How much canoe for 2+ for casual paddling?

My wife and I are enjoying our 12’ and 14’ kayaks quite a bit, but have a mind to do some tandem, and maybe + small grandkids - so thinking about a canoe. I should qualify this, that we would not all pile into the canoe, but maybe 1 adult + 2 kids in a canoe, with the other adult in a kayak, or maybe 2 adults in the canoe without any kids along.

What would be the right size and kind of canoe for 2 people and occasionlly small kiddos for just scooting around on the lake in good weather?

A sixteen foot canoe would be about right. The most common one out there is the Old Town Discovery. If you can deal with the weight (about 80 lbs) it would do the job for you. An aluminum Grumman would also work. Both are frequently available as used on Craigslist and elsewhere.


I agree on the 16’ canoe. Prospector designs are also another good choice. Our Novacraft P16 in R-Lite is around 65 lbs.

I do 2 adults and 2 kids frequently and easily in my 16’ OT (will be for sale soon… In case you are in New England), but it weighs 85 lbs. we are replacing it with a 14’ ultralight (30ish lbs). It won’t be as roomy, but it will work.

I have a bell northwind 16 in royalex it weighs around 60# and my use is the same . It works out great.
There are many canoes that would do what you want. If rocky streams are in the mix I would go plastic or royalex. Otherwise I would try to find something in a composite (fiberglass or kevlar). The glide is so much better on the composites.
As far as model just a few I can think of: Old Town Camper,Bell-Northstar northwind 16,Mad River Malecite, or a prospector in whatever brand you come across. Facebook marketplace and other online sites is a good place to find some deals if your patient. You never know somebody on this site may have something. Thats how I got my solo.(Thanks Tom)

Happy Paddling

Appreciate the feedback - I’m really surprised at the weights of these canoes, being used to smaller kayaks (41 & 45 Lb), and not being keen on trying to handle a 60-80 lb canoe when we’re on land.

How much of a big deal ($) is it to find something lighter - Can anyone point out some appropriate lightweights to look at?

1 Like

I have a sacandaga on order from Slipstream. With two kayak seats instead of canoe seats, it will be in the low 30lb area. All in, with a special carbon/Kevlar weave, it is a little less than 3k.

We also ordered a wee lassie from them, which will be 13 lbs. It’s big enough for a smaller adult and one young child, but nothing more

Swift and Wenonah are another couple companies that make stuff in the 40’s for a 16 footer. Plan to spend $3-4k,if you can find one

One issue with the ultralight carbon/Kevlar is that you absolutely can’t load it up while it is not floating. In my old town, I load the kids while the canoe is about half in the water, push it off mostly, climb in and then float with a push off from the paddle. In an ultralight, you need to walk into the water and then climb in, which is definitely harder and less stable. Not sure how nimble you are, so it’s a consideration

If you have grandkids, weight can be an issue.
Canoes keep getting smaller. You can find used kevlar boats in the 15 foot range that weigh under 50 pounds. I would forget about aluminum and royalex. Concentrate on fiberglass or kevlar boats.

Fifteen feet would be the absolute minimum overall length. Sixteen feet would be better.

You can buy composite 16 foot canoes that are quite light. It is just a question of how much you are willing to spend.

Not sure if they get that far south but clipper or souris river boats in the 16 ft range. I am in the midwest and you can sometimes pick up a kevlar boat for between 1000-1500. It looks like your in Texas I don’t know what makes are available in that area. Old is not bad if they have been stored out of the sun and not abused. Wenona canoes seam to be available everywhere.

The heavier canoes can usually be bought for around 500 bucks. The lighter ones will generally cost north of $1000. Prices are for used boats, multiply by three for new.


Definately considering used - actully our starting canoe we will be my father’s, and our primary interest is our kayaks. Buying used and spending under 1,000 is the expectation IF we do end up buying one ourselves, rather than just using his.

You might be able to find a used composite tandem canoe for $1000 that weights 55 lbs or less if you look around and you are patient. But forget about specific make and model recommendations.

See what you can find in your price range and then determine if it meets your needs and weight limits.

If you can find the old coleman canoe , i have a 15ft ive had for over 30 years . you can find them at times for around $200 used. Ive had two adults & two kids & a dog and had no issues. Good luck with your search – coleman 40-50 lbs

40-50lbs? That is hard to believe for something that isn’t kevlar

The Coleman Ram-X 15.5 canoe weighed about 78 lbs.

My bad never weighed it but im a small guy and have no problem moving it around & picking it up - i have a fishing kayak that is 58lbs and the canoe feels lighter.

I am referring to the original Coleman Ram-X canoes with a metal keelson running down the center of the hull interior and metal “footers” extending from the bottom of the seat frames and thwart(s) to the keelson.

Here is an early Coleman brochure listing weights:

Coleman listed 78 lbs as the weight of the 15 footer. Even the 13 footer weighed 67 lbs.

Got it point made tx