First Time Canoe Buyer Help + ID

Hi everyone!

I am looking to buy our family’s first canoe and could really use some help. It will mainly be used for fishing and minor paddling in flat water. I am having trouble identifying this canoe which is for sale beyond possibly a Ram 17x? The owner has told me it needs a thwart, not sure how much this would run me or if it makes it unusable? I would ideally like this thing to be water ready for my son and I to go fishing. The owner says he got it with his cottage but already had one so he isn’t sure when it was last in the water… is this a red flag? I also notice some sort of rust spot in one of the pictures. I haven’t gone to look at it in person yet so trying to gather as much info before I do. He says he wants around $200 for it. Is it worth it?

Thank you in advance for your help! Here are some pics. or

and or

I would pass
I don’t know the manufacturer but it is almost certainly a single layer polyethylene canoe similar to Colemans and Pelicans.

Single layer poly canoes of this size lack rigidity and require “gimmicks” to provide even a modicum of rigidity. In this case, the hull has a shallow external keel and an internal keelson of some type, possibly aluminum tubing, and molded seats with big footers that extend down to the keelson to stiffen the hull bottom. Tandem canoes of this type of construction usually also are outfitted with a center thwart with a footer extending down to the keelson, or more commonly a big, awkward plastic center “console” with footers extending to the keelson.

Unless you fit a thwart with some type of vertical strut going down to the keelson I am concerned this canoe would be unacceptably floppy. For the same price you can probably find a sound aluminum canoe that would suit better.

Yes I believe it is a Coleman. Thanks for the info.

It is beyond me why people…
want to make a buck on junk, instead of giving it away !

I recall seeing those on sale about ten years ago at Wally world for $199.

If you are handy, a thwart is a simple addition you can do yourself.

You don’t say how old or the size of your son, but I don’t think they would be happy in that boat.

Offer the guy a $100 and if he refuses, consider yourself lucky. If he accepts, add a thwart, and if it doesn’t work out you are not out too much.

jack L

Agree with JackL
Offer seller $100.00.

If seller takes it; put in a thwart & give it a go for a few trips.

Don’t like it?

Make a planter, a sandbox, or a giant cat litter box out of it.

Or give it away; you’ll have lost little to nothing.


one more time
Just putting a thwart in it won’t do.

Take a look at this picture and you will see what I am talking about:

You can see the upright footer extending from the center thwart down to the keelson. Without this type of support the center of the bottom of that hull is going to flex up and down like crazy. In fact, in the photos posted by the OP it looks as if the center of the keelson might already have become bent due to lack of support, although that might possibly be an optical illusion.

Would you be able to paddle the canoe a short distance without this support? Possibly, but it would still be a POS.

On that note
I seldom see one of these canoes where the keelson isn’t already bent at some location in-between the places where vertical struts hold it down. These boats desperately need all the hold-down force applied to the keelson that they can get. I agree that without providing the necessary vertical support at thwart locations, the hull will be very loose and floppy, and will be very un-canoe-like it its handling.

Lowest Denominator
Coleman Ram-X canoes are in the running for the worst canoe ever built by a factory. A rebuild would need 20+ feet of 6061T6 aluminum tubing and appropriate fasteners to attach the strut to keelson and thwart. That means access to a specialty metal house and close to $100 for parts and some slill with saw, drill, pop rivets etc. The pop rivets will need to be temperes and the standard HdWr store tool will not set them.

The above suggested $100 purchase price is on the high end of reasonable because this will cost 200 plus skilled labor to yield a dry hole in the water. ’ should be able to fins a better boat around $300.

Close call.
I appreciate all of your advice. I think I will pass on this and find something a bit newer.

Thanks again!