First time canoe owner

Hi all - Just picked up my first canoe yesterday, a 14’ American Eagle Sportster, flatback. I am looking to use it to primarily fish creeks/marshes/small tidal rivers where boat access is hard to come by or just too shallow to get most boats in. I do have a tunnel hull skiff that I fish primarily, bu there are a TON of spots that are just long hauls to get to by water, or theres a low bridge restricting access, etc. 90% of the time will be me and my 10yo son.

Anyway, I picked it up for $350, with two paddles, which I thought was a relatively good deal. Would you all agree? I do plan to put a small outboard on it, at some point, but will wait to find a deal.

Anyone have recommendations on how I can add a few rod holders? Does anyone use an anchor on a canoe, if so, would a small folding anchor work fine?

Thanks all!

Only one picture per post… Here is another of my son cleaning her up, he is excited!

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If you and your son enjoy the boat and get to spend quality time on the water together, then your new-to-you boat is a good deal. :slight_smile:


Very true. It was worth the price to me, and from what I have seen elsewhere, sounds like a good deal overall. We hope to splash it for the first time this weekend, we shall see what the weather holds.

May I ask in what state do you live with that gorgeous open space in front of your home?

I am in eastern NC, on the coast. We would never have purchased this home without that grass field/open space in front. The yards are rather small, 1/4 acre lots, so that was a huge selling point for us. That is where the kids gather and play, where myself and all the neighbors throw balls/frisbee with the dogs. Just a great space overall!

The only thing, other than a major clean, was the piece of wood replaced. From what I can find online, this is a yoke? Looks like it was originally a piece of fairly straight-grained red oak, not quarter sawn, though. Luckily, my other hobby is woodworking. Found a piece of straight-grained cherry in the cutoff pile, just enough length. I widened it a bit, and re-drilled the mounting holes in the canoe to be more symmetrical (not sure why they we’rent originally). Nothing special by any means, but should look nicer than what was in there. Finishing it with a few coats of epifanes, which I had from a previous project.

Original on right.

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First coat of finish.

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Good idea. You could change out the seats and add some additional thwarts. Some people like to change out the aluminum gunwales for wood ones.

Thwart maybe…but yoke? A straight board is a real uncomfortable yoke. A straight board lacks the smooth lines and roundness of a thwart .

Notice it is a square back - you going to put an engine on it?


Yeah, I am not very versed on the parts of a canoe, I simply looked it up online, and seemed the yoke was at the center-most point. I don’t think anyone is carrying this canoe solo, weighs in around 80lbs.

The gunwales on this are actually a plastic/composite material, but wood would definitely be cool! I will probably just leave the plastic though, as much as I like natural wood, it needs too much maintenance when used outdoors.

That is the plan, yes. Small 2/3hp motor on the back. I will wait to find a good deal, I don’t want to have too much invested in this thing, I more than likely want use it all that often, but you never know. Where I live, there are a TON of waters that are hard to access by boat, either due to a low hanging bridge, or just lack of public access to that area. I plan to use this canoe at many of those places, where there’s not really a ramp, but a side of the road pull-off and a ditch.

Here is pic showing typical canoe thwart.

Typical yoke…note where neck and shoulders would go.

If you are not doing a lot of carrying you don’t need a yoke. It is not written anywhere that your thwarts have to be shaped like some manufacturer. I like your thwart.

Grabbing a square board will explain my point one of these days.

Truth is I’m just trying to be helpful ,but I don’t care. Your boat. Do it your way.

If you are planning of fishing an anchor is useful. There are many online:

Most weigh from 1.5 - 3.5 lbs. and often come as complete kits with a folding anchor, line, a float, clips or quick releases, carrying bag, etc. Handy and not too expensive.

Being somewhat conservative, after cleaning it up, as long as the canoe is structurally sound, I would do nothing with it. Take it out a few times, then decide if you want or need to spend time, effort, and money on any changes or upgrades. I assume that you have or will be getting whatever accessories are required in NC such as PFDs, a bailer, a throwline, etc. Depending on where you are going and the length of any portages, you may want to look at a canoe cart . . . or not.