Beginner Question

Hello All. I’m an uneducated person with a start-out question. I intend to purchase a canoe for my wife as a surprise birthday gift but have no clue what to get. She has been several times with friends and has fell in love with it. Some background info: want for both of us to go and be able to carry our child in a couple of years, will mainly use it in non-rapids (probably more touring-relaxing), and will probably only be able to go under 10 times a year. I would like to stay under $1000 if possible. A co-worker has suggested that I should try to get a Royalex type canoe rather than a poly but I realize this will drive the price up. Any advice you all can share is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

I would strongly encourage you to
get royalex. Much lighter. There are several used boats available on this sites classified if you want to go that way. If new is your choice Old Town makes several that would work for you specifically the Camper model and the Penobscot model. Check this site

He has several royalex boats under $1000.00 and is great to deal with. Also shipping is available if he is to far to travel.

There are many other manyfacturers to look at also, Wenonah, Bell, Mad River, Mohawk, Nova Craft to name a few. Have fun looking and best of luck on your purchase,

Any dealers nearby
For your budget, you should be able to find a nice royalex tandem in the 16’-17’ range. Try local outfitters (they often have last years boats for sale at a nice discount or dealers and test paddle a few boats. And certainly check the classified ads on this site.

you’ve already done well by
… completing a profile telling people where you are and providing good info on what you want it for.

My advice is to respond to this ad on the classifieds here on pnet:

(FL) Wenonah Spirit II in tuffweave layup. 17 ft length. Caribbean green with black aluminum trim. Bow sliding seat, stern footbrace. Great condition. $900 obo. – Submitted by: groovymanatee.

I Don’t know the seller or how far he may be from you (he is in Florida). But, the Spirit II is a great all 'round canoe and getting one in Wenonah’s Tuff Weave composite would probably work out just terrific for you. You don’t plan on paddling whitewater or crashing into rocks, do you?

Try searching on the Web for
blemished new canoes. You can get a like new canoe with a minor defect at a bargain price. I bought one from Mohawk a couple of years ago and I had trouble finding the blemish.

Lighter Is Better
When I was a teenager I would carry 100# aluminum canoes over my head. When I got back into the sport at age 45 I discovered I couldn’t do that anymore, and really struggled with an 80# canoe.

what a wonderful man!
this will make a really special bday gift :smiley:

If I might add: getting someone a surprise canoe to paddle is a little like getting someone a surprise Tennessee walker to ride… she will probably want to see, test and think about what she wants to paddle.

Why not spring for a lovely dinner, and give her a little canoe charm (or canoe earrings, very cool in sterling silver) with a message inside announcing that you will go with her to find her very own canoe.

Letting her participate in the choice, and spending the time with her to allow her to make it, will mean even more than the canoe itself.

Of course, scouting out some prospects in the meantime is thoughtful and will add to the fun.

Best of luck in the search and many more birthday celebrations to you both!

You could always…
Build one.

I’m doing that for my wifes birthday this year, building her a 16’ simple stitch and glue canoe so we can take the entire family out.

Should cost me about $300 total, and a few weekends worth of work for an awfully nice canoe.

friendlyfire is very wise and I would pay much attention.

learn first
Hi, I’d recommend you stop by the wennonah canoe web site and order one of there catalogs. It is a great primer for learnig about canoes. Shop ebay for a canoe in your area and also check this site in the classified ads. Good luck and happy paddleing