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Canoe Material: Wood vs. Fiberglass vs. Aluminum

Discussion in 'On the Water' started by campforums, Jun 17, 2015.


Which material do you prefer for your canoe?

  1. Fiberglass

    0 vote(s)
  2. Wood

    1 vote(s)
  3. Aluminum

    0 vote(s)
  1. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    For those of you who do canoeing, or I guess this could apply to any sort of boating. Which type of boat do you own or prefer to use given the choice?

    I've never used an aluminum canoe although I have seen them around. Most of the time the canoes I use are fiberglass but I have also used some really nice wood canoes which I liked a lot. They were really light and the material felt much nicer to handle. The only downside was the ribs on the inside of the canoe were a bit hard on the knees until you put some padding down.



    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  2. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Of course I have to wade in on this one...

    I have a Kevlar super light 16 foot Souris Prospector Canoe. [Approximately 38 pounds or 17 kilograms.] As you can see I don't use any of the materials you have listed.

    I follow the manufactures advice on "painting" it in the spring to keep that squeaky clean look and of course it has my totem symbol painted on.


    I've used other canoes over the years including the famous Grumman aluminum model. We use to call it the sardine and the submarine and the clanger as it was noisy. A really excellent canoe - could take on just about anything. But tough on the souls that had to portage the same.

    There are better materials in the market place today - like

    Canoes made of polyethylene are a durable, low-cost option. Built by putting plastic pellets into a heated mold, these canoes are mass-produced and are best for recreational paddling.

    Kevlar Composites
    Kevlar is a woven composite fabric that is 5-10 times stronger than an equal weight of steel. Canoes made with Kevlar are generally 20% lighter than canoes made with fiberglass. This is the same stuff that police vests are made of.

    Royalex is a plastic laminate with a core of expanded closed cell-foam. Canoes made of this material are great for shallow water and whitewater, and stand up to the most rugged conditions.

    campforums likes this.
  3. Faust

    Faust Explorer

    Don't own a canoe, some of my friends do and at worst I'll rent one but I voted wood simply because they look gorgeous.
    campforums likes this.
  4. actadh

    actadh Pathfinder

    We have an 18ft deep vee Tracker fiberglass boat for the Ohio River and Lake Erie. An 8 ft all plastic one goes in the back of the pickup while towing the TT for COE lakes.

    But my favorite are the aluminum jon boats - we have a 12 ft and a 14 ft. I would rather putter along on a trolling motor than any other type. Probably because that is what my dad took us out in when I was a kid.
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