Need help .... suggest a canoe for me

-- Last Updated: Aug-31-10 9:28 PM EST --

I am new to canoeing and am currently in the market for a tandom canoe. I will mainly be using it for recreational lake use with my son. I rented several canoes already and although I am NOT looking for a speed racer I do want something that will glide easily and be fun to paddle both tandom and solo .... but not topple us over (not interested in completely flat bottom). I want to grow into a canoe rather than growing out of one after the first season of use. I've decided that I do not want Kevlar but would be better suited with a Royalite/lex. I am looking to spend approximately $1k for a used one. Please help me out with suggestions as the selction out there is a bit overwhelming.

Thanks in advance!

FYI - I live in NY

I’d think if you’re looking used and something in Royalex you should be able to find lots of good boats for well under $1k. My recommendation would be to keep an eye out on Craigslist and the classifieds on this site and see what comes up.

I wouldn’t get hung up on any boat in particular since you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for yet, keep your options open and wait for a good deal. Find a boat for a good price and if you decide you don’t like it or want to upgrade later you can get you’re money back out of it. You’ll probably go through a couple boats before you really start to figure out what you want/need.

There are some great deals out there if you’re patient and be persistent in you’re searching.


Depending on where you live, you should be able to find a very good used Royalex canoe for $350-$500 without looking too hard. I helped a friend buy a canoe this past early spring. If he was willing to drive 2 or 3 hours (from SW PA) we found several nice Royalex canoes for $350 or so. He finally settled on a fiberglass Mohawk for $250.

Look at the reviews of canoes on this site. I’m not an expert on tandem canoes, but I’d check out the offerings from Old Town or Bell as a start.

how old is your son?
My standard recommendation for a Royalex canoe is the Old Town Penobscot 16. It’s reasonably fast, and you might find it too tippy at first (but you can grow into it if the kid has fun learning how to handle it).

Kneeling (with your butt on the seat and your knees on some thin cushioning on the floor) will help a lot with stability in any canoe.


Mad River Explorer
The Penobscot by Old Town mentioned above is great too.

Either one is a canoe to keep.

New for 1K
Here ya go:,2456X_Old-Town-Penobscot-16-Royalex-Canoe-162-.html

sure you already have but don’t forget

– Last Updated: Aug-31-10 11:58 PM EST –

....... PFD's , paddles and misc. gear cost some of those bucks too ... a canoe is good but not all that's needed ... just sayin

a grand ought to do a nice job for all of it , nice stuff , but if you are thinking a grand for just the (used) canoe itself ... you should be able to get a higher end design (light weight and fast) I'd think

jack L

Royalex Bell Northwind

– Last Updated: Sep-01-10 11:19 AM EST –

I believe it has better initial and secondary stability than the Penobscot and even the royalex Northwind paddles more efficiently than any other royalex tandem I've paddled. The shouldered tumblehome allows new paddlers to get a more vertical paddle stroke. IMHO if a boat has too little initial stability, you won't get wives and kids to enjoy the experience enough TO grow into being comfortable. WW

…about why you have decided on Royalex for lake use. There are some good choices in fiberglass (Mad River Malecite, for one) that you might find on the used market.

Anyway - I’ll add another vote for the OT Penobscot, MR Explorer, and Northwind. Also think you should consider the Bell Northstar, Mohawk Nova 16, MR Express, and Wenonah Aurora. The Penobscot will likely show up in the used market the most often of that bunch though.