Need help choosing and locating canoe

Hey everyone! I accidentaly posted this same message on the fishing from kayaks forum but I reposted here. Please disregard that thread.

I’ve been planning on getting a canoe for a while now and I have a camping trip coming up in a week in the U.P. I decided that this is the perfect opportunity to finally purchase a canoe.

I’ll be using the canoe on lakes and rivers, but mostly lakes. I’d like it to have room for a few day trip and maybe even enough volume for a week long or longer trip I may someday take. I’m pretty new to canoeing in general but have canoed before. I’ve been doing some research online and have come up with a few options. I was thinking of something by Wenonah, such as the Spirit II, or a Mad River Explorer. What do you guys think of these options?

And also, I would much prefer to buy a used canoe as I am a poor college student. I’ve been searching for places that sell used canoes. is okay. I even found a lightly used Wenonah Spirit II for $700 I was ready to buy, but it was already sold. The selection on Craigslist is not the best. I live in the Chicago area and am looking for a place that sells used canoes. Does anyone know of any? As I mentioned, the camping trip is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so any place in central or eastern Wisconsin that sells used canoes would be fine also. If there are no such places, which stores in Illinois or Wisconsin have the best prices? Thanks for the help guys and please respond ASAP because I would like a canoe within the next week or so.

In the Classifieds here.
There is a Wenonah Solo Plus in Wisconsin and Mad River Liberty Solo in Michigan…

Either would meet your needs quite well.

Sorry, I forgot to mention I’m looking for a tandem. Thanks!

Have you been to the Chicagoland
Canoe Base? I don’t know if they have much in the way of used canoes, but I never miss a chance to visit when I’m back in the city of my childhood.

Around your areas:
in the classifieds here, I see two Bell Morningstars, one in the U.P. and one in the Lansing area (which shouldn’t be too bad if the seller is willing to meet you half way).

Morningstar is a pretty good pocket tripper, and a good platform for newish paddlers to get into a good boat that won’t scare them. You’ll have enough room for a weeks worth of gear, and you’ll be able to solo it. Once you get the ‘bug’ you’ll want to be able to paddle without a partner. So if I were you I’d be looking for a used boat that paddles o.k. as a solo too. Bell’s Morningstar and Northstar (and Northwind in royalex), Old Town Penobscot, Mad River Malecite, etc.

Not sure what your price range is. You can always check out Rutabaga in Madison, as someone mentioned Chicagoland Canoe Base (the have always seemed pricey to me).

The Morningstars look great but…
They’re a little out of my price range. I would like to spend around $700. I might be wiling to spend up to $1000 if I was getting a great deal and it was a gorgeous canoe.

As for the tip on purchasing a canoe that would handle well solo, I will definitely take that into consideration. Thanks.

I tried calling a few stores but not the two that were mentioned. I will call them over the weekend and see what they’ve got.

OK, tandems.
Here are some on Ebay… Nothing wrong with aluminum.


Aluminum in Illinois

Big tandem aluminum in Indiana.