Aluminum canoe buying guide
Before you buy an aluminum canoe, read the answers to these questions. Although the canoes were extremely popular in the past, they are a bit of a niche item now. Canoes made from modern materials like plastic or composite are much more common, but that doesn’t mean there’s no value in an aluminum canoe.
Why should you buy an aluminum canoe?
The best feature of these canoes is their durability. They can be banged, bashed and dragged with little caution. Aluminum does not degrade from UV exposure like other canoes, so they can be stored outdoors as well. Many are tailored toward recreational paddling, and will have wide, flat bottoms or square sterns for motors to be attached.
What shape of aluminum canoe should you buy?
Aluminum canoes come in two main styles; square-sterned and pointed-end. Square-sterned canoes can have small outboard motors attached to the back. Consider these boats if you are planning to attach a motor. Go for a pointed-end canoe if you won’t use a motor, as the tapered stern helps the canoe travel through the water more efficiently, making it easier to paddle.
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In terms of length, standard canoe sizing rules apply. Sixteen feet or less is good for one or two paddlers, and trips on rivers and smaller lakes. Seventeen-foot canoes are good tandem canoes for both river and lake travel, and hulls 18-feet and longer are fast on open water and have much more cargo space. As the length of canoes increases, the maneuverability generally decreases.
Where can you buy an aluminum canoe?
Buying an aluminum canoe is a little different than buying other, more common canoes. You will not find them in most paddling specific shops. The companies making them often make other aluminum products as their primary product – typically motorboats and pontoons. Look to them for high-quality riveting and construction. Because they’re made by marine manufacturers, you may be able to order them directly.
Otherwise, search for aluminum canoes at hunting and fishing outlets. These canoes are preferred by sportsmen because they are so durable, and can withstand being left outside when they aren’t being used.
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Want to know more? Find our answers to common questions about aluminum canoes below.
Aluminum canoe manufacturers
Does anyone still make aluminum canoes? They aren’t front and center at paddle shops, but aluminum canoes are still around. Many of the original aluminum canoe manufacturers like Grumman, Michicraft, Meyers and Sportspal are still making canoes.
Does Grumman still make canoes?
The Grumman canoe is still made, under the parent company Marathon Boats.
When did Grumman stop making aluminum canoes?
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Grumman has not stopped making aluminum canoes, but they are now made under parent company Marathon Boats.
Aluminum canoe brands
Many used aluminum canoes were made by brands that no longer exist, or do not focus specifically on canoe-building – the market is too niche. You will find that companies like Meyers make aluminum boats of all sorts. This harkens back to the roots of metal canoes, with Grumman originally being a company that built aircraft.
Aluminum canoe weight
How heavy is an aluminum canoe? Aluminum canoe weights vary based on their construction and length. In the continuum of canoe materials, they are on the lighter side, but heavier than ultra-light Kevlar or Aramid composites. A 16-foot aluminum Sportspal canoe with two pointed ends will weigh around 58 pounds, but the transom version weighs 78 pounds.