I’m looking at a used American Traders Huron 15’8" canoe. Has anyone paddled one who might be able to give me some insight on the in water characteristics? I’ve found limited information during my internet searches.
Looks like no one can help.
I looked at the specs and pictures, and was surprised that the manufacturer supplies no information on rocker. From the photos, rocker looks to be minimal, and concentrated near the ends (sort of like the style of rocker of a Mad River Guide/Freedom Solo, but less pronounced). The website also says it has a keel. These two things suggest that it's a boat made for easy cruising, not so much for twisty-turny stuff. I myself would avoid using a keeled canoe for rivers with moderate or swift current, but that said, some of Bill Mason's videos show him using a Chestnut Pal equipped with a keel, and he was able to make that work okay in difficult rapids.
I can't specifically answer your question, but I do know that one of the nice things about a wood canoe is that it maintains its shape when in the water. Of dozens of different Royalex boats I've paddled, only one of them would even remotely maintain its design hull profile while being paddled. Most of the others would undergo upward flexing of the hull bottom, as much as one or two inches on some of them. Even most composite canoes are not as stiff as wood (though most are stiff enough). With a wood canoe, you won't be "robbed" of whatever rocker and shallow-arch profile the designers gave the boat as soon as you hop inside the thing.
So, I'm thinking that if you want a wood canoe (maybe for its esthetics and quietness) and your paddling places are suitable for wood (no crashing into rocks etc.), and if having a keel is okay for your kind of paddling, this boat might be worth having. American Traders canoes are hardly elite among wood canoes, but used examples of other wood-canoe brands might be harder to come by.
Its heavy and not very useful
American Traders does make actual boats and none are spectacular performers. They tend to be fat
AT used to come to the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Assembly with their wares. no longer.
Note they also make decorative canoes
Note you can get a fully restored wood canvas canoe for less than they have the nerve to charge.
In all fairness, …
... the OP is looking at a used one, not new, and we don't know the asking price. Further, in most parts of the country, restored W/C canoes are incredibly rare (I've only seen half a dozen, and they are owned by a museum). Depending on the price, it might be a nice change from the usual Royalex stuff, but that's up to the OP. Oh, and this boat is exactly one inch wider than a comparable model from Wenonah, though admittedly it's fuller toward the ends than Wenonah's typical models. I'm sure the Huron 15'8" is no speed demon, but the 16' Roylex tandem that I paddle these days, though a well-respected boat (Mad River Eclipse), is the slowest canoe I've ever paddled, mostly because of the flexible Royalex hull (it's also just as heavy as that Huron), so I think there are various ways in which to decide what's acceptable and what's not.
Since we don’t know where the OP
is from we are throwing darts at the sky.
The AT is not a wood canvas canoe. It is a cedar stripper covered in glass and the strips are quite thick.
Wood Canvas Canoes in this part of the country are everywhere… and restored ones not that expensive
Now as to quality cedar stripper builders
Curious about something
I haven’t tried to discredit anything you’ve said. I’ve only pointed out that for a person who wants a wooden boat, depending on their goals and where they live, there can be other priorities that go into deciding what to do in this situation. What has me curious has to do with the fact that comparing this boat to restored W/C canoes was your idea, not mine, yet it seems as though your reply to what I said about the relative lack of availability of W/C boats (for anyone who doesn’t live in the NE) was worded to create the false context that I said it without even being aware that the boat in question isn’t W/C. Was that what you intended, or was it just a random comment not in response to anything anyone has said?
I brought up the wood canvas canoe
to illustrate the absurd price of the American Traders Canoes.
We don't know what price the OP is contemplating.
There are quite a few strippers in the Midwest and some may be for sale. The bottom line is that there are alternatives.
Funny note.. almost every grocery store here in the summer drags their AT canoe out from wherever and fills it with sweatshirts for the tourists.
Are AT boats seaworthy ? Sure http://www.canoekayak.com/canoe/canoe-across-america/
But compare prices for the Atkinson Traveler. The first is from Rollin Thurlow
My thought process might not be that sharp now..I am struggling with chemo.
Thank you for the replies. I’m up in Northern California. I have three other canoes, a Wenonah fisherman for the family, a wenonah wilderness in Kevlar for me, and a Swift Quetico in Kevlar for mostly me. In my experience, we don’t get an amazing selection of wood canoes out here, but I love their beauty and have wanted one for a long time. The person wants about 1500 for their used Huron, apparently in “like new condition”.
What do you think? I would be using it mostly on lakes, some small, and some as large as Lake Tahoe (until the wind picks up).
Thank you so much for the help!
My take -
I think that boat is not a good choice for paddling on big lakes. Also, looking at the pictures they provide the boat does not appear to be a stripper as suggested above. It is constructed with ribs and planks as you would construct a wood/canvas canoe but it is covered and finished with glass cloth and expoxy resin. It does appear that it can also be covered with canvas and varnished on the inside which is the traditional way to cover a boat constructed in that manner and with good reason because a canvas cover and be replaced with ease and repairs to broken ribs and planks are far easier. Not sure how the boat you are looking at is covered. If I were in your shoes I would wait a while and educate myself about wood/canvas canoes before pulling the trigger on that particular boat. There are some folks in western canada that are restoring wood canvas canoes and that is one place where you could find something worth owning.
So my advice is slow down a bit and do some reading and poking around before you pull the trigger. You are not losing out on anything special by waiting. Look at the classifieds on WCHA website and you will see there are one or two folks out in western canada doing what looks to be really nice restoration work. Give them a call and see what they can do for you. One guy restores a lot of Chestnuts.
It is true that back east there are a lot of restored w/c boats available but the shipping our west is prohibitive and you have to buy sight unseen.
The boat in question is a little short, beamy, and shallow for tripping. It is really designed for a day paddle around the lake at the cabin, It is nice to look at. There are many much better performers out there for less money. If you do not demand too much from a canoe like that it can be a joy to own.