Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Best canoe for rivers and 2 people

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by German_canoe, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. German_canoe

    German_canoe Curious about Wooden Canoes

    can someone propose a design and where can I get it.... best free of course.
    I like to build a canoe basically for rivers not a lot lakes.... have one for lakes already.
    Should be a tandem so for 2 people and should be only for day trips, so no large luggage.
    Me and my wife bring sort of 400 Pound with us...
    I was thinking something around 15'. but I am not sure.
    So any guidance ?
  2. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    In my opinion 15' is to short.

    I'm a bigger fan of something in the 17' range.

    You want a hull with some rocker, and flare towards the ends. I would look for a symmetrical design, as paddling it solo would be benefitted.

    The Prospector comes to mind. There are a lot of designs out there that mimic the Prospector.

    Bear Mountain has several designs to choose from. North West canoe even has some free designs you can download.

  3. OP

    German_canoe Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Jim,
    I have a 17 right now... which could carry equipment for 1 week or so and is more shaped for lakes.
    So I was really looking for something light for day trips which turns nicely. Not sure if 15 is too short.
  4. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    For several years my wife and I have used a 15' Old Town 50 pounder for day tripping on local rivers, beaver streams, bogs, and lakes. It has more than adequate capacity for two, is quite agile even with a keel, has been a serviceable solo canoe, and would handily serve for a short camping trip.

    s 100_1681.jpg
    Lunch stop on a day trip through the West Shirley Bog, Maine, with the 15' canoe.

    Because it is being restored, we have been using our 16' OT Ideal, which is just as serviceable for such paddling. Because it is narrower and longer and has a somewhat rounder bottom, the Ideal is a bit nicer to paddle tandem, but because it is heavier and lacks a middle thwart, it is much less convenient to manage on land, especially for car-topping. With a 32" beam, it probably has little or no more load capacity than the 34" beam 50 pounder. The Ideal is a more elegant canoe, but is a bit less convenient to use.

    s 100_2847.jpg
    same spot with the 16' canoe

    When restoration is finished, I expect the 15' canoe will again get more use than the 16'.

    If I were building a wood/canvas canoe from plans, for the purposes described, among the canoe plans I would take a look at are Rollin Thurlow's 15' Cheemaun (Northwoods Canoe Company) and Alex Comb's 15' Ami (Stewart Rivers Boatworks) -- see the WCHA builders guide.
  5. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Really, with your specifications for a “river” canoe, your lake canoe should do just fine on the rivers you are thinking of. It doesn’t sound as if you are planning on running serious rapids in your river canoe. (And for really hairy conditions on a lake, there is no great canoe, except one that is beached on the shoreline.) At the end of the day, the skills and knowledge of the paddler are more important to safety and enjoyment than the model (length or hull shape) of the canoe. (For example, whether the paddler kneels or sits probably provides more of a difference to a canoe’s stability than its hull shape. Trim can make a huge difference too.)

    I own a Prospector (17 foot) and I would not recommend it as a purely recreational (or dorking about for the day) canoe, on rivers or lakes. It’s deeper than most canoes and, lightly loaded, rides high in the water, making it extra sensitive to wind. As a tripping canoe I think it’s the best. You can load it up with gear and then it seems to paddle even faster.
  6. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Well, of course, there are rivers -- where a canoe of almost any size would do

    sm 100_1878 ed.jpg sm IMG_1442.jpg

    and there are rivers -- some connected to smaller rivers and streams, where a smaller canoe might be preferred

    sm 100_9269.jpg s 100_5991 cr.jpg s 100_5416 cr.jpg s 100_5409.jpg

Share This Page