I have no experience in canoeing but am looking to purchase my first one before Spring. The only advice I have gotten so far is from a friend of a friend who I would call a pro - he’s canoed on several continents and published a book. So I am not sure if his recommendations are over-engineered for my needs.
I am seeing lots of canoes on Craigslist with aluminum being the most affordable. My question is, are these a good choice given the following background info:
- I live in the Ozarks and will be using it mostly in Osage River/Lake of the Ozarks drainage area, the Niangua and Gasconade headwaters are a few minutes from town.
- I work at a full line aluminum boat manufacturer who used to make canoes, some of which are the ones I see on CL, so I have quick and cheap access to any materials, fabrication, etc.
- Work also gives me access to materials and knowledge for deadening sound in an aluminum hull.
- I mainly want it for wilderness trips and to gain access to hunting areas. I don’t fish too much, and if I’m in shallow water/streams I would prefer to wade out.
- I’m not worried about weight for loading, I’m still youngish and most of my friends and I were athletes in college. A little extra exertion to move through the water isn’t a bad thing either as long as I can keep up, I could use the exercise.
-I’m a cheapskate until A) I know I enjoy and will use something then I will spend real money or B) I will lay out a little extra cash for a higher end product if it lowers cost of ownership but not going to drop $2k.
Would an aluminum canoe be right for me to begin with? Or do the cons on the water, for the way I will use it, outweigh the price and maintenance advantages? I trust my friends for advice, but I always like to have some independent info.