Marathon G129 solo canoe

Anyone had any experience with this canoe-mostly relating to handling and stability, not relating to fact that it’s not kevlar or royalex or whatever. I have a great 18’ Grumman and have no hesitation buying another aluminum canoe. Can store it outside on my trailer, tough, low maintenance, and less expensive.



Thanks for that link.
Based on that glowing review, I think I’d like to try it sometime. The main drawback I see is the external keel that would drag on the rocks more that the smooth bottomed boats.

Another Keel Consideration

– Last Updated: Jan-06-07 10:06 PM EST –

Are you getting your first solo canoe? I paddled tandems off and on for years before getting my first solo boat. As I got better in a solo canoe, I started to rely very much on side-slips and very sharp turns for threading through obtacles, which I'd never done before. These are things which are much easier to do without a keel. You can do all those things in a tandem with a partner, but not many paddling pairs actually do. It's easier to learn that stuff in a solo, because you don't need an equally skilled partner and good communication.

The point of all this is that if this is your first solo boat, you just might be amazed at how much you eventually enjoy NOT having a keel. If you are already fairly good at soloing, then you can probably judge for yourself if a keel suits your needs. I hate to say anything bad about Grumman (now called Marathon) just because they have done so much for the sport of canoeing and I'd like to see them continue to thrive, but having a keel is one of the drawbacks of aluminum canoes, except for really basic paddling. It'd be nice if they made a shoe keel instead of a fin keel for their solo boat (maybe they do), because that would help quite a bit.

Keel or no keel if you are using an aluminum canoe in a river with rocks it will stick to the rocks. Aluminum and rocks have a very high coefficient of friction. Even if it is flat bottomed with no keel it will tend to skick more than a fiberglass boat. A plastic boat will slide over all sorts of rocks and just get minor scratches.

That said an aluminum boat will last forever if you don’t rap it around something or bash a hole in it with a rock. They are the ulitmate in durability for lake paddling and deeper rivers where you are not scaping along the bottem for a good part of each trip.

I gave the 129 serious consideration
When I started looking at the 129 it was $600 and change. By the time I decided to buy it was close to $ 800 so that got me looking a little closer. The solo 129 is only a few pounds lighter than the 13’3 which costs less. The 129 is an ugly boat. The factory rep told me this boat is not designed to run rivers with rocks. My aluminum boat get hot enough to burn my skin after sitting in the sun for 20 minutes.

With all that’s wrong with Aluminum boats I have a great time working on my 14 foot tandem and would buy another one.

Thanks for the nice feedback.
More to think about and research.