Advice for a 1st Canoe?

I’m interested in picking up a cheap entry level Canoe to use in my free time. It wouldn’t be for tripping or any fast moving rivers at all. It would be used for local lakes (relatively small) and maybe one or two of the larger (read small) rivers we have around here. I don’t want to sink too much money as it wouldn’t get used super frequently but would be nice to have at my disposal. I’m looking for something to be used by myself alone, myself and a friend and possibly even take my dog out with me.

In browsing local craigslist ads the first ones I come across are 14 and 16 foot Coleman canoes. Now from my research so far I see a lot of dislike of these and a lot of love for them as well.

Such as

There’s also some others on local CL as well (a little out of my price range)

If all goes according to plan and I find this to be a hobby I really put a lot of time into I’d gladly look into grabbing something like an Old Town down the road. But for now, what would be my best bet for a starter?

This one

If not, the second coleman RamX is ok too. My first was a $400 canoe and still my favorite. Just get out there and have some fun. Good luck!

True story
I actually just emailed the guy about that one to see if it was still available! From what I can find it seems like Indian River has good quality canoes.

Coleman = junk
I’d stay away from Coleman/Pelican, it’s total junk. At that price the WaterQuest 14 is a real ripoff. It’s also garbage and paddling that thing will be like paddling a barge and at 90 lbs, a it’s quite a load to cartop. Those built in molded seats are often a dead giveaway that you are getting a crap canoe. They may look nice, with rod holders, cup holders, etc, but they are essentially used to help support a cheaply made hull. Or in Coleman’s/Pelican’s case they use metal rods for the same purpose.

Of the ones you linked to, the Indian River is a nice canoe, but at 18 ft, it’s more of a tripping canoe. It might not be fun if you are looking for something a bit more responsive. I’m not a fan of the aluminum Grummans, but they could make a decent first canoe.

I’d say keep looking and when you see Coleman, Pelican, Sun Dolphin, etc. don’t even think about it.

Thanks for the reply!
I hadn’t thought of the fact that the cheap seats could be doubling as support.

If I had the money and/or decide I really spend a lot of time with this, I’d go grab this.

For what it’s worth I’m 6’1 215lbs I don’t know how much that factors into selecting a good canoe.

Take a look at these?
Not sure how far away but the mad river is good.

And this one would be good.

Saranac is one of OT’s worst

– Last Updated: Aug-25-15 10:04 AM EST –

That Saranac is basically Old Town's bottom of the line crap. Again, those molded seats are there to support the cheap polyethylene hull. If you want an OT you are better off looking for a used Penobscot or Discovery.

I live in a lake community and there are dozens of canoes stored along the shore in a common area. Without exception the Pelicans, Sun Dolphins, Colemans and other cheap boats have horribly warped hulls after a couple of seasons.

first canoe
There is a big difference between no canoe and any canoe. Avoid the name coleman and buy what you can afford. Plan to upgrade later.

Lots of aluminum on Craig’s list
Some 15 footers for around 400. Solid canoes that will last.

1st canoe
I bought a 1972 Grumman 18’ at a Garage sale for $300 some years ago. They are tough, sturdy and roomy. The shoe keel is very stable. I can stand up in mine to cast easily. Requires no care, just put in backyard and you are good to go. I’e got one for sale in Colorado because I bought 17" version that is newer. Colemans are OK but the plastic oxidises in the sun and have a round bottom with no keel. Ok for paddling but not for fishing stability