Newbie needing a Canoe....

-- Last Updated: Feb-12-06 7:20 PM EST --

Anyone heard of this "Northeast Outfitters Sports Canoe"....I'm a newbie and saw it at Dick's sporting was a three man Canoe for 499.99. I tried to look it up on the internet but couldnt find it.

I'm 34, got a 12 week old son and wife, we both want to canoe. I've never owned one and neither has she. Basically I want one to go out on the lake we live some basic fishing, camping and sight seeing. I want it to hold my wife and our child when he gets a little older.

The boat above looked had the built in seats and some drink holders and two compartments... I would also like to attach some oars so I can row....(even though I have never rowed) I just think I would like it.

I'm in decent shap..6 foot and weigh 195.

Since this is my first canoe...I think I want something durable...and less then 500.00.

please give me your input...


Read product review
There is a review on the 14 foot model that may help you.


The review helped.
Thanks for the replies so far…the review helped…thanks for pointing that out…

Now I know that “Johnson Outdoors Water Craft” is the one that makes this canoe…

Any further advice or input is welcomed…


Good for you for wanting this as…
…an activity for your family. Seconding other suggestions, look at “Classified ads” to the left, then if something looks interesting there, check its

specs on “buyers guide” and users’ comments on “product reviews”. Whatever you buy, if you enjoy the sport you’ll want to upgrade in a year or two. They make PFDs in infant sizes-get one! (Besides the ones for you and your beloved). You might even wind up getting solo canoes for you & the wife-lots of good things about that.

you’ve made a good first step…
…in looking for advice, now take it up a notch and try to get to a couple of different canoe/kayak shops. Dicks is a fine place to buy a team jersey or a pair of soccer cleats, but they’re not exactly a hotbed of knowledgeable paddling information (the ones by me just hang the boats from the rafters, and hope that the customers don’t have too many questions…).

If you shop around, you’ll discover that there are a few other better boats out there available at canoe shops and not accessible at big boxes. I’d say take a look at the MadRiver Explorer 16 TTT, which has a more refined hull shape and will be stiffer (hence more efficient). Retail is in the $600-650 range. In the used market, you should be able to find a good quality used Royalex hull in the $500-600 range. Also might want to check with paddlesports shops about their rental/demo boats ; some sell off their demos at the end of every season, and may still have some excellent quality boats at 30-35% less than new.

For most people, a canoe is a lifetime purchase, so keep weight in mind. Even if it means spending a little more upfront, if you can reduce the weight of the boat into the 55-60 pound range, you’ll have done yourself a favor later down the road. I’m 45 now, and even with a daily workout and a regular weights routine, I can tell you it’s more effort to lift 100 pounds over my head now than it was ten years ago.

Also keep length in mind; your little guy won’t take up much room now, but in a few years, you’ll be needing something in the 16-17 foot range. Probably better to go ahead and buy a big enough boat now, since canoes won’t be getting any cheaper later unless oil prices drop back to $30 per barrel…

I agree with Mobrien
Look at a used 16/17 foot royalex boat. You won’t take the loss if you sell it later. My Blue Hole is 20 years old and still in great shape. Old Town and Mad River make great boats. But you will most likely trade a few to get the boat that wits all your needs, so if you start used you will save money in the long term.

rowing a canoe
I am also presently in the market for my first family canoe and plan on using a sliding rowing seat with rowing oars on a 16-17 foot canoe. You can purchase the rowing rig separately and it has a quick clamp that you can install and take out in a few minutes. this will give you a great work out plus allow you to move the canoe considerably fasther than paddling.

About rowing
Can someone tell me more about the sliding seat?

And maybe point me in the direction of a picture…I’ve never seen a canoe rigged for rowing.

If anyone actually enjys or dislikes rowing…could you tell me why?



Using a kayak paddle…

– Last Updated: Feb-13-06 6:25 PM EST –

Well...when I get my canoe...I may not have it rigged for rowing when I first get it. But I think like the idea of using a kayak paddle.

What are the pro's and con's of using a kayak paddle with a canoe....I have seen a few people post about using them and they seem to like this method. Also if there are two people...would they both use kayak paddles?

FYI, Although a newbie...I have paddle'd a few times in the scouts as a kid...just never used one on a regular basis...and never owned one...


rowing seat
Here is the company that I ordered the canoe sliding rowing rig seat from. I got the Scout Rig which has quick mounts for the canoe gunnels.

Another rowing question?
Thanks for the link to the rowing site.

Very good site. A really interesting set up.

It does seem a little bulky…taking up a lot of room…But, if you want to row…and mainly row…this seems really good.

What if you want to row…and not have a sliding seat (to keep you space)…do you need foot stops of some kind…or is rowing a canoe…just uncomfortable…without the sliding seat configuration?


I do lots and lots of rowing…
…and I love it. It is very efficient. In the absence of high wind, a good solo paddler in a good solo canoe will probably be able to keep up with you while you row, but if the wind starts howling you’ll beat the pants off any solo canoer in any boat, unless your rowing boat is a total slug.

Based on what you’ve said so far, I’d stay away from a sliding seat. You’ve already put a pretty low spending cap on this project, and a sliding seat and a set of oars of the appropriate length will cost a bundle, relative to your budget. IMHO, you’d be better of spending most of your budget on the boat, not the rowing rig.

You can row quite nicely with a fixed (non-sliding) seat and shorter oars, and I think someone mentioned that some Old Town canoes come already set up for this. Retrofitting any other canoe for rowing isn’t very difficult - you just need to install oarlocks on the gunwales if the boat is fairly wide, or get a set of rowing outriggers if the boat is narrow. I’d recommend either 7- or 8-foot oars for the average canoe if you use a fixed seat. There’s a good chance you will need to lower the center seat to accomodate rowing, to provide enough clearance between the oar handles and your legs so that you can lift the oar blades out of the water enough (with a standard-height seat, a person of average build will be lucky to get the blades a few inches off the surface, and that’s not enough in choppy conditions).

Kayak paddle
Welcome Witt6,

I’d take advice and get a used boat. I bought my 1980’s royalex Blue Hole for $100. Also bought a Rouge River for $350-$400. Sold one a year later, and it WASN’T the Blue Hole. The boats you are looking at a going to be durable and will get you on the water. Both are great traits. Thats about where the good traits end for the heavy plastic boats.

Another idea: I Have been building stitch “n” glue (plywood) canoes for about a year now. 2 are done and a 3rd on the way. you can build a servicable canoe for under $300 and under 100 hours. Are there better boats on the river/lake than mine? Yes. But lets face it, the time you spend making it with your son will be time well spent. I made my 1st stitch “n” glue with my dad (and I’m in my 30’s)at our shop and he was wishing he had known about these boats when I was younger. And it’s so easy, after you build one with your son he will be more than able to do a 2nd canoe on his own. No kidding, it’s that easy and he he is old enough to have his own boat anyway. Also, there a lot of satisfaction in floating a river in a boat you make yourself with a few simple hand tools. They will last forever if you take care of them. See the site below:

This is for FREE plans for this boat. From what I have heard stability is questionable on this canoe but if you go to the top of the page you will see a bunch of boats listed under “Available:” Just click on the differrent types and see whats there. Matt at JEM is great to work with and a quick e-mail will get you on the right track.

Chris B

OT Osprey 155
The Old Town Osprey 155 comes in a center seat, oar locks version. Here’s a link to a new one listed on eBay:

A few more Questions…
Well…the more input I get the more questions I have. So…if you see a question below that you want to answer please do…

In no specific order.

  1. I’m seeing the light on buying a used boat…what is the best way to go about it? Ebay? I’ve tried internet searches…but it seems like nothing is near me…and a lot of the Ebay canoes…say pick up only…besaide I’ve never bought anything on Ebay…help please…

  2. Am I going to be going around in circles out on the lake…I mean…I have paddled a few times but never alone…is there a website with some basic instruction.

    If I new someone that actually was into canoeing I’d learn from them…but I don’t…most of the advice on check out your local canoe shop and try a renter and stuff like that is just not around here. Or I’m just not aware of it…

  3. Kayak paddle for a canoe? Pro’s and Con’s.

  4. Are the all seats equal in canoe’s? I see the “braided” type…then the plastic composit type…then types with backs to lean into…Are seats something I should consider before buying?

  5. What is that wooden thing in the middle of some…the place where a 3rd seat goes…I figure it’s some type of carrying device…I think I read a yoke or something…is that something I should want? As opposed to the third seat?

    Thats my questions for tonight…I think you now understand that when I wrote “newbie”… I meant NEWBIE. However…after asking all these questions I bet I end up with a better canoe for my needs and for the longer hall.

    Thanks for all the help so far…

    BTW…I started out thinking I wanted a kayak…but after reading a lot of stuff, I saw I really wanted a Canoe…


The Osprey looks interesting
The Dicks also has an Old Town - Guide 147 for 499.99. I’ll go check out the review on it. Also near me is a Bass Pro Shop…they also have some Canoe’s.

Should I be thinking about heat? As in hull or surface heat in the sunlight. The northeast hull was a dark…almost black color…and I’m now wondering why some hull’s are white…I dont want a Canoe that fries eggs in the summer rays…is this a concern…are they all the same?


Here are my opinions:

  1. I have bought and sold on Ebay. It is fine but you should go to pick up a canoe and check it out first if you can. This spring there will be more on Ebay. Also this site has a good classified listing. If there are any outfitters near you check with them for used. Also check this site: Bill sells new Old Towns at good prices and ships at a reasonable rate.
  2. I would suggest a class. If there are none near you get some books: Path of the Paddle by Bill Mason is a good one. Also see if you can find an experienced paddler to go with once ot twice.
  3. I prefer a single blade when soleing but that is just personal preference. I have tried a double blade and it works well but there is alot more paddle to store when fishing and since that is my main purpose the single blade suits me better.
  4. Seats can be molded plastic (tractor seats), cane or web. Cane and web are cooler and drain water better. Molded plastic conform to your bottom a bit better. I prefer cane or web. You can purchase seat backs for any cane and web seat. I personally do not like them as they seems to get in the way when paddling.
  5. That center thing is a carry yoke (some have a straight center twart) The yoke makes carrying the canoe easier and more comfortable. If you are going to carry at all, even from your vehicle to the water, a yoke is good.

    I have never rowed a canoe. I almost always paddle single blade. I own both tandems and solos and even on my narrower solos I use single blades. I don’t know where you are located but I live in central Illinois and paddle Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin on a regular basis and would be happy to paddle with you if you are in the area. I am not an expert but have done quite a bit of flat water paddling.

if no one else has mentioned it; Look at the top left of the Pnet web page. You will see “Guidelines”. Hit that and then scroll to the bottom. You’ll see all kinds of help for buying a boat and other useful things. We bought used and found it here on PNet. Many people like the Pelican (which our Dicks had one for 300 bucks) but we were looking for something bigger and a little lighter. (we bought a Wenonah Spirit II in royalex) Bass Pro usually sells Old Town. I know our Dicks didn’t have a lot of models there but you could order several different old town models. Good Luck

Don’t do it !
The boat (NEO)is good only for fishing and not much for paddling, and weighs a ton. A better choice in that that type of boat would be a Mad River Adventure Sixteen. It too is heavy, but much more paddle worthy. See if you can find a used Old Town Penobscot, and if fishing tends to be more your bent, an Old town Camper is a pretty reasonable compromise as the flatter bottom makes for a more stable fishing platform. I have a new Camper (in Royalex) in my store for $698.00. also have the Penobscotts and Adventure 16

good luck

In this world there are PADDLING canoes

and there are FISHING canoes.

The vast majority of canoes are of

the fishing variety.

Fishing canoes are built to be stable,

nearly indestructible platforms for

pursuing the sport of fishing.

Paddling canoes are built for glide,

speed, and paddling pleasure.

When you attempt to paddle a fishing

canoe – which many do – you are

driving a heavy displacment hull

through the water, essentially

pushing the water away from the

front of your boat.

But when you paddle a paddling canoe

the lighter hull and finer lines make

you feel like you are easily skimming

along on top of the water’s surface.

A fishing canoe, when underway, creates

a bow wave the Titanic would envy.

On the other hand, a paddling canoe only

creates tiny ripples.

While you can fish from a paddling canoe,

paddling a fishing canoe isn’t as much fun.

And, due to economies of scale, fishing

canoes are cheaper; way cheaper.

If a fishing canoe is all you can afford,

go for it.

If nothing else, you’ll build up some

impressive biceps!

Indeed, I know most people who own more

than one canoe all seem to have at least

one fishing canoe.

We use them when we don’t want to damage

our good boats due to rough conditions

and we can also lend them out without

worrying about them getting damaged.