Questions regarding purchasing used "Woodsman II"

Hey all,

I’ve been looking for a decent used canoe for a bit now and came across a Galyan’s Woodsman II that appears to be in good condition. The problem is I am having a hard time finding any information about this particular model. As I am sure you all know, Galyan’s has since been sold off to Dick’s Sporting Goods. I am guessing that this Woodsman II model was made by a company (unknown to me?) and simply rebranded by Galyan’s. The seller does not seem to know much about it. He said it is 15ft long and “about” 40" wide. Does anyone know anything about this particular canoe? Is it Royalex? I’m not needing anything super fancy however would like something that is built and paddles well. I’ll be using it for a little bit of everything… from general paddling day trips to hunting, fishing, ect. He’s asking $300 and that includes a set of oars. Here are the two pics included in the sales ad.

Thanks for any help!

I am unsure if there is a serial number, as I have not asked. What will I be able to find out from the serial number? And yes, two paddles. Sorry, not hip with the lingo quite yet!


Galyans purchased bare hulls from both Bell Canoe and Dagger Canoe for their Woodsman models. Some Woodsman II canoes were Bell Morningstars and some Woodsman III canoes were Bell Northwinds. But some Woodsman II canoes were Dagger Suwanee canoes. That logo on the deck plate is a Dagger logo, so the hull is almost certainly a Dagger molded hull. If you look at the hull identification number (HIN) on the little aluminum plate at the stern, the first 3 characters should be DAQ. If it is in fact 15 feet in length, it is almost certainly a Suwanee, which has a beam of 36". It is either Royalex or R-Lite, a lighter weight version of Royalex. Should be a nice, stable boat for hunting and fishing.

Here is an old Dagger catalog from 1998. The Suwanee is on page 14:

Very helpful, thank you pblanc. I’ll have to ask the seller in regards to the HIN number. I’ve not heard of R-Lite. Is it as good of a material than actual Royalex? Does $300 seem fair?


The photos suggest that the boat is in good condition. If so, I would consider the asking price to be very fair.

R-Lite AKA Royalite AKA R-84 is a thermoplastic material very similar to Royalex in which the inner and outer vinyl layers are omitted and replaced with some sort of external bonded acrylic material which provides color and UV protection. In either case, the main structural component of the sheet is ABS. This modification typically saves several pounds per canoe hull.

Some people feel that Royalite boats are a bit more prone to abrasion than Royalex boats. Others say not. For primarily flat water use either should do fine. Neither Royalex nor Royalite are available for canoe production anymore so prices for used boats made with either have been going up.

$300 is a very fair price. Go for it, it’s unlikely you’ll find a better deal.

Thanks for the additional input guys. At the very least it sounds like I should definitely go take a look at this canoe. Anything in particular I should be looking out for when considering it’s condition?

Thanks again,

From the pictures, it looks almost new. Check the wood to see if it is rotted. If so, look closer overall. If the hull is still firm but there are problems with the wood see if you can get $50 or so off. Otherwise, give the sellers three Benjamin’s and load up before the seller rethinks the deal.

Thwart ends can rot so check the ends… Its often that the ends of thwarts and seats are not sealed. From the pix though that looks unlikely.
Its a good winter project to take the seat and thwarts out and put a couple of coats on the end grain… Remember not to do that all at once… Especially with the yoke…make a temporary thwart out of any lumber cut to the same length

Pete is spot on with his information. I owned a Suwanee for a few years. Flat bottomed, a bit slow, but perfect for fishing and beginners. It also works well solo if turned around. I sold it after a few years and then 10 years later bought a GALYAN’S Woodsman II, which I thought was a Bell Northwind re-badged. The pictures were bad but the price was good. Picked it up and it was the boat you’re looking at! THAT is when I discovered that Galyan’s used more than just Bell. For $300 in that condition it is an excellent deal. Buy it, use it a few years and you could probably get a C-note profit if you don’t like the boat?

Here’s a picture of my old Dagger Suwanee and the later Galyan’s Suwanee and a link to an old thread about the Suwanee:

Also, here’s a link to reviews on the Suwanee:

Looks like Kim (yellocanoe) posted a good idea while I was typing my reply? I HATED those seats in the Galyan’s model and switched the one I used primarily with a nicer seat and raised it a bit for kneeling. You could pick up a couple nice seats and some new trip at Ed’s Canoes and have a nice recreational canoe for a “Song!”

Thanks for the help everyone. I had planned on picking it up this afternoon after work but apparently it sold last night! Pretty upset at myself for not trusting my instincts and not grabbing it yesterday. For future reference, are there any particular canoes I should be keeping an eye out for? Brand names or models? I definitely think I want something royalex. And like I stated earlier, I do not need anything fancy. Just something that is an overall good “do it all” canoe. Will be using it mostly for day trips with the girlfriend, fishing, and paddling in/out of remote hunting areas.

Thanks again for all the prompt responses and helpful info!

Looks like the exact same boat is for sale again on facebook marketplace.

@bucketdad said:
Looks like the exact same boat is for sale again on facebook marketplace.

Hah! I was just coming on here to resurrect this thread because I saw it for sale as well. You don’t happen to be the gentleman that I bought it from are you? Wouldn’t be a bad way to try and sell it… If not, thanks for the heads up anyway!

I did end up buying it and so far so good. It seems to be in relatively good condition for being something that is probably 15+ years old considering the Galyan’s name disappeared in 04. There are the normal scuffs and scratches on the exterior of the hull, along with a few chips on the aft nose end. The seats and center thwart were kind of wobbly and loose, however I snugged up all the screws and everything seems to be sturdy again. I took it out for a 6+ mile paddle with my buddy on Sunday and it did great.

Any suggestions on how to “clean” it up a bit? I washed the entire canoe with simple green and gave it a good scrubbing. Is there anything I can put on the hull to restore some of its original color/shine as well as protect it?


Marine Wax but be aware that it will be very slick.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about the 303 Marine spray. Does anyone have any first hand experience with it?

Armor-all or 303 Aerospace Protectant will make the boat look better, at least temporarily. There is also a product called Penetrol which is not as easy to find as it once was. You could also try applying a glaze like 3M Finesse-It II and go over it with an automotive buffer and soft bonnet which would be a little longer lasting.

Thanks for the suggestions! Think I am going to give the 303 a go and see how it works.

303 tends to leave an oil slick .

@string said:
303 tends to leave an oil slick .

I’ve not had that happen using it on the hull of my Fathom LV. But I do buff it in so it’s dry before putting the boat in the water.

Recently tried Meguiar’s Flagship Premium Marine Wax when cleaning up another boat. Does a very nice job and I think will last longer than 303 on the hull.