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Reviews for Explorer Canoe by Pelican International


Rated: 6.67/10 Based On: 49 Reviews

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08-04-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I bought the Pelican Explorer DLX model from Canadian Tire up here in Canada in 2007 and while not the most luxurious or lightest canoe out there its served my Brother and I- both rank amateurs- very well over the years and I'm starting to believe the things about bullet proof. According to the literature that came with it, its rated at 81 lbs and I believe it. With no carrying yoke it is a monster on portages but between the two of us we've worked out a system where we can carry the thing over fairly long portages comfortably and so far its worked well. I got it on sale for I think $499 Canadian and without a doubt I've had my moneys worth out of it.

As I say I'm an amateur and still learning as I go but this things been sunk three quarters full at the edge of a lake, dragged out, emptied, reloaded and we just carried on on our way. Its been dragged down low rivers over rocks and dragged a good way down more than one portage and the thing still holds its hull shape and paddles ok although its getting pretty scratched up now.

Although I'm looking into getting a canoe that's lighter and a little better suited to real expedition tripping, for the price I'd buy another of these in a heartbeat. Takes a licking, keeps on ticking and although a little slow to paddle compared to other canoes it tracks well- it has a keel- and will make a great fishing and mucking about boat for a long time to come

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06-20-2011
Submitted by: RSSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Over-all, I'm happy with my Explorer DLX 15.5. I had the Coleman Ram-X 15.5 before this. They are the same hull from what I understand. I wish the Pelican had the same seats as the Ram-X. Both my front and rear seats have now broken at the fold. Its a horrible design flaw. The front seat broke taking it off the roof of my van when it hit the ground (not that hard), definitely not abused. If you own one, do not sit on the front edge of your seat. the center leg may slip and that causes the folds to tear loose.

The seats have to be replaced. There is no way to fix the old ones. Waiting to hear if the seats are available, as the DLX 15.5 has been discontinued...

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05-31-2011
Submitted by:
Rating: 10 of 10

     Pelican canoes are good enough for family weekends at state parks. some fishing trips and general knocking around most rivers here in Texas. People are on a budget and remember, the best of anything is what you have with you or on your person at the time.
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06-04-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     My wife and I have taken this canoe out day tripping and for 3 day back country excursions in very windy/choppy conditions here in Nova Scotia, Canada and it never felt unstable at all. I think that comes down to the operators. If you want nice big floaty stability, buy an inflatable rubber dingy. I guess you can put on pontoons or whatever but it's not really a canoe then is it?
I'm removing the plastic center seat and adding in a thwart and brace to make it easier to solo portage. For approx $400 on sale I thinks its a great way to get out on the water.

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04-30-2009
Submitted by: aj
Rating: 8 of 10

     I used the Pelican on my local rivers which are quite shallow and fast, it works well, heavy to carry over the land, which we had to do to cross obstacles, if it sinks its almost impossible to get out, but that's my fault for bringing a 14 foot canoe on a river. It has taken a lot of abuse and it's still in almost perfect condition I like it
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03-10-2009
Submitted by: dhSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought a 16'6", two seat Pelican used from a friend. He bought the boat new at Sports Authority. I believe that it is a 2005 model. I love the dense hull, which has hardly a scratch after a lot of use, but it is heavy to carry around. I find that it tracks very well and is actually relatively fast, even when out with friends in kayaks. We can cross the inlets in a local, 500 acre lake with ease. I use it only on calm water, but it has been a delight to us. I have had no stability problems with the boat, either. For the price, I would recommend a Pelican to anyone.
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01-26-2009
Submitted by: kirk skaggsSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I like my canoe... I removed the seats made a center bow... put in plastic Walmat chairs... minus the legs ... made a motor mount for a trolling motor ... in the center of the bow ... made a steering linkage and relocated the tiller switch so that I can control everything from my comfortable seat .... installed two big batteries and have had nothing but fun ever since. My g/f and I have put many a day on the lake and it is just great ... it's perfect for enjoying wildlife .... I wouldn't use this set up on a shallow river but it is great .... never had a problem and people check it out all the time ... I slid it in the back of my minivan and it is a breeze to load and unload
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09-02-2008
Submitted by: Peter KamperSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have over 25 years of experience with the 17' models of Coleman and now Pelican. I own an outfitting business (Alaska Expedition Service) in Alaska. For teams that do not have to fly out and thereby need a folding canoe, I always used Coleman Canoes, which obviously are now the 'Pelican' canoes.

We outfit for long tours (14-21 days), that demand a canoe you can count on. Even in extremely rocky situations, I have never had a customer who complained about the hull. The 17 foot version of the hull works great for load on extended trips and is pretty much indestructible, which you can't say about fiberglass canoes. If they break, you are in a world of hurt.

We do put down 8 layers of duct tape into the keel before we assemble the canoe, because small rocks punch easily through that area if pressed - once ending up there - through the hull by the center rod. The duct tape creates a buffer zone for rocks that has served us well.

The Coleman/Pelican hulls have impressed me with their ease of repair (Lighter and glue stick). They spring leaks in shallow rivers (gravel) after about 2000- 3000 miles of bush travel. That's about 8-10 trips or 9 month in shallow rivers; pushing, sliding, pulling them at times with rougly 400 pounds of gear through gravel and rock. Their ability to ride over rocks and bend (flexibility) is great. It's another reason (next to the price) that I prefer them over fiberglass canoes. I will buy more of them, and no .... I'm not getting a discount.

That sounds like a great review, right? So why am I only giving them a '7' rating? The seats Pelican put into the hulls are not, what I need to outfit long distance (up to 600 miles) excursions, and the center seat just takes up unnecessary space. People who wrote before me said, that the seats don't even work. I would not know.

Since the hulls are still the same, I was able to put seats and cross braces from the old Colemans into the new Pelican hulls. Then I repaired the old Coleman hulls for lake use, put the new Pelican seats into the old canoes (you need to drill new holes, but that doesn't take long) and gave them to the boy scouts.

I wish that Pelican would give options on seats and would make the old line of two crossbraces and two seats on it's 17-foot canoe available again. In the meantime, I am exchanging the excellent hulls, but I'm keeping the old hardware.

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07-18-2008
Submitted by: KD
Rating: 7 of 10

     I've got a '03 Pelican, had no seat issues, it does have the ram x hull with the ribbed interior and no third seat. It's 15.6 long and green. I have used it in Texas, AZ, NM and even Mexico and basically beat it up pretty good over the 5 years I've owned it. It still floats, a little warped but that doesn't bother me.
All and all for a cheap fishing canoe, its been great for me. Not the best, but perfect for what I do. I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

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07-10-2008
Submitted by: dbSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     Ok after several poor reviews on this canoe, I must say I'm finally happy with this boat. I contacted Pelican, they actually responded. My seats were both broken. It was going to cost me 150.00 to have them replaced. I was considering cutting my loses and trashing the thing. But I got on EBAY and found a set of ash/mesh seats. I ordered them and got them in. I was discouraged with how to mount these seats to my canoe since the seats mount from the side instead of the top as most other canoes do. After some research, I found some mounts on the NET. I was able to make these mounts out of oak and lowered the seats to 4 inches below the factory junk. I used 3" PVC drain pipe and constructed 2 keel supports for the new seats. This thing is rock solid in the water now. I'm also considering adding a set of foam sponsons on each side for just a little added flotation for fishing. In short, for about 60 bucks I've made this canoe comparable to my friends Old Towns that cost double what I paid. I still say hold off and BUY OLD TOWN if you can afford it, but if you can't, try my seat idea, you'll enjoy the trip much better dry.
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06-27-2008
Submitted by: Allen N.Send Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Two years ago yesterday, I bought a 16' Pelican canoe. 3 days ago I took it out with my wife for only the 7th time. We were about 2 hundred yards up the river when my seat broke sending me to the bottom of the canoe. I had to put my tackle box under the seat for balance. I was stunned to say the least. My neighbor who is also an attorney, looked it over and realized it was a design flaw and felt the company should stand behind it. When I called the company, they said they couldn't do anything about it except sell us 2 new seats for $100. Why would I want to buy 2 new seats when the same thing is going to happen again? Their argument was that it wasn't part of the canoe! What a joke. The warranty was up yesterday. By the way, my wife weighs 120 LBS, and her seat is cracked on both sides about ready to break in two. They refuse to do anything and I'm so disappointed with the Pelican company. I intend to tell everyone I know about this and write plenty of emails to dealers around the country. I'm retired and have plenty of time to do so...
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06-25-2008
Submitted by: rh
Rating: 1 of 10

     I purchased a Pelican RAM X. I used it once and leaned it up against a fence. The seat is so cheap and designed poorly that the seam that holds the seat cracked from the cold weather and broke. Now I can not buy a seat anywhere for it. Stores only sell the canoe but not parts for it. Save your money DO NOT BUY a PELICAN canoe.
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06-11-2008
Submitted by: dbSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Anyone who says these boats are stable needs to ride a quality boat. I'm aware these are not canoes, but I've been on several old town canoes, even in choppy lake water. I know different boats react different to different water, but my Explorer dlx is very inferior. On my last trip out, my back seat mysteriously broke on the seat mount tabs. It has been out 5 times total. I must say though with no seat to sit on, I sat in the floor, talk about stable now. I have talked to pelican about the broken seat, customer service is awful. I'm going to engineer a set of custom seats and still incorporate the keel supports for my seats. I'm thinking treated 2x8s, and lowering the mounting point by about 6 inches. Won't be pretty, but at least I'll get some use out of it.
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05-24-2008
Submitted by:
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought a Pelican Explorer 15.6. It was not my first choice but I live in Northern Manitoba where the options were very limited. Tried to purchase the Old Town Guide, but after waiting a month and discovering its arrival date was still totally unknown, I decided to take the Pelican instead to get out on the water during our short summer.

I thought having to assemble it was lame, that it should really be sold assembled, but unlike other stories I had no problem assembling it, the hardware was identifiable and the holes all lined up easily. I can't really comment on the weight, I am a big guy and 20-30lbs one way or another means pretty much nothing to me, where it might really frustrate others.

I transport the canoe on a Ford Focus and it sits on the racks securely and doesn't cause problems. I have found it to be pretty good while paddling. I have used it solo on big windy lakes and found it to be ok to handle (I used ballast in the front). It is much less quick than the clipper canoe that I have used, and if you are used to higher performance canoes you will not be impressed. I am more pleased with it now than I thought I might be.

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09-27-2007
Submitted by: Ben
Rating: 8 of 10

     I really like my Pelican Explorer DLX! Sure, it is a little on the heavy side, but it tracks well and can take a beating- which is important to me since I have never babied my canoes!

To those who say it's 'unstable' I would ask if they know what a canoe is.. They aren't pontoon boats, folks! HOWEVER, you can turn the Pelican Explorer DLX into an unbelievably stable paddling platform by simply investing $200 in a set of (good quality) outrigger floats. I did, and my little Pelican Explorer DLX is ROCK SOLID STABLE and fast because with the outrigger pontoons installed, I can REALLY dig in and paddle hard with my double-bladed paddle without ANY fear of tipping! Translation- I can fly with this baby when she's got her 'water wings' on!!

Here's how to setup the Pelican Explorer DLX for a great paddling experience:, Purchase a set of outrigger floats so you will NOT have to ever fear tipping, add a comfy seatback chair for wonderful back support, and get a nice double-bladed paddle (I recommend 230-270CM, no shorter). Do these things and I GUARANTEE you will enjoy your paddling experience with this boat, and still be at least $300-$400 ahead of the game compared to if you had purchased a much more 'expensive' canoe! (especially a Kevlar!)

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09-12-2007
Submitted by: CZSend Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     Coleman Pelican RamX...unstable, heavy, seats uncomfortable, cheap-o setup. For a few dollars more I like any Clearwater canoes.
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08-27-2007
Submitted by: BGSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Well I have read the reviews and bought the Colorado yesterday ($329). I have had the Old Town and it was much heavier than this thing. I sail my kayak with a gaff sail and plan to re-rig this boat for sailing and use on TableRock lake, where we have some 40'+ doing 60MPH+ so there are some serious wakes at times. I can't get much information on the Ram-X material, but what I read sounds good.

I will be stiffing the boat at the gunnels and with a cross member for outriggers, mast foot and cover so it should be fine. A buddy builds beautiful strippers and he thinks the boat is an excellent boat for the money to start a building project with. 800 capacity will carry all the modifications well and it should still be a good camping boat, but then I go pretty light too, using backpacking equipment! Anyone with experience in modifications to this boat (or similar) would be appreciated. Good Paddling and be safe.
Oh, my rating is based on the bang for the buck!

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08-23-2007
Submitted by: Bob SandersSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Well, I am simply in love with this boat. Being a 'Volvo Man' when it comes to cars, quality and feel and reliability makes the Pelican Explore DLx the safe choice for me. Ram-X hull means nothing to me, scratch and hole and knock resistant does. The data for loading, the serial number fixed to the boat and the prompt after sales service is a credit to this Canadian manufacturer.

I gave it 8 as I am not a lover of the cool box and one of my holes was mis-aligned as per another reviewer. All this for me, just adds to the magic, the pioneering spirit and the getting to know your boat bit! An engineering friend, Keith, paddled with me the other day, I've put a seat in the wrong way and I'm sitting too high and we were both in the wrong seats, and I still give it a rating of 8, phew eh? £300 from Costco after lining a couple up around £400 on ebay. A very happy Bob and a big fan of Pelican.

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08-17-2007
Submitted by: KMSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought my canoe several years back, it is the second canoe that I have owned, the first being a 17' Coleman Canoe. I bought a Dick's Sporting Goods Special Pelican Explorer DLX, (I love this canoe). It has brought me and my family into many adventures exploring, and I would recommend this canoe to any enthusiast who is on a limited budget.

I don't understand the mentality behind paying an outrageous price for something just because of the brand name, if you are a professional who can afford $400 to $700 for a canoe then go for it, but don't down a canoe just because it is cheap.

The Explorer does have some issues, I personally don't care for the cooler in mine, I would have rather had a dry storage and a lower middle seat. For all of you people looking to by a canoe, ask yourself these simple questions. What is your experience level? How often do you plan to use it? Where do you plan to use it? Who do you plan to use it with?

If, like me, you have some experience (15-20 years of paddling swamps, rivers, lakes, ocean, and creeks), and you are looking to share good times with family and friends, buy a Pelican. If you don't have any experience go someplace that rents canoes or does guided tours, to see if you will like it, before you buy. Regardless of what the professionals say, or the people that can go out and buy something have a hard time assembling it, and instead of taking it back just cut it in half and trash it (how stupid was this person?), Buying a canoe comes down to budget, personal preference, and experience of the end user.

If I was to decide to buy another canoe it would definitely be a Pelican. Keep up the good work PI.

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07-25-2007
Submitted by: clhSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Pelican canoes are junk. Has anyone ever heard of a canoe that sinks? We lost everything in our canoe and our dog almost drowned when the canoe got off center and tipped over it sank immediately to the bottom of the lake with all of our belongings. Thank God our kids weren't in it and my husband had a life vest on and could get my dog to shore.
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07-06-2007
Submitted by: DBSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Pelican canoes are junk, customer service is terrible. Mine is very unstable on all water conditions, seats are not adjustable, Pelican will not respond to email questions. Save yourself time and headache. Buy an Old Town. Dicks sporting goods made a wise decision in pulling this boat from their shelves.
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06-05-2007
Submitted by: backwater master
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought a used Explorer dlx with ram x hull. I have had this boat on large rough lakes, fast rivers, and many backwater creek full off rocks and downed trees. I had over the 800lbs of people and gear in it that it is rated for and never had a problem with it. It handles rocks and other hazards very well and has not leaked a drop. It's very light and easy to handle.
I am a small person at 5ft 3in 155lbs and have no problem loading it on top of my jeep suv by myself. I have been paddling backwater for 15 years and have yet to find a fiberglass or aluminum canoe that is as easy to handle or that will take the beating that this cheap plastic canoe and in my opinion it is the best back water canoe around.

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05-22-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     I am surprised at how many people like the Pelican canoe, and how much time some have put into remodeling theirs, but that reminds me that I am coming from a very different point-of-view. I have been canoeing for over 50 years and was a professional instructor (a great way to make a meager living), so I know good boats and this type of boat is almost a joke to those of us who take week long trips in Canada, or who race or run hairy rivers. It might take too long to explain why technically these boats are inferior but I would strongly recommend that before you pay $300 new for one of these that you watch for used canoes and get a fiberglass boat, such as the ones made by Clipper. Might cost you $400 to $700, but it's the difference between a Neon and a Lexus. I'll give you one technical difference: the Pelican "oil cans." Its skin is so flexible that as you paddle, it flexes and absorbs lots of energy, meaning that I can leave you in the wake with a fiberglass canoe that has a stiff hull. See that little vertical aluminum stiffener under the middle thwart? The boat would collapse without that, which is not true of any fiberglass, ABS or Kevlar canoe. Get a copy or two of Canoe Magazine to educate yourself on better choices. Happy paddling.
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08-28-2006
Submitted by: dbSend Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     I have had my explorer on the lake as well as on rivers. This boat is very unstable, I have to fight it to keep it up right. It does track well, and tracks fast on the water. I recommend saving your money and buying an old town guide not much more money, but much better quality and usability. Also, I have emailed pelican to ask if I could purchase seats to lower the center of gravity, and they will not respond. To my knowledge pelican is no longer offering this boat.
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06-28-2006
Submitted by: Len in TimminsSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     A nice canoe. The keel makes it great on the lakes. I found the stern seat a bit too high. So I picked up a few 1-inch by 1/8 inch zinc plates and dropped the seat four inches. It is so much more stable now. And paddling is not a problem from the lower position. I also bought a length of maple, sanded it, varnished it and created a new thwart between the middle cooler seat and the bow seat. It makes it easier to pick up the whole boat. The canoe is heavier than most, but it's easy to carry if you settle the middle "cooler" seat on your shoulders.
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05-30-2006
Submitted by: KirkSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I have bought both a navigator and a colarado, both are exelent but the colarado was very unstable, So i constructed my own twarts, they came out great, lookes like it was bought with the canoe, made a world of difference, made the canoe much more stable on the water, but you have to measure them out perfectly to ballence out the canoe, in all great canoe. Iam a 275 pound man, in good shape mined you, and this canoe holds both me and my wife high on the water, good job pelican. (but add twarts)
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09-22-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Good beginners/intermediate (I've got an Explore DLX) canoe. After several trips on the water my seats cracked at the slots. Pelican replaced them at no charge, no problem with the warranty. Yes, there is some assembly when you first purchase the boat. The performance is quite good. No complaints. The canoe will let you know if you’re doing something wrong. I've had nothing but good times on the water. Like most RamX canoes it is heavy. Once you’re on the water it's a great boat.
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08-12-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just got my Explorer DLX I took it out with my kayak paddle and I love it. It tracks great and turns just as good. I also have a Pungo so now I think I have the best of both worlds.
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06-27-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     We recently bought the 15'6" explorer by Pelican with the Ram-x hull at Dicks for $279. Put it together in 30 minutes even though one hole on each handle would not line up, it took a little extra help from my wife and it was ready to go. We took it out on a river with a varying current, trees that had fallen across blocking 85% of the river in three areas and the canoe handled very well down stream and back with little effort. We are very happy with our Pelican and would get another.
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05-30-2005
Submitted by: CRSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Just purchased a 9' 4" sit-in kayak from Pelican, one seater, but this thing is not safe as I hurt my right hand by using the paddles every time because of the attached hook for the paddle holder, which is so awkward in the way, wrong designed and after calling Pelican Customer Service, they have lots of excuses and do not read the message! If you hit your hand so often you may not be able to paddle home and that can be dangerous as well.

I will return the kayak and will buy one that really is designed professionally and tried out from the quality control! Very disappointing!

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05-25-2005
Submitted by: VWSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought a Pelican Explorer DLX 15"6, 74LBS on 5/19/05. I took it out for a spin on a nearby lake the next day. I have to tell you; the Pelican canoe is very enjoyable and is an absolute eye, okay, (guy catcher). I have had raves about my Pelican! Now, I just have to find a matching bikini and good weather to make it a perfect spring/summer at any lake. It's a little heavy but if one is in shape it shouldn't cause a problem. Thank you for creating a canoe that is durable, sturdy, fashionable and most of all affordable!
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05-23-2005
Submitted by: MarkSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I bought my Pelican Explorer 16'6" canoe yesterday at Dick's. Seemed like a pretty good buy; I got it for $297 because the bottom was bowed a bit from sitting on the display rack for months.

Understand that I'm a BIG guy, and I haven't been in a canoe in about 15 years. I didn't feel like the boat was all that stable when I took it out on the lake, and while I didn't tip it over, it felt pretty scary even heading directly into motorboat wakes. My knees don't allow me to kneel, so I turned the canoe backwards and sat on the front seat to get nearer the center. When I did try kneeling, I found -as did another reviewer- that my size 14s just don't go under the seat at all! I can't blame all my discomfort on the canoe though; I know I'd sit lower and the whole deal would be more stable if I weighed 150 pounds. News flash: I don't.

As for maneuverability, I found that there were times when the Explorer tracked beautifully and slid effortlessly through the water, even against the current. Other times, it steered like a wet sponge and seemed to take loads of effort to propel. Long and short: I feel like the hull is too thin and flexible to offer consistency. I'll take it out every evening this week and find out if I just need to get used to it or if I really made a bad choice.

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04-25-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     First canoe, first time paddler. Loved it! Took it out on a small lake with my sons, no problems at all. We had a great time and even managed to stay dry! I am sure there are better canoes out there, however this seems to be the perfect way to get started in the sport. Looking forward to many hours on the water this summer. Brought it home, had the seats and handles installed in 20 minutes. I would recommend this canoe for anyone interested in getting started paddling.
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04-12-2005
Submitted by: JHGSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Don't buy one of these. I bought one upon the recommendation of a friend. I live in a gated community with a private lake and simply wanted a way for my wife and family to enjoy the water.

I traveled 65 miles (one way) to the closest Dick's Sporting Goods to get in on this "great deal".

I spent almost an hour trying to attach the handles (step one), but with the shoddy manufacturing, there was simply no way to get all of the necessary holes and hardware to line up properly. After pondering the 130 mile round trip to Dick's Sporting Goods it would take to recover my money, I cut the boat in half, threw it in the back of my pickup, and took it where it belonged--the dump.

Unfortunately, I can't comment on this boat's performance on the water since I never got to use it.

The moral of the story is this--while it isn't always necessary to buy the absolute best product available in order to have something that will suit your needs, never buy the cheapest thing available.

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04-01-2005
Submitted by: NAC11
Rating: 9 of 10

     Ditto to most of these good comments. Just returned from a paddle on a lake with my 8 and 5 year olds. Pretty stable and easy to handle, especially considering the "help" I was receiving from the boys.
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03-25-2005
Submitted by: RonSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've owned a Pelican Explorer with the Ramx hull since 2000. It's a great starter canoe – stable. I'm a 300lb man and have stood in the middle of the canoe, very stable. Also, I have taken it on class 4 white water, the Ramx hull handled the rocks and current very well. The canoe is a little slow and doesn't track as well as more expensive models but they are 2-3 times the price. A good starter that does many things well and can take a beating. You can't go wrong for the money.
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07-19-2004
Submitted by: fhSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     nice canoe for starters. extremely stable but a bit on the heavy side. very durable. will take you far. perfect for a long term excursion on open water if the paddlers are in good enough shape. slightly warped keel makes little difference in handling. nice and wide
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07-05-2004
Submitted by: SMOSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just got a Pelican Explorer last weekend.. same boat others are talking about.. Got it used for $75 (used once by a friend, practicly new!!) Its a great little boat.. Took it through class 3-4 rapids on the new river gorge in Va, and it performed admireably.
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06-28-2004
Submitted by: Matt K
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought the Pelican Explorer with Ram-X hull recently at Dick's for around $280. I have primarily had it on a large lake with choppy waves and it performs excellent. I have also had it fishing and had no problem with stability. I was able to have 3 children plus one adult in the Explorer and it presented no harrowing moments! This is an excellent canoe.
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05-18-2004
Submitted by: JRCSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     IMHO, the Explorer is a great canoe for the money. The hull is very durable and we have no problems with the keelson or hull o report. We use our canoe primarily for fishing on larger lakes and rivers where it feels very stable. It may not be very fast but two people can make it go with very little effort and even less effort if you use an electric trolling motor. The 800 lbs capacity is perfect for 3 adults and all the equipment you would need for a day of fishing. The built in cooler is not critical but it is a nice feature, one less thing to carry down to the lake. After a full day of paddling it is easy for 2 people to get it out of the water and back on the car. The weight, length and size is perfect for our little Honda CRV. Overall I have to say that it has been very enjoyable owning this canoe. Pros- Light enough for 2 adults to load and unload. Big enough for 3 people plus equipment. Hardy construction and stability on the water Built-in cooler and comfortable seats Great value for the money Cons- Not as fast or agile as other canoes or kayaks but better then a ducky.
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03-23-2004
Submitted by: ScottSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I gave this one a 9 instead of 10 because nothing is perfect.

But my Pelican Explorer DLX 'el 'cheapo from Dick's Sporting Goods (~$300) comes close. Its been years since I was in a canoe, and I didn't want to spend a fortune on something I might use a few times and abandon for my next hobby... but this canoe has made all the difference in getting out on the water. The model I bought had a built in "cooler" in the middle. I take the cooler top off, and use the elastic stretch bands to fasten on a portal stadium seat with a back rest on top of the cooler base. This puts my center of gravity a little lower than the two built in seats on each end, making the canoe even more stable. Its a little easier to paddle from the middle solo too. I sit cross legged or indian style - I don't like kneeling at all - and I can recline back a little. I can paddle and fish all day no problems. I I even felt safe enough to take my dog with me this weekend, and teach him how to sit and lay in the canoe. Even with him moving around at first - I was stable and have never tipped (knock on wood). I bought this last year - used it maybe 20 times, and have really been getting some use of out it this year. I was skeptical about the weight, but so far its not been a problem. I can load and unload it on my low to the ground 72 impala by myself very easily, and with a little more effort I can load it on my 97 dodge ram with 5in lift kit by dropping the tailgate and working it up onto the roof from the truck bed by myself. I've done a couple of overnight river camping trips, and loaded it down with tons of weight, and had no problems. As long as I step in and out on the middle metal keel bar thingy, it stable as can be.

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08-19-2003
Submitted by: Garrison HilliardSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is a great canoe for the price I paid ($279), and a good canoe at any price. Yes, it's a tad slower and heavier than other canoes, but it's very stable, very durable, and very safe... it just won't sink! I really like this canoe!
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08-11-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Looked for a canoe online, compared prices, and some research, looked around, found the Pelican Intn'l Explorer Ram-X 15.6 at Dick's Sporting Goods in Chattanooga on sale for 279.00. Was a little skeptical and apprehensive until I read some of the reviews on this web site, and decided to go ahead and buy it. It is a little heavy, but it handles well, and I am very satisified. The keelson looks fine to me. Have been down shallow rivers, and drug across minimal rocks, it doesn't take a lot of water to float it. Out on the open lake it takes the cross winds pretty good, and even in wavey water, it's not a bad ride. That ram-x stuff is hard as a rock.
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07-14-2003
Submitted by: M WebsterSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently purchased both a Pelican Explorer and Old Town Discovery 160, to have canoes at either end of a lake near where we live.

Another poster named "cc" commented on a serious issue related to the Pelican's Explorer's construction and the removal of the keelson. I have seen firsthand an older Pelican Explorer like this, the boat was terribly warped. However, Pelican has now adopted the aluminum keelson design that Coleman has always used. Essentially, the Explorer is almost the same boat as the higher priced Pelican Colorado and Coleman Journey, but sold through Dick's Sporting Goods and maybe others. It's a 15 1/2' canoe with 37" beam. It feels very stable, and while the polyethylene construction makes for a heavy canoe, it paddles and tracks reasonably well. I have taken three children out paddling in this canoe and we felt save. The canoe has a capacity of 800 lb.

Pelican/Coleman canoes serve a valuable purpose in the market for a low-end canoe. Make sure you install your keelson correctly. Mohawk has pictures of beat-up polyethylene canoes from Walmart linked from their web site, but such problems are due to not installing the aluminum keelson. With the keelson properly installed, and the boat properly cared for, such a boat will last for years, as strated by the success of Coleman's canoes. (Pelican has purchased all Coleman's canoe manufacturing and moved it from Texas to Canada. A Coleman canoe is now a Pelican canoe.) I can walk by dozens of canoes on T-racks at the lake where we paddle, and while some of the old Coleman's look terrible, the same holds true for other canoes that have not been cared for, especially aluminum and fiberglass canoes. But there are old Coleman's that are still in great shape after many years of use. If you can afford it, buy something else. But as a starter canoe, a Pelican Ram-X canoe will get you on the water, and be virtually indestructible provided you take reasonable care of your boat.

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05-27-2003
Submitted by: Dan DZSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I used the Pelican Explorer canoe this weekend for the first time. The canoe withstood very well the trials and tribulations of an extremely tough small river adventure. The Ram-X hull proved to be extremely strong in upholding its composure against many logs, branches, and rocks. Maneuverability and stability were adequete, as was the seating. The Pelican Explorer is a great canoe offered at a great price.
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07-10-2002
Submitted by: RGOSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently purchased a pelican explorer canoe, and have enjoyed it very much. I feel very safe in it with my two children. We have used it for fishing, and just plain site seeing. I feel for the price it is a great investment. I hpe to be useing it for many years to come.
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05-13-2002
Submitted by: Gil
Rating: 8 of 10

     First time using our Explorer, on a smooth water lake lightly loaded. It's is very stable we tried to roll it in 12" of water which took both of us leaning out board to do it. handles and tracks very well. I dislike the knelling pads molded in the liner but I find I don't need to use them. For our first time use I give it an 8 on ease of use and stability.
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10-22-2001
Submitted by: ccSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     Recently purchased the Pelican Explorer at a large sporting goods store. Have used this canoe 8 or 10 times now, and I am very disappointed. There is not enough clearance beneath the bow seat to get your feet under it, therefore the bow person can't get into the essential kneeling position (even my 13 year old son cannot get his feet under!)Pelican obviously cut way too many corners with this product. They bought these hulls from Coleman, and left out the aluminum keelson and aluminum support structure that Coleman used in its seats. Instead, Pelican put in a plastic liner, and sandwiched flotation foam between the hull and liner. However, without the aluminum keelson, the boat bottom flexes severely. I am trying to come up with a fix for this problem. If I cannot, the boat is worthless. It looks good, and the Ram-X hull is tough, but even as cheap as it was ($279.00), its not worth it.
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10-22-2001
Submitted by: SteveSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     I have been using this canoe for fishing for a couple of months. The front seat(totally made of plastic) is breaking off its plastic hinges. Bought it new for $329.
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