Blue Hole Canoe

I found an older Blue Hole canoe for sale that I am going to buy. It looks in good shape and I know they are known to hold up really well. However I don’t know much about thier model line up, and being they are no longer made I am having trouble finding information.

The guy said it’s 18’ long. I didn’t think Blue Hole made a canoe this long. If anyone has any information on what tandem models Blue Hole made and if they are good canoes or not I would love to know just for curiousity sake. The person I am buying it from doesn’t know the model name of the canoe. I am picking it up soon so I will find out soon enough if it’s 18’. I really don’t care either way I just wanted a nice rec canoe.

Any Blue Hole owners want to chime in if you know the model it might be or your experiance with your Blue Hole I would love to hear.


I know they made a 17 version of the OCA
It was called the 17A. It was the first boat I took down the Slippery Rock gorge. She was a little long, but we made 'er!

Never heard of an 18 footer though.

I agree with Clarion
I sold Blue Holes until I left retail in late '80, and 17 was their longest boat.

Blue Hole specified a Royalex laminate (and this was when UniRoyal made the material) that extra reinforcing ABS layers that Mad River and Old Town did not add. BH knew that their boats were usually destined for whitewater.

If the boat has been stored indoors it is probably in pretty good condition UV-wise.

Caveat Emptor.


Blue Hole
made two white water canoes the 16’ OCA (15’9" and 70 lbs) and the 17A (17’3" and 78 lbs). They also made what they called an “All-Purpose River Canoe”, the MGS. This was an assymetric cruiser designed by Mike Galt. It was 17’6" and wighted 85#. These were very tough boats and should still have a lot of miles in them. Some people are concerned that the Royalex/ABS might get brittle with age so they might not be ideal for heavy whitewater purposes.


if stored out of sunlight should be good
i know of about a dozen old prowlers still in active use, most still used for white water… Blue Hole made an excellent product - they do last! As long as they aren’t uv weakened, they should be good to go for at least a few more years…

Speaking of which, I’m still looking for a Prowler OCV in the heavier layup. If anyone knows of one in good shape let me know… Unfortunately the ones I know of are not for sale. Their owners absolutely love them!

Evergreen Canoe Co.

– Last Updated: Jul-31-08 6:28 PM EST –

bought the Blue Hole designs.

They might be able to help track down the model you are interested in. Me and my brother both have Blue Hole canoes. I have a later model OCV Prowler and he has an older OCA. Both of ours are 15'9" (I think). It is the only boat I have owned, so I can't really compare, but I have been very happy with it. It has taken a lot of abuse on rocky streams and also served as a long distance river tripper with loads of gear. It is very stable and dry. I have no complaints at all.

Thanks for the info
Thanks for all the info. I am anxious to get it. I pick it up Saturday and will find out what model it is. I called the guy last night and he still says it’s 18’ long. I guess I will just find out, my guess is that it’s probably the 17’ model.

I agree the sun damage on an older royalex canoe has me a little concerned, but it didn’t look to faded in the picture. A litte bit but I think that has to be expected with a canoe from the 80’s.

17A is it
I just got back from picking up the canoe and it is a 17A. Not sure if any of you have opinions on the model, I will find out soon for myself. Like any new toy you have to try it our right away. I am heading to the water shortly to take it on it’s first paddle. It looks like a rec/river tripping canoe made to haddle rough water.

Has a very blunt front end which looks to be designed to carry it over waves and keep water out. Hopefully it won’t be to slow in flat water. I will find out soon enough.

Later I will have to begin my search on the history of the 17A model and if it was a good one. I like learning the history of the boats I have.

Blue Hole Manual

I have a pdf file of a Blue Hole advertising manual (maybe the only Blue Hole Manual) that originated sometime in the late 1970s. If you want a copy (it is about 20 M in size and at that the resolution is only photocopy quality) get back to me and I will email it to you. It does include the 17A.


Did you try Evergreen Canoe Company?
I purchased a canoe from them a couple of years ago. Everyone who saw it said it was a Bluehole. It’s been said that Evergreen purchased all the Bluehole molds and is making them. Check the Product Reviews (to the left) for contact info.

However, I don’t think Evergreen has
produced the 16’ or 17’ OCA model. I’ve been on their site and I did not see OCAs. They are producing the Sunburst and Starburst, the former being a solo and the latter being a tandem. These are Steve Scarborough designs based on a “stripper” he raced solo and tandem in the Southeasterns and in other open boat venues, way back around 1980. I was race boat inspector when he brought that stripper prototype for approval.

Rechecking the Evergreen site, the
16’ “Prowler” looks a lot like the old 16’ OCA.

I’ve been told
that “buffalo canoes” in arkansas bought the OCA mold, but you’re right, the prowler does look like it. I have an older OCA- bought it as a rental from a canoe livery and it’s still kickin. I take it on class II frequently.

Thing is, at the time there were
OCA semi-clones appearing everywhere. For example, Mad River, and Perception, briefly fielded 16’ OCA clones. (Somebody check me on Mad River.) So it is likely that Royalex molding equipment went in many different directions.

Blue Hole OCAs were always stronger, with better gunwales (although very difficult-to-repair gunwales) than the imitators.

i agree
blue hole had a superior product! i’ve seen the evergreen version and it doesn’t seem to have the strength or thickness of the original blue hole ocv… the buffalo canoes version (in arkansas) does look promising but…

i’m still holding out for an original blue hole ocv prowler… i love that canoe!!!

someone, somewhere has one for sale in good shape - i just need to find it!!!

Blue Hole 17A
I just picked up what I think is a 17A.

Plate on the bow included 17A.

Measures 16’-6" from bow to stern tip.

Boat is in good condition and appears true color is a dark green or blue. Need some info on this boat. I paddle class I & II (Sometimes III)rivers in tennessee. I would like to review the blue hole manual you mentioned, or any information you can provide about this boat. Also, I picked up a sunburst and cannot determine if it is a model 1 or 2. This boat measures 14’-6" bow to stern and appears to be red in color, although faded. Boat is in good condition but I have read that model 2 is better than model 1. Any suggestions how i can identify actual model? Thanks

Your Blue Hole Canoe.
How did you end up liking that canoe? I just found one today and think I am going to pick it up.

17A Blue Hole made in Sunbright,TN
I have a 17A Blue Hole that has been used twice when I was a kid in the scouts, and I am considering selling it. It has been stored in a basement for twenty years, and is in new condition with the exception of a few very small scrathes on the bottom… Any idea of what I should ask for it?

18 FT Blue Hole canoe
Will123 I have been looking for a 1979 - 1980 Blue Hole canoe for a long time now. I had a 1979 that was passed down from my father I used routinly until a careless RV driver ran it over and smashed it. If you would like to sell it, make sure you let me know first as I would hate to lose an opportunity to replace the one I lost so unfortunately. my email is if you are interested in letting it go. Thanks for your consideration

Blue Hole Canoe
I bought a Blue Hole OCA canoe in 1976 and still use it. It is a great canoe, very tough, dry in whitewater, have had lots of fun in it. The seats are hard and when the original plastic cracks it will pinch your butt and you will cry out. It is a heavy boat, but that goes with the toughness. The OCA I think stands for open canoe and maybe the A is for the ABS hull material (not sure). Maybe OCA is for open canoe, asshole (can’t you see the canoe is not decked?)