help on finding canoe

I am in need of a canoe for my family and I. I am new to this and do not know much about them. I am needing something that is very versitile. I do not plan on taking it to rough waters for my two children are 2 and 4. But I need something that is light weight, very very stable, that can hold 600-800#, can easily attach a trolling motor for fishing and is priced reasonably. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have checked all of my local stores and I can’t seem to find what I am needing. I did find a Sportspal canoe that seemed to fit my needs but it was just a little pricy.

Sportspals are specialty type canoes,
and it sounds like you are looking for a good deal on a

used one. Good luck!

You could also consider a canoe with rowing capability.

Quite a few into that.

Although, with youngens in consideration, and their growing, I’d also look into a jon boat. More room, and

rowing is fun and healthy. Oh, and the electric trolling motor can be positioned in the middle of the transom, where it is most efficient. Then too, a square stern canoe. Even in your niche of usage, some options to consider…

a helpful document

– Last Updated: Jan-23-09 11:31 PM EST –

Your post is very good and covers a lot of the issues when looking for a boat to fit your needs.

I would also suggest looking for a good used boat. Do some internet searches. Contact any local clubs or paddling groups you can find. Contact any local place that rents canoes to see if they ever sell off all or part of their fleet. Search, search, search. Good used canoes are out there, but you have to look for them.

Click on this link:

This document should help you through the process of searching for a boat. You can use this for new or used boats, at a paddling shop or not. It was originally developed and distributed by the Paddlin' Shop in Madison, WI. When you ask someone what canoe you should buy, these are some of the questions they should ask and the answer they will need to help you find the boat that's right for you.

There are about 24 questions/criteria to fill out, a then a ten point system to "test paddling", followed by a table to log your impression of each boat you test paddle based on a list of criteria. The document is just 5 pages long.

I have found this a very helpful way for newbies to begin their boat shopping experience.

You might also benefit from reading:

I put together these two documents because I was getting so many questions like the one above about which boat a new paddler should buy. There are a lot of issues involved in the boat buying process. These documents help to identify some of those issues and hopefully simplify the process somewhat.


My favorite canoe for the family is a 17 foot aluminum Grumman Tandem canoe. I have three of them. Some people like them, some don't.


check out
a grumman aluminium canoe. Cheap and durable and pretty stable too.

Your 600-800 weight expectation is
excessive. Many canoe makers quote a weight capacity based on 6" freeboard, but when you load family canoes to 6" freeboard, they are slow, unsteady, and take on water too easily.

And, when you want a canoe that can carry even 600 pounds with acceptable freeboard, you will end up with a large canoe that will (if really light as you desire) be very expensive, or (if affordable) will be rather heavy.

You might re-examine how you will actually use the canoe. To get a 600 pound capacity with a safe (maybe 8") freeboard, you will usually need at least a 17 foot boat. That will also give you more room in the boat for the family and day-gear. I have a 17’ boat that carries 580 pounds with 8 inches of freeboard, and still handles well when loaded. I recommend looking through Wenonah’s offerings, at the Spirit II and Champlain, Kevlar Flexcore or the less expensive Tuffweave layup.

Where are you from? I recently saw a used Wenonah Champlain on Craigslist for $800. That boat fits your needs well, almost to a “T”. I would suggest looking at the canoe mfgr’s websites to get an idea of what’s available and their specs. Wenonah has a pretty informative site and you can request a catalog. Pnet Reviews and Classifieds may also help with your search.


Aluminums no cheaper than royalex
most of the time around here when in good condition. I have, on occasion, seen them as low as $250 to $300, but most of the time they’re in the $500 to $800 range.

I did buy one each abused Grumman and Alumicraft 17’ canoes two years ago at cheap prices and they’re both decent boats. They both needed some minor repair.

Around Dallas, Texas
A used Grumman in decent condition goes for about $300. It was the first canoe we bought, still have it 20 years later, and it’s still worth about $300.

…just my $.01…

– Last Updated: Jan-24-09 4:51 PM EST –

As said...600lbs+ is an awful lot for one canoe...might wanna try a few family demo days... will be much easier to pin down what sort of boat arrangement will work best.
As said, the good Used ones are worth their weight in gold..for their prices. Wenonah's tandems in Flexcore along with Bell's tandems in lots others, Swift, & others...Tripper.