New Member needs help


I used to canoe, couple of times a week, 25 years ago, sometimes solo, sometimes tandem. It helped that I lived on river in New Hampshire. Got away from it. I have been thinking, seriously, about getting a canoe. Mostly for calm waters, no whitewater. Looking to spend average 4-6 hours in the canoe. Sometimes solo, sometimes not.

Ive looked at a lot and didnt see any that really interested me, until, today. Its a Co17 camper Alumacraft canoe. Its 10 years old. It appears to be in very good condition. Ive seen the pictures, looks almost new, havent see in person yet. They are asking $800.00 with 2 paddles and 2 vests.

What do you guys think of this canoe and the price? Can it be used as a solo? Its a fairly wide canoe and I was thinking it might be a little tough for this 54 y/o, but, maybe not. Thoughts on the maneuverability? Looks pretty stable.

Anyway,all your thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks a lot


yeah, way too much
You won’t hear much good about aluminum canoes on this site, but they are a good choice for some things. I like Aluminum for the swamp, and for small rivers in drought conditions. Generally, solo canoeing is not thought of as one of their better uses, a lot of them are wider and heavier than what you want for that.

As for price, I would expect to get a good al canoe for somewhere around $300. One of my buddies got a really good 17 ft Al for $200. $800 and patience should get you a good fiberglass canoe, maybe even a kevlar one if you are lucky.

way too much $$$, way not the right boat for what you describe. You could do way better. this boat will be very clunky solo, heavy, noisy, cold. My 1st canoe was an alumacraft.(1969)they are strong and durable but you should treat yourself to something wwwwwaaaaayyyyy better. IMO


Sometimes Solo, Sometimes Not

– Last Updated: Nov-29-09 8:41 PM EST –

Aluminum canoes are okay for tandem paddling by two people when "paddling" is not really of prime concern. Don't get me wrong, there's a soft spot in my heart for aluminum Grumman canoes because aluminum canoes are what got me (and so many others) started in the sport, and Grummans are the top of the line in aluminum boats. But for someone who really wants to enjoy paddling, get a lot out of it, and be rewarded for having learned to paddle "well", a canoe made of Royalex, fiberglass, or Kevlar (the price increases in that order) will do a much nicer job. Also, you are reaching an age where the weight-savings of a better boat gets more important all the time (though even strongest "young pups" often underestimate how much more they will get out of their boat if it's reasonably light (a boat that's not easy to carry won't get used as much, now matter how much someone at the time of purchase thinks the extra weight won't matter in the long run)).

Which boat will be right for you? There are dozens that will suit your described needs better than an Alumicraft. The toughest part is finding a boat that will suit your needs "well" for both solo and tandem paddling. That's always a tough one, with the specific choices depending a lot on how large the paddler/paddlers will be. No doubt, the best choice would be a solo canoe AND a tandem, especially if you look hard and find a good deal on two on used boats. Otherwise, there are a few boats made with the solo/tandem purpose in mind, such as the Wenonah Solo Plus and the Bell Morningstar (with the addition of a kneeling thwart a little ways forward of the rear seat). Some other boats do well as either solo or tandem, like a 16-foot Prospector design, which is symmetrical so solo paddling is usually done with the paddler facing "backwards" while sitting in the bow seat, though a kneeling thwart can be installed (the Prospector design is offered by a few different brands, some more faithful to the original than others), though they tend to be heavy.

Ask the right questions and you should get LOTS of additional suggestions.

price might be a little high
Grumman canoes are only about 1300 new.

I like aluminium canoes for their durability. If I could find one for $500 or less I would buy it.

Anything can be paddled solo.

Anything can be paddled solo, but
some of them will kick your butt.Like the one you are looking at.

Alumcraft Co17 …

– Last Updated: Nov-29-09 10:39 PM EST –


At 83 lbs. it's going to be way to much weight for you to deal with (picking up) , unless you intend to keep it on a trailer ($$) , get a nice cover for it ($$) , and it would be the right canoe for a small motor ($$) .

Looks like very capable lake boat to me !!!
I think it's designed to be more of working boat than a pleasure paddler .

Something like that QT-15CL at 53 lbs. is probably more of a paddling canoe for you ... a little compact will have some limitations space and weather wise , but just fine for fair weather and water , probably better for solo time too .

Looks like all the Alumacraft are flat bottom canoes w/keels .

Alum. canoes are tough in general , but they dent on river rocks , where royalex laminate hauls give and bounce back better (some mark is usually left after a good hit but not dented up like alum. does) ... Denting not much of an issue on lakes though .

I'd suggest considering a nice 15' royalex canoe for yourself , I think you'd appreciate some of the more user friendly features of royalex over alum.

I wonder if anyone here knows of a canoe that is about 35-40 lbs. , 16' range , 35" wide , moderate volumn , mild arch haul , maybe 1" rocker (not more) ??

You know , the kinda canoe that makes ya think you really should be using a nice carbon paddle .

Thanks all
Ok…let me keep reading and researching. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Did I miss something?

I think I’m in arrears in my dues

For $800, you should at least…
…be able to find something like this…

…which would be a lot easier for you to live with and a lot more fun to paddle.

buy a solo, rent a tandem
It sounds like you will more often than not be going solo ? so a dedicated solo boat is the way to go for you I think. For the occasional tandem trip, you could just rent a tandem, and split the rental with your partner.

Alternatively, if you have room for two boats, buy the best solo you can afford, and then pick up a cheap tandem - you can likely find a used aluminum or plastic boat in the $250 range. Buying both used would keep the overall price down.

There are a few boats that work fairly well as solo/tandem combos, often referred to as “pocket trippers”.

They are smaller tandem boats that are built with soloing in mind, being narrower than a regualr tandem of the same length (so its easier to reach the water with your paddleL, and normally comeing with a third seat or kneeling thwart for soloing. Bell Northstar, Mad River Malecite, Wenonah Solo Plus come to mind - if you could find one of these at a good price and weight that suits you, that would probably be the best “one boat” answer.

Sure you can solo any tandem - you can solo paddle a battleship if you had a long enough paddle, but is that what you want to do? Typically, a dedicated solo boat will be somewhere in the range of 1/2 to 2/3rs of the weight of a tandem. It takes more work to move the heavier boat, both in, and out, of the water. Wind will have more affect against the most likely larger hull of the tandem, and manouvering will be harder. The only advantage a tandem would have for soloing is that it will most likely be more stable - but that is a relative thing, and relatively short lived differece - it will take a little time to get used to the narrower solo, but once you do, you won’t likely notice a differece in stability.

keep an eye on the P-net classifieds, and check craigslist for the nearer cities (probably Dallas, Houston ?) for used boats. Meantime, see if you can arrange with some local dealers to demo paddle some solo baots, and maybe try soloing one of thier tandems, to see what the differences are.

canoe for you?
Do you live on water or will you need to lift and cartop the boat? Weight may be one of your biggest considerations…it needs to be light enough for you to handle easily so you’ll use it.

As everyone is saying you should have quite a few choices for $800.

Too much money, probably too much boat
I just finished researching used canoes and purchased a Wenonah Solo Plus that was listed in the Pnet classifieds. Check those out first, and some of the reviews on this site. I found them very helpful, and there are much nicer canoes available for less money.

This month’s Canoe & Kayak magazine is a double issue that has a whole section on various canoes. Look over the features and descriptions, as it might help you to narrow down your choices for used boats.