Grumman 19 Footer

I’m thinking about buying a Grumman 19 footer. I plan on using it on the Wisconsin River west of Madison (a slow shallow river). I’m interested in the the 19’ because of its ability to carry three people and gear. I wonder if anyone out there has had experience with it? Also, I’m wondering what the optimal engine size is. My preference is electric.

One of the things that worry me is its maneuverability. I also wonder about its stability (40 inch beam). It’s advertised as a work horse for guides.

Anyone have any comments on the quality of construction?

Is there an alternative out there?

Thanks for the help! Happy new year!


If you need a motor go for it.

You will need an acre to turn it around.

At 40 inches wide you shouldnt ever dump it.

Its going to be heavy.

Forget roof racks. Get a trailer. Or let it at the water.

My 18 footer will hold 5 people or 850 pounds(according to the cap. plate)( 3 easy).

Its designed to haul people, gear, and a moose across those huge Canadian beaver ponds.

I hope somebody with expierance with one posts, I cant wait to see what they think.

Good luck


i’ started paddling
more than 20 years ago and my first canoes were Grumman WHite Water and Standard models. They were very popular at that time because of their durability being there only real competitor at the time were fibreglass. I recall having had a small outboard on them at times. THey were slow, heavy, noisy, cold, could carry a huge amount of material, great for fishing and camping but lousy as a white water play machine.

Grumman boats

– Last Updated: Jan-03-04 4:56 PM EST –

I think your choice will work fine, but I have a question for you.

First, Grummans are very well-made. You'll notice that they use at least two or three times as many rivets as any other aluminum canoe. They are tough and they last. Of all the aluminum rental canoes I've been in over the years, Grummans seem to be the least likely to leak after being abused.

Now the question. Since you plan to use a motor, I assume you are going upstream or generally "motorboating" intead of paddling? If that's true, you might also consider a Jon boat, maybe 15 or 16 feet long. It will have at least as shallow a draft as the Grumman, and will be virtually capsize-proof (the 19-foot Grumman will be hard to flip too, by the way). However, I think the canoe will work better with a 5-horse motor than the Jon boat would. You would definitely need a trailer for such a big Jon boat, though as was already stated, you'd be well-off to have a trailer for the 19-foot Grumman too!

I don't think you need to worry too much about maneuverability. An outboard motor will pivot 90 degrees from center, or close to it, so whatever boat you put it on will be able to turn 180 degrees within a channel that's not much wider than two boat-lengths (or even half that space if you can make the turn in reverse (which is not recommended if it's shallow)). Electric motors spin 360 degrees, so you can manuever any boat completely around within a space equal to one boat-length if you have too.

very dependable
All my experience with Grumman canoes is with double enders but I’ll give my 2 cents anyway. We’ve had an 18’ that we call the tank for 26 years. It’s been thrown end over end by a tornado, and launched down a highway at 55 mph from the top of my truck when I t-boned a car that pulled out in front of me. Its still as solid as a tank. I cut my teeth with my uncle’s 17ft lightweight that was proportionally solid and dependable.

I won’t say you can’t turn the 40" beam over, but if you do you probably should be in a john-boat.

At 50, I now do most of my canoing in a 17ft kevlar because of the weight (52lbs as opposed to the 90lb tank) but I still keep and use the Grumman when I’m afraid to hurt the kevlar! It’ll haul a ton (figuratively) of gear too. (actually only around 1200lbs)

Anyway I don’t think you need be afraid of the Grumman. Enjoy.

“Product Reviews”…
…on the left of the screen has 11 user evaluations of smaller Grummans which might help. I owned a 16(?)’ long ago, and enjoyed it. Doubt if I could lift my half of it now.

good quality
We paddle the Wisonsin River in the area you are talking about. Our Grumman Eagle has hauled a few guests. Grumman makes a quality product that handles the northern climate well. They are very stable as canoes go, but not as stable as a jon boat or rowboat.

If you are primarily using it with a motor for fishing/camping, a jon boat would probably be a better choice. With an electric motor, I assume you’re not going for speed. Also, a jon boat would be less affected by the wind on the Wisconsin. There are several companies that make plastic jon boats that are light enough to cartop.

If you decide to go with the Grumman, get a shoe keel, not a fin. The fin hangs up on rocks. To reduce noise and cold, put foam pads on the bottom (inside)and on the seats. Consider a double end 17’ or 18’. It is lighter and more manuverable and will still handle ok with 700+ lbs of people and stuff. Pretty amazing how much they will haul safely. Your dealer will probably let you try the models you are interested in.Also, Grumman sells motor mounts that clamp on.

One more observation: aluminum doesn’t pick up the fish smell like plastic does.

I think that the 19-foot model…
…only comes with a “fin”-type of keel. You won’t find many rocks where you are going, but I suppose that fin could grab the sand a little harder as you drift over the shallows (which always seems follow a diagonal course relative to the river bottom).

Actually, I’d really like to see one of those boats. Sort of like a big, old-fashioned truck!

Keep us updated.I would love to try one on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos.

Good luck.

I am glad to see the positive comments about the Gummam. I have a 13 foot lightweight that I use on small twisty streams. I used to have a grumman 17 foot standard weight canoe but sold it just because it was getting heavier with age. lol Both my lightweight and my standard weight had high build quality.

I grew up in a 17ft Grumman and i still use it today. Only down side is that it literally sticks to rocks but we have taken it through class 3 and 4 rapids without hesitation, then to the lake the next weekend. These things are tanks