Need a little help with new purchase.

Hi Everyone,

New to the boards and need a little of your expertise. Just answered an ad on Craigslist and bought a used Galyan’s Wilderness III canoe, really a Bell Canoe. Its in really good conditions, some surface scratches, no deep gouges or fading. Gunwales are in good conditioning as well. Got two Bending Branches paddles, two Field and Stream seats with back supports, and a canoe support/hauler that allows one person to move canoe…for $320.00. I had to move fast and hope I got a good deal. Its an upgrade from my old Coleman Ram-X 15.

Here is where I am confused. I thought this was the equivalent or at least close to the Bell Northwind. However, the boat measures 15’6." I thought the Wilderness III measured at 16’6"? It has the Wilderness III sticker clearly on the boat, and I have measured it 3 times…ok more like 6 times, just to be sure. Every time it measures 15’6." So is this the Morningstar instead? What do you think about the size and quality of the boat. Its royalex, but you probably already knew that. It is clearly marked as a Bell Canoe as well, and checked the serial number which starts with DQH, which should be a Bell boat.

Thanks so much for any insight!! I appreciate it.

Some Royalex boats are shorter …
… than catalog specs say they should be. This is true of at least some Wenonah canoes (possibly all), and I’m pretty sure I have heard that the same is true for certain canoes made by Bell. A one-foot difference sounds like a lot though. More typical would be for the Royalex model to be about half a foot shorter. Others here will know for sure what’s going on here.

I wouldn’t worry too much about it, because if you really had your heart set on something a foot longer you can get all your money back and more.

Just go paddle it !
If you like it great ( coming from a Ram X -15, it will glide like silk I’m sure cause the Ram x is pretty draggy). If it isn’t what you want you can easily raise the price from what you paid a little and get it all back and probably keep the cart. So you have a win win situation.

Wilderness III or Woodsman III?
The Bell Northstar hulls that were marketed by Galyans were labelled “Woodsman III”. If your boat indeed has a “Wilderness III” label I would assume it to be something else.

Variations in design and installation of decks plates and the fact that Royalex does shrink or expand a bit with temperature changes can account for a variation of up to a few inches in overall length, but not a foot.

Since it sounds as if this hull was definitely molded by Bell, I would assume it to be either a Morningstar or a Yellowstone, both of which were 15 1/2 feet in length. You can probably determine which by measuring the beam and studying the photos on the Bell Canoe website, which is still up.

Oops, my mistake, it is the Woodsman III, not Wilderness III. Thanks for catching that.