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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2020, 2:53 pm 
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Joined: July 10th, 2020, 4:02 pm
Posts: 22
OK, I've caught the bug, bad - I'm totally hooked. It's time to invest in a canoe, instead of renting one every time I go to the water. I'm north of Toronto, so I'll probably spend a lot of time in Algonquin and the Kawarthas.

I don't see myself doing a lot of solos so it would be a tandem, not a lot of rivers/fast water so mostly for lakes and flatwater. It has to be easy to portage with, so something light (maybe Kevlar). Probably 15', maybe 15.5' or 16', but nothing bigger than that.

Any recommendations on what to look for? Brands/styles/particular favourites? What should I pay close attention to, when evaluating a used canoe? I'm wary of just buying something from Kijiji without knowing what to look out for, and I might buy from an outfitter when they're doing their end-of-season clearance next month.

Thanks in advance for your comments! And, if you're looking to lighten your own inventory ahead of the winter and you're selling something that fits the criteria above, please feel free to PM! :)


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2020, 6:03 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2018, 10:54 am
Posts: 83
Location: SW Quebec
I hesitate because I do not want to discourage. Here are the issues as I seem them:

1) Really good canoe opportunities rarely make it to the classifieds. When they do, they go fast. That said, you are probably in the best location in the country for used deals.
2) Unless you are familiar with the model being sold, you may find yourself with a vessel unsuitable for your particular skill-level or purpose.
3) Rental turn-overs are typically well-seasoned - used by folks who may not know any better or who simply don't care. They will be sea-worthy, but will probably sport a few repairs.

I've had good experiences with Opeongo Outfitters in Whitney who allow you to rent specific models of the manufacturers with which they deal - H2O and Souris River. Algonquin Outfitters is Swift's rental branch.

You also say you won't be doing a lot of solos. Does that mean none? Because if you are only doing tandems, I would recommend bumping your length parameters up by a foot - a 17' being my ideal tandem size.

As to skill level/purpose - the rounder the cross-section of the hull, the less initial stability it will have. This normally translates into a faster vessel that is more seaworthy in bad weather.

There's more to consider but I am hoping someone else will offer their points of view, which may very well differ from mine.


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2020, 8:26 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1120
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Don't stress too much.

Buy one of the designs you've paddled and enjoyed.
Pay as much as you would like to.
Don't buy anything that you don't want to repair.

IF... that doesn't work out then sell it on online for what you paid and try again. This time with more information.

They do come up for sale online (kijiji, craigslist, etc...) all of the time but you do have to know exactly what you want and be ready to drop the cash instantly.

Odds are that your first boat will not be your last so best to just start the process. :D


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2020, 8:55 pm 
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Joined: August 15th, 2020, 8:51 pm
Posts: 1
I looked for a couple of years for a used canoe online in central Ont , anything that is a good deal is gone almost instantly. I went and looked at the canoes at a couple of outfitters and decided , I would rather have a canoe that was not repaired or scratched from end to end. It was not that much more buying new and getting exactly what I wanted . Opeongo Outfitters in Whitney have a couple of Souris river Canoes , which I think are a fantastic canoe .


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2020, 7:21 am 
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Joined: July 10th, 2020, 4:02 pm
Posts: 22
Thanks for the pointers, everyone. :)

My reasons for wanting a used one is partially to decrease the initial cost, but also to limit depreciation in case I don't like the boat that much. I don't want to pay full freight for a new one, only to sell it for half its value in one or two seasons. If I start with a used one, even if it's scratched up or lightly repaired, then I can probably recoup a higher percentage of the cost if (when? ;)) I upgrade to something else.

I don't expect to do more than maybe 1-2 solo trips per season, but my kid just turned 6 this year, so all our future trips together will be "solo" trips for all intents and purposes, at least as far as carrying gear and doing the majority of the paddling. :lol:

As for length, I'm not very tall, and I found it much more difficult to port the 17' I used on my weekly backcountry trip this year, compared to the 15' I used a few times last year. The extra length made it more unwieldy going through tight spots, and back end kept slamming into the ground on every downhill slope.

Based on the suggestions above (and my proximity to APP) I'll check in with Opeongo and Algonquin outfitters, and see what they might have available in September. :) I like both SR & Swift canoes, so I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever I end up with. Any other suggestions are welcome!


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2020, 7:43 am 
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Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 6239
Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
This year has seen an increase in people interested in camping, canoeing and outdoorsy stuff because of the COVID distancing eliminating theaters, sports events, etc, so with the increased popularity, used canoes might have sold out quickly... the Portage Store and Algonquin Outfitters both indicate sold out on their inventory... maybe there will be some after end of season. There may be more used canoes on Kijiji as well after the season ends and the initial interest to anything outdoorsy wears off.

Here are two, in Ottawa and in Lindsay if you are in the area, both in lighter kevlar... the Bob's Special might be a good fit.

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-canoe-kayak-pad ... 1519549299

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-canoe-kayak-pad ... 1519525879

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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2020, 8:37 am 
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Joined: January 12th, 2019, 8:46 pm
Posts: 3
P'Gal,

I'd recommend getting about anything I could just to get on the water and start enjoying the sport. After you are out paddling, trade boats around with others for test paddles so you can pick out the one you might want to upgrade to and sell that (possibly) less desirable first one you bought. Others you paddle with or you might run across while paddling and have an opportunity to try their boat because you are camping with or near them are fair game. Seldom will you get a no answer when you ask unless time is too short.

Canoes aren't like cars, and they usually hold their value really well, or do at least within the knowledgeable paddling community. It is mostly clueless neophytes or entry-level paddlers who won't pay much for something with a few scratches on it. If you buy a used canoe, you can usually sell it a few years later for about what you paid for it. Even if you buy new and decide it's not the right one, you often won't lose much money selling it before it starts showing any battle scars. Again, that is within the paddling community, not to a beginner or fisherman or equivalent means-to-an-end paddler who just needs a platform to extend his range and doesn't much care what it is as long as it floats.

I would also recommend a longer boat, but you can make do with the shorter one until the kid gets older (and bigger and heavier). Six years old now, means in 6 years or less -- not very long -- he or she could be quite productive for help both in and out of the boat. I personally use 18-1/2 foot models myself for all my tandem use (I have three of them!), but then I haven't done any solo paddling in several years now. If you can afford it, just shoot for a lighter boat in either a first or second canoe purchase (or both), which makes them much more controllable out of the water. It is more learning how to handle the boat on land than anything. Being big and strong helps considerably, but smaller people can do it, and a lighter canoe makes it much easier.

JEH


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2020, 12:55 pm 
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 6:04 pm
Posts: 31
For flatwater canoes, your budget determines the weight. Expect 800-3000$ for Kevlar. Older Scott models on the lower end, newer Swift or Souris River on high end.

Aside from weight and length, consider the amount of rocker(banana shape) and whether you want a keel. Flatwater boats tend to have little to no rocker. Keels help with tracking but are also used to stiffen a weak hull.

Beware of any repairs. Even if they're durable, repairs reduce the resale value by up to 50%.

Find the HIN(serial #), normally on starboard side of stern, the last two digits indicate year of manufacture


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2020, 2:44 pm 
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Joined: July 10th, 2020, 4:02 pm
Posts: 22
You guys are great :) I think I'm reasonably prepared now, and I have a general idea of what I'm looking for... now it's just a matter of waiting until I find something that suits my needs.

I'll post pics of the new (to me) boat once I settle on something. Appreciate all the advice!


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2020, 3:11 pm 
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Joined: July 12th, 2016, 3:01 pm
Posts: 210
Set up a kijiji alert for "kevelar canoe" Expect that some will go pretty quickly. I snagged a pretty good one for 1300.00. but if you set up an alert you'll get notifications as soon as they go up.


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2020, 5:18 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2011, 4:44 pm
Posts: 548
Location: Waterloo, ON
Here's another angle. A 16' Prospector canoe, especially by Nova Craft or a similar design, is a very versatile all-rounder. The Swiss Army Knife of canoes. A canoe that, should you get another design in the future, will continue to be relevant, and will get years and years of use. You'll keep coming back to it for sure.

What about considering a new canoe, or a "factory second" - sometimes with just a small blemish rendering it slightly less than pristine. They'll be scratches on it after day one anyway. Definitely a bit more of an investment up front, but one that I think you won't regret in the long run.

The used canoe market - for a good quality boat in good condition, is quite brutal. As stated, great deals on nice used canoes are rare, and they're gone before you can say "this portage sucks!". Just my 2 cents.

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PostPosted: August 24th, 2020, 5:48 pm 
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Joined: October 9th, 2009, 9:52 am
Posts: 875
Location: Toronto Beach(es)
[quote="ameaney"]Set up a kijiji alert for "kevelar canoe" Expect that some will go pretty quickly. I snagged a pretty good one for 1300.00. but if you set up an alert you'll get notifications as soon as they go up.[/quo

Not to be contrary, but I've found that my alerts arrive daily at about 7:30am outlining all the new ctanoes since the last 7:30 alert. The best deals are gone long before the alert arrives.

When I am seriously hunting kijiji canoes, I will search all of Ontario hourly and be ready to travel, money in hand, or have a local friend do the pick-up.

A Swift Mattawa could meet the original poster's current needs.


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2020, 10:01 pm 
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Joined: July 30th, 2020, 10:12 am
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I agree open_side, I purchased a canoe this year on kijiji. I am in the Toronto area, but ended up driving to Barrie for it. I responded in 6 minutes after the ad was posted and the seller was true to his word and kept it for me to pick up that night. I was refreshing every 15 minutes at least at that point...

I missed out on at least 5 boats before that, responding to most of them in less than an hour after posting, someone always beat me. A few of those I wish I offered above asking to convince them into selling to me. It took me about a month of serious kijiji surfing to land the one I did.

Is really wild out there right now. Any reasonably priced canoe will have offers in less than 30 minutes from posting guaranteed.


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2020, 7:13 am 
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Joined: July 10th, 2020, 4:02 pm
Posts: 22
Wow, it's pretty intense out there! I've responded to 4 kijiji ads in the last two days, often within an hour or two of the ad being posted, but no luck so far. And that's with me looking at ads from all of Ontario, not just the GTA! :o

I think I'll check in with the outfitters and go that route instead. I'll make a trip up and ask to rent or test-paddle some of their boats first, find out what I like, then try to swing a deal that way; maybe I'll offer to put down a deposit on something, with the promise that I'll buy it from them after Labour Day weekend (because I'm sure they'll be renting out their entire fleet for the rest of the month).

This might be counter-intuitive, but I kind of want something with less initial stability, so that my kid starts out by learning to handle a "tippier" boat; my thinking is, that will instill good canoe habits from the start, rather than going with something super-reliable, but slower. Faster but tippier means more chances to explore; 6-year-olds are like sponges when it comes to learning new things, but they get bored so easily! lol ;)


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PostPosted: August 26th, 2020, 8:04 am 
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
I have had 2 good experiences buying used, both at a lot less than new and in very good cond. That was a few years back so I guess the kijiji competition was quite a bit less intense. Agree with CHT's advice----buy used, talk to other trippers, maybe test paddle theirs, then sell yours if you don't like it very much. My old Novacraft Tripper is quite a fast boat but not super-tippy

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