Grumman vs ABS

I’ve used both the Grumman and the
Penobscot. I owen a 1976 Grumman 17’ and have caught many fish with my dad in that boat (it takes practice). I work for a company where I have access to use any Old Town I need and love the penobscot. Like stated in earlier posts they are very differant, it all depends on what you plan to use it for.

For long paddles with varied types of water I would go with the Penobscot. It has good secondary stability and when loaded properly feels great steaming across a lake. The Royalex is forgiving and repairable if doing some river running.

If your planning on mostly paddling in flat smooth water and are going to be a light load the grumman is great. Keel keeps you on track, and nice stiff hull moves nicely through the water. NO ROCKS!!! In rivers the Aluminum sucks! Hit a rock and your stuck, you have to unweight the canoe to get off the rock, not fun in cold whitewater.

One great thing about the Grumman is that it’ll teach you boat handling a heck of a lot quicker. Anytime you hit a rock, you’ll know it. More importantly, all your friends will know it. The shame will ensure that you’ll try to avoid hitting rocks, learning how to turn and weave through the rock garden as adroitly as possible. Those of us who grew up on Grummans have a casual contempt for those who think the particular material of a boat defines its use.

I started with a 17’ LWT (.032", 60 lbs) almost 40 years ago that I still have. It’s been down plenty of class 2 rivers. Yes, I have hit rocks. No, it is still in great shape. I do have plastic and kevlar canoes now, but I have no preference for them based on what they’re made of. It’ll be the boat I never sell and will probably outlast the other two despite the 30-year headstart it has on them.

A few great things about the Grumman
one it doubles as a lobster cooker… I have actually accidentally done this with some water in one…

second it tests your hearing… The sound of aluminum scraping rock is quite like the pleasure of fingernail on chalkboard.

Its a musical instrument too… The wildlife responds to every little bang…you wont see a gator on shore for your bathy breaks.

That said, its a decent boat that gets too much bad press. It can be heeled over for quite a nice solo ride with knee paddling.