your paddlesports destination

Profile

Name: techdirector

Most Recent Reviews

I had used foam blocks and Yakima racks for years, then I got a car which could not mount a rack. My sons and wife came came to the rescue that Xmas with help from Rutabaga. They found the Malone handy rack inflatable car top carrier.

It looks like two WWII G.I. life belts, but works amazingly well. It is strapped on the car top by threading the tie-downs through the open doors and then inflated. I have used it for my Old Town Discovery 164 and Wenonah Fusion. It comes with all straps and air pump. I like it almost as much as my old Yakima. There is only one draw back. When it rains the tie downs act as wicks resulting in showers inside the car. If you can't use a regular rack, or your car doesn't have a factory rack, this is the way to go.

I am getting old - aren't we all? - and have been having trouble lifting my 80 pound Old Town discovery 164. I still can carry and paddle but lifting is no longer an option. My adult son and I still race and rally with it; He carries. I digress...

I got the Fusion for the times I want to paddle or fish alone I am pretty pleased with the boat. It fits my style mostly. THERE are 2 small issues though. I don't care for kayak paddles. I adjusted my paddle length to shorter than I use in the tandem. I am too big to sit high in the folding back rest seat Wenonah includes with the boat and the low seat works well, until I want to kneel. I can't get my feet under the seat.

The seat is also the cause of my other concern. It is in the exact place where there should be a portage yoke. I'd be interested in learning if I am the only one with these issues.

By and large I am happy with the Fusion and would not take it back. A Portage yoke would be a good thing...

My first canoe was a Coleman. I have a bad habit with outdoor gear of buying then researching. I had mixed experience with the boat. Ram x is flexible which can be very discomforting at times. The inside keel tube does a great job of eating fishing tackle and other small items. It is nearly un-sinkable be cause ramex is buoyant. My boat was purchased in the mid 70s and I kept it nearly 20 years only because I could not afford to upgrade.

My boys were quite young, read small, then and were not heavy enough to keep the bow down if I was on the back seat. I nearly always had to paddle backwards on the front seat. It was symmetrical so that was no trouble. I did that till my Bow man weighed 100 lbs or so.

The flat bottom meant that we could hardly get away from side waves and leaning was out of the question. I have seen the newer versions. I am not impressed with their interior set ups. My boat is now with Boy Scouts in Iowa. I don't know how it held up but that plastic is very sensitive to UV deterioration.

I got my money's worth from that boat and it instilled a love for paddling in my 4 Children. I car topped it to Colorado several times and it liked mountain lakes, but not mountain streams. It was a good "learning experience" boat which trained the kids and me so that when we moved up to Old Town Discovery 12 years ago we didn't even know that they were supposed to feel tippy. We now have canoed from Illinois to Colorado, and into Canada and Minnesota. The Colman was an excellent starter boat and I am glad that we had it.