I am looking at some craiglist canoes this weekend. Looking for a tandem canoe for a couple in our mid-fifties. We are looking for general use mostly lake, pond or get onto the Wisconsin river flowage and paddle around and fish. No camping, no white water just pleasure. Perhaps some solo with fishing in mind but again on small ponds and lakes.
I was surprised at the range of canoes available so was looking for some advice.
The three brands are Old Town, Wenonah and Mad River that would fit our needs. What surprised me was that some of the canoes are from the 1990s and must have had little use or well maintained.
Old Town - Camper 15 from 1996 (an aqua color that the wife thinks is great) and a Discovery 174 - I think the camper will be lighter and easier to load and unload. Both have blow molded seats in them. Also a Pathfinder which is 15’ 2" and looks well used - with cane seats that need replacement. $600 for the camper and $800 for the Discovery both say original owners. The Pathfinder is $650.
Mad River Sunrunner - Kevlar with cane seats and wood gunwales and is a 1998. Scratches on the bottom but looks taken care of - asking $1,200. I believe this will be lighter than the Old Town. Wood trim likely needs some work with previous repairs showing up.
Wenonah - Sundowner - 18 foot fiberglass (red) and looks to have an adjustable front seat. 1991 based on the serial number. Looks like someone purchased it, polished and putting up for sale. Plastic seats with aluminum struts between gunwales for seats (looks like the rivets for the seats go through the hull on the sides). Asking $700 for it.
I have read up on each individually and for general use they all seem good, but looking for opinions as the material and weight likely differ and it is hard to know exactly the weight due to the variations of models over the years and lengths 15 to 18 feet.
How would you spend your money for general use? Note, this will travel on the top of my Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Thanks for your insights.
Photos added from the craigslist ads -
Mad River - Sunrunner - 17’2" 35" wide -
and the Old Town Camper - 15’ and 36" wide - the only photo in the ad
Wenonah - Sundowner - 18"