Canadienne - Good Buy?

-- Last Updated: Sep-08-07 11:27 PM EST --

I'm new to paddling and My wife and I have purchased our first canoe. Through all of the infomation that we found online, it seems like there are quite a few who love the Canadienne. We were off to Sams Club to buy the canoe they had, PE 14' molded with cup holders etc... They were selling out and only had nine left in Lakeland FL. We stopped on our way at Canoe Country Outfitters in St. Petersburg, FL. and we got some excellent advice. After looking at many new PE Mad River, Guide 160's, we found a used '89 Canadienne, Red, Fiber Glass 17'2" in pristene condition in their "back room". We looked at it and couldn't pass it up for only $149.00 more than the Guide. We paid $749.00 and they threw in a carrier for my GMC Sonoma Pick UP. It has just a couple of very minor scratches in the gel coat that can be polished and not even seen. The cane seats are perfect and it looks like it has vinyl gunwales and bow and stern decks. This canoe also has a third seat, is this an add on or was there a 3 seat option on the Canadienne in '89? I was just wondering if anyone has any comments or that can tell us if we got a fair deal. Any other suggestions for "must haves" on our canoe would be appreciated also. We are looking forward to paddling many FL waterways.
Thanks for any information.

After the sale…
…the only one who can determine if it was a good

or bad deal is you.

I’ve been accused of making bad deals with boats.

Know what? I don’t care! So far I’ve been ecstatic

with the choices I’ve made.

If you are happy with the boat and it does what you

want it to, and you are having more fun that you

ever thought was possible, then it’s a good deal.

PFD’s of course are a must. A painter. extra


Undoubtedly . . .
I have no idea what prices are like in your region, but you will certainly find the Old Town in glass will outperform anything you could get at a big-box store.

Fibreglass is not as impact resistant, it is true, but it is very easily repairable and lasts forever if taken care of. You can have that canoe for a lifetime, and, better yet, you can enjoy it for a long time. If you ever want to sell it, you may well get all you paid back (and you wouldn’t with the cupholder boats)

One other tip - get decent paddles to go with it.

Good choice. Enjoy.

I had a fiberglass boat in Florida
After about 20 years I think it is costing less than a dollar a paddling day now. That is a really good deal on a boat ride!

UP here in our rocky rivers of NC it would not have lasted too long with the kind of abouse I give them so I mostly use plastic boats.

I think you got a good price and a good boat and you’ll be very happy ten years from now.

One thing I would do differently with a new fiberglass canoe is to give it two coats of 3M Marine polish with teflon or something like that. I’d give it two coats immediately and then once or twice a year. That will keep the gel coat from fading too fast.

That’s Less Than I Was Going To…
…buy one for in 1990, I do believe. Sounds like it was a good deal for you on a nice canoe.

It may seem a bit “Tender” with a light load, but put a little weight for ballast and it will behave better and those stems won’t be as likely to catch the wind. You should get used to it with a few paddles, it has good secondary stability so don’t sit in that seat stiffly, just let your hips swivel with the movement. I doubt you would want to sell that boat, but if so it should be no problem, especially if you meet me 1/2 way! I don’t think they came with a 3rd seat option, that must have been the dealer’s idea. Best hull OT made IMHO. Good luck with it, it’s a much better boat than any PE boat you could have bought! WW

Good choice, good deal!
Sadly, cup holders and molded butt seats have probably sold more canoes to novice buyers than hull design. I own the 16ft. version of your canoe and paid a similar price three years ago. I agree with others here that you have made a much better choice than what you may have found at Sam’s Club. You are now members of a very select group of first time canoers, ones who have made a good choice from the get-go.

I would recommend some kneeling pads to fully enjoy the potential of your new canoe. My wife and I receive many “nice canoe” comments as we paddle past other couples in their butt grabbing beer-holding tubs.

here too
cant comment but another place to “ask” is the forum on this paddling site too.

Sounds Really Sweet
That sounds like a fair deal to me. And now you own a classic rather than, well …

Google Chicagoland Canoe Base and poke around there. They used to have some history online about the Canadienne and its designer Ralph Frese. If I remember the designer of the famous Sawyer Cruiser patterned that boat off the hull of the Canadienne.

The bottom line is that if you follow Wilderness Webb’s advice and give yourself time to get used to the boat, you’ll be rewarded with much pleasure from the sweet paddling characteristics. You’ll also be able to take much pride in ownership.

Have fun and enjoy that canoe!

jThanks to you all…
Thanks to all of you who have replied…

I really appreciate all of the support and suggestions and will take all very seriously.

It’s great to have such a group of supportive paddlers and in time with more help from all of you and as I gain experience, I will be able to help others with what I have learned here.

Thanks again,