Coleman or?

It’s those new customers who become repeat customers that keep our favorite paddling shops in business. The vast majority couldn’t survive on selling higher end boats and paddles alone.


Everybody has to start somewhere. There was a time when I didn’t have a pot to put it in.

When this is just a thing to do, the easy solution is minimal investment. Once you get the hang of it, it paysvto invest and upgrade. I think there are so many paddlers in or near retirement because it a time in life when many have advanced in careers, got the kids on their way and have more free time. Hopefully that means disposable income.

Compared to other hobbies, this is a fraction of the investment, especially if your an outdoors person. The greatest hurdle for many people is adequate transportation along with the weight of the boat and storage. A great paddle and PFD is no more than $350 to $700, and they’ll last for years. A good used boat can be found for $600 and new ones are $1,500 to $3,600. Then you can go virtually anywhere.

That’s where the the Pelicans and Colemans fill the gap, and that’s what fuels the industry.

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When you come to a forum of enthusiast you likely get drawn to high-end equipment. When you go out on my river and look around at what people are paddling the equipment is all mid to lowest priced and rarely do you ever see top end equipment. It is true on the public golf course and just about every sporting pastime as well.

We have a charity river float each year and it benefits the local volunteer fire company. Last year we had over 500 boats put in over a 2 hour period of time. Of those 500 paddlers almost all were bottom of the line plastic rec-kayaks and maybe 20 low end or very old canoes. My $150 used OT canoe was one of the better boats I saw all day.

More than the quality of the boats I notice the lack of good informed safety practices even though we had 6 coast guard people working the put in and being sponsored by the fire department and the guys that get the job of fishing people out of trouble all year. It is really not that expensive to really upgrade the safety level. I would much rather see a cheap boat with some proper safety being used than a high end without.


The first canoe I got into was a Grumman aluminum in 1972. We were being “led” down the Ammonoosuc River, in northern NH, in April, in the spring melt, by someone who didn’t know better (and some of us were very young and knew even less). Thankfully, no one died. We ended camping and “canoeing” in the Connecticutt lakes for the rest of the week.



@bud16415, agee. I believe the active members of the forum are mostly advanced or at least “avid” kayakers dedicated to kayaking and canoeing for a variety of reasons. Degree of commitment or investment isn’t a requirement. I read posts for several month before joining, and mainly joined to be able to help those who are starting out.

I can’t tell anyone how to surf, traverse dangerous rapid or race, but I can offer advice about what it took me 15 years to acquire. We talk about safety and dangerous practices in cheap boats, but I have never done anything nearly as dangerous as what highly skilled members have been doing. In fact, I can say I never will.

Everyone has an inborn sense of danger. It’s up to the individual to assess the limit. Its a bit . . . Hollow . . . To chastise a new boater for paddling an inexpensive canoe or kayak, then post a video of yourself with friends surfing in a hurricane battered coast among sharp rocks. Nothing wrong with doing that, but at times inexpensive equipment is made to appear inadequate or dangerous. If you fear danger, Ha! Dont get in a kayak or a canoe! Just understand your abilities and limitations, and most of all don’t exeed the limitations of your equipment.

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I do understand we all have different risk thresholds. The big difference is in understanding where yours is. The experienced paddlers totally understand the high risk and is prepared for it. The novice paddlers find paddling easy right up to the point it isn’t. When that happens and the boat is swamped and the water deep and cold and the swim long is not the time to be learning what to do. :canoe:


You are correct. That’s the person I want to help, but through persuasion. The best climbers in the world fall off mountains. A woman I knew lost her husband when he fell off the top step of a 6 ft step ladder. That is just as tragic and neither was exciting in the end, but we still push that envelope. Please know your limitations, and err on the side of caution.

That I believe is a Coleman Colorado I only ever saw one at Galyans, but I am pretty sure others sold it. It had webbed seats on aluminum hangers and didn’t have the the usual keelson running down the middle attached to the seats. As Coleman canoes went, it was real expensive at the time (20 years ago?). It was like $900 as I recall. It was also even heavier than a garden variety Colman at 90 plus pounds.