Gheenoe or Squareback Canoe?

I am trying to decide between these two vessels. I have a flats boat and kayaks, but I would like a small vessel that I can launch without a ramp, put an outboard on, fish two people, and pushpole and sight fish the flats. I want to spend $1500-$3000. Obviously, I’d most likely be going used with the gheenoe.

The gheenoe is more stable, can take a larger outboard and a true poling platform, and many other options. It is also much heavier and must be trailered.

The squareback can be car-topped, requires a smaller outboard, can be poled from a low plaform (gunnel height), but might need stabilizers for this activity.

I’m kind of partial to the following squareback canoes: American Eagle, Indian River, Chief, and Stillwater (made in East Florida). Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

What do you guys think??

Square backs
Like you mentioned, the problem with some of the niced square-backs is weight.

One possible solution is building your own.

If building is not your thing, there are buliders out there who will build you one for the cost of materials. These guys are boat-building junkies and just love building them. I know of one guy, retired, in Florida that is just an artist. I’m developing a Gheenoe-like set of plans. Estimating about 65 lbs if built carefully.

The reason you can build them lighter is that the materials used for building one at a time are not good for steady production.

Otherwise check out A little pricey and a slightly heavy. But maybe doable.

Another guy: A little pricey but I’ve heard good things.

Since you evidently,
can afford either one I’d suggest the larger one that gets trailered for the following reason.

A LOT less time spent at the launch putting everything together and taking it all apart.

I knew several guys who use to launch 16’ - 18’ flat boats with a 30 - 50 HP motors in the most unlikely places, far from any ramp/launch. If they could do it with a boat that big I’m sure you could still launch a gheenoe at places that don’t have a launch.

Gheenoe not easy to pole- are you
experienced poling either canoe or gheenoe? You really need a poling platform and stabilizers to really move a canoe with a pole. We have fished out of both. 21" aluminum canoe with bow casting platform and rear pole platform plus stabilizers-

big strong guy poling and really moving it with two big guys, rods, etc. Gheenoe is basically a two person craft, stable, works well under power, and easy to launch. Big guy, 6’4", 300 lbs. had a hard time poling the gheenoe with a 175 lb. guy in the bow and minimum fishing equipment. Both need power if the wind really blows. Moving either one by paddle or pole is hard work in a strong blow.

Gheenoe or Squareback Canoe?

– Last Updated: Apr-06-04 7:38 PM EST –

I know both really need power.....that's why I would be going with a "squareback canoe or a Gheenoe". If I planned on paddling for my only means of propulsions, I would buy a double-ender, not a squareback. I stated in my initial question that "I would like a small vessel that I can launch without a ramp, put an outboard on, fish two people, and pushpole and sight fish the flats."

check out a coleman
I have a coleman scanoe (square stern) and use an electric motor on it, I think it can handle up to 5-6 hp gas. It is 16 ft long, pretty stable and

41" wide. Can take 3 people .I use it for lake fishing in N.E.P.A, very happy with it. Good luck


Square stern canoe
I have used several different canoe models with small outboards mounted on brackets which clamped across the gunwales. I finally bought a square stern fiberglass canoe, assuming that design would be better for use with an outboard. I was very wrong. I am going back to the side mounted configuration. The traditional canoes paddle much better and it was much better having the outboard alongside of me for filling the tank, starting, tilting the outboard for shallow water drive, etc. I also didn’t like being twisted around in the seat all the time. As far as poling is concerned, I bought’s stabilzer and stood on 2x8 plank cut to fit from gunwale to gunwale in front of the stabilizer. I used the combination boat hook/pole with duckfoot attachment they also sell. With the floats extended all the way out and down, it worked very well. I used it last January in the Everglades. Just my opinion, but based on numerous fishing and canoe camping trips.

Gheenoe Build Plans

There’s our version.

square stern canoe
I’ve just ordered my second River Ridge Canoe, and would recommend this craft to anyone. I was fishing from my first boat yesterday, and was pleased to find that they accepted it for trade in. This firm is very accomodating, and the boat well made and durable.


Gheenoe or Squareback ?
I agree with Leprecanoe. I fish from a 14’ Mohawk Sport with a 40lb thrust Trolling motor side mounted and love it.

I also have a flats boat but fish often from the canoe on account of ease and easy access. The Sport only weighs 52 lbs which was very important to me. I use two Optimax batteries which affords me about 6 hours of full speed from the trolling motor.

I still have the option of paddling long distances which I wouldn’t want to do with a square back or Gheenoe.


Gheehoe - Square Stern
Forget about poling, buy an electric motor and 100 amp deep cycle battery. Old Town markets a motor for canoes, pretty effective.

Preditor 150 SS

old town
I have an old town square back and like it. its fiberglass, and can be car topped.

I had a 3 hp 2stroke which moved it pretty well, but was too much motor when only one was aboard. (floor flex)

I have since used a 32# elect and group 27 deep cycle, which lasts about 3 hrs.

I can paddle this, ok, but it is a little tippy. I would go with stabalizers if I was to pole this in anything but flat calm waters.

it also had a floatation box behind the seat, which I cut a 6" inspection port. this preserves the (air) floatation, and holds wallet/keys and flares, and other small items.

I also add a 1/4" plywood insert for the floor for stablility and dryness.