Alumacraft canoe - good choice?

I have a few kayaks which I really enjoy, but I miss fishing from an actual canoe - I’ve owned a few Radisson Canoes, actually the 2 I had were the transom models which is more like an actual boat except for the canoe front. The light weight is great, but my experience is that after a few seasons they break down a bit, dents and leaks -

Looking for a metal canoe that will last the rest of my lifetime that I can leave outside without a worry. I’ve looked at Grummans but Alumacraft canoes look a little lighter and sleeker. If I buy I will probably get the 15 foot double ender as I will mostly motor and paddle it solo with occasional tandem use.

The price new is very compatible with a new Radisson. I would look at Royalex canoes as well, but I live in a trailer with no surrounding trees and would have to keep it covered all the time and don’t know if that would be enough protection.

Any opinions on a choice or experiences with Alumacraft canoes? They always look nice on Jerry McKinnis’ show fishing in the boundary waters -

there is a liquid protectant for royalex. I have a bottle in the shed but its 10 degrees and dark out so I am not checking it out til later. It’s called …303(something? 303). It’s like sunblock for royalex. I use it on my canoe, rigid inflatable. I really like royalex…

If your only criterion is a canoe that will last the rest of your life, then an aluminum is probably your best bet. I have a Grumman 15 footer that I bought about 35 years ago, and used constantly for about 15 years before I scraped it down so many shallow, rocky rivers that I finally wore a hole in the bottom. So…even aluminum isn’t indestructable, but it will last longer under heavy use than any other material.

However, aluminum is also just about the worst material for a fishing or a performance canoe. I MUCH prefer Royalex. Realistically, I have always left my Royalex canoes out in the weather, and they’ve lasted more than 15 years without significant weather and sun damage. I used to give them a coat of car wax once or twice a year, and now I use either Armor All or the Formula 303 protectant, also applied once or twice a year. The vinyl outer coating gets a little dull or chalky after a year in the sun and weather, but the protectant brings it back to looking pretty good. One thing, however…if you have scratches through the vinyl into the ABS underneath, you need to repair them, because the sun does seem to make the ABS substrate a lot more brittle.

Bottom line…I’d get a Royalex boat.

Thanks for the advice, I’m going to do a bit of research before I make a final decision. I don’t have much shade around here, so what your saying is I could get away with leaving a royalex canoe exposed as long as I coat it a few times a year with 303? That was my major concern. I’ll still be looking at a tandem canoe that can be paddled solo in the 15 to 16 foot range, if possible not over 65 lbs. Any suggestions in royalex for under 900 bucks? Thanks for the input.

center seat
Chuck. I bought a demo dagger 15 for $800. It was used for 90 minutes. Check your dealer for demos, rentals, flea markets whatever. My dagger came with a center seat, which you can order seperately for nearly any canoe. Balances much better than turning canoe backwards and sitting in the front, no wheelies.

Aluminum Canoe
I have fished from aluminum boats and canoes for years until I bought an Old Town canoe and kayak. My strikes have increased dramatically. An aluminum boat will resonate or amplify any contact with the metal. If you drag your foot, drop a lure or bang a paddle against the side the fish will scatter like cock roaches when the light comes on. In Maine the fishing season starts April 1st and ends on the first of October. The 50 degree water turns your aluminum boat into an ice box. My royalex kayak, with the skirt on, stays nice and warm on the inside especially when the sun shines on it. And last but not least, if you are moving in shallow water like a stream or river, and you hit a rock, that aluminum boat will come to an instant stop. You will probably fall off your seat or flip over. I saw an aluminum canoe, in the Kenduskeag Canoe Race, hit a rock and flip the people out then wrap itself around the next rock. The power of water is deadly! My brother in-law also wrapped his royalex Old Town Canoe around a rock. After four of us pealed it off we brought it to shore and popped it back into shape. We let it warm up in the sun then put it back in the water and away we went. Good luck finding the right boat!

rogue river 14
I had to make a trip out to Harrisburg today so I stopped at Bass Pro Shops - great fishing tackle selection, if your into muskies, the best selection of lures I’ve seen.

Anyway, looked at canoes and kayaks and checked out the Rogue River 14 footer. It looks like it might meet my needs and save me money. Main use would be with an electric motor in lakes.

My only concern is that the stated weight of the canoe was only 50 lbs, quite a difference from that noted in the reviews. There was however, no cooler in the middle (like previous models?) - just 2 seats and the middle piece (is that a yoke or a thwart?). Wonder if this is a new lighter version of the same model. Anyone seen this model?

Thanks for all the input -


Weight is mistated
Beware if you buy a RR 14 at Bass Pro which I may still do… the weight they give on the placard is 50 lbs, the actual weight from the research I’ve done is 68 lbs, that is quite a difference. Still a great deal for under 400 bucks…