I started a thread on some help making a decision on a canoe, was looking at an older Mohawk that may or may not be a whitewater boat, have not looked at it yet…anyway, while I pondered over this canoe, another Mohawk came up on Craigslist and it’s a fiberglass boat. I am going to look at tomorrow. I understand, from what I have read, that fiberglass boats don’t do well in whitewater or rocky rivers due to not handling hits like other materiel. This would be fine for me as I am looking at a calm water and lake boat anyway. Thoughts on a Mohawk fiberglass canoe for a bigger paddler like myself? I am 6’4" and 300 pounds. I believe the boat is in the 15-16’ range in length.
I’ve actually paddled one in whitewater.
The fiberglass is partly chopper gun, but the boat was strong enough for an older gal, friend of mine, to paddle for several years on easy whitewater. She didn’t have to repair it often.
It’s a fairly stable boat, and I think it will meet your needs.
The pics he sent me show a little wear and tear, but nothing bad. Gonna take a look tomorrow and see if I can make a deal. He is throwing in a paddle, couple PFD’s and a trailer hitch mount.
The rap on fiberglass is that is more easily damaged than plastic, but easier to repair. So you can pick your poison. But fiberglass also varies widely in quality. Once upon a time, before there were low-end Coleman and Pelican plastic canoes, there were low-end "chopper-gun" fiberglass canoes and aluminum was considered a step UP from those. Bacially, the fiberglass was chopped up and sprayed into a mold, which made for a very cheap, but heavy and not particularly strong canoe. Mohawk used to do a lot of chopper-gun canoes; I think they were amoung the better ones, but still a low-end. I don't when, but Mohawk stopped making chopper-gun FG and switched mainly to ABS plastic. The newer Mohawk FG canoes are hand-laid, which is a MUCH MUCH better FG layup.
So...my advice - when you get to see the canoe, look inside. If it looks like panels of FG squares laid out nice and smoothly, then its hand-laid FG and good-to-go (assuming it meets your other requirements). If it looks like matted shredded-wheat cereal - run away. Go buy that Blue Hole OCA you found - that'll be a way better canoe. Just my $0.02
I picked up the canoe today, it’s in real good shape. It’s a Mohawk Blazer 16 made in 1987. Got a good deal with a paddle, 2 life jackets, and a trailer hitch mount for carrying on a pickup. Thanks for the advice…now time to get out and paddle!!
Enjoy. Post a review in a few months or whenever. The Blazer is on my short list for when I need a second canoe so I’d be interested in what you think of it after some seat time.
I am toying with the idea of repainting it. I did a little research and the canoe has a few superficial scratches and scuffs, so I am considering refinishing it. Gonna get it wet and try it out first, then see about a refinish job.
your 87 Mohawk Blazer should be …
… a pretty tough canoe . Pretty sure it’s gelcoat - chop strand and then 18 oz. woven roving glass . Maybe a tad heavy as glass canoes go cause the chop strand and heavy roving hold a lot of resin , but plenty strong .
I think your Blazer is a fairly low profile too , so that’s a plus in the wind , but consider well before taking on too heavy a water cause of that low profile .
Actually, the one I paddled was no
heavier than a Blue Hole OCA. Mohawk did pretty well with their inexpensive approach.
CLASSFIVE Boats is exclusive builder of Mohawk Fiberglass Canoes since 2008. We build our Blazers and all other boats for that matter by hand layup, no Chopper guns. It’s better for the boat and environment. Lighter too. If you have any repair questions, feel free to call. 423 774 0246
See you on the river,