I've been canoeing for over thirty years. I have a Grumman 17' standard that given my age has become a tad awkward to carry and paddle solo.
I'm considering a Grumman 12' Solo canoe but I have not seen or used one and there are no dealers within driving distance. Point is, I'd be buying it sight unseen. The cost of a new canoe is a factor. The price and weight make the Grumman solo attractive. I know the disadvantages of aluminum and they are not a problem to me.
I'd appreciate some advice & info please.
Are they easy to carry/portage? And is a carrying yoke necessary?
Can you extend your legs while seated and is kneeling an option?
Thanks, I'd appreciate any advice & reviews.
Making the switch to solo boats
It would help to know more about you and your paddling situations. To me, 12 feet would be just too short for a solo canoe, and I say that even though I weigh less than about 98 percent of the people on this board. 14 feet is a much more useful and versatile length, and along that same thought process, there are a lot of solo canoes you could choose from. Now that new Royalex boats are virtually non-existent, buying a solo canoe new will definitely force you into a higher price bracket than would have been the case a year or two ago, and that might make aluminum attractive to you. You might be able to find a used boat though (either in Royalex or some kind of composite). As much as I want to see Grumman do well, given their historical role in getting people into canoes, I think you should look into other options before making a final decision.
Mine is buried in my garage and hasn’t
seen water in a few years, but my recollection is that there is room for stretching legs and kneeling does work fine.
I have a .5" thick pad strapped to the seat and carried it with the seat on one shoulder or the back of my neck, but a clamp on portage yoke would work fine as well.
It’s actually a fun little solo and is very responsive to weight shifts and body movements because it is very stiff.
It’s only 12’9" long, so it’s not real fast.
Where I found storage problems was with a longish spare paddle.
I hope this has been helpful.
Regarding yanoer’s comments
12’9" is getting close to 13 feet, and I think that’s actually likely to be a noticeable improvement over “12 feet”, which I thought was the actual length when I read your post. Also, I can’t remember where I read this at an earlier time, but Yanoer wasn’t the first person to say that this canoe handles better than one might expect. Though I’d prefer something longer, I can do okay in 12-foot boats (I have one), and Yanoer is a lightweight like me.
surprisingly fun boat
Bought one better than 5 years ago and have not been able to keep it at home, GW has it at her place and paddles it in the NJ Pine Barrens. She has a Wenonah Jensen WWC1 and a Merrimack Baboosic; I have a Wenonah Mocassin, Wenonah J-180, and a Bell Wildfire; so those are our comparisons. All are longer canoes, all but the Baboosic are faster; but the little Grumman is a fun boat going downstream on a tight flatwater stream; great for fishing.
Not a bad canoe to carry, and it feels lighter than its published weight. A clamp on yoke would be best for long carries, but I take it to the water with the seat on my head. I just need to remember to wear a hat without a central button. There is plenty of room to move and stretch out. Never found a need to kneel and it been so long that I’ve paddled it I can not tell you how much room there is under the seat. It came with a Bell kneeling pad and the former owner had much bigger feet than mine. For $300 dollars I took a chance and bought it sight unseen; I have not regretted it, and have not sold the caneo.
If you live near Philadelphia PA I can arrange a trial for you.
Often thought it would be a fun boat to
toodle around in…Grummans are better performance wise than most give credit for… Heel it over to rail the water and contrary to popular belief, it will not turtle. It holds very well.
There is one about a mile from me and the seller refuses to be a seller.
Maybe its time for Yanoer to part with it? Canoes require water to be happy.
I am curious about the actual length… waterline length is never listed . I would guess about 12’6"
Grumman solo canoe
Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions. You answered my questions, and I think I’m going to pull the trigger!
12’ 9" is the correct length. I will be using it for fishing on the smaller lakes in central PA and for some overnight camping trips on the river.
Thank you all very much, I’ll let you know how it goes and post a review.
Hey I grew up in Richfield on the Juniata-Snyder County line. Which River? Juniata or Susquehanna. A G-129 will be great on either one, you’ll be able to pluck off the smallmouths hanging downstream of those rocks in either river.