I’m looking for the right canoe. So far I’ve got it narrowed down to a 15-16 ft. boat made of royalex ,good primary stability-excellent secondary.A little rocker maybe[not to extreme]. I’ll be useing this boat for floating and fishing slow to medium running rivers.Little or no whitewater-some flat water but mostly small to medium sized rivers. The only canoe experience I have is 3 or 4 daytrips from a ot disc 158 and 169. Both of these seemed to do the job but they were heavy to load and store by myself.Also does anyone have any suggestions for a dealer in north Alabama.Most dealers I have talked to have few boats in stock. thanks
I’ve Dealt With TOC
I bought a boat from Terrapin Outdoor Center in Piedmont. Haven't SEEN his store, bought it online and on the phone. Seemed like a knowledgable, friendly fellow. Everybody has their preferences and bias, I like a Wenonah Adirondack or Mad River Explorer for the paddling you're talking about. Here's two links. Good luck!
Both of these seemed to do the job but they were heavy to load and store by myself.
my thinking is that royalx will also be heavy and hard to load … for a few extra hundred bucks extra ya could get kevlar or possibly even used kevlar…
the guy i paddled the Missouri with had a royalx canoe… very heavy boat IMO… empty it took two of us to portage and or load it into pickups
I don’t know if kevlar will last in the rocky rivers.Even the poly boats loose about a pound per trip it seems like. The rivers and streams are very rocky and abrasive.
I beat my Fiberglass/kevlar boat around on rocky streams. It takes the abuse quite well. One nice thing about composite boats–if you should actually manage to hole one, it’s easy to patch.
Sure the gel coat will scratch–but so do the plastic boats. The nice thing about composite. If you have too many scratches for your liking–you can fix them.
I really like Wenonah canoes. They make a number of 15 and 16 foot models. Bell does as well. I would go with a tuff weave fiberglass. They have cleaner lines and are pert near bullet proof.
I’ve got an Adirondack to sell you
I love my Wenonahs, but as I’m having to paddle solo more often, the Adirondack just isn’t getting wet enough. I’d rather see it go to a good home where it’ll get used more. It’s very versatile and stability is excellent. It has hung web seats, a portage yoke, and vinyl gunwhales. Inside gray/outside maroon.
I used to live in Alabama
It may be a bit south for you but Alabama Small Boats - Helena AL (just south of Birmingham has a lot of boats and they are right on the water for test paddling. They have a website - I don’t have it bookmarked any longer since I now live in TN. Haven’t searched for a dealer her yet because moving and building a house took all my spare cash & paddling time - but I’m looking forward to spring paddling.
my kevlar canoe has been to hell and back…
its been down the Mississippi from Lake Itasca to Helena Arkansas and down the Missouri from ThreeForks Montana all the way to NewOrleans via THE Missouri and lower Mississippi rivers… i lived out of it 2 1/2 months in 2002 and 6 months this past summer… it was and is my “hobo” houseboat. also i have the Ultra-lite version listed at around 35 lbs
Kevlar can take a beating…
the bottom looks like hell and one side of the seat mount came loose from the bottom…
ive hit deadheads with it and had lumps slide down the bottom like a rat going down a snakes throat… no cracks, no nothing… ive hit submerged logs fast and hard with the bow… to a point where i swore i would see cracks or a shattered Bow when i got out… again no damage… ive also grounded on my fair share of rocks… only made scratches along bottom… tho big and nasty looking.
you could get kevlar skidplates added … i did not
the only downside of kevlar ive found is that you cant carry the canoe loaded because of risk of stress fracturing the hull… which is not an issue since i empty my gear out prior to portaGing.
Jokingly, I contacted WeNONAh about a free 5000 mile checkup that i was offered when I bought it… they said to bring it in, they would love to check it out and see how its held up
IMHO Wenonah’s Tuffweave…
...,which is their version of fiberglass, is better than the royalex. Used mine mostly on rivers, and it's pretty tough. Paddles better than the royalex too. Here's a few pics of what mine's been through. One paddling tandem on a week long BWCAW trip (it's the canoe in front), one doing WW, and one paddling solo in the BWCAW, one fishing out of it. I respectfully disagree with Staubr, it paddles fine from the bow seat with the canoe turned arround IF you trim it properly. The royalex version is o.k., I just prefer the composite version and wanted to convey to you that the tuffweave version is tough enough to handle rough use. WW
I recall a thread recently that said 16’ was too short to use as a tripping hull. Notice there is plenty of freeboard on the Adirondack in the first pic, where we are paddling TANDEM on a WEEK LONG BWCAW trip, and I’ve been 6’1" and between 250-260 for a couple decades. Would a 17’ boat be a little better? Sure. AND more difficult to solo. Every canoe hull is a compromise, the Adirondack is IMHO the most versatile canoe hull I’ve paddled. WW
mohawk makes an excellent around boat
the interpid seems to be the one you may be looking for.