Sawyer canoe

I am looking at getting a canoe. I know someone with a Sawyer fiberglass canoe, it has no keel and an enhanced rocker. He does not know the model. I am looking for something for 2-3 day trips on rivers like the st. croix, kickapoo, flambeau flowage ect. I am thinking the no keel and enhanced rocker would be for more white water. Would it still be good for trips as well? How stable would it be?

Thanks a bunch!


Here is a link to his d and a picture…

looks like a vintage Sawyer for rental fleets. Several recent craiglist ads have them for $250-$300 tops.

The ad says comparable models sell for $1700. Don’t know where that figure got dug up.

Better pictures would help but the seats appear to be molded bucket seats.

Its not a whitewater boat. Flatwater boats that are well made seldom have a keel. Rocker is relative…many flatwater boats have some.

I didn’t see much rocker on those

Seller is deluded, or trying to delude.
That canoe has no special whitewater characteristics whatsoever.

And don’t ask about stability. No
general purpose canoe has ever been marketed that lacked sufficient stability.

So this would possibly be a good canoe for a seasoned beginner paddler to go on 3-4 day trips on Wisconsin rivers such as the St. croix, kickapoo, ect.? I e-mailed him for better pics, he does not know the model name, but says its in perfect cond. He also told me it turns pretty quik compared to most canoes? I searched to see if there was any way for me to find out the model ie numbers ect but found nothing. It was said that the canoe was around 1200 new? Thanks for any other insight.

Some of this is over my head, beneath my knees, and outa my reach! I am understanding half of what has been said. I am new to this.



You could use it for that.
I find his price not that high if the canoe is in very good condition. It might cruise along efficiently, and it might turn well enough for the St. Croix (which I have paddled). But I don’t know of any Sawyer that had credentials for whitewater.

Ask the seller the last two letters

– Last Updated: May-12-12 8:16 PM EST –

of the hull identification number.

They are on a plate in the stern or etched into the gel coat. That indicates the year of manufacture.

A twenty year old boat is a twenty year old boat and has depreciated considerably. But pay what you want. You can get newer boats for seven fifty that are more river oriented.

The Brooklyn Bridge
would be a better deal.

Im sure there are tons, but could you throw out a few more popular canoes that would be good for what I’m looking for. I’m looking for something for 2 people, light, wont be used much for rapids but will be used mostly on rivers and for camping and longer trips. I see alot of old towns for sale which makes me think there are alot of them out there because they are good or alot of people selling them because they are not. I see alot of grumman and colemans as well but they are pretty cheap which tells me something. I could read reviews for ever and get diff answers I guess… I wish I knew more but I will be getting one this week for a trip next week.

Do you have canoe liveries nearby?
Wenonah and Souris River are lighter flatwater oriented companies.

Many people try before they buy. Look for something around 17 feet.

Old Town canoes are numerous and far from lightweight. Probably the nations most popular they are a good design. But if you anticipate portaging…not a good choice. They do well in Maine which has sharp rocks in rivers, spikes in old logging dams, gravel bars with sometimes no water and not usually much portaging.

The Wenonah Spirit is a good all round touring boat.

Now the boat you are looking at seems to be fine too and used boats are a good place to start. Too bad the seller is delusional for the price.

what I know
You see lots of Old Town canoes because they are, in fact, pretty good canoes. And they are probably the most readily available. All the big national outdoor retailers like LL Bean, REI, Bass Pro, etc sell Old Town. And the vast majority of liveries rent Old Towns (on rivers at least). Most of the Old Towns, like the Discovery models, are poly plastic. Good quality, but very heavy. Better Old Towns - Penobscot, Tripper, Appalatian - are Royalex.

You see lots of Coleman canoes because they are cheap and easy to get at Walmart and the like. But they are only good for floating and fishing or floating and drinking beer. For actually paddling, they suck. Used ones are likely to be warped. Run away! Run away!

You see lots of Grummans because once upon a time, before the development of quality plastic canoes, they were everywhere, like Old Towns are today. And since they are aluminum, they last a million years, so everybody and their cousin has one in their backyard. Also, “Grumman” is sort of like “Kleenex” or “Lego”. People call all aluminum canoes “Grummans”, whether they actually were made by Grumman or not. Real Grummans are really good canoes. But they are still aluminum, which has some drawbacks. Growing up with an aluminum canoe, I vividly remember burning my arms on the gunwhales when it had been out in the hot sun for hours and how it sounded like a floating steel drum every time someone hit the side with a paddle or we banged a rock. But by God, that thing is STILL sitting in my Dad’s yard, fully functional, with no more maintenance than an occasion hosing off.

Good canoes for what you want that are more or less affordable and available on the used market - Old Town Penobscott, Old Town Tripper, Mad River Explorer, Wenonah Aurora, Wenonah Spirit II, Mohawk Nova, Mohawk Intrepid, Nova Craft Prospector, Nova Craft Pal. All of those canoes are either Royalex or quality fiber glass (some are available in both), which is not super light, but lighter than cheaper plastics. 50-60 lbs or so, depending on the size of the canoe. Some of those canoes were made with kevlar composite, which IS quite light, but of course much more expensive.

Good luck

You have to add Sawyer and later Swift
to that algorithm. The boat the OP wants is fine, at that time Sawyer was on the advanced edge of canoe design.

It does not seem to be an Oscoda…there were several Sawyer lines.

Just the price is off. Still curious about the last numbers in the HIN. It could well be a Goldenglass layup too.

look at the details in the photo
This canoe has molded seats that are mounted on angles riveted thru the hull. Not the typical web seats of the cheap Sawyers. The front seat mount has a lot of rivets showing in a line low on the hull. This hull may have a sliding front seat. It does not show in the photo. Gauging from the yoke pads, this hull is not that wide in the center and the shear line is upswept. The bow is not that far off the floor and it may be on a pad. This canoe has had good care or it would not look this good after all these years.

The owner is right that a new canoe in fiberglass would be in the $1700 range. Think of a Wenonah Aurora or Adirondack in Tuffweave flex core. The asking price is an asking price; not a firm one. And $600 for a decent hull in good condition is about as low as a seller needs to go.

The Hull Number should be available from the seller. If not he may be hiding something; like maybe this is a stolen canoe.


sawyer canadian.
I believe this canoe is a Sawyer Canadian. 16’ 27 at 3inch waterline and 33 inches at the gunnel. Looks like the original fiberglass layup before the use of kevlar. Designed by Ralph Sawyer in 1970.