Submitted: 03-07-2000 by Ron Russell
I purchased this canoe in 1985, and have used it on lakes and rivers in Texas and Tennessee as a recreational craft, just to go out paddling to see whats around the next bend. It's not particularly fast, I'd estimate it at about 70% as fast as the fastest boats in it's class. Two paddlers can move it along rather smartly, with a satisfying bow wave and steady trail of bubbles from the stern. I sometimes paddle it myself using a long double-bladed kayak paddle, sitting on a cushion amidships, and find this quite comfortable. It is slightly over 35" wide amidships, and has a flat bottom with tumblehome sides, so the gunwhales are a bit narrower and easier to reach across than would be the case if the sides were straight or flared.
The most impressive feature of aluminum canoes is the lack of maintenance required. Unlike plastics and fiberglass, outdoor storage is no problem, as the metal will not age or become brittle as a result of exposure to ultraviolet rays. I grew up seeing the riveted seams on metal canoes, so to me, the lines of rivet heads along the gunwhales and keel are traditional features which look attractive. The rivets are doubled in number below the waterline, to spread stresses and minimize the possibility of leaks, and this canoe has never leaked. Mine has the "lake" keel, so wouldn't handle well in white water, although Grumman used to offer the option of the "shoe" keel, which allowed better maneuverability. The lake keel extends down perhaps 1/2" for most of the length of the bottom, with a shallow taper to prevent it snagging weeds, etc. It does seem to help tracking in a crosswind, at the expense of slowing maneuverability somewhat.
Seats are comfortable enough, although I often kneel, especially if facing a headwind. Aluminum canoes used to rule the water, and are the primary force for the current popularity of the sport. The Grumman is a classic design, in the same sense as a Ford Mustang, or Harley Davidson.