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Family canoe

Discussion in 'Hunting & Fishing' started by Bigfattyt, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    figured I would ask this here.

    I am looking at a full sized family canoe.

    I need something big enough for Me, wife, and two boys.

    Something I can take on scout canoe trips also.

    I was looking, initially at a old town predator with the square stern (thinking more along the lines of a bigger family canoe for fishing etc) but figured that would be a hog to paddle, or try to move on my own by paddle power. Not to mention I don't think It will do very well for tight streams etc.

    I have been looking at Mohawk canoes (specifically the XL15 set up for tandem), or the Mohawk Intrepid 16 or 17? (saw a few concerning reviews about them more recently so not sure).

    The Mad river Explorer, or possibly the Two brothers Arkota.

    One major concern I have is I am a big dude. 350 lbs, and I need a seat that will not break. Looking for a flat seat, so I can switch the canoe around for solo paddle, or if I only have one of the little guys in the front.


    Like I said, a bit of flat water, down river, and maybe a bit of fishing, camping. Light white water (though Some times scout trips get a little big bigger than planned).

    Trying to keep the price lower (sub 1200 would make me happy, but 1500 the top of the budget).

    Any others I need to check out? (keep in mind my wide, heavy can has to sit in it)

  2. Chuck Gedraitis Knives

    Chuck Gedraitis Knives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 10, 1998
    One thing to consider is how often the 4 of you will be in it together? If you will be using it mostly by yourself or with one of your boys then what about a 16 tandem kayak?

    Native Watercraft makes a 16ft tandem with what they call first class seating, the best seat in the business. The seat is removable and can also be used on land which works out great on camping trips.

    This is a kayak/canoe hybrid, it is open like a canoe with a kayak profile. I have an ultimate 14.5 and love it. It is also much more stable than a canoe.

    View attachment 261365
  3. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Friends in Arkansas speak highly of the Two Brothers canoes. And since they are literally built by two brothers, you can specify how yours is rigged. You do need to keep in mind the total weights you might expect to carry and use weight capacities as a general guide, as well as the type water you expect to encounter. I have an Old Town Guide 16 and it suits my needs, has sufficient freeboard for the weights I carry, is easily propelled and maneuvered by myself alone, handles twisty creeks well enough, though certainly not as well as a purpose built creek boat. It is a plastic canoe and slides over the rocks I encounter, has a keel for tracking and pronounced chines. I did have to replace the factory molded seats with custom cane and ash seats in order to do as you suggest, paddle solo from the bow seat with the canoe reversed. It wasn't expensive and took little time. My total costs are still well within your suggested budget.
  4. mjhMN


    Jan 22, 2007
    A Prospector style canoe out of roylex may fit your requirements. Anything under 16ft is going to be pushing it with 2 adults and 2 kids in it. We regularly paddle 2 adults and 1 kid in a 17ft kevlar, 16ft aluminum and soon to be 15 or 16ft wenonah prospector, will be picking it up next week if all goes as planned. The prospector canoes styles lend themselves to solo paddling by paddling from the bow seat with the canoe reversed. Some canoe styles are not designed for such paddling. If possbile try out some canoes before you buy.
  5. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    If you're that heavy, you'll need a canoe that can carry 1000 lbs minimum. Don't get the squareback; they pretty much limit themselves to lakes and motors.
  6. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2008
    I'm going to go against the grain(and wishes of the OP), and I may get flak for this but....

    Don't get a canoe.

    Get a rowing skiff or dory.
    Specifically, get a Chesapeake Light Craft - Northeaster Dory. There is one near you(in Colorado) for sale on Craigslist at the moment. Its a bit more than your upper limit, but its a $5000.00 boat(new), in great shape, and will fit your needs better than any canoe.

    You might also take a look at Adirondack Guide Boats. They are usually VERY expensive($10 - 20,000.00 new), but occasionally you'll find a great deal on a kevlar version that are much less expensive than the traditional wooden versions. Look for ones made by Steve Kaulback of Adirondack Guideboat, in Charlotte, VT.

    If you've never rowed one, you just don't know how nice they are. Fast, lightweight, stable and able to haul a huge load over big water... safely and swiftly.
  7. hstdist


    Apr 24, 2001
    memories :)Me, my wife, 4 kids and a dog all in the canoe at the same time, too bad the pictures are from before digital they are a hoot to see. We all went in a Scott Canoe Temagami. We fished from it, paddled all kinds of lakes and generally had fun. They all paddle now.:thumbup:
    I've attached a link to the company. Give you an idea of dimensions. Still have the boat,patched it a bit (after 25+ years of kids use!)and now it's cached at a small lake for impromptu fishing and waiting to bring out the grandkids

  8. dboles


    Mar 6, 2007
    I m going to say get 2 16 footers if you can find them used.Those children do not stay little very long.2 boats will carry everyone far and fine,most importantly safey.Momma will have to learn steering/solo strokes if she doesnt already.Right now one 17 -18 footer will carry everyone but not everything unless daytripping and crowded .
    I always liked it that my children carried away paddling skills among others and still paddle today
  9. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I ordered a 15 foot White water canoe. Not ideal, but three seats, and 1000 lb carrying capacity.

    XL 15 from Mohawk. Will mostly be a play boat. Three wide seats. The boys are 6 and 2 and weigh about 80LB between them!
  10. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007

    The Two Brothers Canoe's don't ship!

    They were very nice, and super quick to respond to emails, but you have to either be local to pick up or be near one of the dealers that locally stock!
  11. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Yeah, or you just have to hire an independent shipper, which isn't cheap especially when they have to make a custom crate. I tried to get a canoe shipped here from up North and it was going to cost almost as much as the canoe.

    I hope the Mohawk works out well for you. I don't know how much rocker that model has, but if it is much, it could be a pain on flat and slow water. Of course you could widen the center thwart and that would remove most of the rocker. But then... it won't be that long til you are going to need a second canoe anyway! Canoes are like knives. It is hard to own just one! Please give us an update when you get it and try it out. Kids and canoes were made for each other!

    ETA: Length 15’4”, Beam @ gunwale 35”, Beam @ 4” waterline 32”, Approx weight 65lbs, Rocker 3”

    3" isn't a lot of rocker. It will help in ww, but not be bad on other types, IMHO.
  12. Loosearrow


    Apr 14, 2008
    I have a 19ft Grumman with a square back rated for a 5 hp motor. Some use larger motors on these canoes. Works great for gear, 2 adults and 2 children.
  13. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Well, the canoe showed up today.

    It snowed last night. But melted by this afternoon.

    As soon as I get the rack installed on my van, I will take on the water. Probably this weekend.

    The boys are ready, with their little paddles.

    Trying out the middle seat.


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