I've refused offers of 2X the original price.

It's a better boat and better buy than a Pelican or RamX.

If the noise bothers you, try laying a thin rubber mat inside on the bottom and a little duct tape on the gunnel if you tend to bang the paddle on the gunnel. Or you could just wear ear plugs.

If it fits your need and skill level, it's a great canoe.

And no, 17' is not too long.

Go for it!

– Last Updated: Jun-20-07 4:58 PM EST –

Aluminum canoes are not state-of-the-art, but they are immensely better than Colemans or Pelicans, because they are designed as actual boats, not as boat-shaped objects intended to stack compactly in a truck or warehouse. Also, they retain their shape, unless you subject them to real abuse. The Pelican canoe that is for sale at the store nearest me has never been used, yet it is already more seriously warped than your aluminum canoe will ever be unless you swamp it and wrap it around a bridge pier in swift water. Take it out and have fun!

Personally I would let it go.

Post a bio. so I know where your at.

I promise that I wont go and buy it out from under you.

Honestly for a guy on a budget you wont go wrong.

Fine Boat Priced About Right
My family and I still use the 17 ft. Grumman my father-in-law bought in the early 70’s. We love it because it’s indestructible, stable for beginners and the kids. Here in Michigan, at least, these boats are very popular with canoe liveries who expect them to take a lot of punishment for many years.

There seems to be a steady used market for such craft. I reguluarly see similar boats priced from $250-$400. If for some reason you don’t like this boat or out grow it you’ll have no trouble reselling it at a good price.

Have fun and let us know what you ultimately buy and how much fun you’re having.

I had a 15’ and wish I would have had
a 17’ Michicraft canoe. As aluminum canoes go,

they are good canoes. The 15’ was somewhat slower

than I would have liked the canoe to be, and the

17’ would be more efficient for paddling.

A note of advice - do not permit yourself or other

paddlers to grab the gunnels with your hands for

weight support.

That is a bad habit in any canoe, and this canoe,

like most, will flip if it is tipped past a certain

point of lean.

With that in mind and practice, go for it!

"Is it tippier than most?"
The answer to that question is No, although

some explanation is needed.

Read the article in pnet - Guidelines -

Understanding Watercraft - Why Bottom Shape Matters.

A flat bottom canoe feels stable, and not tippy.

If you lean it to a certain point, it will flip

“right now”, meaning you will not have realized

where the lean point was until you are in the water.

This is a characteristic of the flat bottom.

A rounded bottom feels “tippy” while in it, but

you can lean it way over and return upright.

Some rounded canoes can be leaned to where water

even starts to enter, and then leaned back to

being upright. A flat bottom canoe will flip out

from you once the lean reaches a certain point,

and it will not grant you the opportunity to lean

back to upright.

So, many canoes are a combination of both styles, and you can read more about that from canoe web sites.

For flat water paddling, I liked the Michicraft, and the only concern is the 80 lb. weight for

which there are dolly cart solutions.

Good luck!