Rating a Ouachita Canoe

A local guy has a 15’ Ouachita canoe for sale and I was wanting to know something about it. Anyone have any knownledge of this canoe.

Is it

Rating a Quachita Canoe
Yes, it is aluminum…

Aluminum canoes are pretty generic

– Last Updated: Sep-08-07 10:29 PM EST –

There's not a huge difference in handling qualities from one brand of aluminum canoe to the next. They all have quite flat bottoms, so they feel very solid on the water, but lack the ability to remain seaworthy or predictible when leaned over hard and are a bit slower than canoes with more rounded bottoms. Still, to a person who doesn't have the sort of experience to know all this right away (no offense, honest), such a canoe will probably suit their needs just fine. If you get really serious about the sport, you'll upgrade. If not, it'll give you years of good service.

One thing that can be said about aluminum canoes is that Grumman (now the Marathon Boat Company) builds to a bit of a higher standard, but again, that won't make a difference to most aluminum canoe buyers.

A 15-foot canoe is about as short as you can go and still carry two people. This boat will be a slug compared to a 17-footer, but it will turn nicely. If you aren't traveling long distances or carrying a lot of gear, it will probably do the job. It'll also be a better boat for solo paddling than a 17-footer. If you will be doing longer trips or camping with two people, look for a longer boat.

Make sure there are no loose or missing rivets, broken ribs (those aluminum reinforcements on the inside of the hull) or broken keel. Minor leaks can probably be fixed, but if anything is cracked or broken, look for another boat unless it's so cheap that it pays to have a professional welder fix it up.

It must be at least 25-30 years old.
The company made decent jon boats, canoes were a small sideline. Loose rivets and a skin that seems thinner (never measured) than Alumnacraft or Grumman were a problem with the boats. Never saw one that wasn’t pretty banged up. If its in good condition and cheap, its not a bad buy.

My older brother bought one of these new back in 1972. We paddles all over the middle James river and the lower and middle Appomattox river. Mostly fishing and on many occasions with four kids inside. That canoe is still being used now with the third generation taking part of expeditions on the same water. If our mom would have only known some of the stupid stuff we did with this canoe. Never leaked even though it has quite a few dents in it. If you are looking for speed, agility and performance, this is not the canoe for you. If you are looking for durability, stability, lots of room and a boat that will last the ages you can’t go wrong. Just make sure it doesn’t leak before you buy.