I recently inherited this from my grandfather's estate and I am pleased with it. It is a tank, but very stable even with a boat seat attached to the small seats. I recently paddled this solo and had no problems except the front end acting like a sail with a gust of wind, but it was nothing moving the paddle over to the other side couldn't fix. It tracked well and moved through choppy water decently.
I remember as a kid my grandparents taking this same canoe on a 10 day trip down the Talapoosa in Alabama/Georgia and never once flipped. If it was safe enough for my 60 year old grandmother for a week and a half, it will serve my family well. How someone tipped it over in the middle of a lake is a great question? The canoe is very stable and floats in less than 6 inches of water. For the record, I am 6'1" and around 300lbs and I had no problems in 6" water.
I plan to make a fishing table for it and use it on the local river in the next few weeks. Would I purposely go out and buy one? Probably not. I would look at Old Town (my parents have a Tripper that I will get one day) because I like it better, but if you can find one like this for cheap, don't hesitate.These canoes are just large, stable studs. Mine is actually the heavier gauge aluminum (makes it around 85 pounds) and have used it for close to ten years in a variety of settings including class I/II whitewater, large lakes and smooth rivers from Pennsylvania to Ontario.
The design of these provides what you should expect: a large, slow, difficult to turn-on-a-dime behemoth of a canoe. You can load these with everything including the cast iron kitchen sink and they will still offer a very stable and safe platform to work from. There is also nearly no concern for protecting your valuable asset - just bounce off the rocks and enjoy the view!
I've actually taken this beast on longer trips with required portages (longest portage was 3.5 miles!) and, with a home-made padded yoke attached to the middle thwart, was able to carry this beast. Mind you, I normally wouldn't recommend carrying these much more than a few hundred yards but I was too cheap to spring for some fancy rental when I own a perfectly functional canoe.
The maneuverability of these canoes make them a challenge in small winding rivers or streams but, as your paddling skills improve you can anticipate the canoe's behavior and actually get it to behave in a fairly nimble fashion. It takes wind and waves better than most other larger canoe I've been in but it ultimately is a canoe that behaves more like a flat bottomed jon boat. Can hold all of your camping gear or your guns and decoys with room to spare and is just about bullet proof!
Indestructible, huge, roomy, safe, loud, heavy, inexpensive and still going!I bought a T-17 at a boat show in Indianapolis in 1982. 25 years later, this canoe still looks great and handles well. I ran it with a 4-HP Evinrude clamped to the gunwale for several years, and had no problems with stability or handling.
My wife and I have had this boat in some pretty rough water, but if you keep your weight low and know what you're doing, tipping should not be an issue. The only reason I gave it a 9 instead of a 10 is the weight, but hey, it IS a tank and will probably outlive me.I'm no expert by any means, but I just took a test drive and flipped it within 10 minutes. I was paddling into a head wind with the current, it caught the wind like a sail while sitting on the seat so I moved to my knees. When I finally made it back to calm waters (100 yds) from dealer I eased from my knees back to the seat and without any warning, WHAM, I was up to my shoulders in muck... wallet money got soaked and muck made it into EVERY orifice!
It was an hour WET drive back home, truck smells like a swamp... suffice to say I did not buy it. I'm 43, 6'0" and weigh 230, I've canoed many times but as I said, I am no expert but the canoe stability did not impress me and I will look at another brand to take my family canoeing in.
I'm from Michigan and would have loved to have supported a Michigan company, but not this time. If Old Towns flip as easily I may just come back to the Michi-Craft. But at $650 I'm sure I can find a canoe that will get me wet for a whole lot cheaper.