Looking to buy a used canoe for the girlfriend and I. I am planning on using it for overnight camping trips and a little whitewater (II-III range). I am willing to pay around 4-500$ or so. Any suggestions on what I can and should look for in that price range for a used canoe?
I would try
to go royalex regarding material. You might want to offer more description of yourself/girlfriend regarding weight, ability, strength, what you’re going to use to haul canoe around. Also at 4-5 hundred, you’re definitely going decent condition used, so it will also depend on whats available.If you’re strong, you could get an old town in their superlink construction, cheaper than royalex but adds 20 pounds to the weight of the canoe.
III is pretty big time!
I suggest a Penobscot 16, and then outfit it for WW.
Do a lot of II’s before you tackle any III’s.
I would suggest thinking about…
… if you plan to use this canoe for flat-water rivers and lakes, or only used in whitewater. In class II-III you might want to consider having a saddle with thigh straps and floatation bags. Also, a boat that is great in moving water may be lacking a bit for lake paddling. Everything is a trade off.
I would agree with the above posts
You might have trouble finding a canoe in the $4-500 range that will handle Class III and be a good tripping canoe. I think you need to more clearly define your primary intended use (whitewater, flatwater, tripping) and focus your search on a canoe that fits that use and your skill and ability level.
I didn’t think a Penobscot
would be very good on III. If it is then I’m darn glad to know that I want need to upgrade when I start trying to run III’s.
Don’t get all
wrapped up in the details. Float bag, yes, thigh straps, depends on how big you are. At 6’2" I wedge my knees in just fine w/o straps. My buddies do cl. 3 in a coleman and they’re still alive. it depends on the people more than the canoe in my opinion. Cut the top off a detergent container to use for a bailing bucket, tie everything down including the bailer and go have fun.
We used one…
…of these on big, canadian class II and III, and it worked great on flatwater also. It should work well for camping also, but you might have to spend twice your budget to find one.
Evergreen Starburst: http://www.evergreencanoe.com/canoe_starburst.html
the first time …
… my buddy and I ran a technical class II in an aluminum canoe, I got the bow between 2 rocks where the stern was not going to follow. We broadsided a rock, he flew out of the stern and landed in the river, luckily we kept our downstream lean, swung boat around rock and he was ok.
Another time, we somehow hit a large rock sticking up at bottom of 5’ drop, our normal playspot. I was in bow and met the gunwales hard, we swung around and kept on going. So far have gotten a little better at avoiding trouble, but the thigh straps are nice.
Check out the Nova Craft Prospector 16…
sp3. It is selling for $695 new. It is a great all-around canoe, but class III descripes a pretty wide range of whitewater and I would never recommend a recreational canoe for over a class III- rapid. Class III+ is really pretty big and requires quite a bit of knowhow to manuver a general recreational canoe from top to bottom and a whole lot of floatation to keep the water out somewhat. For the money, it is great and will handle moderate whitewater very well, but I would take everyones advice and stay on class I-II+ until you get really good with the boat and them you maybe able to challenge a class III- rapid and see how it goes. Also keep in mind that a class III rapid is a lot different than a class III river. Happy hunting and let me know if I can help you with anything else.
you might try…
..A friend of mine uses a Wenona Spirit 2 in royalex and likes it very much. He runs it down rapids empty and said it works for him. Or you might even look into a used Rogue.
got to remember
holyhandgrenade has not given us any info. as to where he lives, thus possibly disqualifying some of the specific canoes mentioned. This is why I was keeping suggestions general. Also shelling out $1300 for the Evergreen when the budget's $500 isn't any help. I wanted to demo an Esquif, the Evergreen, and the Rogue this past late winter. The Esquif Dealer never responded, The Evergreen dealer(my shuttle driver) never responded (not many canoe shops open when there's snow on the ground), and the we-no-nah dealer doesn't stock the Rogue. He was going to special order one but instead I went to the most local dealer(open year round for the drysuit set),got a Swift Dumoine(love this canoe) used sitting on the rack,$630 off list, that I had demoed several times. Oh yeah, Swift Dumoine, awesome canoe in moving/whitewater. A bit too much windage on windy flatwater. Something else to consider. My Dagger reflection is low and thin and good on flatwater, fair in cl2 with 360 pounds, wet as all get-out in cl3(but a lot of fun as long as you don't get swamped). The Swift is awesome in 2, great in 3, and horrible in the wind. Get back to us Holyhandgrenade with some specifics and I think the group here could help you out a lot better.
Look at the thread "new to canoeing"
for comments. Mine is about the wisdom of having two solo canoes instead of a tandem. If you’re talking Class III, I hope you are experienced or willing to be trained.