canoe am I buying the right one

Me and a friend are buying a canoe with the below info are we making the right choice

1-we are big men about 580 lb combined

2-we always have our gear ( we backpack )

3-we are old guys 45 and 49 ( i don’t know if that’s important )

we are looking for a canoe that can handle 580 lb plus gear maybe another 125 lb we like to tour have been to the boundary waters and down the manistee river and are heading out to isle royale in july that’s why we are looking to buy a canoe any suggestion thanks in advance

Mostly flat water?
Or will you paddle in some white water?

maybe …

– Last Updated: Feb-01-12 9:24 PM EST –


I also think the Tripper 172 would carry you two and gear , but the 20' is bigger .

What I think is big guys , big canoe .

you will be looking at something in the
18 foot range… Wenonah makes a number of models such as the MNII or the Itasca for bigger waves .I cannot imagine enjoying a BW trip with an OT Tripper.

Now the Isle Royale thing…are you paddling out there? Or going to ferry over?

Sea canoeing is another matter entirely.

You might rent from a reputable
outfitter near BWCA and see how you like what they provide. You might get a Wenonah Minnesota III.

Back home, you might have more fun if you get a tandem and two solo canoes of differing purpose. You could get one solo for flattish water and another for whitewater. The tandem might be chosen not to carry three guys, but to be manageable for one guy plus some gear.

Champlain or Seneca
Big Guys and big load I’d go with the Champlain or Seneca. Both are wider than the Minnesota II or III. High volume canoes, fuller ends and wider paddling stations. Not as fast, but more forgiving and roomier. The Champlain is faster than any current Old Town offering in Royalex or Polyethylene and in a composite layup a lot lighter.


you’re kids/old? sheessh
when you get older you’ll look back at 45 and 49 and laugh. I’m not much older than you guys but consider myself young, still.

You didn’t mention how much you are willing to spend and if you are shopping for new or used.

If your budget is limited and you can’t find a suitable used boat in your area, you might be limited to one of the big polyethylene offerings from Old Town Canoe like the Tripper 172 or Penobscot 174. These are big and durable but very heavy. I’m sure 2 big guys could portage one handily, but whether you would want to or not is another question.

If money is not a limiting factor, I would look at a composite canoe rather than Royalex, unless you are planning on paddling whitewater or shallow, rocky streams. Wenonah has a wide variety of larger models like the Itasca, Seneca, and Champlain which have been mentioned. I would be wary of the Minnesota III unless you can try paddling it first. It is a fast boat with good capacity, but the bow paddling station can be quite cramped for a large person, even with the bow slider seat all the way back.

Clipper Canoe in British Columbia has some very nice large tripping models as well and are well made. You might check them out.

Capacity and then some
The Novacraft Prospector 18. Huge. Or you can borrow my 22’ Chestnut Ogilvy when the canvas is back on it. :slight_smile:

A Few Hulls
Was wondering when someone would mention the Wenonah Champlain. A good Big guy boat. Another would be the Souris Quetico 18.5. I would think the Novacraft Prospector 16, 17, or 18 would be fine, but the 18 certainly the best of the three for you, and the other two easily workable. Another might be a Bell Eveningstar, if you could find one. Not paddled it, but looks like a contender. ALso, a Bell Northwoods. My old Mad River Revelation would do haul a ton of gear, but it weighed a ton on your SHOULDERS (LOL)!

Some of those big hulls
demand weight. The Souris River Wilderness 18 is often used by portage crews who also tote heavy tools to maintain the ports.

Its fine with the chainsaws… Its not so fine with only me and no load…the least gust of wind picks it up.

I also have a Wenonah Odyssey from 1990. It must have been one of the first truly big expedition canoes. We have actually paddled it on Lake Superior for two week trips.

17’ minimum
My guideline is to take the maximum weight capacity of a canoe and roughly half it for best performance. If you are dealing with Swift (John Winters design) or Bell Canoe they give an actual load range. Others, that suggest a canoe can hold 1000 or 1200 pounds it is best to half that number, (or maybe multiply by .50 - .65 depending on water conditions)

I don’t think any 16’ canoe would be well suited, so look for at least 17’ if it is a deeper sort of classic canoe, and at least 18’ if it is a modern low-profile boat (for example, I would bet the 17’ Novacraft Prospector has more total volume than the 18’6" Wenonah MNII.

Big canoes I have tried and liked:

Flatwater - Souris Quetico 18.5 - super stable, light, tough, expensive, relatively fast, loads of volume.

Wenonah Mn II - Super fast, stable enough, not too tough, a bit less expensive.

Wenonah Sundowner 18’ - Good boat.

Mixed water - Tripper XL - the most stable I’ve had, very tough, very heavy, handled much better than expected.

Novacraft Prospectors - Pretty much the industry standard in Canada - tough, predictable, good boats for the price. Don’t get the 16’ for your load, but the 17 or 18 would be fine.

Hellman Slocan - Great boat.

I could go on about boats for a while, but if you tell us what models you are considering that would be quicker. Also, if you are buying new, what dealers/lines are available.

i found one is this the right one

I found a canoe on Craigslist its a Grumman 18ft ( don’t have model yet ) capacity 1000 lbs I believe its a expedition canoe am i on the right path.oh by the way 300.00 bucks


– Last Updated: Feb-04-12 11:10 PM EST –

Aluminum canoes are not perfect, as they are a bit heavier than some, and a bit loud, and a bit less nice-looking.

That said, Grumman's are possibly the best of the type, the 18' is very stable and has loads of capacity, and they last forever without any maintenance. For $300 if it is in even fair shape it is a steel. Actually, it is aluminum, which will have value to a recycler even if you eventually manage to destroy it (unlikely).

I'd buy that in a heartbeat, even though I have canoes that retailed for 10X that much I would still enjoy a trip in a Grumman.

Really, the main difference you will notice will be the weight. Use some of the cash you saved and buy a set of these yoke pads: and portaging will be easier. If you decide down the road that you love canoeing and a lighter/faster boat is for you, you will certainly get your money back on the Grumman.

just a little more info
The last reply has got me thinking. The first canoe I was in was in the boundary waters I remember the outfitter asking what kinda canoe we wanted ( had 2 choice’s ) we choice the lighter of the 2 It was Kevlar ( I think ) I tip the damm thing , It took me a while to understand how to operate in a canoe . The second time was a 4 day trip down the Manistee River this canoe was the plastic type ( sorry I am not educated in this sport and the materials these things are made of ) I don’t know the make BUT i liked it . light, easy to handle down the 6 mph current but my tail bone after 5 hrs was killing me.

Now the materials the last reply speaks of , heaver ,louder I may think about this a little more

By the way the reason I don’t want to buy a new one is because my little girl is getting married in may and that stupid think called money is a little tight.But maybe I am making brain surgery out of this and take the grumman and run.

I really want to thank all of you, your input has made this a fun experience

Go for it.

– Last Updated: Feb-05-12 10:38 AM EST –

Offer $200. They are not easy to sell.
I think it will meet your needs just fine. If you get into the sport in a bigger way down the road you might make a change in favor of quiet and light. But that is a canoe that has taken many people into many beautiful places and made it out just fine. Very trustworthy and durable for flatwater. If you start getting into white water it will do the job but it sticks to rocks and it will get pretty banged up pretty fast which is one reason all these modern materials are favored nowadays.

At That Price…
…I’d grab the Grumman - it’ll certainly do to get you started, and you can resell it if you decide you want something else. It’ll also let you get some paddling in while you lie in the weeds and wait until something else that’s more attractive shows up on the used market.

Regional price variations
Here in Manitoba, Canada, an 18’ Grumman in good shape would easily fetch $600-$800, and maybe get a thousand. One that had been kicked around a bunch would still be worth $400-$500. The point is that price will vary depending on where you are, but $300 is still a good price, and it won’t go down.

We tripped BW
with a Grumman 70lbs. But when we hit forty five it ceased to be fun.

You can sure try it. It may not be the “right” boat but it gets you out there.

The Right Canoe For Heavy Payload
I have an Old Town 164 Discovery. This model is deep enough to carry a lot of gear below the gunnels. It is constructed of CrossLink Three which is extremely strong and durable. We are heavy older men like you.

Rochelle’s Canoe Rental on the Brazos River in Texas has a big fleet of this model and I figured they made a wise choice so I bought one for $475. used from High Trails here in Garland about 10 years ago.

It may be you don’t need one this strong and heavy if you are not using it in rocky jagged terrain as is the case on the Brazos. It weighs 60 lbs and is 16ft 4" in length.

I have hit a large rock fully loaded and moving in swift water. I felt the boulder move into the hull front to back and felt the hull go back to its original shape instantaneously with no more than a scratch among many other scatches or gouges that are no threat to the structure whatsoever.

Choose a boat that is deep with a tall freeboard (distance from top of gunnels to waterline). This will allow you the carrying capacity and payload space without feeling overloaded. Get an 18 footer if possible or at least a 16 footer.

Get back supports seat attachments so you don’t get fatigued after two hours.

Have great fun paddling adventures!!