First post (long). Greetings from Michigan.
I bought a 2001 model year coleman scanoe dlx about a year and a half ago. I’ve always wanted one after seeing my neighbor with one with a motor mounted on back. I plan on using it mostly for fishing, and getting off the beaten path on smaller lakes and rivers and siteseeing. I love to explore. Anyway, I had it stored in my backyard upside down on top of the edge of a 2x6 piece of wood at each end the last year and a half. I got real busy at work shortly after I got it and wasnt able to use it until I hope this week.
I’ve been reading up on canoes on various sites all over the internet tonight. A couple posts alarmed me a bit. The first one I found on Alaska outdoors: Post 1: “Newer Scanoes have a soft unsupported rear keel and if stored improperly will warp causing much issue with small outboard from the cavitation of the prop. Sold mine almost as fast as I got it. The older version with the aluminum interior tubing are excellent for most work”.
Post 2: “I have used coleman canoes and after time the bottoms get warpage and catch air bubbles and throw off balance. If its a canoe you want for a long time go aluminum”.
Post 3: “After looking around at cheap used canoes I decided to purchase this canoe new from a store. Used it for a week and took it back be an exchange. The keel was warped in two places. Also the seats did not fit exactly right and when sat on, would cause the sides of the canoe to warp. Exchanged the canoe but found the same problems, warped keel and hull. Talked with Coleman, looked at all the other Colemans in the store and all were the same. Decided to get a refund on this canoe. I then bought a Clipper and now am very happy. Note - Coleman did change the design of these canoes, a neighbour has a much older one that has aluminium struts inside for support, his is much better than these new ones. Maybe these plastic tubs will bet fixed one day.”
So, my canoes been upside down for a year and a half (out of the sun at least) in my backyard. I do notice a “slight” depression in the middle of my canoe (when its upside down) it holds a little water here in the “channels” that run the lenght.
So, my questions are:
1). Did I screw myself by not storing this canoe completely flat (only supported at each end, and not in middle) I could not put in my garage, and I thought it would be best if I kept it off the ground.
2). What does anyone know about these “newer” coleman scanoe dlx? Are they prone to keel warpage? Did I make mine much worse by not storing properly?
3). Does anyone know when coleman changed the design on the scanoe? I read the newer ones are like 125 pounds, and the “older” ones with aluminum tubes are around 90 pounds; some of the posts I found said to “go with the older design if you have a choice”.
4). If it is indeed “warped”, will there be “much issue due to cavitation at the prop”? How will I know cavitation is happening and if it is indeed a “issue”. I have a 3 hp two stroke outboard, and a 50 lb thrust electric trolling motor I had planned on using. Can this “warping” be “reversible” if stored right side up, perhaps with a little weight in bottom?
I havent even had it out on the water yet (I’m on vacation finally and had planned on taking it out this week), and I’m really bummed about coming accros the internet threads on warping of the keel of newer scanoe. I did a search in google and actually found a lot of info on canoes and “warping”, not only on coleman, but several other makes; read stuff where even (1) day in the sun could warp canoes.
I did come accross a lot of positive info on how people love their Scanoes, but perhaps they’re talking about the “older” models?
Am I worrying for nothing? Should I somehow “measure” the possible warping? Can any of this be reversed?
Any and all feedback is appreciated. Thanks much in advance.
You probably won’t find a lot of Coleman fans here, so you may not get too many responses.
The Coleman canoes that I have some familiarity with are the old Ram-X boats which were made of solid polyethyene. Polyethylene is the stuff that milk and bleach bottles are made of (as well as most whitewater kayaks and some small whitewater canoes). The main problem with solid poly is its flexibility.
Whitewater kayaks get around this by using long foam pillars and/or a transverse bulkhead, and the presence of the seat and deck helps provide a good deal of rigidity. Canoes lack decks, and the presence of big longitudinal pillars or multiple transverse bulkheads would get in the way of the paddlers.
Old Town got around this problem in their Discovery line of canoes by formulating a poly with a foam core (similar to the foam core in the ABS sheet in Royalex), which Old Town calls “CrossLink 3”. The foam core gives the plastic considerable rigidity, but still many Discovery canoes demonstrate considerable oil-canning of the hull bottom sooner or later.
Coleman got around the problem in their Ram-X line by installing an aluminum keelson running down the center of the boat’s interior supported by vertical struts coming off of the thwarts.
I haven’t seen the newer Coleman boats up close, but from picture it looks like they have done away with the aluminum skeleton, and substitute plastic vertical struts coming off of the seats and center thwart. If so, it is hard to imagine how the bottom of a solid poly canoe of this design would be able to hold its shape.
I suspect your problem, if you have one, is due to a limitation of the material and design, more than an issue with storage. Does the keel line look visibly deformed when you sight along it? If not, I would simply use the boat. I suspect that the motor would be more likely to produce oil-canning of the hull bottom, but I can’t concieve of a practical way to prevent it.
Thanks for the info.
Any others with coleman scanoe experience?
Not as a buyer, but as the brother-in-law to someone who did buy one.
Don’t worry about those other posters. Just worry about your own scanoe.
The hull supports are loose at best when the scanoe is off the water. On the water, the pressure on the hull from displacement will hold the hull against the tubular framework. It will flex. It will flex. No harm to that, not efficient for paddling, but no harm. If the framework is loose; seats to gunwales, thwarts to uprights, uprights to keelson; tighten the fasteners or replace them. If the ends of the keelson are flexing upwards under load, add material under the seats to hold them down in place. The original used tubular aluminum uprights; the later Pelican versions use molded extensions of the seat base to hold the keelson or keelsons, in place. The rigidity of the keelson, seat, thwart, gunwale assembly is what stiffens the hull. The hull material is more like a waterproof covering than a hull. Think upside down tent.
I can’t speak on the motor transom, no pictures of any version in my memory banks. It does need to be firmly attached to the superstructure at the gunwales and bottom to transfer the motor thrust to the hull thru the superstructure and not just thru the plastic at the transom.
It will get you out there, and hopefully the motor gets you back. Have seen too many people with electric trolling motors on Scanoes. They motor merrily away from the launch, exploring, fishing, going farther than they ever paddled a canoe. Then suffering as they paddled, rowed, or poled the beast back to the launch after the trolling motor battery died. My advice it to install good oarlocks, and carry good oars that fit.
Enjoy it, figure out what you like to do in a canoe, and then we can help you find your next canoe.