Canoe- Newbie needs your help

Early 50’s guy, married with 2 kids just bought a house which backs up to a lake. Ok, it’s more like a 7 acre puddle but would like to start somewhere. Money IS a object with only about $600.00 to spend, checked some of the WEB and have found 3 possibles

Johnson Waterquest 14, maybe Old towne, or Pelican, looking for the most bang for my buck.

bang for the buck
Mohawk is a direct order outfit that seems to offer pretty good value

canoe search goes on
thank you I’ll check them out.

Here we go again …
Why do we always do this to our newbies?

For some reason we always seem to ignore the requester’s parameters and send them off in the wrong direction.

Here we read: two kids, wife, lakefront house; sure looks like the man wants a cheap cottage canoe for he and his family to play with.

So, what do we do?

Why, we send him to Mohawk canoes where the CHEAPEST tandam canoe lists for $965, but with the factory direct discount it’s only $772 plus another $100 for shipping.

Looking at the $600 in his wallet the poor man is probably thinking “so much for that idea …” so he needs our help now.

To answer his question: don’t know about the first, really can’t go wrong with an Old Town for a first boat, and, by all means stay away from the Pelican thing.

Old Town does offer their Ojibway well within the $600 price range. Nothing fancy, but it’s a good, stable platform for kids and beginners and it would be quite happy spending the entire summer being abused on your back lawn.

Or, better yet, maybe pick up an old Old Town 158 on the used market – same hull has the Ojibway, but with the more traditional canoe look.

Well, that’s if for my soapbox and my two-cents worth.

I started out in an
Old Town Discovery 174. Its big, stable, a bit heavy. I fished out of it, paddled it solo and tandom everyplace, dragged it over rocks and logs, kids dive off it, mom stretches out in it in the lawn lounger (while I fish). It’s indestructable, and I think there is one in the classified ads $500 with paddles! I dont think it is in your area, but just to give you an idea. You should be able to find one around. Something like that might be a good starter for you.

going used
Finding a dandy, local, used canoe for a good price takes either luck or time. More often than not it takes time.

Most of the paddlers here already have boats, so finding a used one of a particular vintage is usually not a pressing problem. However, not having a boat at all and wanting to get on the water to start learning is a much more pressing and sometimes frustrating situation.

Then there’s the potential problem of other “priorities” interceding five or six months from now. For that reason, sometimes the best option may be to just get something. After that, you’ve got plenty of time to be more particular. You can always sell your first boat.

Best of Luck!

For what you want to spend you should be able to pick up a fairly good, used Grumman or Alumacraft that would serve your needs well. I paddled a 16 ft Alumacraft for 45 years and enjoyed all of it. Until I got too lazy to lift it.

Be patient
This is the time of year when people decide to upgrade their equipment or drop the sport all together. Do your homework and keep your eyes and ears open. Also let everyone you know that you are looking. More canoes and kayaks sell by word of mouth here.

You don’t mention your kids ages but judging from your “early 50s” description of your self I would guess they are teens or late preteens. Get a canoe they can use with out you “old farts” around.

Save some money for four good life jackets.

You can get a new poly Mad River
for about $500 that would be a perfect puddle boat for 2 adults and 2 kids. I forget the name.

whatever you do
don’t get a pelican, just my 2 cents

Not Perfect!
Look up threads on the MRC 14TT. It used to be the St. Croix and apparently it was a quality product. Not the case anymore as far as I’m concerned. Lots of QC issues with this product.

I’d wait and find a good used RX 16’ boat. Patience will result in a better overall experience.


Recommend used
Check to see if there are any outfitters in your area that rent canoes. Check with them to see if they are selling any stock. This is the right time of year for finding bargains. An outfitter near me sells the Mohawk Intrepid 16, used for only one or two seasons, in good shape, and with kevlar skid pads (usually about $50 to install), for about half of the list price.

Remember to get some paddles and PFDs, too. You can usually get those used from outfitters for affordable prices as well. Not usually the best quality, but will get you started paddling your own boat.

Good luck. It’s a wonderful way to spend your time.

  • Big D

Pond canoe. Many options.
And opinions----here’s mine------

Since you don’t have to cartop or carry in, weight is not a primary concern. If you get into the sport, you will probably want a different boat someday.

Poly, Royalex and aluminum boats hold up to abuse such as standing in them out of the water and dragging. These are typical occurrences for family use in a backyard pond. Composite hulls will crack if bent over an object laying on the ground. Kids have a way of testing the limits of a hull.

The posters who suggested used boats are right. Check with local outfitters (it’s the end of the season), clubs, colleges and park districts. Keep an eye out for garage sales, but buyer beware. Local paddling shops (becoming rare)may have used boats.

Consider rec kayaks or SOTs for the kids. Dick’s has them on sale at this time of year.

We got a tandem Penob 16 for $400 w/ 2 Extrasport PFDs and Bending Branches wood paddles. We researched ahead of time and when the ad showed up in the paper we went over to the owner’s house that night and bought it. Two people were supposed to look at it the next day. So if you run across a good deal (for you), move fast.

Buy decent PFDs and use them. Accidents happen and usually don’t wait for someone to put on their vest.

Happy hunting and paddle safe!

Canoe- Newbie needs your help
I would definitely check the classified ads in your locaL newspaper or check out what your local outfitter is selling off here at the end of the season. I’ve purchased both of my canoes this way and found great deals. My first canoe was a virtually new OT Discovery which I got for $300 because the man’s wife said she wanted a new suit of living room furniture. Don’t think she could get much with $300, but I certainly got a wonderful boat for very little.

I have a MR 14tt
I think it’s perfect for it’s purpose! 69 pounds light, wide at about 36 inches, very stable, manuverable, and slow. Of couse any canoe that is 36 inches by 14 feet is going to be slow, but he’s not using it for long trips in the BWCA

Look up the threads
I know you have the boat and I hope it works well for you. It did not for me. I always enjoyed the performance of the boat when I wasn’t working on it. Mine went back to REI within 8 months of purchase after I got fed up with:

two broken seats

reriveting the deckplates because they were poorly installed

and the straw that broke the camel’s back was the vertical crack in the floor

No I wasn’t using it outside of its intended purpose and I’m now very happy with my Wenonah Prospector.

If I wanted a boat for the purposes requested it would NOT be the MT 14TT.

I wouldn’t drag a …
poly, royalex, or aluminum canoe unless it is over nice soft grass.

I just transfered a royalex Adarondack to a friend this morning with under the stern almost worn through to the point where it will need to be repaired.

Even my Old Town Disco gets carried over gravel and rough hard ground.



Thank you all in my Canoe search…just
one more question. here in Charlotte,NC. the local stores have an old towne guide 147, some scratches, dents from delivery,I can mostly get it for about $500+, my question is: WHAT IS OIL CANNING? I’ve beem through many of the reviews on this site and cannot get a def. on what it is or does to the canoe.

Also,(ok, more than one question) Picture this, a 250# guy and 160# wonderful wife, a 85# 9 year old and soon because we’ll be foster parents another child 70# to 90# I guess. With snacks, juice boxes, paddles, and now Fall weather,coats and such, WILL WE SINK?, the specs. state a Cap. of #900, and will the “tippability” I’ve learned it the primary stability to secondary, scare the kids and wife too much to use it. )although that might do be such a bad…forget i said that.

old towne guide 147

– Last Updated: Oct-01-05 1:04 AM EST –

Don't know OT numbers that well but I am guessing that this boat is under 15 ft. For the load you are talking about I think a 16-17 ft boat would serve you better.

The 900 lb capacity is the max safe load. But most boats are tanks at max load. At 565 lbs a longer boat is better.

Ever seen an old-fashioned oil can (like the one in “The Wizard of Oz”)? You pump out the oil by pushing in the bulged-out base of the can, which snaps in and out a small amount. With boats, strictly speaking, oilcanning is a bending action of the hull when sliding over an obstacle, or worse (a worse case of oilcanning, that is), simply from the pressure of water pushing up on the bottom of the hull when the boat is loaded. The definition is also stretched to include permenant deformation of the hull, which can happen to plastics when subjected to stress (support points or tie-down straps), especially in hot weather.