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What was the worst canoe you ever owned or paddled?

A lot of us started with aluminum canoes, and they are pretty slow. On the other hand they are deep, shed waves and have full ends that keep them buoyant in waves. They are heavy, but not bad for rivers. We did not know any better.

I have owned a bunch of good canoes. The one I liked the least was a Wenonah Odyssey because it had no rocker at all. A loaded canoe in a river with no rocker does not want to turn. It was big and fast, at 18 1/2 feet but turning it was frustrating.
 
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Does anyone remember Beaver River canoes? They made a lightweight aluminum competition cruiser 18’6” and 32” beam
Cost was reasonable and a lot of folks got their racing start in them
 
Does anyone remember Beaver River canoes? They made a lightweight aluminum competition cruiser 18’6” and 32” beam
Cost was reasonable and a lot of folks got their racing start in them
I met a guy from MN last year who has 7 pr 8 of them. He told me he has been collecting them for years.
 
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The Ally folding canoes are by far the worst I've ever paddled. They are sluggishly slow and move through the water like you are dragging an anchor. It will literally come to a full stop as soon as you stop paddling. They track poorly yet they do not turn easily and are very wind sensitive. The combination is in fact quite interesting though horrible. They flex a lot, especially torsion wise. They oil-can and have every other possible flaw you can think of, looks included. You can't kneel in it without hurting bad because of the frame. The good thing about them is of course that they are foldable. They are easy to store and to transport (to the landfill). This is by far the most common canoe in Norway.
 

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I have owned a bunch of good canoes. The one I liked the least was a Wenonah Odyssey because it had no rocker at all. A loaded canoe in a river with no rocker does not want to turn. It was big and fast, at 18 1/2 feet but turning it was frustrating.
"One man's junk is another man's treasure." I understand and appreciate that the Odyssey was one of the "good canoes" that you "liked the least" and not necessarily a bad canoe, but I love our Odyssey. It's the only canoe out of my five original canoe purchases that I kept and still use. It's certainly not a quick-turning-white-water-river-runner but it's a great canoe for big Class I rivers and big flat water. I've done a bunch of trips down sections of the Columbia River, including the Hanford Reach, and the Odyssey was just the ticket. We still use it for places like Lake Champlain and the Connecticut River. The tall bow isn't as convenient for the bow paddler as the Minnesota II, but the Odyssey got us through some big whitecaps without getting upset.

We take our Curtis Northstar out when we need to turn. :)
 
Coleman, was not mine and quite a pos. Had a build in cooler because, I guess, they had a design goal of making it over 80 lbs.
 
A really bad canoe beats the heck out of no canoe.
I have loved every canoe that I had the opportunity to paddle.
I have posted this before, in some other thread. I like its sentiment, so will post again here.

I once read, forget where, that “The only thing worse than a bad canoe is no canoe at all.”
 
The Ally folding canoes are by far the worst I've ever paddled. They are sluggishly slow and move through the water like you are dragging an anchor. It will literally come to a full stop as soon as you stop paddling. They track poorly yet they do not turn easily and are very wind sensitive. The combination is in fact quite interesting though horrible. They flex a lot, especially torsion wise. They oil-can and have every other possible flaw you can think of, looks included. You can't kneel in it without hurting bad because of the frame. The good thing about them is of course that they are foldable. They are easy to store and to transport (to the landfill). This is by far the most common canoe in Norway.

Haha. Maybe all those negative attributes could have been improved if the color was red.
 
Haha. Maybe all those negative attributes could have been improved if the color was red.
They actually do come in red as well. I think that the red is only available in what they call their flat water canoe. I have to admit that I haven't tried it but I suspect that it is not as bad as their down river models. As said, any canoe is better than no canoe. I'm just glad that I had the good fortune to get a decent old glassfiber canoe as my first boat instead of one of those Ally boats. I would have used it a few times and then forgotten about canoeing.

Even though I did slaughter it a bit, they do come in handy at times. Here's a guy who uses it to go and rescue his real canoe that he had to abandon in the deep northern wilderness for four years:

 
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Haha. Maybe all those negative attributes could have been improved if the color was red.
Mine's red, and I love it. I don't paddle it for fun, but rather on long, remote trips where I have to fly commercially to get there. I'm a fast boat (Wenonah/Jensen) kinda guy, and I was amazed at what the PakBoat version does while spending 4-6 weeks in big rivers and big lakes (decked). I wouldn't use it as a day paddler, but for expedition use they have no peer.
 
Mine's red, and I love it...

Hi Mason. Are you talking about the Pakboat/Packcanoe or the Ally? They are not the same although I think that both have Norwegian roots. Packcanoes have a similar alu frame system as the Ally but the Packcanoe has the inflatable hull which should stiffen it up some while also providing flotation when capsizing. I remember Cliff Jacobson wrote about them and had positive things to say about them for gnarly shallow WW trips.
 
Hi Mason. Are you talking about the Pakboat/Packcanoe or the Ally? They are not the same although I think that both have Norwegian roots. Packcanoes have a similar alu frame system as the Ally but the Packcanoe has the inflatable hull which should stiffen it up some while also providing flotation when capsizing. I remember Cliff Jacobson wrote about them and had positive things to say about them for gnarly shallow WW trips.
Mine's the PakBoat. Although the inflatable tubes provide a little floatation, they don't provide any noticeable stiffening.One one trip we lost virtually all the inflating tubes (two on each side) and there was no noticeable difference with a heavily loaded canoe. I feel like the flexibility of the boat for tough conditions is an asset, as it rides high in waves and provides additional rocker for whitewater. It is not a good flatwater design, though fully loaded we could manage 2.5-3.0 mph without trying hard. That was adequate for our needs. A hardshell boat might be faster, but try getting one on Alaska Airlines! I have other boats for flatwater.
 
I've owned many mediocre or derelict canoes, and enjoyed most of them. The one I resent the most, and still want to replace, is my Dagger Reflection 16. It is so disappointing. It has a beautiful asymmetric shape, but the bottom is flat, and it flexes hopelessly. The flexing makes it a lousy lake canoe. The flat keel line and hogging make it impossible to turn.
Hate to bump an old post but thank you so much Poling. I was seriously looking at a Reflection 15. It had solid user reviews but for some reason I take yours more to heart.
 
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1973 Corecraft canoe. A chopped fiberglass canoe made in my hometown of Bemidji Minnesota. Even when I was young and strong it was all I could do to carry it, it must have weighed nearly 100 lbs.
I was the most awful thing I ever loved.
It was given to me in the late eighties, I paddled it until sometime in the early 2000's before replacing it with a Bell Northwind. I wish I knew how many miles I paddled and portaged that boat.
It was truly an awful boat, but it took me and my family on many grand adventures.
My goodness, I am in Bemidji. I am looking into buying my first canoe so doing lots of research. Fancy meeting you here. Lol
 
I have a 14' Old Town Osprey in RX that I've never particularly enjoyed paddling. It's a compromise boat that doesn't do anything particularly well except spin in a circle.
 
I kept hitting my hands on those extra wide gunwales.
Yep, that would do it. Welcome to the site.

My personal worst (so far) was a used poly canoe (brand unknown) that I bought from a local canoe livery. It was an absolute tank when hitting rocks but it weighed a ton and paddled like a barge. Still served to get me & the kids on the water though so, I guess, in that respect, I've never paddled a bad canoe.
 
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