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Submitted: 01-26-2013 by CDW
I grew up paddling my Dad's 15 foot Grumman that he purchased as a teenager used out of the paper. I took it on many Boy Scout camping trips some as long as 10 days. The boat started its life in NJ, moved to MA, and is now at my parent's retirement home at a lake in the Adirondacks. My kids spent hours in it this summer, and it has always been well used. When I moved to FL and started my own family, I checked to see if my Dad's Grumman was for sale? Of course not… So I hunted high and low for one of my own. I found a 17 foot Grumman made in the early 80s and I have paddled that with my family for a few years now.
They are great flat water boats. They are both stable, they track beautifully, and are forgiving for beginners in that they are more stable than most canoes I have been in. The only downside to these boats is that they don't handle whitewater well. I've done some class 1 runs in the 15 and the 17 but I wouldn’t go higher especially in the 17. It wants to track straight and on whitewater, turning quickly can be required or you will wrap it around a rock, tree or similar. For these runs you will want something different.
There is a notable difference in the 15 and 17. The 15 turns better. This can be a benefit if you are on small streams with lots of turns. The 17 "likes" to track straight and is great on lakes and larger streams or rivers. Both handle waves well and I have had friends try (without success) to swamp us with wakes from power boats in both the 15 and 17.
Both the 15 and the 17 have been outfitted with a homemade mount to take an electric trolling motor off the side behind the rear seat. This configuration works well and the boat remains stable. You cannot go wrong with this canoe and it will last forever. Neither of our boats have ever required any maintenance, ever. Not sure there is much more to say than 3 generations of use from a used boat and all agree it is perfect. I am looking for another 15 or 17 footer so I can take friends out with me, the trouble is they are hard to find. I can understand why…
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