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We recently received a 14 foot inflatable boat as a gift. The boys like to play at canoeing by themselves in the shallow part of the lake. They have both categorically decided that the Grumman is way easier to steer, goes faster, feels safer and is very easy to care for. I think I may need to keep an eye out for another one of these so that they don't fight over it as they get older.
Best purchase decision ever!
We took it out for Class 3 rapid trip just this week. Nothing beats a Grumman. Legendary much like a Harley Davidson! I prefer the Web Seats for comfort to the rigid aluminum. A local canoe rental guy said, Aluminum doesn't last. I said, find me an antique fiberglass or plastic canoe and then we will talk about durability. Especially if you stored yours in direct sun, outdoors like I have!
I was practically born in a Grumman canoe and have been cabrewing, camping, fishing, gunwale pumping, hunting, motoring, paddling, picnicking, poling, portaging, racing, roof racking, sailing, submerging, surfing, swamping, trailering, towing, white watering and wooeing women, in my 1966 red 17í double ender for the last 41 years. My parents owned and sold Grumman canoes since before I was born (1958). This was our familyís 2nd generation Grumman and it, and its blue painted twin has survived and protected my 3 brothers and all our crazy friends, my 6 children and theirs, as well as Boy Scouts through many, many adventures. It has sailed Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan in 6 to 8 ft swells, and dozens of smaller lakes in the blazing sun, high winds, rain, hail, lighting and even a water spout.
We have paddled more rivers in it than I can remember; the AuSable, Auglaize, Black Fork, Clear Fork, Hocking, Kokosing, Mad River, Maumee, Mohican, Muskingum, Mahoning, Ottawa, Ohio, Scioto, Olentangy, Big and Little Darby, Great Miami, Little Miami, Sturgeon, Indian River, Tuscarawas, Walhonding Rivers to name a few. Maintenance? It donít need no stinkin maintenance! No patching, painting, or cleaning. I have no doubt that these two canoes will be passed down through the next 2, 3 or 4 generations of my family none the worse for wear.
Sure, it ain't some fancy Kevlar, ash-gunwaled cherry-trimmed beauty; It's a beast of burden and more beat up looking than Keith Richard's face, but like 'Keef', it keeps going and going......
Aluminum canoes, personally owned and cared for can be wonderful long term investments. They do not need to look like the rental fleet which the Russian Army marched over. They really do last a lifetime. I have loved sail boats and kayaks and motor boats, but if there is any boat I own which my son will be sharing with his 13 year old it will be the Grumman.
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