I built a SOF for my grandson with plans from Yost works. The canoe plans came from a guy whose business was called JEM water works. A smaller canoe or pirou called Swamp Girl
It has never really been about the boats for me. They are just the vehicle that gets me out on the water. Canoes, kayaks, duckies, rafts- they’re all good provided they are in the right environment. Some boats just work better in certain environments than others.
Now all that bein’ said, when I was paddlin’ c1 we had a lot of kayak jokes- "twice the paddle half the man, kayaking was referred to as “butt boating” while c1ing was referred to as “going to church” (kneeling and saying prayers because you had no brace on the offside). Switching over from c1 or canoe to a kayak was referred to as going to the “dark side”. Although I have to admit that the Siths with their two sided light sabers are pretty cool.
What is special to me ain’t the boat. It is how I feel out on the water and how I feel connected to the natural world. Friends and fun (play) are good as well. The boats themselves are just something to mess around with. I’m not lamenting the fact that I can’t kneel anymore. I just do it a bit differently. It’s all good! Enjoy your canoe.
Agree with tdanial. A boat, any boat, is first and foremost a key to a kingdom. (And what a great kingdom it is! Its most of the world…) Don’t get me wrong: A nice boat,whether its a canoe, kayak, rowboat, sailing boat, OK even a motor boat, is a joy to own and paddle, but its where it takes us to that is the real point.
And a Grumman aluminum canoe is a distinguished and venerable watercraft. I’ve heard people argue - and I think its a reasonable argument - that had affordable, sturdy, aluminum canoes not been introduced to the market, canoeing would have never remained the continuing activity we all enjoy today.
When I see the photo of the stuff you hauled out with it I’m reminded that, with high school classmates, mine did similar duty on a local pond on the very first Earth Day. When there’s a flood and people and pets need to be evacuated from a flooded town, or when food needs to be delivered, its the venerable old aluminum canoes you see on the job; not the racers, pacboats, or ww C1s.
They do a fine job as a table as in the dutch oven photo, a worthwhile function few other canoes do well.
And in cold weather they make a very fine reflector for a camp fire - don’t try that with any other canoe or kayak.
I’ve often wondered why fitness paddlers always seem to paddle canoes that are “effortless” to paddle. If you really want exercise, paddle a Grumman. Load her up heavy, they can take it. Start and stop a lot. If that isn’t enough for you, portage it. Over a hill or In deep mud. You will perspire. You will lose water weight. It’ll make you a stronger paddler. (But remember, smell isn’t everything.)
For me the way of accessing the kingdom is an equal element of the joy that going to the places brings us. A paddle, or oar in the hand, a sheet and tiller, or even a hiking boot on the trail, or foot on a pedal brings with it a certain satisfaction of accomplishment. I want to feel that as I witness the wonder of our world were these things take us. It just seems to make it mean more.
So wouldn’t a titanium canoe be perhaps the ultimate light weight cook table, portageable, fire reflecting paddle craft. I want one…
Brilliant! Bound to be a big seller… we can start a business! To round out the product line…
a) A carbon fiber kayak with a clear plexiglass deck perhaps with a reflective coating on the inside - like a one way mirror. It would act like a solar collector for winter paddling.
As an option we could sell kits with a space blanket to put in the bottom and a black tube that could be suspended at the focal point of the collected sunlight. You could cook those little Vienna sausages in the tube. Yum.
b) Helium filled flotation bags to make heavy canoes lighter. Great big ones so a canoe could be portaged like landing a zeppelin (in treeless areas only and, of course, when there’s no lightning.) It would eliminate the need for hoists for garage storage.
c) A Segway with big knobby flotation tires to eliminate the need for a wheeled cart on portages.
We’d need to do product testing, of course. Could even sell a book about the trials. “The Further Adventures of the Men of Genius” would be a decent title.
Genius, just Genius is right! The flotation tires with the zeppelin float bags would mean it could travel in all three states of matter…an air, sea, and land vehicle. That would supersede the ATV.
Ah, but we digress from the original post. The venerable aluminum canoe.
The notion of making canoes from aluminum was indeed genius. Getting the price down to where everyone could afford to give paddling a try was a real breakthrough. To those of our age there is just no end to the memories associated with our first keys to the kingdom. I hope the OP gets as many good times and as many good memories out of his aluminum canoe as many of us have enjoyed.
To think it all grew out of the war effort too.
I agree that the boat is just a means to get out into nature. But PJC, you reminded me of back when I was running marathons, and I had a friend who did ultra-marathons. He’d tell me that instead of finding a loop long enough for the race, they would run a shorter loop about a dozen times. May as well just run around the local school track. How incredibly boring.
I like to go seek out places I’ve never been before. With my short test paddle of the canoe, I was barely out of sight of the put-in for most of the trip. Unless I get a lot better at canoeing, it won’t be my primary exploration vehicle.
My very first foray into the paddle sports world was as a resourceful scout who begged his parents to take advantage of this deal: so many box tops plus some cash and all you had to do was drive to marathon ny and pick it up. I don’t think my parents thought I would gather the box tops but they followed through in the balance and I got my first boat at 10 years old… traded it for a rowboat as a teen which was subsequently stolen but I never stopped paddling. Wish I still had that Grumman now, I need a good ice breaker for spring
Talk about the good ole days, when kids thought like kids and loved adventure. What a difference a few decades make.
An ! The good old days…
Yep! I remember having a lot of them in my fully loaded, 17 foot aluminum canoe. Paddled it solo,didn’t miss many strokes, it had very little glide, but I did thousands of miles in it, and generally had a ball. Slept under it quite a lot; weathered hailstorms, rain storms, and some heavy snow too. Easy to “set up”; just took out the gear, and flipped it over. When lightning started, I headed to the river bank like a racer…
Gone but not forgotten.
P.S. I guesstimate the date of the photo as 1980. Fully loaded backpack in bow provided good ballast, and was used on the canoeing/backpacking combo outing we enjoyed doing.
Aluminum canoes. Ours became a bowtie. And that ended white water canoeing adventures for me.