Brian Davis (brian@SETON.COR.NET)
Wed, 5 Apr 1995 22:33:10 +0100
I guess I'll chime in my two cents worth on this topic, since it
(canoeing) is near and dear to my heart.
First, Coleman doesn't make an aluminum canoe. Most likely, the aluminum
anoes you've seen have been made by Grumman. Their Eagle is perfectly
suitable for paddling on lakes and ponds, if you don't mind a little
noise. It is, however, remarkably un-suited to moving water for a coupe
of reasons: One, aluminum dents or tears easily on rocks, and second it
has a full-length keel - very undesireable in moving water.
Second, the canoe that coleman does make is made of linear polyethylene.
It is not thought of very highly by those with canoeing experience,
particularly for moving water use. Again, full length keel, and poor
handling qualities, "wet" bow design, moderate to low secondary stabilty,
and no rocker.
If you must purchase boats (and I question the wisdom of doing this for
1-2 trips a year using them) try calling all the local river guides in
your area. Most river rental shops sell off their older boats
periodically for a pretty good price. They'll be beat up, but usually
serviceable. Most will have decent boats made by Old Town or Mohawk as
well - far superior to the "El Cheapo" Coleman boats IMHO. They'll be
made of cross-linked poly, or royalex (best for scouts but most
expensive), and can withstand some pretty rough treatment.
If you want to buy one new, then I would suggest looking at the Old Town
Discovery series. They are made from cross linked poly, and are tough as
nails. They can be bent double, and will still pop right back into
shape. Old Town demos the boat by throwing it off a ten story building -
just the ticket for Scouts. I like the 169, which emulates an old tried
and true design (called the Tripper). Decent handling in moving water,
good stability, dry, and can carry a lot of gear. The 164 is also a good
boat, more suited to flat water. The 159(??) is also an excellent
all-around choice for Scouts, and is often seen in the liveries of canoe
There are also a lot of really good boats made by Mohawk in the lower
price range. The "Higher priced spread" includes boats made by Mad
River, and Dagger.
One further comment - if you are taking boys on moving water, paddle it
first without boys. Get to know the river. If the rapids are a bit hard
to manage, find another river. Why drown a kid for a weekend outing?
Whitewater, while fun and challenging, is also *very* dangerous. People
find lots of interesting ways to drown there. I've witnessed a couple
personally. Whitewater trips require *lots* of specialized instruction
to make them reasonably safe, and most Scout troops just don't have that
much time in their programs. A kid can easily drown in 8 or 9 inches of
water if its moving fast, and many river hazards await the unwary. Stick
pretty much to flat water with the neophytes.
Let me know if I can be of further help..
| Brian L. Davis Internet: email@example.com |
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| Used to be an Eagle. |
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City