I adore this canoe! It's beautiful! Its finish is flawless; it weighs only 28kg; appearance is clean, very Indian canoe, without gadgets or unnecessary add-ons. It doesn't need any maintenance at all, only a good soap and wax washing before its winter sleep. We have sun 300 days a year. Aluminum doesn't care! Linder has a magnificent rowing rig and a (very expensive) sail kit. I'll have one of those next year, the rowing rig probably with a pair of Finnish oars.
I don't have any experience with other canoes, but I can assure you I'm totally satisfied with my Linder aluminum canoe. Alone, I use it with a solo double paddle, an Impression Solo from Bending Branches. A piece of cake! I used to be a wild river kayaker. The feeling is not the same; it lacks speed and agility, but the pleasure of paddling is the same. Together with my wife we use a Grey Owl Pathfinder paddle which works great. That's something new to me. I'm reading Ray Goodwin's book Canoeing to grab some good hints.
People say aluminum canoes are noisy, that they are cold in the winter, hot in the summer. That's not true! It's not noisy; it's noise is different from the one of other materials. Once put in the water, it's the water’s and the ambient temperature which determine the feeling of hot or cold. An aluminum canoe has a keel, which is great to help keeping its track. It tends to hang on on rocks, but I don’t care, there are no rocks at sea.
Since I'm taking one of my four dogs with me at sea (no calm lakes or rivers in Crete!), to be more secured I immediately bought a pair of outriggers at this wonderful American store called SailboatsToGo. No need for buoyancy bags! Stern and bow are filled with foam. To cope with the weight, I managed to invent a loading ramp and a way to haul that big piece onto the van’s roof rack. I'm as happy as a child on Christmas Eve!
You are American? Consider buying an aluminum canoe! You have the legendary Grumman and the beautiful Osagian to choose from. You are European? Buy a Linder! They have 4 models: The 465L (28kg – maximum load 340kg) made out of 1mm aluminum is a perfect family canoe for 2 persons a dog and gear. The 3 others are made out of 1,25mm aluminum: the 465 (33kg – maximum load 340kg) is a typical tough rental canoe in the Scandinavian countries; the 495 (4m96 - 36kg) for 2 persons and 525 (5m25 - 38 kg) for 3 persons take a maximum load of 400kg. They are all approved by the Norwegian Det norske Veritas, a company which verifies, tests and certifies all materials and components relevant to the safe operation and quality of ships before commercialization.