Aluminum length for family of 4

Looking into aluminum canoes because (A) they’re available used and (B) I’ll be storing it outside and teaching a couple of little boys with it. That said, for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 boys under the age of 2) what length of aluminum canoe would make the most sense? I’d assumed a 17’, but was wondering if 15’ would work seeing as it shaves 9lbs off the carry weight (which will be mostly my job for a while) compared to the 17 footer.

Also, any opinions comparing Michicraft to Grumman?

Edit: Probably wanting to put some overnight / weekender backpacking gear in the canoe, too, but this should still keep us at least 100 lbs below the max weight for a 15’ canoe and over 200 lbs below max capacity on a 17’.


two adults two two year olds…plus camping gear…15 or 17 ft probably the 17ft it was the standard we (my families) grew up with. When you are 4 and lugging all that gear and a aluminum canoe a boat 9 pounds less isn’t that much.

Would it be practical for your family to rent canoes (or participate in guided tours that offer equipment too) until you’re certain about what, or which, choices are best?

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Camping in a canoe with kids under 5? Good luck with that. Every kid is different, but I would be surprised if they can handle more than an hour or so at a time before they are bored out of their minds and driving you nuts.

I take my wife and two kids out for paddles in my 16.5’ OT and there is definitely zero room for additional gear. I solo that canoe on camping trips, which works fine, but even with two adults ans a few days worth of gear, it is packed to the brim.

18 feet.

Thanks, all. I think 17’ it is.