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Submitted: 08-07-2006 by ericlipson
I used to be a canoe guide in Canada in the 1970's. We used 15 foot and 17-foot Grummans and Aero-Craft aluminum canoes. The 17 -foot Grumman was the superior craft for numerous reasons. It tracked well on big lakes thanks to the keel. But it was a decent river canoe as well. Amazingly, the 17 foot Grumman weighs only 75 lbs. Flip it over onto your shoulders and the broad thwarts are quite comfortable even without a yoke. And it is PERFECTLY balanced for portaging. The equivalent Aero-craft was 95 pounds (a decent boat but a pig to portage). Based on my recollections, I just bought a 1974, Grumman 17 footer from a lady in Ann Arbor who kissed it goodbye. She had never swamped it in the 32 years she owned it. It was in mint condition and it reminded me why I loved this boat. I've seen these canoes get destroyed by going over waterfalls but the average smashup into a rock in a moderate rapids will only leave a dent and a scrape. An amazinly sea-worthy craft. The 17 footer holds three people AND cargo and still has a decent amount of freeboard. The extra two feet adds a compartment, more cargo capacity, and makes it a more stable craft in big lakes. Aluminum seats won't break out when people put their knees on the seats like cane or web seats. A classic machine. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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