Need a little help with a Sawyer

Hi Folks,

I’m looking to pick up a canoe to add to the fleet, mainly for my son (10 yo) and me to use. Use would be varied, but would include rivers and lakes in Maine, flatwater and up to Class II WW (for relatively short runs eg Chase Rapids). Weight is a bit of an issue for the two of us loading/unloading/portaging. (I am “50-ish” and in moderately good shape.)

I came across a Sawyer, described only as a kevlar Sawyer 17. Seller wants $1200. From pics only, appears to be a pretty good condition (some exterior scratched but nothing major). Seller does not know the year or model number. Serial number is


I’m guessing it’s a 1984 somethingorother?

Anyone able to help based on that?



Good flat water canoe
Poor choice for any kind of whitewater for several reasons.

The boat is essentially straight-keeled with little or no rocker. Maneuvering a 17 foot long straight-keeled canoe in whitewater would be very challenging.

Most people find the molded tractor seats that Sawyer usually used in this boat uncomfortable for kneeling. You definitely want to be able to kneel in whitewater.

The boat might be a superlite Kevlar model with a foam core hull bottom and side ribs. This type of construction is undesirable for whitewater due to the possibility of fractures of the core or ribs.

The boat was probably certified in April of 1984. The 5 digits preceding 0484 were reserved for the manufacturer to use in any manner they liked. Only Sawyer, long out of business, would know the exact significance.

Here is some info borrowed from another forum from an old Sawyer catalog:

To me, $1200 for this boat seems a tad high but I don’t know the market in your area. Considering the cost of new composite boats, $1000 for a well-made tandem in decent condition seems reasonable.

That’s kind of what I was thinking. I just wasn’t sure if there were Sawyer models from that time period that might have more rocker or or more rounded hull. But yeah, the kevlar is probably not a great idea.



Some class 2 whitewater would be very
difficult because the boat would be hard to maneuver and would take on water from waves. If you can live with that, it would make a great cruiser on the flats.

I think his asking price is higher than I would pay.

Not what you need…

Too long, no rocker equals poor maneuverability on whitewater, even short, fairly easy rapids.

31 year old boat & they’re asking 1200.00 bucks.

It it were pristine; I wouldn’t give half that much.