Author Topic: Advice on buying a used canoe  (Read 2873 times)

CommonCents

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Advice on buying a used canoe
« on: May 05, 2014, 08:10:27 AM »
I'm slowly stalking craigslist looking for a used canoe.  We recently moved to a pond and want to be able to enjoy being out on it.  I have some limited canoeing experience
(paddled down the Connecticut River one week in college, from Hanover, NH to the sea).  What I am not sure about is what I should be looking for in a canoe, what common problems are relatively easily fixable.  I see descriptions about damage fixed with a fiberglass patch, surface cracks in the bottom that need to be covered, and pictures with paint color worn off, etc.  What common problems are fixable?  What will take a lot of hard work and aren't worth it?  Any canoe brands I should keep an eye out for (positive or negative)?  Paddles as well, though I'm biased towards Mitchell paddles simply bc they were near to my college (and gave a 10% discount to students so I've gotten their paddles before for whitewater & sea kayaking).  Sadly, even though my college club has a fiberglass workshop space, I never really used it or learned about it while I was there.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 08:43:31 AM by CommonCents »

greaper007

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Re: Advice on buying a used canoe
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 08:52:41 AM »
From what I understand, it's easier to patch fiberglass canoes than plastic ones.    Anyone with plastic experience please chime in.

I bought a really cheap used canoe a few years ago.   My canoe is fiberglass and had tons of cracks.    After I bought it I simply stop drilled the cracks (drilled a small hole at the end of the crack to stop it from cracking more) and bought a small amount of west marine fiberglass epoxy and fiberglass cloth.   I simply roughed up the area I needed to patch and painted it with epoxy, then placed a strip of fabric over the epoxy and painted the fabric with more epoxy until it was saturated.   This whole process probably took me an hour and a half (mostly because I was moving slowly).

This was 3 years ago and my ugly beat up canoe has sat outside in all sorts of bad weather.    The patches are still in great shape.    I'd never worked on a boat or fiber glassed anything in my life before.    I think I might paint the canoe this summer, I plan on using an exterior house paint as it spends most of its time outside the water.

Here's my advice.   Get something that's cheap and serviceable and big enough to full fill your needs.   Oar quality probably doesn't matter at this point.   If you figure out that you're really into canoes, you can probably sell your fixer upper for the same price that you paid for it and get a nice model.    You really don't need much to get out on your pond and paddle around or fish.

Good luck.

CommonCents

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Re: Advice on buying a used canoe
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 12:20:35 PM »
Thanks!

Re oar quality, btw, is part of the issue is I've paddled enough to really be able to tell the difference from a nice wooden one and the standard crappy heavy non-flexible durable plastic ones.  (This is probably also due to my kayaking background.)  So I'm totally up for a paddle rehab, but I'm not keen on a crappy one, even with the little paddling you're totally right that I'm likely to do a pond.  That's because I have dreams of taking the kayak to the lake near my parent's house or going camping with it, where I would use it more. 

Badass by 41

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Re: Advice on buying a used canoe
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 03:16:58 PM »
We recently moved to a pond and want to be able to enjoy being out on it.

I imagine living in the middle of a pond isn't very enjoyable.  8)

Sorry, couldn't let it go.

Emg03063

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Re: Advice on buying a used canoe
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 04:38:02 PM »
We recently moved to a pond and want to be able to enjoy being out on it.

I imagine living in the middle of a pond isn't very enjoyable.  8)

Sorry, couldn't let it go.

Think again?  http://www.weliveonaboat.com/

Bateaux

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Re: Advice on buying a used canoe
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 12:20:16 AM »
Buy a Royalex construction boat.  Bomb proof.