-- Last Updated: Aug-03-10 12:16 PM EST --

Hi all;

I just picked up a Fiberglass Canadian 16/6 last weekend. All in all it's in fairly good shape. It looks like it was rigged for sailing at one time. I have some pictures here

A couple of questions

Is the year of the boat indicated by the last few numbers of the serial number?

I'd really like to paint the inside. What should I use to prep it for painting and what type of paint should I use?

Anything else I need to know about the boat??

Can't wait for a chance to get it in the water!

Thanks for any help!


The Sawyer Canadian was a dominant white water racing design. It is very tippy and is uncomfortable for all but the most experienced paddlers. If you try it and don’t like it, let me know, I would like to add one to my collection.


Interesting boat

– Last Updated: Aug-03-10 3:10 PM EST –

The hull looks very rounded, I guess that that is the main contribution to it being tippy. The low seats would help with the stability.

I would use an oil-based porch paint for the interior.

A Fav!
The short class Canadien was one of my favorite hulls. Fast, maneuverable, it had it all, but DY’s 190 Cruiser was a much more user friendly replacement.



– Last Updated: Aug-07-10 6:50 PM EST –

A paddling lesson or a couple months of yoga.

It’s interesting that a boat with NO rocker could be a whitewater racer. From the hull shape it looks like it should be fast. The seats are mounted low so that may help with stability. It is also fairly light

I have to wait for a little while for some broken ribs to heal before I will have a chance to paddle it. Tippy is not a big deal as long as it’s primary stability.

Early in ww downriver open canoe
racing, designers thought that the boats needed some rocker or raised ends for maneuvering. My old Moore was in part a downriver racing design, and the Moore Canadien had marked rise in the bow for maneuvers.

But then the racers discovered they simply did not need the rocker if they had the skills and knew the courses. After all, they weren’t being asked to make even a single eddy turn. They just had to pick lines through the rapids that were fast and tolerably dry.

So rocker disappeared from whitewater downriver boats. Even the decked downriver kayaks and c-1s don’t have visible rocker, and they even glue vestigial skegs under the sterns of the c-1s to reduce the number of strokes they take without switching.

Canadian Specs
I can guess that the Canadian 16/6 is 16’6" long. Can anyone tell me the width at the gunwale and waterline? I am assuming it had minimal rocker.

33’ at the gunwale,28 1/2 at the 4" water line,14" depth and 24" bow height,67lbs in glass 38lbs in kevlar. Back in the 70’s and early 80’s when I was racing it was the boat to have in the ACA short class for WW downriver racing.

That is narrow at the waterline. I pity a beginner that confused this with a recreational canoe.

When I First looked
at the boat I figured that it was going to be a good one. The guy I bought it from knew VERY little about canoes. He has a very small creek in his backyard and thought that he could use it there.

I called a friend who is in the Boat (Canoes and Kayak) business and he told me that Sawyer’s were very well built and if a glass boat it was hand laid. From looking at it I figured that it would be a fairly good lake boat and OK on our slower rivers (the Enoree) for some fun and camping.

Haven’t had a chance to put it in the water yet so I am looking forward to it.

It’s kind of interesting that at one time someone did have it rigged with a sail.

The other thing I am wondering about is the fact that it only has 1 thwart. Is that the way they were built? Or did someone modify it?

Thanks for all of your great information.


Nor really

– Last Updated: Aug-06-10 6:25 PM EST –

Sawyers were built like Moore Canoes, a layer of glass on the outside, roving partials and a roving inner. They never changed, which may be why Wenonah and Mad River eventually took the market away from them with more, all glass, then Kevlar lamination schedules.

It turns out that resin, whether lamination resin or gel rolled on the interior, tends to blow out of the interstices in roving over time, leaving the hulls prone to freeze-thaw damage. They were heavy, but the bottoms were stiff for a while!

Lots of short class boats were built with just a center thwart - a poor idea to my mind, but then again, most didn't call.

Try it out
Paddle it so you can tell us how it paddles. Curious people want to know.


It will take
a couple more weeks for my broken ribs to heal enough to paddle. Kind of a drag but I wouldn’t have any fun right now. I can’t wait though

Hull is round like an umbrella,
forget about initial stability, there ain’t none.

Secondary stability is great, if you are purposely leaning for maneuvers. If you are accidentally off balance, you will capsize very smoothly.

Get some knee pads.

Good luck!!