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Excursion 146

by Pelican International

Reviews

There are A LOT of higher end boats out there…

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There are A LOT of higher end boats out there that get A LOT of attention and reviews. Rightfully so if you are thinking of spending a ton of money on your recreational investment. If you can't afford or justify dropping $2,000+ on a really high speed boat....I feel your pain. A few years ago I was looking for something I could afford AND fit my needs for recreational paddling, fishing and tripping. During this time we had rented a lakefront place in the Adirondacks for a family vacation. The place had a Pelican Excursion 146 for use by the renters which I used quite a bit. I was impressed enough (especially with price!) to buy one later in the year which I have used extensively since then.

Be forewarned, it is not a fancy lightweight boat. It's heavy walled RamXcel and weighs about 80 pounds making it somewhat of a bear to carry. However, what you lose in portability you gain in durability. These things are tanks and will hold up to river bottoms, log jams, and sharp pointy things well very.

The boat tracks well in the water and the width is comfortable and stable. The molded seats are comfortable enough and newer models have rod holders/cup holders. For you physics majors, once you get that 80 pounds moving in the water, the boat glides along nicely. I have done quite a bit of fishing from the boat and it is stable for casting and general moving around in the boat. As for tripping, as long as you don't plan on any long or difficult carries, you will appreciate the ruggedness and probably be surprised on the handling. I don't think I will ever wear this boat out but if I did I would buy another.

Too heavy for a solo canoe…

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Too heavy for a solo canoe.

My current boat, has been with me now for 5 years, is…

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My current boat, has been with me now for 5 years, is a 2004 Pelican Excursion 146 DLX, which replaced a 2004 Pelican Explorer. The explorer seat busted the first time out, and the marine manager at my local Academy Sporting Goods was good enough to exchange it for me after Pelican proved impossible to get in touch with.

The replacement boat has proven strong, tracks well, the wooden and strap seats are much more durable and comfortable. My biggest issues with the Excursion are these...
#1. Like the Ford Excursion, they no longer make them. and
#2. Like the Ford Excursion these are HEAVY! Weighing in at a portly 84 lbs, this is NOT a pleasant boat to portage solo...

Trips to the Bayou country are solid and secure though, no worries about being gator bait because with that weight, comes the RamXcel construction. The Durable RamX plastic sandwiching foam in the middle. I have completely swamped the boat with 2, well let's be honest about it, fat paddlers, and camping gear, and been able to get the boat to shore under paddle power with still some gunwale above the water level. (Ever tried paddling a brick?).

This boat has taken on fishing, camping and duck hunting trips throughout most of east and central Texas, including frequent fishing trips (outriggers attached thank you very much!) into Galveston bay to fish the shallows.

I would honestly prefer to have bought a 17' kevlar Mad River, but financial realities being what they are, I can't complain about the Pelican...

For a 14.5 foot canoe, this thing is heavy at just over…

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For a 14.5 foot canoe, this thing is heavy at just over 80lbs, due to the 3 layer RamXcell material. However that additional weight is due to good construction materials that will help keep you afloat in case of disaster. I haven't had to portage it very far yet, just from the truck to the lake, and back, maybe 100yds, and it was no big deal there. Mine is the DLX model with the ash / web seats, and ash yoke, which are well worth the few extra dollars and additional weight as the molded plastic ones are JUNK, (prior experience with a Colorado 155 with Plastic seats...).

Sitting midships on a small cooler makes for great paddling solo in this boat as well. It turns easily, draws nicely, and tracks fairly straight for a boat without a keel of any sort, I use mine for fishing in very shallow water, and while all my friends with the big power boats are stuck far away from the active holes where the shallows go deep and the game fish hang out to eat, I pull in lots of fish. Even with my substantial bulk in the boat, it doesn't draw much, and usually glides over underwater obstructions with ease. I have heard that Mad River is making their IQ system as an add on for this type gunwale now, and am seriously considering adding it to my boat so I can use their cammo setup for next duck season. This is a great boat for my purposes, just heavy is all...

I agree with the previous review, this sucker is not light.…

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I agree with the previous review, this sucker is not light. At 80lbs empty it's easy for two people to portage, but a task for one. The ram xcell material is rigid however it scratches easily when beaching the canoe. With no keel (flat bottom) it turns very well but tracks with a little effort. Not a big deal, my wife and I had little problems, but you will need extra co-ordination. Best things about this canoe are the price..$430 at Academy, and the 800lb capacity. I would only buy the DLX model though as it has wooden seats and yoke. The plastic ones in the standard model look as if they would break very easy.

This canoe is made of RamXcell, a layer of rigid foam sandwiched…

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This canoe is made of RamXcell, a layer of rigid foam sandwiched between polyethylene layers. The material is stiff and floats, but is not light. The canoe has a flat bottom (no keel) and is fairly wide at 37". I am pleased after my first day of paddling with my son. The canoe turns more quickly and "draws" sideways better than many others, making it good for dodging rocks. Straight line tracking and foreward speed are not its strong points, especially if you use single-bladed canoe paddles. When using a double-bladed kayak paddle, I had no problem going in a straight line. The hull on my canoe is very slightly misshapen (not perfectly symmetrical), but no big deal (you notice this sort of thing when the thing is cartopped and right at eye level). Overall, I am pleased... except when I have to lift and carry the silly thing (did I mention that it is not light?).