Help buying a new canoe....please advise

I’m looking to buy a canoe for fishing in the south branch river in West Virginia. I’m a big guy and need/want a lot of stability. I had two old alum. canoes that would roll over if you looked at them hard. Do any of you have any suggestions on the most stable, square back/scanoe, that I can buy or should look into? I’d also like to know what should I look for in terms of stability…what makes a boat more stable…lenght…width (i would guess) weight? Thanks for your help and adivce. I was looking at the Old Town Predator SS150 ( anyone have an opinon on this boat?

Water conditions tend to be low and rocky with some swift water at times with protruding rocks that can really sneak up on you. I don’t need something to stand up in but hate having to watch every sneeze or move. help is appreciated.

old town tripper
is hard to beat for stability and maneuverability. i use mine mainly solo but sometimes tandem. it’s one of the most stabile canoes i’ve paddled and it’s a hoot to fish out of. i mount the trolling motor off the side on a gunwale bracket. i mostly fish for flathead in the summer and have no problem hoisting the pigs into the canoe. it’s all about being one with the canoe, harmony and balance is key, lol…

I second the Tripper
I use a Trolling motor on mine also. Last week, I decided to try mounting the TM near the bow to see how it would pull the canoe vs. pushing it from the stern. The canoe handled much easier that way and it went faster! Front wheel drive is the way to go!

Notice that all real bass boats use a
pulling trolling motor, not a pushing one, though some have both. Part of that is for convenience, especially when fishing alone, but its also because it works better.

I have several friends who fish with that boat and really like it. It really shines in places that restrict motors, it rows just like a small rowboat. I recommend that you mount your battery in the front and your electric motor in the rear and use an extended handle to increase both your primary and secondary stability. There are lighter boats out there, but not tougher and cooler looking that the cameo finish on that boat. Are you looking at the square stern, or the double ended model. I recommend the square stern for fishing and trolling.

Go Double Ended
if you plan on being on rivers. There are times on the river that you can not use your Trolling Motor and you must use a paddle. Heavy Square Sterns are very difficult to paddle.


– Last Updated: Jun-29-05 9:11 AM EST –

Length actually has a big influence on stability. Think about it: A boat that is, say, two feet longer, has a lot of extra surface area, just as much or even more extra surface area than you'd get by simply adding about 6 inches of width. Getting a wider boat is okay, but don't go with a shorter boat than you can get by with if you want more stability.

Also, I have to say that stability seems like a much bigger issue than it needs to be until you get a good feel for just what causes a boat to lean or not lean. If you follow the simple rule of keeping your head directly above the approximate center of the boat anytime you need to move around or climb in or out, you'll never get out of control or feel like you're going to tip over during ordinary use of the boat. Before a person gets the hang of staying fairly well centered, they tend to accidently overload one side of the boat in the blink of an eye without even understanding how it happened, and then they make things worse by grabbing the gunwales for additional support, which only makes the boat lean more or just flip over. The point of all this is that you will learn to be stable and comfortable in any canoe a lot quicker if you make a real effort to think about staying centered as you move about. Not thinking about this is what causes folks to continue feeling shaky and tentative in their canoe, and to wonder why the boat flipped them (or nearly so) with "no" warning.


One more thing. I wonder if you were sitting in the stern seat when your aluminum canoe was so unstable. When alone in a canoe, don't sit there. The hull is way too narrow back there, and the major portion of the hull carries less weight and may even be lifted out of the water so it won't contribute to the boat's stability. Sit in the center if you can, or else sit in the bow seat and face the stern (the bow seat is quite a bit closer to the middle of the boat than the stern seat).

New Canoe
I am also looking for a new canoe. I think I’ve found what I’m looking for in the Wenonah Prospecter 16. I agree that you should get the double ender. For a square stern your going to need a trailer and alot of unnecessary “stuff”. with a double ender you can carry it on top of anything and load it with one or two people. Not to mention you can be in the water in half the time. Then there’s storage. you can hang a double ender in the garage or lean it up against it outside, though inside would be better. Good luck.

new canoe
The best thing to do is read all the help and go to a store and try them out every one is diferant . get the one that fits you best .