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Thread: Hello everyone ! Greetings from Belgium !

  1. #1

    Post Hello everyone ! Greetings from Belgium !

    Hi everyone,
    I'm 49 and I'm living in the country. There are a lot of kayaks activities round here though Belgium is not the dreamland for any serious kayak/canoe enthousiast. There are still a few rivers and lakes one can paddle on and my intention is to do so. I've been looking about canoes for about 1 year now, ordered several books to learn about building my own cedar strip canoe, and finally came to the idea I would be better looking for a canoe on the market instead.
    I've read a LOT of your posts here guys and came to appreciate this forum and its spirit also. That is why I joined first.
    I still have some questions regarding my future choice and I would greatly appreciate any help from you guys. Thanks to you here, I learned a lot about the pros and cons of the different materials used, the end of Royalex, the next generation materials (like tuffstuff and T-formex, to only name them), the importance of the different hull shapes available (1st and 2nd stability, tracking, wind resistance, water protection, etc...)

    Yet, with all that info in hand, I still cannot make my mind upon which canoe would meet my needs best... There is simply just too much choice out there. Thats is the second reason I'm here.

    My plans are to find a reliable, longlasting (yet not too heavy nor expensive) canoe for my wife and I. We have near zero experience in canoeing (apart from hiring some kayaks here and there during our vacation trips, which was plain fun of course but has little to do with the experience of canoeing for long trips, down calm rivers or on big lakes). We would go on 1 day or w.e. trips as often as we can. I should be able to portage it on my own as well as loading it up on my pick-up truck, cse my beloved half has been into horses all of her life and has had too much of back surgeries to lift anything heavier than a cup of tea (I'm slightly exagerating). All in all you got the message, I would be on my own regarding everything that is not considered as "fun" in this marvellous hobby.

    I pointed several models that would suit my needs, at least partially. I still need some help to narrow my search and that is the third reason I'm on this forum.

    You know about everything,... I was a blues touring bars Texas Blues guitar player, been into film editing, lately into truck driving, and now I'm sitting home thinking about what my next job could be (another difficult question...)
    I'm a music freak, I'm found on big sea mammals, reptiles (Have a dozen living at home with us), birds (also a few free flying in here), nature trips and peaceful livin'.

    I thank you for your welcome and ask you to apologize for my inevitable mistakes in English (my mother language is French, tough I have some long gone relatives living in the States). I still do my best and thanks to you will hopefully improve this with time.

    See you soon guys,

    Reno
    Last edited by Reno; 11th-October-2017 at 02:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Welcome Reno.
    So you're looking for a canoe to paddle lakes and calm rivers, but you'll need to provide some more information if you want advice.
    What's the maximum you'd like the boat to weigh ?
    How much money can you afford and does your budget include paddles, buoyancy aids and all the other kit you might need ?
    Will the boat be paddled mainly solo or tandem.
    How much kit will you need to take with you on your trips ?

    Generally light weight and inexpensive do not go together in the same sentence, but at this stage I'd say that for the type of paddling you mention, and if you can afford it, go for a composite boat or a used royalex boat if you can find one over there. The make and model can be discussed once you give us more info.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    Welcome Reno.
    So you're looking for a canoe to paddle lakes and calm rivers, but you'll need to provide some more information if you want advice.
    What's the maximum you'd like the boat to weigh ?
    How much money can you afford and does your budget include paddles, buoyancy aids and all the other kit you might need ?
    Will the boat be paddled mainly solo or tandem.
    How much kit will you need to take with you on your trips ?

    Hello Old Man,
    Thank you for your welcome and fast answer. I would say up to 30/35kg would still be ok, but I never tried to load such a weight onto a car. I assume I could do it, or manage to get it up there using any technique. On the money side, I was thinking about a budget of 1000 to 1500eur. I could buy the paddles, buoyancy rig, clothes, safe vests, etc... little by little. I assume I would be rather in the 2000 and up range until we would be ready to maiden. The boat would be paddled tandem most of the time but maybe I will find myself wanting to go on the water while my wife would rather stay home. I'm kind of a passionate guy when it comes to tripping and I don't mind the weather or the efforts too much. We would trip for a day and maybe have the opportunity (if she feels ok with that) to discover foreign lakes and rivers on longer trips on vacation. I would then have a tent and some camping equipment along, but nothing very heavy. Other than that the boat would be used essentially for lake trips and very calm riivers (classI-II).
    I've read about royalex canoes and I first thought it would be my first choice, until I found out about the repair issues, weight and unavailability. The boats I could find second hand were quite rare around and most of the time in miserable condition, so I prefer to get a new one. I'm a handy person so I fell able to make almost any kind of work on the boat, but the material has to allow me for that of course. The new materials like twintex, p3, tuffstuff etc, while seeming interesting at first glance are not my cup of tea in this regard.
    I came to get really interested in the Apache canoes fromp Stu. I've read but positive feedbacks about him (and them). I'm more than willing to make the trip to England but due to the date of the messages on this board, I'm not even shure Stu is still in business. I don't have any FB account (and don't want to) and there seem to be no internet site to contact him or take a look at his production. So far, it's THE canoe that got my attention the most. I've looked over the Esquif and Novacraft production as well as the big names like OT (discovery, Charles River, ...) but the flexibility of Apache canoes regarding their stage of finition and the way you can adapt them to your needs seemed quite interesting to me.
    Still I don't know anything about their price range nor about their availability. Most of the Canadian or US production is a little pricey to me (at least what seems to be the "good ones") not to mention the prohibitive shipping and custom rates, so I have to find something nearer. That is also a factor in favor of the Apache canoes (I live in Belgium).
    I hope this piece of info is of some help. I will be glad reading about your opinion or advices. Thank you once again and have a good one !

  4. #4
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    Okay, we'll stick with composite boats for now then.
    First piece of advice from my experience is; The lighter the boat, the more likely it is to get used.
    Second, don't dismiss Tuffstuff ,or Tuffweave from Wenonah. It's good stuff and is generally quite light, dependent on which model you buy of course. Whilst you might not like the prices of these materials in a new boat, if as you say, you're willing to travel to the UK to pick up a boat, then keep your eye on the classifieds on here, and also on E-Bay UK. Good quality used composite boats do crop up for sale occasionally. If you managed to source a used boat over here and couldn't get here straightaway to pick it up, I'm sure a member from SOTP would collect and store it for you until you could get over here.

    With regard to Apache - good choice. Good boats and good value for money, but not the lightest boats on offer. Last time I spoke to Stu several weeks ago, he was having problems with his web site domain provider, which is why you can't access his website. Here's his mobile number = 07809880993, give him a ring, he's very knowledgeable. Having said that, he hasn't answered my texts recently, but that might be because he doesn't want to speak to me . Try him.

    From a personal point of view, of the three boats he makes that may suit your purpose, I think you might find his 16' a little tippy. His Tribe is a good, stable load carrier, but it has negative rocker, so doesn't turn very quickly (that's maybe not a concern for you). His 15' would be my choice of the three, but bear in mind that what suits me, may not suit you. If you speak to him nicely, he's more than capable of making his boats lighter than his normal layups weigh.

    With regard to weight, is there anywhere local to you (or even a member from SOTP) that has any canoes you could look at, and more importantly try the weight. You should remember that as well as weight, canoes are big, unwieldy beasts, so what you think you can get onto your pickup may prove more difficult than you think. If you could get to handle a boat or two, it might help you decide what sort of weight you should be aiming for.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Hi Reno and a warm welcome to SoTP, now regarding boat choice....hummmm I do try to avoid answering questions such as these as I believe a canoe is a personal choice.
    I can tell you my choice for what it's worth; I love the Prospector design, easy on the eye and is good at almost everything.

    For you, I would lean towards a 16 ft boat as it would suit tandem paddling more than a 15 ft, the style is up to you.

    Mine is a We-No-Nah 15 and I have paddled her on open lochs/lakes, the sea, rivers grades 1 -3 both empty and laden I have sailed lochs and sea in her and enjoyed it all, which is what it's all about.

    Happy hunting
    Cheers
    Tim


    Paddles a Prospector

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    Okay, we'll stick with composite boats for now then.
    Thanks Old Man ! Well, I'm not sure about the Wenonah Tuffstuff canoes prices but the regular range sells above 2Keur. for the boat only... Tuf-Weave are a little "cheaper", but still... so your advice on looking for UK second hands makes perfect sense. I'm going to take a closer look at that. Glad to hear about Stu still beeing in business. I will call him one of these days when I will know a bit better about what I really need. Thank you for the phone number. I'll try to do my best in English because I'm not particularly good at speaking it (when it goes fast, it becomes quick a problem to me to also understand everything, I hope he won't mind too much). I was indeed lurking to the "Tribe" but did not know about the negative rocker. Is it something really bothering ? I assume that when on a river (even a calm one), turning easy would almost be a must, isn't it ? Given the zero experience I have in that field, I could not say if that would be a concern or not for me.
    I will try to find a dealer or owner to make a "lifting test". Thing is that most of the small recreationnal boats around are mainly kayaks. There must be canoes anyways, I still have to find where. Sure that would be a good starting point as to know what I could manage in termes of weight.
    Thanks for your great advices Old Man.

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    Hello and Welcome!

    Some good information and advice above. Normally I'd be advising you to look out for second hand Royalex canoes like the NC Pal or MR Reflection, but it sounds as if availability over there is difficult.

    The lighter versions of the Silverbirch Broadland might fit the bill. Its similar to a Prospector, an all-rounder. The Hou Prospector is also a decent canoe.

    The NC Tuffstuff canoes are excellent, but probably above your price target. The Pal would be great.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  8. #8
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    Welcome to SotP.

    As you have discovered we are a helpful friendly crowd.

    Which canoe is a bit of a problem because everyone has their own favourite(s) and desires.

    But a good general purpose canoe will serve you well for many years.

    The Mad River Legend is a boat suitable for general use and even though it is a 15ft it holds a lot of gear. The one for sale on this site does not include photos but I'm sure the seller could provide some. Look here

    Keep looking at the members classified adverts. The Prospector would have been ideal but Big Al has just bought it.

    Sometimes canoes sell very quickly on SotP!

    I hope you soon have a canoe.

    Doug
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


  9. #9
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    Is it something really bothering ? I assume that when on a river (even a calm one), turning easy would almost be a must, isn't it ? Given the zero experience I have in that field, I could not say if that would be a concern or not for me.
    As a beginner in their first boat, and especially on lakes and calm rivers, lack of rocker will mean little to you. As you progress on your canoeing journey, and especially if you get to paddle a canoe with some decent rocker (like a prospector for instance), then you will notice the difference and might wish you'd chosen a boat with some rocker.
    If you're certain that your paddling will be on lakes and slow rivers, then I wouldn't worry too much about rocker, but if you think you might progress to faster moving water, then some rocker would be beneficial.

    Normally we'd say just get a decent boat and get on the water. If you choose a boat that doesn't do all you want it to, then you can always sell it and buy another one that does suit you.
    However, if you don't have access to a well stocked second hand market where you live and/or you can't afford to buy another new boat, then you must try and choose wisely the first time.

    There's been at least 6 boats advertised on here in the last few months that would easily suit your purpose, just keep your eyes open .

    Another possible option, and nearer to you are Gatz canoes, although they might be too expensive for you. It might be worth contacting them to ask if they any used or ex demo canoes to suit you.

    And yet another possibility is to contact Gregandginas on here via PM. He has an associate in Germany named Jorg Wagner who deals in canoes and might have something in his stable that would suit you. Greg could ask him or put you in touch with him.
    Just some thoughts.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  10. #10

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    Thank you everyone of you !
    Your help is much appreciated. I've been reading on this forum for about a year before subscribing and I got more confident with which type of canoe would suit my needs best, given I am a complete beginner. The budget is also a concern for me as I would not feel confortable investing 2 or 3 grants for a canoe while still having so much to learn about it. That is why I try to make the wisest move I can. It became easier with every info you gave me. I am now seriously considering an Apache Tribe to begin with.
    German and US/Canadian makes got me really interested but are unfortunately beyond my budget for now and I can't get my hands on decent second hands boats quite easily. I also like the fact I can meet the constructor, that he's not too far from where I live and that I also can make a part of the work of finishing the canoe myself. I was first interested in building my own cedar strip and got books and plans to do so, but eventually realized that having the hull made while still beeing able to finish the boat myself would be a better compromise. That is how I came to know the Apache canoes here. I will check the classifieds but also think about ordering a new one at Stu's.
    For a canoe that I would keep, I'm still not sure wether to go with the Tribe or the 16... I have to learn a bit more about the paddlers ' experience here.
    THANK YOU for beeing so nice guys. It's a pleasure to be here !
    Last edited by Reno; 12th-October-2017 at 12:18 AM.

  11. #11

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    Welcome

    Closer to you there is a guy building wooedn canoes with glasfiber

    http://www.freerangercanoe.com/nl/

    a bit outside your budget.

    I guess within your budget and weightlimit.
    there is a guy building boats in eindhoven
    http://www.ocf.nu/

    have fun paddling.
    Propper writing in English. How do you do that? with dyslexia, bad hand eye coordination, ect. and in a foreign language.
    Sorry for all the mistakes.

  12. #12

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    Thank you Lennart !

    Wow, those Dutch woodden canoes look fantastic ! But yes at 3K the boat, it's beyond my capacities unfortunately... I went on the Frank Dommel site but he only makes Polypropylene canoes. This is not as easy to repair in comparison with fiberglass hulls, so I guess I should stick with that material, shouldn't I ?
    Maybe there is a fiberglass builder closer to me, but I didn't find anything yet. So, until now, my best option seems to be Stu's boats.

  13. #13
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    Polyethylene boats are used by many paddlers. They are unlikely to need repairs although their heavy weight can be an issue.

    I have used polyethylene canoes for group use and they last very well. Some that I bought in 1994 are still in regular use by teenage youths.

    I have not heard of polypropylene used for making canoes.

    Have a look at plywood stitch and tape canoes, if you have space to build one. Get some ideas from the 'Self Build Section'.

    Selway Fisher
    is a good place to start, choose a simple design for a first build. I chose a 15' 10" Wren as my first canoe, many years ago. It got me on the water and I sailed it too. Two of my students built a Ralph in just a week, without help and no prior experience, it was a bit rough to look at, their finishing technique was poor, but it floated and served them well.

    Doug
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by dougoutcanoe View Post
    Polyethylene boats are used by many paddlers. They are unlikely to need repairs although their heavy weight can be an issue.

    I have used polyethylene canoes for group use and they last very well. Some that I bought in 1994 are still in regular use by teenage youths.

    I have not heard of polypropylene used for making canoes.

    Have a look at plywood stitch and tape canoes, if you have space to build one. Get some ideas from the 'Self Build Section'.

    Selway Fisher
    is a good place to start, choose a simple design for a first build. I chose a 15' 10" Wren as my first canoe, many years ago. It got me on the water and I sailed it too. Two of my students built a Ralph in just a week, without help and no prior experience, it was a bit rough to look at, their finishing technique was poor, but it floated and served them well.

    Doug
    Oops, my mistake, I meant PE and not polypropylène. Thank you for correcting me (I don't even know what the #### I'm talking about when it comes to those exotic materials, I tried to remember the names but as you can see, it is not what we could call a frank success hahaha!)
    I've looked into the plywood constructions before and to say it straight, I'm not keen on the hull shapes. That is why I looked to cedar strip afterwards, untill I got more and more convinced they weren't for me either. Wood planking is indeed a faster and easier way of building but I prefer something more refined. Again it's only a matter of personnal tastes and I understand it has not much to do with logic or common sense.
    I admit my budget is not very extensible, but I would rather wait a little bit to spare for a boat I really do like in terms of paddling experience as well as appearance than going the economic way for the sake of it and ending with a technically "ok" boat that doesn't exactly thrill me. Might sound idiotic. I find boats have something magical to them.There is truly an emotional aspect that comes into play when choosing one. It's about the same with cars though cars are more likely to be considered as utility vehicles by most. Boats are more on the recreationnal side of life and therefore might be more prone to have an "affect" dimension. Well it's only the way I personally feel it... I found out I was sensitive to that anyway, and I guess there is little I want to do about it.
    I understand you like PE boats for their durability. Until recently, it also had my preference and could have ended to be my final choice. Those boats can have nice shapes, are durable, affordable and seem to also be a good choice. That was before I heard of Stu's boats and got a little deeper into the fiberglass canoes characteristics in general. What I like about fiberglass is the fact it can be repaired very easily. That is something I find important. I will paddle on lakes but there are also a lot of rivers around here that can be fun to navigate. I think there is an obvious risk I will need to make some repairs at one time or another. My understanding is that PE would be a pain in the ### in this regard, not mentioning the weight issue. Plexiglass looks to me more fixing friendly, tought maybe not always lighter. It would give me that extra freedom I like when thinking about a boat.
    So, I'm almost convinced I will go the fiberglass route (I know there are also cons...) and try to figure out which boats suits my needs the best amongst the Apache line unless I would find another builder closer to me with the same committment and a similar approach in terms of budget, flexibility and sympathy. There is one model calling me at this time of my long search: it's the ash and ivory Apache Tribe.
    I'm not asking you to advocate for a brand or another, but is there something I badly mis here?
    Last edited by Reno; 12th-October-2017 at 01:44 PM.

  15. #15

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    polyethylyne (pe) is commonly used in canoes,

    venture, silverbirch, old town , mad river , novacraft and many more have got pe as thier premaliy matrerial or beside royalex or composites

    Frank ik eindhoven started building in polypropelyne . but i think he now does other composites as well. his website is not his forte. armotex or twintwe from robson or esquif are polypropylene as well. the boats are much lichter as pe , about as hard to break but not so easy to repair. like with many things. some are very strong but hard to repair otheres are easy to reapir but need repairing more.
    Propper writing in English. How do you do that? with dyslexia, bad hand eye coordination, ect. and in a foreign language.
    Sorry for all the mistakes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lennart View Post
    polyethylyne (pe) is commonly used in canoes,

    venture, silverbirch, old town , mad river , novacraft and many more have got pe as thier premaliy matrerial or beside royalex or composites

    Frank ik eindhoven started building in polypropelyne . but i think he now does other composites as well. his website is not his forte. armotex or twintwe from robson or esquif are polypropylene as well. the boats are much lichter as pe , about as hard to break but not so easy to repair. like with many things. some are very strong but hard to repair otheres are easy to reapir but need repairing more.
    Second that.

    Hard to break often means hard to fix.
    Easy to break often means easy to fix.

    Don't look at how easy or difficult it is to fix, but at where you are going to use the canoe. I have bumped my Royalex canoe over some serious rocks, giving it the look of a golf ball. Would I have done that with a composite canoe it would be all patches now (had a C1 slalom that was in need om some serious repair after its first outing on a river).
    One of my other canoes is a kevlar composite one that hasn't needed any repairs yet because I never use it when there are rocks to dodge (or at least.... I did once, never again).
    My first kayak was a composite slalom kayak and it taught me how to steer around rocks instead of bashing into them. The only repair it needed was when I tore off one meter from the front pinning it between two rocks. Being composite it still wasn't easy to repair...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reno View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I'm 49 and I'm living in the country. There are a lot of kayaks activities round here though Belgium is not the dreamland for any serious kayak/canoe enthousiast. There are still a few rivers and lakes one can paddle on and my intention is to do so.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Inland_Voyage

  18. #18

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    Thank you guys for keeping it so nice. I'm really a beginner. I read quite a lot of things about canoes but nothing compares to real terrain experience.
    And it's so true : fragile ones are the easy ones to fix, of course. It makes perfect sense. I feel what I have to know is the proportion of open water paddling compared to the river paddling I will do. That would narrow my choices very much. And honestly, without having done any of both (besides thoses rare occasions when as a tourist I hired a kayak or a small row boat to visit a lake for a few hours), it's not easy for me to foresee what exact use I will make of my canoe. I expect to be more often on lakes in the beginnings but sailing rivers seems even more tempting to me. If I only paddle on lakes, chances are I will never get the skills needed to descent a river properly. I would then be much better with a rugged Equipment, means Royalex or T-formex or I dunno. But if I go that route, unless I put a lot of money into the boat, I will most probably find myself with a heavy boat and less motivation left to move it around. I have to find something relatively polyvalent (I know that doesn't exist, but you get me, right?) that I can take on a lake or on the river with confidence in respect with its ability to survive rock shocks (beeing inexperimented, I doubt I will be able to properly sail it without bumping or scratching it from time to time.
    I thank you Digger for your comment as it gives me a better idea regarding the resilience of the different materials used for your boats. Do I get it right when I understand it's not a good idea to paddle a river (most possibly with some rocky passes) in a fiberglass hull, especially as a novice ? I think that was your point and it makes perfect sense given the example you described.

    I might have to step back from my first "conclusions" then and try to find a more rugged boat that would not brake my back or my wallet.
    Thank you all, it's a real pleasure, and chance to talk to you. I hope I don't bother you with my beginner's questions.
    It all becomes clearer everyday, thanks to your help. I greatly appreciate it.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Hello Adrian, thank you for this !!! It's on my next must have list ! Seems to be all of a story. I'm very curious and impatient to read it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reno View Post
    I thank you Digger for your comment as it gives me a better idea regarding the resilience of the different materials used for your boats. Do I get it right when I understand it's not a good idea to paddle a river (most possibly with some rocky passes) in a fiberglass hull, especially as a novice ? I think that was your point and it makes perfect sense given the example you described.

    I might have to step back from my first "conclusions" then and try to find a more rugged boat that would not brake my back or my wallet.
    If you can find a cheap composite canoe that will take you on the water but will need occasional repairs when taken through the scraping an bouncing of a rocky river bed and you are comfortable with doing these repairs (and not worry about the patched up state it might eventually get), then go for a composite canoe. Most rivers in Belgium and France that are accessible for novices are perfectly suitable for composite canoes (if willing to do repairs...). Especially if you are not planning to do a lot of multi-day trips with gear on rocky rivers. After a few years you'll know what you are really looking for and you can buy the canoe you really want/need.
    If you feel more like doing the rocky stuff without having to bother to keep the canoe in one piece the more rugged materials should be your choice.
    Unfortunately availability of cheap but suitable second hand canoes can be an issue, in which case you will need to decide if you want to go "royalex" or "glass" righ away...

    Everybody knows that it hurts to put a first scratch on a new canoe but that feeling will get less with every additional damage. Any canoe I want to be a work horse I'll want in a rugged material, not wanting to bother about how I handle it. I could still go for composite and accept that I'll break it but I don't want to have to repair my canoe, especially on a multiday trip with gear on a river where "contact" is unavoidable.
    My kevlar canoe is my racing horse. Very delicate and only to be used where I will not break it.

    A side effect of choosing composite is that you'll learn to at least *try* to go around the rocks instead of bashing into them and to generally take more care in trying to keep your canoe whole. I think paddling (or at least starting with) a composite canoe might make anyone a better paddler compared to someone who has always been used to paddling more rugged materials.

    There's so many things to consider....
    I hope this all doesn't make it more confusing?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reno View Post
    Hello Adrian, thank you for this !!! It's on my next must have list ! Seems to be all of a story. I'm very curious and impatient to read it.
    Since it is out of copyright, I think you can download it in .pdf format rather than buy the book

  22. #22

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    You can download it as epub, Kindle or text from Project Gutenberg

  23. #23

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    [QUOTE=Digger;647267

    I hope this all doesn't make it more confusing? [/QUOTE]

    Hi Digger ! Don't worry, on the contrary, what you said here made things clearer. I was a bit confused yesterday. I had almost decided to go the glass route until I read the comments above which made me wonder if I would not have to reconsider the whole question and better go off with something sturdier.
    I won't. I will stick to my previous idea and get a fiberglass from Stu. As you said it, I will certainly mostly learn the ABC on lakes and then try me at genbtle rivers here which hopefully will make a better paddler out of me.
    I just love the idea of beeing able to work on my boat and I'm quite a handy man, so it doesn't bother me to have to make some repairs at some point. I will try tyo avoid damages of course and having something you have to protect in a certain way will help me getting informed on how to read a river and manoeuver a canoe properly. I thing I will also get some kayak lessons. It seems the least I should do. Joining a "club" or getting in touch with a group of paddling friends is also in my mind. I could learn a lot from them and also be safer in the beginnings.
    As you said, time will tell what I like to do and which boats suits it. So I am going the cheaper way to begin with and cut my teeth on that glass hull.
    Thank you Digger ! It's crazy, I can't help myself thinking about canoes and trips all the time. I already feel like a maniac and I don't even have a boat !!!
    I can't imagine the feeling it is to step in your first canoe for the first time and leave the bank. That must be something to put a smile on your face from ear to ear!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digger View Post
    I hope this all doesn't make it more confusing?

    Hi Digger ! Don't worry, on the contrary, what you said here made things clearer. I was a bit confused yesterday. I had almost decided to go the glass route until I read the comments above which made me wonder if I would not have to reconsider the whole question and better go off with something sturdier.
    I won't. I will stick to my previous idea and get a fiberglass from Stu. As you said it, I will certainly mostly learn the ABC on lakes and then try me at gentle rivers here which hopefully will make a better paddler out of me.
    I just love the idea of beeing able to work on my boat and I'm quite a handy man, so it doesn't bother me to have to make some repairs at some point. I will try try avoid damages of course and having something you have to protect in a certain way will help me getting informed on how to read a river and manoeuver a canoe properly. I thing I will also get some kayak lessons. It seems the least I should do. Joining a "club" or getting in touch with a group of paddling friends is also in my mind. I could learn a lot from them and also be safer in the beginnings.
    As you said, time will tell what I like to do and which boats suits me best. So I am going the cheaper way to begin with and cut my teeth on that glass hull.
    Thank you Digger ! It's crazy, I can't help myself thinking about canoes and trips all the time. I already feel like a maniac (it lasts for a year!) and I don't even have a boat yet !!!
    I can't imagine the feeling it is to step in your first canoe for the first time and leave the bank. That must be something to put a smile on your face from ear to ear!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Since it is out of copyright, I think you can download it in .pdf format rather than buy the book
    Good to know ! I'm going to do that right away ! Thanks Adrian !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    You can download it as epub, Kindle or text from Project Gutenberg

    Thank you Chris, I will do that. Feels like I will have a very nice evening today !

    I was just looking at the Bill Mason documentary on YT (for the third time in a year and a half) before popping up here.
    It got that sweet taste of the late sixties/early seventies and it's so beautiful. Frankly, what a paddler !
    Very interesting info on how to read the river by the way. It's not 4KHD but hey, who cares, it's smells freedom like crazy. Love it !
    Last edited by Reno; 13th-October-2017 at 01:20 PM.

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    I have downloaded it ! It seems a very nice book to read. I also bought a French physical version. Thank you guys !

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    If you can read Dutch, perhaps my website can give you somewhat more insight in canoe materials and their advantage and disadvantages:
    http://sites.google.com/site/barendsnoot/faq#Q30

    Remember though that everything has to do with the compromise between strength, weight and costs:
    lightweight and reasonably strong is expensive and
    reasonable weight and good strength is even more expensive and hard to get
    because very few canoe builders make canoes that way as not many people buy them...

    Dirk Barends

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    Quote Originally Posted by canonymous View Post
    If you can read Dutch, perhaps my website can give you somewhat more insight in canoe materials and their advantage and disadvantages:
    http://sites.google.com/site/barendsnoot/faq#Q30

    Remember though that everything has to do with the compromise between strength, weight and costs:
    lightweight and reasonably strong is expensive and
    reasonable weight and good strength is even more expensive and hard to get
    because very few canoe builders make canoes that way as not many people buy them...

    Dirk Barends
    Thank you so much Dirk, very nice of you. As a "good Belgian" I read (and also speak) Dutch as well . Been working in a Dutch company these last 4 years, so it got my Dutch a little improved !

    When you say " very few canoe builders make canoes that way as not many people buy them", do you mean that most canoeists buy either light and fragile boats or heavy and sturdy ones ?
    Seems to me surprising that so few wouldn't be more than happy with a reasonable weight and still sturdy canoe. Does it has to do more with the demand than with the offer on this matter ? I really wonder.
    I'm going to visit your site right away, I appreciate your help!
    Ik wens je dus een prettigen avondje en dank je nog voor je help !
    Hooï !

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reno View Post
    Thank you so much Dirk, very nice of you. As a "good Belgian" I read (and also speak) Dutch as well . Been working in a Dutch company these last 4 years, so it got my Dutch a little improved !

    When you say " very few canoe builders make canoes that way as not many people buy them", do you mean that most canoeists buy either light and fragile boats or heavy and sturdy ones ?
    Seems to me surprising that so few wouldn't be more than happy with a reasonable weight and still sturdy canoe. Does it has to do more with the demand than with the offer on this matter ? I really wonder. [...]
    No, most people would like a strong and reasonable weight canoe of course,
    but the price for that would be too much compared to a Royalex/T-Formex canoe
    that will not be much heavier.
    See this example I once made for a Nova Craft Prospector 16' to give you an idea:
    SP3 polyethylene 83 lb 38 kg $1159
    Royalex 74 lb 33.5 kg $1300
    Fiberglass 69 lb 31.4 kg $1599
    TuffStuff Expedition 59 lb 27 kg $2749
    TuffStuff 54 lb 24.5 kg $2499
    Blue Steel 48 lb 21.8 kg $3599
    Aramid Lite 45 lb 20.5 kg $2849

    TuffStuff Expedition is supposed to be stronger than TuffStuff,
    and Blue Steel stronger than Aramid Lite.
    The 'cheapest' option for a good replacement of Royalex/T-Formex is TuffStuff Expedition,
    and then you have a considerably lighter canoe, but it costs a whole lot more...
    A canoe like TuffStuff Expedition with a strength comparable to a Royalex/T-Formex boat
    would probably be around 30 kg (67 lb)
    and you would even have to pay more for it -- say $3500?
    Too few people would probably buy such a canoe, so they aren't offered.

    Dirk Barends

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    Thank you Canonymous. I see... you're right, price become quite crippling at this stage of weight and sturdiness indeed.
    At least to my level. This said, when one is a serious paddler enthousiast with lots of experience and more demanding about rig characteristics, I can admit it still stays within reasonable range. Think only about bikes. Good one are about 5K and there is no up-limit.
    Now that I've been scratching my head about which way to go, reading this forum as well as all your very nice comments here guys. I think I'd better stop beating about the bush, going for what my wallet allows me and see what happens next. Worst that could happen is find myself in need of a seconf canoe in the future. And I can't see any bad in that.
    I thank you all for your committment in helping me. Things are now crystal clear. I know exactly what to do, and it just feels great !
    Wish you all a great one !

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