Decisions ?? Which Used Canoe to buy

I’m in thr market for a used canoe, and have found a couple to pick from.

First off, my budget is under $300.00 which puts me at a pretty low limit, but I’m finding some possibilities.

Here on PNET, I found a 1959 15’ Grumman Alum for $200.00. The owner claims it’s heavy, but in very good shape. I haven’t been able to get over to the owners place to look at it, but the picture looks promising. It’s about 75 - 80 miles away (jim33 - - it’s yours)

I also found an Old Towne 147 guide with paddles, virtually new - rarely used for $250.00, and it’s 10 minutes away.

I’ve read the reviews on the OT 147 guide which give it high marks for general purpose, durability, but also claim it’s heavy at 74 lbs.

I see where grummans come with high regards here, along with the Old Towns. Both are basically 15’, are considered heavy.

So - - - what to do. Which do I go for??

I will throw this out to the forum for banter and comments

Go paddle the one that is
only ten minutes from you and if you like it buy it.

If you don’t then go get the Grumman.



Heavy either way
Either boat is gonna be brutally heavy. The Grumann is a battle boat designed to float and take heavy fire. The Old Town is more up to date and may look a little nicer.

A paddled those old alum boats back when I was a scout 30 years ago. They are very durable but beasts. God forbid if you ever have to portage that monster.

If it were me, I would opt for the OT with its paddles. The price is nice and you can be certain it will be reliable. I have owned two OT canoes (and currently have three OT kayaks) and both were excellent boats.


coin toss
I grew up using Grumman aluminum canoes. They are very noisy, relatively heavy compared to more modern boats, and as you’ve seen with the 1959 one for sale, very durable. I can’t remember the dimensions on the Grummans, but I believe they’d be more streamlined for a little better performance in the water than the Guide, which is quite wide.

That said, I’d probably buy the Guide. It’s stable, and should be pretty easy to resell should you decide to move up to something else in the future.

yulester, just sent you an email
Don’t know your where you are in Ohio but I sent you something in your budget. I wouldn’t mess around if it’s within your geography.

If you don’t have access to email right now, reply here and let me know.

That was fast -
Two replys in less time than it takes for me to go get a coffee refill.

I’m getting the impression the Old Town may be the better option at this point. I’ll see if I can get it in the water over the weekend.

Anyone else want to throw their $0.25 in on this (adjusted for inflation)

thermal conductivity
yulester, I just thought of something else about those old aluminum Grummans. If you use them in the Fall or Winter, they are fffrrreeeezing.

what is your goal?
If your goal is to just float around - either will do. If you plan on doing and paddling, keep looking. You can probably get an OT 158 (or similar)for that price - it will paddle better (not great, but better).

My Goal??? Various
Lakes, Resevoirs, Rivers (not whitewater of course) camping on a river, fishing, Something for the kids.

I’m not planning a two week excursion or crossing Lake Erie if thats what your getting at. I’ll be lucky if I get my kids in this boat this summer.

The kids want to go camping, I want to camp and Canoe/kayak. Neither of my kids can swim yet (but one can drive if you see where I’m heading) I want them to be able to swim at least enough to go across a local pool without sinking. They call my son “The Rock” and scout camp, and it’s not because he’s a tough guy.

Get the overall plan of attack?!?

Old Town

If those are your only choices
go with the OT. If your kids are paddling with you, get the most comfortable PFD’s you can find so they wear them. And you wear yours - not only is it a good example, but you are in a better position to help them if necessary.

good luck

Pros Cons of Each


Sits outside without a single worry.

If you wreck it, is worth $70 in scrap aluminum.

Holes can be patched with sheet aluminum and pop rivits.

Excellent canoe to leave out at the cabin.


Heavey, noisy, zero glamour.

Sticks to rocks (This is important if you are in rocky rivers).

OT Guide


Slides over rocks very well.

Some dents can pop out.


PET plastic CANNOT be repaired like Royalex plastic.

Plastic will degrade in UV light (takes many years).

May get brittle in very cold weather.

You will have many boats over the
years. The important thing right now is to get started. As already stated here, Non-metal boats have a lot of advantages over aluminum but aluminum can’t be beat in some areas. If you’re going to paddle in very hot weather, you can’t get around the problem that aluminum boats can get hot enough to burn your skin.

Got a message back -
The dude sent me a message today saying it’s still available?

You heading back that way from Buffalo sometime soon??