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The only criticism is that it is really heavy, ~85 pounds. It is a real pig to lift on and off the car and to portage. We usually move it using rollers (5 foot lengths of Big-O drainage pipe work great).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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