Buying a canoe, dream come true .. BUT .. need suggestions (size, material etc)

May 10, 2022
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It says so in the Kijiji ad:

I am now the proud owner of the River Dancer !!!! ... thank you so so much for the info! Do NOT think it is an expedition (the guy selling it did not really know .. he just put it in to make it look more attractive lol). I promise I shall not hound you with questions for the rest of my days - but I do now have some CANOE OWNER questions! Firstly: How do you properly store a canoe? (summer and winter). If you have any good links or advice pls pass them on (canoe 16' ... storage shed 15 1/2 'lol - it's gotta go UP and on an ANGLE to store indoors). Looks like a DIY solution ... Secondly, wood gunwales need some TLC - a sanding and a stain. Can you use a palm sander on gunwales or is it too aggressive? Again any info most appreciated! Cheers! (and a photo of the new addition, day one on a calm Lake Huron Day ....)


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Nov 25, 2021
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Congratulations! And great first outing.

There are numerous “kayak hoists” out there that should work for you, and DIY pulleys and ropes would work too. Generally, you want to store it upside down with the weight on the gunwales, not on its bottom. So with a hoist you need a trapeze sort of arrangement. Sawhorses work where you have the space.

I’m not sure about using power tools on the gunwales, but others will have experience with that. Treatment for the gunwales is often Watco Exterior Wood Finish, Teak Oil, or other home brew varnish/oil/thinner mixtures.
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
Our first canoe was a Grumman.. We took it to BWCA and Algonquin from 1973-1989. It had a lot of nerve getting heavier each year! That las trip to Quetico that started with the paddle the length of Pickerel Lake did us in.. It was 15 feet and the shape of a bathtub.
Next step on the way home we bought a Sawyer 190. What an incredible canoe for light cruising. It is short and ours was not that light .. 62 lbs in S glass. It was ok for five night trips and was indeed good at handling waves because of its unique hull design that was more mainline in the 1980s. It has constant flare so the shallower dimension matters not at all. It handled Pickerel quite nicely.. The secondary stability of constant flared hulls is outstanding.. The Lotus Dandy is another example. You have to push on the gunwales with all your weight to get anything to seep in and waves hitting the hull are deflected downward. My hubby has big feet and did think his footroom was too tight.

I wish I had it back Gave it to a family member.

We used it for about 13 years for shorter portage trips. We were busy aging but wanting longer trips so we graduated to a Wenonah Odyssey which is 18.5 feet long and 45 lbs for longer trips involving unmaintained portages and also bigger water like Superior.

I see I am a bit late to the party.. We have rented Scotts in Algonquin many years ago when the kids were younger( we had that Grumman but needed a second canoe). The very first thing I would do is take an ice pick to the gunwales. We had a lot of dry rot in our rentals. Realize livery boats don't usually get good care. But dry rot can happen to anyone.. It its ash in good shape the gunwales can handle sanding with a palm sander.