Misc Questions

-- Last Updated: Apr-02-06 10:22 PM EST --

For those that answered my earlier topic, big thanks. I was able to honesty answer some questions for myself to pick the most appropriate canoe. I basically wanted a canoe for lake and river that I could fish out of. I'll leave the whitewater to you big dawgs.

I bought a used Old Town Predator SS155 this past weekend and what a deal I got. Once used, with brand new oars, trolling motor, battery, and portage carrier which estimates around $1,700+. The older gentlemen could not pick it up any longer and decided to sell the entire pacakge for $650. Wonderful I say.

A few questions:

1. I plan to carry the 15'3" canoe in the bed of my truck. Getting it home was easy and was able to stablize it perfectly. Given that a truck bed is roughly 7", I had this rig hanging out 8'3". Is there any laws that prohibit a canoe hanging out that far? Two police crusiers passed me on the way home and they didn't seem concerned at all.

2. Second, about marine starting batteries: how far do you fill of the dry cell resevoirs with distilled water? ..and, are you suppose to keep the battery fully charged when not in use? My charger states that if can be connected all the time and has the bonus of keeping the battery charged during storage. Is this common?

3. Do you need to register and license a canoe?

Thanks again for all your help. I haven't had it on the water yet, but ramping up for a full day next weekend.

Very respectfully,


Some Answers
Congrats on your great new row boat!

I don’t know about the law, but I’d get one of those extend a bed things that attaches to your trailer hitch or your nice boat will end up with a “hogged out” which will make it slow and esese it’s tracking ability. Another idea is to bolt a frame made from 2 by 4’s to the bed of your truck that supports the entire bottom.

Starting batteries should be fully charged after each use and may only last a few dozen charges. Deep cycle batteries will last for a much high number of charges (100’s). So if you battery dies soon replace it with a deep cycle.

In most states canoes and small rowboats do not have to be registered unless they have a motor. If you have a motor it must be registered.

A final word of advice. Try rowing with our the motor for a a while. I’m an older fat guy and I can easily row 20 miles. The hassle of a trolling motor and lugging the battery and getting acid on your pants is not worth it to me. I just throw the boat on water and go fishing.

You can always sell the trolloing motor to someone who has a jonboat that doesn’t row so well as your fine Old Town.

What little I know…

– Last Updated: Apr-02-06 11:24 PM EST –

1. Get a little red flag and hang it on the end of the canoe sticking out. That will make it legal.

2. Fill it to the ring just inside the fill hole. Better yet chuck the thing and get a gel cell or some variation of it. They are more expensive but I would not like the thought of acid leaking in my boat. I suppose that can wait till this one is trashed but secure it down good so it won't fall over and leak. If the charger has a very small trickle setting, use it. I forget how many amps that is but it will lengthen the life of your battery. Don't let it drain down to nothing and don't store it in freezing weather without a charge.

3. I don't know about your state but I bet that you will have to licence it if there is a motor on it. Check with your local DMV web site.

4. Enjoy your new toy.

EDIT: I missed where you said it was a marine starting battery. Those are usually somewhere between deep cycle and starting and do neither one well. Use it for a while if you must but can it as soon as you can, you'll get much better performance with a dedicated deep cycle gel cell.

Every state will have different laws. In WV, a load cannot stick out beyond 6 feet from the rear of the vehicle. And anything sticking out more than 3 feet must have a red light or a 12 inch square red flag attached during daylight, and red light after dark.