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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I'm a casual fisherman who goes out to Jordan or some other nearby lake (Harris Lake mostly) with the son every or every other weekend. Since we currently only own a cheap (seriously, we payed about 70 bucks) inflatable "4-person" raft that cannot hold up to wind and does not have any space for anything but two people, our three rods, some water, and a small tackle box, we've decided to take a tiny step up and purchase a two-person canoe. First we thought of buying a Jon Boat or something like that, but we have neither a truck nor the time to maintain a bigger boat. I've looked up some canoes and have some questions for you guys.

Notes:
- Our budget is around 600 bucks for a canoe, but still, the cheaper the better (on the wallet)
- We've looked at these two canoes: Dick's Sporting Goods - Pelican Colorado Canoe - Assembled, Dick's Sporting Goods - Pelican Navigator Canoe - Assembled
Both are very nicely priced and lightweight, while the 1st one can hold three people.
- Our current [crap] raft [that deflates in a couple hours out in the sun] looks something like this one: http://www.vitalitywebb.com/pics/challenger-500.jpg

1. How's the rowing on these types of canoes? I mean, will they go a considerable speed against medium wind (say..6-14mph) and current?
2. Any claustrophobic feelings on these vessels? To expand it a bit.. will they hold anything other than the necessities?
3. How's the accessibility to the vast areas of the lakes; can they cover large areas? Our current raft can only go a few hundred yards before the arms get tired from fighting the wind.
4. What's a good way to stabilize these things when (and IF) we (ever) find a school of fish? Currently, we just tie a huge rock to a long nylon rope to the raft, but the problem is that it becomes very messy when we get the rock out of the water.
5. I dislike the idea of using a fishfinder to "find" schools of fish since it gets away from the idea of the mystery, nativeness, and patience surrounding both the outdoors and fishing. However, if one day I get over this idea and decides to mount one of those electronic devices to the canoe, will it be possible? (No, I don't want to drill holes into the canoe)
6. What about a motor?

If you have any other questions that you can think of for me and for others or if you have any other suggestions, please speak out! :cool:

Thanks guys!
 

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A canoe is a great option. You won't have to look too hard to find one that's adequately stable for you and your boy, and you'll have lots of room for coolers and stuff. It's easy to clamp rod-holders to the gunwales, and if you do decide to step up to a fish-finder, there's one that's designed for you, with a clamp mount to hang over the gunwale as well.

A buddy of mine has a Mad River Adventure 16 - their 14 is usually priced under your $600 mark...

When you say it gets "messy" when you retrieve your "anchor" - you'll get water and some mud in your boat, no avoiding that, I don't think. If there's enough drip to be more than an annoyance, (1) get a bilge pump like the sit-inside kayakers use, and (2) it's probably too rough for an open canoe.

I use a 1.5-lb folding-prong grapple anchor on my kayak, and I have a trolley that will allow me to move the anchor point from the bow to the stern. With two people in the canoe, you could use two anchors, and just choose whether to deploy the front or the rear. Don't do both at the same time, though -- you absolutely do NOT want to get yourself turned broadside to the current. And whatever you choose, be ready to turn that anchor loose very quickly, especially in current...

As for how they handle in ~10mph winds... Offhand, I'd think that would be some work, especially if your son isn't very old yet and might not pull quite every ounce of his own weight. If you've got to paddle it by yourself, you'll probably need to know a thing or two about paddle strokes... (like, for example, it's paddling, not rowing). It's easy to find lessons, though.

Kayaks generally don't suffer quite as much from the wind, and sit-on-tops are self-baling, so you don't have to worry about water coming over the edge. Tandem yaks are generally more crowded than canoes, though. The Native Ultimate is a nice hybrid - probably a little more canoe than kayak, but it's designed to be used with a two-bladed kayak paddle... but it's way out of your $600 budget... whale of a nice boat, though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Lefty, I really appreciate your quick response.
However, I'd like to know a little more about both the anchoring system in addition to paddling techniques. Don't worry about my son; he's a Junior is HS and can handle his own when it comes to rowing.. but neither he nor I know a lot about the techniques of "paddling." Also, I say it is "messy" because since I don't want to poke holes or scratch our polyester raft, I (or my son) usually get the mud and water on my (or his) shirt and pants while also flooding the boat a bit :p

By the way, what do you think of the two canoes that I linked up?
 

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I can give you a little advice, I've been a canoe angler for a few years now. Check out my rig in the Member Boats forum:
http://www.ncangler.com/forums/f42/my-canoe-3191.html

My first piece of advice is to buy a used canoe if you can. Troll the boats section of Raleigh's craigslist for a while. There is *always* canoes in there. Mine is an Old Town Discovery Sport Boat that retails for $1050 and I got it for $600. (It was about a year old when I got it, I think the guy previous used it 2 or 3 times). Used canoes will always have their fair share of scratches on the hull, but you are guaranteed to scratch a canoe if you use it to its potential :)

I'll try and answer your questions:
1) 6-14 mph paddling against current is some serious muscle!
2) A good sized canoe will hold all the gear you need. I usually bring my rods, tackle, a small cooler, a lure retriever, etc.
3) Accessibility is OK, if you don't have a motor, you will be limited to what your arms can do. Wind is always going to be a factor too. I will stay home if the wind is in double digits. Even with my motor on there, the winds make it rough. If you are on a big lake like Falls or Jordan, the boat traffic + high winds = tippy, tippy waters.
4) There are some great little anchors out there:
Cabela's -- Small Boat Anchor System
5) I don't have a fish finder on my canoe yet, but I *just* ordered a bargain that Sundrop linked to the other day. This one will attach with no hole drilling:
Cabela's -- Bottomline Fishin' Buddy 1101
6) See how my canoe has a square stern? That makes it ideal to put a trolling motor or small outboard on. You may want to look into getting a square stern if you know you will put a motor on there. Otherwise, you can buy or make a bracket like this one:
Motor Mount: Carts and Outfitting at L.L.Bean
 

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I have a 17 foot aluminum, not a problem with 2 people and all the gear we want to haul,( or deer).

I saw it in a mans yard, approched him and 75 bucks later I tied it in the back of the truck:cool: Great deal, it was several years old when I got it but it has help its own. NO its not for sale.:p

For anchors get a anchor lock system, that way you can lower the anchor and lock it in. You can put this system on the front and rear of the canoe to hold it in position. We have ours on the back because we are usually floating a small river system. Anchoring in back allows us to fish the zones in front and to the sides, ease up the anchor and ease down to the next fishy looking section and do it again. Might be as simple of just letting out more rope.

tight lines <*)))))>{

I have had it for 20 years now and fished, duck hunted, my boy and his buddies (3 of them) take it down the river float fishing. I will pick them up several miles down river.
 

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I personally think a canoe will get small fast if you really enjoy fishing. I would add little money and watch Craigslist for a Jon boat( theres one on their now with trailer 14 ft. jon-boat with trailor asking $750 so you know it is less. A jon and trailer can be pulled by anything and with an electric trolling motor it will go all day and fish stable with no worries about needing to stand up to move around or stretch a minute. It will take a few more dollars but you wont be so quick to outgrow it and it is easy to get your money out of if you decide to move on.....
Just my opinion.
 
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We bought a used Old Town in 1985 and have been fishing it ever since in certain waters. Canoe fishing is great on rivers (class 1 and 2) but you have to concern yourself with shuttles to get back to your vehicle. Canoes are good on lakes where and when you can get away from the high power bass boats that don't seem to care about people in kayaks and canoes. Canoes are tippy but I've noticed that the manufacturers have started lowering the seats a bit to lower the center of gravity. I did that when we bought ours and it makes a big difference. Canoes are very bad in windly conditions and you'll work to get where you need to go. I personally like the quiet of a canoe and kayak. Canoes can go where the power boats cannot. You can easily add a trolling motor to a canoe but you have to consider a deep cycle battery or two with it. A square transom canoe can take a small outboard. If you are thinking along those lines, take a look at a Gheenoe (Gheenoe Manufacturing, Titusville, FL). I have one that I can use with a trolling motor or 10 HP engine. It planes with the latter. it fits two people and gear comfortably, three crowded. There are used boats available on-line and there are similar boats. I'd recommend a light trailer as well, but they can be cartopped with some help. I doubt if one man could handle it easily
Anchoring a canoe is no big deal. Canoes can be anchored with a small mushroom anchor of 2-5 pounds. I poured mine from 2 pounds of lead and an eye bolt, and it's been working for 20 years. If the current is too strong for that anchor, it's probably dangerous to anchor anyway.
I use a depth finder on my Gheenoe but not the canoe. It's attached to my trolling motor and I like to know the depth, but that's just because I don 't want to be fishing in the wrong places.
I recently got into kayak fishing, that's something you could look into but right now you may find it's more expensive. Kayaks are "in" right now and everything associated with them is a bit higher in price. But there are deals on used boats around, but get to know which boats are good for fishing and which are not.
 

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I own a Mad River Adventure 14, we have only taken it out a couple of times for leisure paddles with the kids. But I got it so that I could also use if for fishing. I have fished out of several and never really worried about them being overly tippy. And found them to actually be quite enjoyable and on par with my experiences in my kayaks.

You need to really think about what you are going to do most often. There a good canoes for paddling and good ones for motoring, some that are ok for both.

You can use an anchor trolley on a canoe just like a kayak. It is set up the exact same way. Guess I am going to have to start that project on my canoe so I can put up some photos. But I have up a post on installing an anchor trolley.

Another good idea is to use the milk crate set up in the canoe. A friend of mine has two rigged similar to these in the photo. And they fit well in the canoe and keep everything from moving around while paddling. And it keeps you from having to drill too many holes in the canoe.

As far as paddling, I actually use kayak paddles on my canoe. Mainly because I have several but I am used to that style of paddling so I find that to be a good way to go. Depending of course on the width of the canoe.

Good luck in your search.
 

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The simplest thing I'd do for anchoring a canoe is to clip a carabiner around the bow and/or stern handles. Lay out your anchor with its rope (and chain, if you use one) laid out flat for about 2 arms-lengths. Slide the anchor-line-float down to the anchor. Take the line above the float and pass it through the carabiner. Now set the anchor and the remaining line into the boat.

When you get to the spot where you want to anchor, lift the anchor and drop it over. Pay out the line - it'll pass through the carabiner. Tie the line off to the seat thwart using a highwayman's knot - that way if you need to jettison the anchor, all you have to do is tug the loose end and the knot will disappear, and the anchor line will pay out through the carabiner. When it's safe to do so, paddle back to your anchor-line float and retrieve it.

All an anchor trolley does is let you move the clip that plays the role of that carabiner, move it from the bow to the stern. In a two-man canoe, especially with cheap anchors (like a cinder block or a piece of heavy chain) to just rig up duplicate anchors, one at the bow and one at the stern.
 
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The hull material is the same material as the old Coleman Canoes. I use to own a Scanoe from Coleman and it was the greatest thing on the water. Many ducks gave up there life in order to ride in it. A couple of deer also. It was very much like the square stern Pelican at Dick's. Did not know there was anything like it being made. Wish I had never sold it. I went to the Okeefenokee four times in it and completely across once sleeping on platforms. OH NO...I FEEL THE TACKLE MONKEY GRABBING HOLD.....HHHEEEEeeeellllllppppp MMMeeeeee
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, now that we've decided to get a boat.. here's our delima:
Since we missed multiple opportunities to get a canoe on craigslist (those people are FAST when it comes to buying cheap stuff), we are now considering two canoes: Mad River Adventure 14 at Dick's, and an Old Town Sport canoe at Sam's Club.

The Mad River's specs:
Adventure 14 Canoe - Mad River Canoe
14' Long
37" Wide
75 LB
$399

OT Sport specs:
I couldn't find anything on their website because this canoe is made JUST for Sam's Club. Here's a picture of it (minus the addition stuff): OT Sport Canoe & Minn Kota TrollingMotor in Columbia - Free Columbia Classified Ads
13' 11" Long
42" Wide
68 LB
Capacity of 700 LB
1 layer Thermoformed Polyethylene
$425 including canoe, 2 paddles, and a car top carrier.

Basically, they are about the same and reviews are very good for both these boats. The prices are also identical to one another. Thus, I'd like you to help us choose :)
 

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I have one like the OT Sport and like it fine. I got it at Sams and it came with the paddels and the cartop carrier included. I think I paid 399 new for it. I like it because it is wide and therefore more stable but I still needed to rig up some outriggers for it because we take the crazy Golden Retriever with us and she never warns you when she stands up. I wan tto put a trolling motor on it and a fishfinder. Check at Sams to see if they have it still. I think Dicks sold that same canoe under their brand name of Great Northern also. If I had it to do over I would get hte Square stern unit that I saw at Overtons after I bought this one. But it was on sale at the same price as the OT was at the time. Anyway the OT is fine and I only wish it was a little lighter but I guess pay for the extra beam of the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How heavy is your OT? The lady I talked to said it was 65 LBs.. Also, how's the speed on the OT when paddling with two adults? We'd like to explore and maybe to some bottom trolling to find fish. And is it possible to add some cheap rod holders (that go straight up) on the canoe?
 

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Driftmaster bases they make every style rod holder and mounting base you could need....
 

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Well I dont really have anything to compare it to as I have never had any other canoe but this one. I do like the extra stability that the 43 inch beam gives you but Im sure that that makes for maybe a bit harder to paddel but Im not sure that its much difference. That is probably the right weight that they are telling you it is but I am not looking at mine right now so I dont know for sure. I would think that you would welcome the extra stability for fishing purposes as I do. There are all sorts of things that you can do to a canoe or Yak to make it more fishable but thats personal preferance. Rod holders can be purchased that clamp to the gunwale or in my case Im going to make one somehow bu not sure just how yet. I have made a flat removable floor for it and some seat backs nad replaced the middle section that has the cooler with a wood frame to open the center of the boat up. The cooler in the seat was kind of worthless as was the watertight compartment which wasnt watertight. lol Glad I didnt want that anyway. The wooden bulkhead Im putting in the place of that is to carry the outriggers for more stability. Im thinking I can attach some pvc tubing to that for rod holders. I like to tinker with stuff as you can tell.Ill post some pictures when I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It'll be great if you share some photos!

Also, how does the vessel do against waves and wind as far as stability and paddling go. Speaking of paddling.. how far can you go with it until your arms are worn?
 

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If you want to go far get a trolling motor. Thats what Im gonna do. Just not into the long distance thing by hand myself. I have not measured the distances i have paddeled but Im sure that the wife ended up having to finish the last mile. LOL Just joking. I never been in a Yak but if ease of movement through the water is what you are after then that should be your focus I think. If you want to fish and have more room for stuff then canoe is for you I think. Only you can decide what tradeoffs you are willing to make.
 

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You can always hang a small bracket on the side for a troller. Hand steers are cheap and easy to find
used if you want to venture out far....

 
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