First vessel


I’m a boy scout and did alot of canoing in my youth. I’m married now, in the city and want to go fishing. Vehicle and space tells me I need a canoe that I can car top. I’ve paddled around Skokie lagoons with a friend and find it enjoyable so for exercise and fishing I would like recommendations for an appropriate canoe for my wife and myself. I’m looking for a used one and having a devil of a time finding a deal.

Thank you,


Old Town penobscot
Or mad river explorer in Royalex are great standard canoes. Good luck finding them used. But if you buy them new and use them twice a month the cost per trip will be only a couple dollars in a few years.

If this is your first canoe, don’t be real picky. Any tandem in decent condition that you can comfortably load/lift will do for a start as long as its not an extreme whitewater or racer. Keep it over 15 feet and under 18 feet. Don’t spend a lot.

Places to look, the classifieds here on p-net, Craigslist, local classifieds, local paddling clubs.

Take awhile to learn a bit about the major manufacturers and models that you might want. Then, when you see a used one for sale that you want you can jump on it.

The OT Penobscot is a great tandem and I’d love one myself, but don’t get too picky when you start out. Get on the water first, then keep an eye out for what you may really want.

Actually, if you keep it up, what you really want will turn into several. I’m proudly down to two at the moment and only sorta looking, just to keep my hand in, in case that kevlar…

I covet the old towns, my buddy with whom I did the lagoons has two wood/canvas ones…sweet. And that Predator is some kind of fishing rig. however, I’ve agreed to not be picky and my darlin wife wants me to behave and not go ‘overboard.’ I’ve found an old fiberglass boat that floats and just needs a little tlc for 140 - it’s 15’3" which seems a good size to start. I’ve been looking on ebay and craigs list. It seems that if I lived in connecticut or florida I’d stand a better chance of getting a deal but they’re all pick up and I’m in Chicago.

Thank you for your quick responses and I certainly appreciate further opinions.


If you have trouble finding…
a used canoe and have to buy a new one, a good option might be a Mohawk Nova, bought factory direct. I know Mohawk changed hands and temporarily went out of business, but they seem to be back in business now. The Royalex Nova is 16 ft. and weighs 65 pounds, which is very doable for cartopping. The Royalite version weighs less than 60 pounds, but according to their website they only have 4 left and aren’t going to be producing any more for a while. Cost of the Royalex is a bit over $900.

The price of the fiberglass canoe you’re looking at is okay, depending upon what kind of fiberglass it is. Fiberglass is okay as a material for a fishing canoe, but Royalex is a whole lot better because it’s a whole lot quieter when you shuffle your feet, drop something, or scrape bottom. However, I’ve used fiberglass canoes off and on for many years for fishing, and have no real complaints with them.

Tight budget
Thank you, I’m looking for a VERY inexpensive used canoe…once I’m up around $400 I might as well get an old town predator…thank you for your advise.

It’s been most helpful.


Curios statement

– Last Updated: Jun-15-07 4:24 PM EST –

The OT Predator series starts at $899 and goes up to $1,479. Why the $400 cut-off for a used canoe? Also note the Predator series begins at 78 pounds for the dinky 13 footer and goes up to an unbelievable 113 lbs! Yikes! Even the bottom end 13 footer is a grunt, let alone that monster 15 footer. Polylink or roto-molded as it is also called is the heaviest canoe material on the market. If you can comfortably car-top canoes like that… Wow. Also note that roto-molded poly is very, very tough stuff – but once holed it’s almost impossible to patch (glues don’t stick to it).

FWIW, that was my humble opinion. Not worth much and not worth arguing about… just my two cents worth. - Randall

As Al implied there are different types of fiberglass. A hand laid layup of fiberglass cloth is fine, if a bit dated but I urge you to avoid the chopper gun type fiberglass layup @ any cost. If inside hull looks like the back of your shower unit avoid it or regret it later

Thank you all
For your opinions. After reading the reviews and a sale at Dick’s I’ve purchased the pelican colorado - new.

Mrs. S. and I will be taking it for its maiden voyage on Friday.