Favorite Canoes

We recently sold our 16ft Adventure Mad River Canoe. WE are newbies, and this canoe was great for us! We never felt that we were not stable, very important to us, and it seems to move along pretty well on slower water. The draw back was the darn thing was heavy! Hubby and I lifted it onto the roof rack and regardless of what they say, this monster has to weigh more than 82 lbs. Up an over your head, makes it tough to load even with a loader thing off the side of the rack. We have decided to maybe go smaller 14 foot and ligher but try to keep the stablility. We are rec users only, not into the heavy water, so what do you all suggest? We saw a Pelican on line that was a Colorado. One ad said 62 lbs another said more? We also considered a Stillwater and a Osprey as long as they are the ligher models. As you can see we are not looking to spend a ton of money either. What recomendations do you all have? Thanks.

The problem
The problem is inexpensive usually means rotomolded, or royalex construction. Both of these materials are heavy. You could move to another royalex boat, but the weight savings would be nominal. A Wenonah Spirit 2 may knock ten pounds off your current boat’s weight. Go to an Adirondack and it will save another couple pounds. Still a lot of weight at the end of the day.

In my opinion a 14 foot boat is too small for use as a tandem. One solution would be to find a used (its no longer built) Dagger Reflection 15. I have one of these boats and it’s a very good tandem when not overloaded. Primary stability is excellent, but becomes a handful if heavily loaded.Read overloaded as 400 pounds or more. Up to 375lbs, no problems at all. It’s made of Royalex lite and weighs about 50 pounds. Another option would be a Reflection 16. Also Royalex lite and less than 60 pounds.

Next move would be to a composite boat. Used liteweight composite boats can be purchased for about the same price as a new royalex boat. For example I just picked up a four year old Kevlar Bell Merlin 2, a $1600 boat, for $1000. This boat has never been in the water and is in same as new condition. I wasn’t really looking for this boat, but it was such a good deal i couldn’t walk away. Look here on Pnet or call outfitters near your home. You never know what they’ve got on a rack out back.

Good luck!

I concur that 14 foot is too short

– Last Updated: Apr-11-07 5:52 PM EST –

However, there are some nice royalex boats in the 15-16 foot range that weigh in under 60 pounds. An Old Town Penobscot 16-2 has an advertised weight of 58 pounds and it would do nicely. A Bell Morningstar id 15-6 and in royalex weighs an advertised 55 pounds. An Old Town Camper 16 in royalex is also less than 60 pounds. Any of these boats would be adequate for your use. Check this site for sample prices http://www.ozarkcanoe.com/BoatListPage.htm You might also consider buying used.

I think there’s a 15 foot 8 inch Blackhawk tandem for sale in the classifieds. It’s a beautifully made and very strong/sturdy classic that cruises fast and effortlessly and spins on a dime and you’d love it and it would weigh 55 pounds or less.

Great boat if you’re close enough to go grab it.

Of course you’d need to kneel in it or it might feel tippy.

Pretty good solo too.


Penobscot 16
I have one and love it! Doesn’t weight a ton and I can load/unload it by myself. A little squirmy at first but the secondary stability is great.


Stillwater 14 or 16 will do fine for you
The fiberglass construction permits some sharper entry lines than royalex, so you’ll have some surprisingly good performance when paddling.

As long as you are not bashing into rocks in whitewater, the fiberglass will serve your purpose for many years. Even less weight than comparable royalex models. Read reviews.

Good luck!

Royalex isn’t as heavy as Rotomolded
Not sure which MR you had but I helped a guy lift the roto-molded Adventure 16 last year and it was much heavier than my Royalex OT 15’

I’m very pleased with the weight of my Royalex boat, the wife can assist when I need her to but it is fairly manageable one person lift. I wouldn’t go shorter than 15’10" (the length of my Pathfinder) for a tandem boat.

Mohawk Nova 16

– Last Updated: Apr-13-07 11:09 AM EST –

Mohawk has some red nova 16s in royalex lite. Go to https://www.mohawkcanoes.com/tandem.htm to check them out. I spoke with Stuart a couple of days ago and he said they are expecting to get gunwhale material next week. He was a nice guy and was very helpful on the phone. I haven't paddled one but is seems comparable to a Madriver Explorer and much lighter than poly. I am in Dahlonega; last year at the end of summer you could pick up a OT Discovery (Poly)from any of the outfitters around for 200 - 500 depending on the condition. My wife and I took one of those down the Upper Hooch and it handled pretty well any problems were with the paddling team ( I said right @#&%!). Didn't seem overly heavy at the time either. We didn't know to kneel in the rapids at the time so we spent some time swimming and gathering our stuff. I kept noticing those foam pads on the floor and thinking they were to put your feet on or something. After that experience we got two solo boats.