I grew up with a 17' Grumman canoe. My parents bought it in the early 60's and used it extensively for trips on many rivers in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas ( Jack's Fork, Current, North Fork of the White, Buffalo, Gasconade, Courtois, even the Mulberry. We also put it on the roof of our 1964 Ford station wagon along side an identical twin borrowed from friends and took it to the Boundary Waters in southern Ontario. My first trip was at age eight where I went as a passenger. Several years later I rated the bow seat and eventually my brother and I had our own canoe. We would put in on Basswood lake and spend three weeks in the woods of northern Minnesota and southern Ontario. The Grumman was transportation and sometimes even shelter. The boat moved to Oregon from St. Louis with my mother in 1984. I think my brother ran it down the Deschutes. It died an ignoble death in my mother's back yard in 1992. Someone shot a lot of holes through it with a high powered airgun or a shotgun and my mother gave it away, probably to the jerk that shot it up. It had five years of Ontario Provincial Park permits on its bow and hundreds and hundreds of miles of what are now National Scenic Waterways rivers under its belt. Wish I had it to this day.
Many adventures in my old Grumman...
I've had many adventures in my 17-foot standard Grumman canoe built by Marathon, including a near fatality (my fault, not the canoe's). I grew up on a lake in N.J. with beautiful wood and canvas canoes. They were works of art, but only good for flat water and a headache to maintain. I got the aircraft-gauge aluminum Grumman from by brother in the early '72s and have used it primarily on the Potomac and rivers in N.J., Delaware and West Virginia, both white a flat water. It's keel helps it track, but it's too heavy for serious racing.
In the late '80s I used it to shuttle in two trips my wife, three young kids, our dog and all our gear to an island campsite on Lake George. During one trip down the Potomac south of Great Falls the canoe was swamped plowing through giant rooster tails. We never tipped over, we just sank! Unfortunately we hit a rock and put a 5-inch split in the hull. It was patched and has never leaked. A partner and I attempted Little Falls (against my better judgement) and we quickly swamped. We spent several terrifying moments under water before popping up downstream. Ten minutes later the nearly submerged Grumman floated past and we retrieved it and all our gear.
I outfitted the boat with a sail kit which I modified to make the cumbersome sideboards work automatically. My partner and I had some thrilling moments standing nearly straight up on the gunnels to balance the boat as we soared across the Potomac near Mt. Vernon in summer squalls. Now in my 70s, the boat is becoming heavier than I care to haul and I now use kayaks for my paddling. (I compare kayaks to sport cars and my Grumman to a station wagon.) I'm about to pass along this boat to another generation as it will last far longer than I will.
The old .05" Grumman canoes are Legendary, they can go on any…
The old .05" Grumman canoes are Legendary, they can go on any whitewater trip and come back with merely scratches, never get holes, I've had 15' and 17' ones and they stand KING in my book. However, please beware sometime in the 80s I believe, they started making them only .04" and these will get holes if you ride them like a champion, even though this probably isn't a problem for anyone else, I am a hardcore canoeist.
Expensive, they can run about $1000, worth it though. They also come with square Stern if you want to mount a motor. Other canoes get scratches and holes and warping where you can't easily repair them, if you s OK mehow bend or warp a Grumman like I have, you can just bend it back, no need to buy anything other than a sledge if you don't already have one. This is the only canoe for true Jackpine Savages such as myself.
I have owned two Grumman canoes, both 17 footers. I still have…
I have owned two Grumman canoes, both 17 footers. I still have one and my youngest son has the other. One I purchased from the Boy Scouts when they wanted to get new boats and the other I purchased third hand from a man who inherited it from his grandfather. Both were built in the late 40's and both are still going. The one I have is nicknamed "The Rock Cracker" as it has seen extensive white water use and has the damage to prove it. It has uncountable dents and some cracks which have been easy to repair using aluminum auto body repair tape. There are holes where I used epoxy and even duct tape in places where temporary emergency repairs were made and have become more or less permanent. I have tried every other type of canoe in white water and will stick to Grumman because it always comes home with me. I can't say the same for fiberglass(expensive), Polyethylene(heavy), Cedar(very expensive), Birch bark(hard to get) and kevlar(extremely expensive). The aluminum Grumman is the toughest, most durable and easiest to repair. The fiberglass was a good canoe, a little bit lighter maybe but more fragile and difficult to repair. The poly Coleman was heavy and got wrapped around a tree rendering it useless and un-repairable. The birch bark was very pretty as was the cedar stripper but both punctured easily. The kevlar was light weight and tough but also became distorted after slamming sideways into some big rocks. The aluminum is middleweight and roomy and as I said, easy to repair, especially in the field(stream?). It has lived it's entire life outdoors and is a nice shade of green(moss) on the outside and looks old and beat up but so what, it still works and now that I'm 65 years old, I have a lot of experience with it and Class I, II and III whitewater are no problem and we have even tried it in Class IV which was a rough ride but we made it although it was a bit scary and I would recommend flotation bags for the real rough stuff as the canoe can become unresponsive if enough water gets in. I can still get it on the roof of my van by myself by inverting it and lifting one end and placing it up over the rear rack cross bar and then lifting the other end and sliding it up onto the other cross bar. The big roomy canoe that holds the two of us and our three dogs plus cooler only weighs 75 lbs. and that's not bad at all compared to some.
Kudos Grumman for making WWII aircraft that brought my father and uncle back from the war safely and then building boats that had the same strength and integrity that they and I and my children and grandchildren have been using with much enjoyment and safety. These boats are definitely a 10+ in my book.
Used the 18' Grumman Aluminum Canoe for about 6 months total tripping…
Used the 18' Grumman Aluminum Canoe for about 6 months total tripping, 3 people/canoe, in Canada 1957-63. No life jackets, shot some pretty bad rapids..English River, but mostly Lake work. The boats were totally reliable.
Once I fixed a 5" longitudinal rent in the bottom - which somehow happened during a truck portage to start the trip - with pine tar and adhesive tape. It lasted though the whole 7 day trip w/o further attention. We took care to not abuse the boats, but their durability and flotation characteristics were amazing. I'm about to buy one.
Have had this canoe for years. Handles gear and 2 people or…
Have had this canoe for years. Handles gear and 2 people or 3 people and no gear well. Fun to paddle by yourself or with a friend. This thing is durable and if you treat it right it should last a lifetime. The only real downside is that it is heavy. That is expected for its size and material though so just get a friend or a canoe cart to help you get it to the water.
The old standby! I have used both the 15 and 17…
The old standby! I have used both the 15 and 17 foot basic versions likely from the 1970's timeframe. Have done both flat-water and some light whitewater. Of course they cruise nicely, and even after being beat up, they can be repaired and still last a long time, if you don’t mind the fairly high weight of 85 or 90 pounds. Good for long trips w/ lots of gear.
I'm so happy to read all the great reviews. My first experiences…
I'm so happy to read all the great reviews. My first experiences in canoes were in Grumman's in summer camp I loved them then (25 hrs ago) and love them now. My wife and I were looking for a canoe in papers and Craig's list none jumped out and many overpriced them to my amazement we found a '67 15 ft Grumman listed at $80 no damage just normal scrapes on the bottom and slight oxidizing on one side. I gladly paid him $100 and took it out the next day. I felt like a kid again (although it felt much heavier than I remember them feeling) turns well and go's fast enough with a paddle for me and the fact that it was made in '67 and has been outside for at least the last ten Massachusetts winters and is still straight and true and never sprung a leak is remarkable to me. I give it a 100
I traveled through the Boundary Waters Canoe area in 1962 when I…
I traveled through the Boundary Waters Canoe area in 1962 when I was 18 years old. That was the first time I had been in a canoe. After the trip I promptly purchased a 15 foot Grumman and I still have it. I have probably paddled that canoe thousands of miles on hunting, fishing, and camping trips, mostly lakes but also numerous rivers. I have only one complaint about the canoe; It seems to have gotten heavier over the years.
I've bought a used Grumman 17' standard canoe 35 years ago and…
I've bought a used Grumman 17' standard canoe 35 years ago and canoed flat water and the gravelly Class 1+ North Platte River near Casper, Wyoming a lot the first 10 years I had it. I had 17' and 11' Smokercraft aluminum canoes as well, but the narrow beam and flush riveting of the Grumman made it the "racehorse" of my stable, and it was the one I ended up keeping.
Yes, it was cold and noisy and it grabbed onto any rock it contacted, but the combination of rocker, deep keel and narrow beam made it perform well on all types of water. It hardly got out the last 25 years but the house got fixed, the kids left, and the wife finally let me free to do my thing and taking this UV-resistant beauty off the back yard rack and scouting for campsites along the river was like dating an old flame.
At 75 lbs it's getting tougher to car-top but when run stern-first and balanced it's easy to line up on the center riffles during low water even while paddling solo. It was amazing how all the old feelings came back. I'm looking for an 18 footer for expeditions but I'm keeping the one I have.
I noticed that one of the reviewers thought the Grumman was not…
I noticed that one of the reviewers thought the Grumman was not a whitewater boat. In the late 60s it may have been the best boat available for whitewater. There were folboats that couldn't make the turns. Kayaks and C1s that were great but no one wore helmets (maybe a WW11 german helmet) so "rolls" were only done in the quieter water at the end of rapids. Other canoes were cheap aluminum or fiberglass so the Grumman was the boat of choice of the early whitewater days.
Grumman made a whitewater model that had a shoe keel (shallow draft)for quick turns and 2 extra ribs for strength. My first was a used standard keel in 1967 and I learned my strokes on the small steams of NC and SC. A few of us formed the Carolina Canoe Club in 1969 and most of our 15 members used Grumman.
I lost that first canoe attempting to run the Savage River in Maryland. We had done the Yough in PA the day before and and the Savage had never been run in open boats. Four paddlers from the DC area ran at 600 cfs. Four more of us tried it at 800 cfs. It wasn't a smart choice...we lost all the boats. Mine was found later somewhere on the Potomac but by that time I had purchased a new Whitewater model.
We paddled pure. No flotation. And many of our trips were first descents. Over the 20 years I paddled we ran streams up to Class 5. No flotation meant we had to limit our big river runs to low to avg water levels because waves over 3 feet would always put water in the boat as we went thru the crest so a few crashing waves could swamp a paddler if he/she couldn't find an eddy.
The one problem that eventually wore out the Grumman was repeated rock hits on the stern. Vertical drops meant a dive into often foaming water with the bow. As the bow exploded back up into the air, the stern the drove into the water behind me. Rocks would often be below the surface and that pounding eventually would weaken the strong angle iron located just behind the kneeling paddler. Sharp waves also could cause the stern to find submerged rocks.
Drops over 5 vertical feet were difficult because the bow dove so deep that one would take on too much water. Still I ran many that were higher and one that was 11' without turning over or swamping.
We looked for streams with drops exceeding 25' per mile and paddled some with more than 100' of drop (Chatooga, Wilson Ck Gorge etc). Some other great streams...Obed, Nolichucky, Nantahalla, New R in NC and Va and the New in TN. But the most fun for me were the small technical streams that required quick turns, eddy turns and ferrying to work my way thru long rapids.
I had to sell the 2nd canoe after it wore down but it still made a good, not great, lake canoe. My 3rd survived the hundreds of streams and rivers and sits dented and abused but sadly unused in my backyard. It still has some whitewater left in it but I'm afraid that I don't have any desire left in me.
But, yes. The Grumman is a fantastic whitewater boat requiring strength and skill. Unfortunately, the new ABS canoes are filled with air bags and thigh straps so there are probably no true whitewater canoers out there any more. If you can "roll" a canoe in whitewater then it's just not right to call it canoeing.
I bought my 15' Grumman Canoe in 1974, it has held up…
I bought my 15' Grumman Canoe in 1974, it has held up great for the last 40 years, couldn't ask for a better canoe.
I still love the old school Grumman. Even though they are relegated…
I still love the old school Grumman. Even though they are relegated to beach parking on short hauls and camp recreation programs, you can't fault their work ethic. I have seen one wrapped halfway around a rock and beat back into service without a leak. Heavy, by today's standards, yes. But cheap and forever. Smooth extruded gunwales make for easy on the thumb bumps too. Something the hard edged fibre canoes can't claim.
I purchased a Grumman 15 as a canoe I could haul my…
I purchased a Grumman 15 as a canoe I could haul my family around in. Before purchasing it used (i think it was made in the 60's) I read a lot of the reviews on this site. The boat is super stable, tracks straight, and is tough as nails. I love just leaving it out back and power washing it once a summer. I have used it in strong class II waves on the Delaware after several big storms we had here this summer and only mildly took on water.
I would recommend this boat as a beater you can keep around and not worry about. What I don't like is how it gets hung up on rocks, it is like slamming on the brakes!
I grew up paddling my Dad's 15 foot Grumman that he purchased…
I grew up paddling my Dad's 15 foot Grumman that he purchased as a teenager used out of the paper. I took it on many Boy Scout camping trips some as long as 10 days. The boat started its life in NJ, moved to MA, and is now at my parent's retirement home at a lake in the Adirondacks. My kids spent hours in it this summer, and it has always been well used. When I moved to FL and started my own family, I checked to see if my Dad's Grumman was for sale? Of course not… So I hunted high and low for one of my own. I found a 17 foot Grumman made in the early 80s and I have paddled that with my family for a few years now.
They are great flat water boats. They are both stable, they track beautifully, and are forgiving for beginners in that they are more stable than most canoes I have been in. The only downside to these boats is that they don't handle whitewater well. I've done some class 1 runs in the 15 and the 17 but I wouldn’t go higher especially in the 17. It wants to track straight and on whitewater, turning quickly can be required or you will wrap it around a rock, tree or similar. For these runs you will want something different.
There is a notable difference in the 15 and 17. The 15 turns better. This can be a benefit if you are on small streams with lots of turns. The 17 "likes" to track straight and is great on lakes and larger streams or rivers. Both handle waves well and I have had friends try (without success) to swamp us with wakes from power boats in both the 15 and 17.
Both the 15 and the 17 have been outfitted with a homemade mount to take an electric trolling motor off the side behind the rear seat. This configuration works well and the boat remains stable. You cannot go wrong with this canoe and it will last forever. Neither of our boats have ever required any maintenance, ever. Not sure there is much more to say than 3 generations of use from a used boat and all agree it is perfect.
I am looking for another 15 or 17 footer so I can take friends out with me, the trouble is they are hard to find. I can understand why…
In 1946 or 1948 my father came home one night with a…
In 1946 or 1948 my father came home one night with a brand new Grumman 15 footer on top of his car. Man, were we five kids thrilled! Since that time it has been used constantly by several generations - filled with water and floated around in, fished from, sailed with a home-made sail rig, pushed with an outboard motor on a home outrigger, used in the surf of two oceans, and is still going strong. The only time I know of where it was tipped over accidentally, was by yours truly, who violated the rules and managed to dump it.
To this day it is in excellent shape - no dents of any consequence - has been painted then sanded back to its original hue. Has tasted the waters of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Florida. Most of these years it has been stored outdoors in the off season, and nothing seems to bother it. If the rating scale were higher, I'd give it a better rating.
This canoe is a great piece of equipment. I recently outfitted a…
This canoe is a great piece of equipment. I recently outfitted a 16 ft Grumman with a couple of PVC outriggers and took it for 250 miles down the upper Delaware river with a buddy. We had a lot of weight in the boat and the water was low. We smashed over rocks at least 15 times, scraping up the bottom and bending the keel. But the thing never sprung a leak. I got the thing second hand and have used it for many hours on the Hudson River. Its durable, light enough to lift solo, and easy to transport in a pickup truck.
Where to start? In 1967/early 68 we first bought a 13 foot…
Where to start? In 1967/early 68 we first bought a 13 foot Grumman, complete with home-made sidesaddle motor mount & a small gas outboard, maybe 3/4 or 1 hp, that we instantly called The Egg-Beater. Had lots of fun with it, made a great addition to Dad's 14 foot Duracraft Semi-V with 10 hp Johnson. The Eggbeater outboard was troublesome & finally gave up the ghost, but that was several years later. I used to have to stop halfway around the lake & clean out the float bowl on it. But for every outing using the motor, it was probably used 4 or 5 times with paddles.
It was probably in late 1969 or spring of 1970 that Dad called me- a rare thing indeed back then. He said a guy had a 15 foot Grumman canoe & wanted $80 for it- should he put it in the company bulletin board sheet or did I want it today? We went in the old blue & white '58 Ford pickup and I bought it that evening.
Our 13 & 15 foot canoes were as different as night & day. The 13 footer had an almost perfectly round bottom & would easily dump a careless paddler- it was *great* for perfecting those upper body/lower body differences I first learned of at Scout Camp a few years before! The 15 footer had- & still has- an almost flat bottom & by the time I got it I was unswampable in it, as friends in fishing or ski boats would make a round or 3 around it, trying their best to turn us over.
The 13 footer went some years ago, but my Grumman 15 still remains. I don't know exactly when it was made- the tag was chiseled off the deck when I bought it. I believe that was because Texas boating laws then required anything over 14 feet to be registered- but that's just a guess.
It has its scratches & scars, but the hull has never been holed & there are still no leaks at all. She's straight & ready to go- heck, my brother & his kids took it out just last weekend. Many times over the years, if someone does yard work, roofing, etc, they'll ask the same question, & my answer is always the same-"No, not for sale."
I've owned my Grumman 15 for over 40 years now. It has required *No* maintenance of any kind. Just turn it upside down, & it's good for a day or for 20 years. Direct sunshine? All right. The ice storm of 2000/2001 here in NE Texas? OK. What does it need? Nothing. When I'm ready to go, so is my Grumman. It was true shortly after I bought it when we floated & fished down the White River in Arkansas- Dad in the 13 footer, me & my brother in the 15- and it's been true ever since, for over 40 years now.
You say Tin Tank? I say Plastic Fantastic. Outdated? Time-tested. Flaws? Yes, aluminum is noisy. It's probably cost me more than a few fish over the years. Yes, on a hot sunny day- and we have *Lots* of 'em in Texas- it can do a fair imitation of a reflector oven. It's no lightweight- on some days it seems to have gained almost as much weight as I have in the past 42 years! If you should wrap an aluminum canoe around the river rocks, it sure ain't gonna pop back into shape by itself.
And yet- for all that- I still give it a 10. Why? Ruggedness. I doubt any plastic, Royalex or even Fiberglass could have survived without wearing through the hull from being beached & launched on the rough iron ore gravel-so common here- for so many years. You can even shoot fireworks from it! That might be dicey in anything but aluminum. The fact that it needs *No* care at all- just turn it upside down, at most you'll need to sweep some spiders out of it- really endears it to me. Far too many things require work from me- but never my Grumman 15. Oil canning? What's that? ;^) Sentimental reasons? Sure, why not? It's never let me down & is still ready to go after 40+ years- and often reminds me of better times too.
If you want the fastest, or the most snob appeal, or the lightest, or the best solo, or a hard-core whitewater boat, or the quietest for fishing- OK, you should probably get something else. But if you want a flatwater canoe for the long haul- something you can pass on to your children & grandchildren, something you'll never have to work on- get a Grumman Standard canoe.
My only regret about my 15 footer- for almost 40 years, I've thought the only thing wrong with it is that it's not a *17* foot Grumman canoe!
The Grumman 15' aluminum canoe is an amazingly durable classic canoe.…
The Grumman 15' aluminum canoe is an amazingly durable classic canoe. We've owned one for 35 years and used it for many years of canoe camping in the Adirondacks, and for casual paddling on local lakes & rivers.
I paddle a tough old 15-footer, built in '59-60; it weighs about…
I paddle a tough old 15-footer, built in '59-60; it weighs about that. It was abandoned with a gunwale dent & 2 holes in the bow. I patched those with JB Weld, added a padded yoke amidships, squirted foam into the ends, painted Everglades camo and named it Pogo. Had to goose my gym routine to get it up on my pickup rack. Aluminum's noisy but 2x2-foot dovetailed rubber floor pads dampen sound. A Crazy Creek air chair does the same for my backside. Pogo's a good fishing boat, plenty of capacity. Kinda slow and skates in a breeze, but you can't beat the price: $0.00 with no sales tax.
Still using a late 40's / early 50's model. 17' w/ aircraft…
Still using a late 40's / early 50's model. 17' w/ aircraft grade aluminum. Too many rivets for its size but that's what has held it together after all the river abuse and half-ass repairs it's been through.
I'd love to find a 20ft square stern Grumman right now!
Love my Grummans owned since 1957, never bothered by noise or cold…
Love my Grummans owned since 1957, never bothered by noise or cold and will keep up with the best of any other brand. Saw my first one at Boy Scout Camp in 1946. At age 16 in 1948 a buddy and I paddled the 100 mile Adirondack canoe route from Old Forge to Upper Saranac Lake where we put our rented 15 footer (flotation was air tanks at the stems) on a train to return it to the livery in Old Forge.
In 1957 I bought a damaged 15' Grumman for $35, in which a father and son had not survived a whitewater accident. My future father-in-law owned a bar and had it repaired by a guy who welded aluminum beer kegs! I paddled it in the Hudson River Whitewater Derby in 1960 and on many camping trips with my family until I sold it in 1965 for $100 and brought an 18' standard also a 65 sq ft Gunter rigged Grumman sail rig.
In 1973 with 4 kids I did add a Mad River Malecite which I could paddle solo or tandem. I continue to paddle the 18' Grumman on local rivers, Cape Cod lakes and bays and canoe camping trips on northern Maine. rivers. At one point when it was stored in the yard and not tied down a 75 mph wind gust blew it into a white pine and flattened the sides and gunnels at the center thwart. with some lumber and a car jack I was able to get it back in reasonable shape. A note to Grumman explaining the damage and they graciously provided replacement gunnel sections, alum patches, rivets and instructions to repair the damage. A rep at the factory even phoned me at work to apologize for a delay when my note had been misplaced. What great customer relations!
I have a Grumman Sportcanoe 1975 model. I purchased it new in…
I have a Grumman Sportcanoe 1975 model. I purchased it new in 1976 and I still have it. It is marsh grass in color and weighs over 112#. Purchased new for $550. The BIA rating is 1050#. I have looked into buying another one but the BIA rating is now only 450#. Three burley guys and a hundred decoys will not fit legally in this size canoe. The last one I looked at even had some flotation crap in the passenger area. I understand my model was only manufactured for three years as it was too expensive for most people. I love it. The only down side is the oar locks are too low for comfortable long term rowing and when equipped with a 5-hp motor it wind socks terribly if you don't have a heavy friend up front. this model rated 8 out of 10 in the utility market 4 out of 10 in the recreational market
Something I've noticed about Grummans is that that each one has a…
Something I've noticed about Grummans is that that each one has a story, usually a long and happy story. The story of ours is that my dad bought it new in 1973. About 10 years later he decided he wanted a kevlar canoe, so we got the Grumman. It's a 17' standard with a lake keel.
This is the boat my wife and I learned to paddle in over 25 years ago. (We're still married, by the way.) It was our only boat for several years, and the only one I could imagine wanting at the time. Other boats have come and gone from our life since then; others have come and stayed. The Grumman now has to compete with half a dozen other canoes and kayaks for time on the water, so it doesn't get out as much as it would like to. Every time I do get it on the water, I am impressed once again with the quality of its design and construction. Despite all the years we've had it, I'm still not tired of it. It's not for sale.
Although the 17' version is not a racing boat, people in shorter boats (Grumman or otherwise) think we're racing with them even when we're just sliding along trying not to leave them behind. It is an efficient cruiser. How fast it will go seems to be primarily dependent on the person in the other end. It's definitely slower when loaded to the gunwales with camping gear. Duh. If speed is all you're after, get a long skinny sea kayak.
The handling is very forgiving in a wide range of conditions, and it is as stable as a canoe can be. I can definitely recommend this as a canoe to learn in. The Grumman excels for flat and moving water up to class I. Out west here, what we call class II usually has a gradient of about 20' per mile, standing waves up to 2', and lots of snags and rocks that need to be dodged on short notice. With all due respect to other reviewers' opinions, the Grumman is not happy in these situations.
Other things you should know:
The aluminum hull transmits noise like a drum. The sound is very nice when splashing through the ripples on a lake. It is very unpleasant and embarrassing when you hit a rock in the bottom of a river.
The aluminum hull transmits heat very quickly, so the hull is the same temperature as the water it's on. This is nice in the summer but it means cold feet in the winter.
A Grumman will take more abuse than a wood or composite boat, but if you really want to bounce off rocks, Royalex is a better choice.
Salt water will attack aluminum pretty quickly, so it can't be recommended for marine environments.
Great flatwater boat. Mine is a 17' hand-me-down that's been in…
Great flatwater boat. Mine is a 17' hand-me-down that's been in the family since 1981. Stable, tracks beautifully. Best for flatwater; I would not recommend for anything over class II. Plenty of room to haul gear for trips up to 10 days. I've outfitted mine to take an electric trolling motor, side mount. Can't go wrong with this canoe, will last forever
Through dumb luck, i stumbled upon a 1974 17'"SK". I ballast it…
Through dumb luck, i stumbled upon a 1974 17'"SK". I ballast it, and go solo. The "SK" version appears to be particularly robust...
To me,it's a functional work of aluminum art...compound curves, neat extrusions, and multitudes flush rivets.
I made a simple rig to easily load/unload from van top unassisted. Rig also serves as dolly. My experience is limited the Nippersink Creek in McHenry County, Illinois. Having never paddled anything else... I can't criticize the handling, and find it to be just fine! I expect to have this Grumman until I pass it on to my daughter some day...
After considerable print research in the late 60's, I bought a 17'…
After considerable print research in the late 60's, I bought a 17' standard Grumman, aluminum with keel. Because my wife thought it dangerously long on top of our VW Bug, I took a 15' one and used it for about 10 years--perfect boat for what we wanted, one I could car-top and that could hold me, wife, 2 small kids, and lunch and other stuff on lake and placid river day trips. At 15', it was sluggish--traded Bug for VW Squareback and 15' for 17', a more efficient boat.
DEFICITS: aluminum sticks to rocks (my son and I were stuck on one for five nerve-wracking minutes way off shore on windy and wavy Attean Pond in ME). With its flat bottom, its initial stability is rock solid; but heeled over just a hair too much and wham! you're in the drink. And compared to my 16' Royalex Penobscot, the Grumman was sluggish. And I began to find 75 lbs. a real strain to car-top.
ADVANTAGES: real solid--I kept it outdoors all year, never did any maintenance except wash out the bugs and debris from sitting upside down 6 months of the year. Also, for me paddling solo, because of its keel it tracked much better on a lake than my present 16' Penobscot (reviewed here under 'Old Town'). It was great for what I bought it--young family, no trailer, manageable, and bomb-proof. If I were to live my life over, I would probably buy the light-weight 17' Grumman.
Bought a 17' Grumman in 1974. I still have it. Built a…
Bought a 17' Grumman in 1974. I still have it. Built a log cabin accessible only by canoe, hauled all my materials, hauled as many as eight people across the lake. Gem of a canoe. No leaks, easy to handle, very stable, could dive off and swim and get back into the canoe. Took it into white water, swamps, portages etc. Best I've ever had.
I am writing in reference to these great canoes and my experience…
I am writing in reference to these great canoes and my experience using them.
I started canoeing with my father when I was four years old. Back in the fifties, we owned wood and aluminum canoes. I always liked the Grumman compared to the wood for all applications that I used the canoe for, this included white water, still water and open water. As I grew older, I did a tour of duty in the Marines and Coast Guard, and I became a Boy Scouts Aquatics Instructor teaching canoeing and we used Grumman’s. Later on I owned composite canoes for all of the above application, but always returning to the mighty Grumman.
I have used these canoes on whitewater rivers up to a class III, and yes they handle just fine compared to any other canoe that I have used, and no they are not noisy as some have stated, but they are rugged. I was taking a composite canoe down the rain flooded Brandywine river just north of the Delaware state line in Pennsylvania when I hit a rock in the rapids, it busted the stem out of the composite canoe causing a flood of water to rush in, I had to abandon my trip that day. However, I have run this river many times in the mighty Grumman without putting a hole in it. More over, I have used these canoes all over our great nation; this includes the Atlantic ocean, Chesapeake bay, MD, Delaware River NY and PA, DE, Christiana River, DE, Chester River, MD; Choptank, MD, Tuckahoe, River, MD. In the state of Missouri, I used a 17 ft. Grumman to run some of the toughest rivers in the show-me state, and the Grumman all ways performed well, and I never had to leave a river because of damage, I cannot say that about the composite canoes.
I now own a 13 ft. Grumman and it handles very well and only weights in at 50 pounds. So Grumman does make a light canoe that is very portable, and will handle two large adults, they also have a 12 footer solo that weights less than forty pounds.
I just bought a 15 foot sport boat. Time to retire my…
I just bought a 15 foot sport boat. Time to retire my 1959 pioneer canoe. I've never seen or heard of a grumman sport boat before but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna like it. Looks like it originally came with a sailkit. gonna have to get me one of those.
We bought a 15 foot standard weight Grumman in 1967 for $225…
We bought a 15 foot standard weight Grumman in 1967 for $225 -- one of the best investments we've ever made. The boat took us on lakes large and small and through Class 3 whitewater. For all that it has only a few scratches and two, not very large, dents. For all those years it lived outside on a set of low sawhorses -- unaffected by sun, rain and heavy snow loads. When its weight got to be too much for my aching back it went to our son and we got a kevlar canoe. The kevlar boat is lightweight and beautiful, but it has to live inside to protect it from the sun and will never take the beating that the Grumman has taken without complaint. Sure the 15 foot Grumman isn't fast and won't turn on a dime, but it will give you years of pleasure and be there for another generation.
I've owned a Grumman 17-foot square stern for 35 years. Bought…
I've owned a Grumman 17-foot square stern for 35 years. Bought it new after getting out of the Army. It's been on many streans and rivers, including the Misssouri and Mississippi. Ran a 3 h.p. Johnson on it for several years and the boat and motor were a perfect match for one another.
People will complain about the weight (in truth, I do as well at times), but that's only a problem when loading and unloading. Once on the water, she's an easy boat to handle. Not fast, but very compliant.
Would I buy a new one today? Probably not, with all the light weight, high performance materials now available. But she was a Cadilac in her day. No regrets, but would like to get a kayak for solo trips.
I grew up around Grumman canoes used for duck hunting in northern…
I grew up around Grumman canoes used for duck hunting in northern Michigan, at our fly-in shack in Canada, and camping/fishing trips at small inland lakes. I’ve even used one to sight-see along the Lake Superior shoreline on a calm day. I’ve got a 17' that I regularly use a 4 horse Evenrude on. I also have a Browning labeled Aerocraft. While it is a fine canoe, it is not up to jobs the Grumman does with no problem - in particular handing chop and strong cross winds.
I have overloaded the Grumman shamefully on duck hunts and dragged it into spots not fit for man or beast. A nice coat of Dead Grass Green, a layer of khaki duct tape along the gunwales to prevent gun scratches is all I’ve done to mine. I cannot say enough positive about Grumman canoes and the abuse they can take. A true American made gem.
I have been buying, restoring and reselling canoes for the last…
I have been buying, restoring and reselling canoes for the last ten years and by far the Grumman brand canoes are the best constructed boat on the market.
I have had at least 100 Grumman’s of all different years and sizes and have never had one leak they are all hand crafted to this date. I live 45 minutes from the factory in Marathon NY and have visited them on many occasions the workers are very friendly and helpful.
I also have six Grumman lateen sail rigs that have never been used. I am dying to try one out, but lack of sailing knowledge is holding me back, but maybe someday...
I have owned Grumman 13', 15' and 17' standard & lightweight canoes…
I have owned Grumman 13', 15' and 17' standard & lightweight canoes since 1972 (now, also the solo 12'9" for fishing) because they give the safest and best all around service for fishing, camping and hunting. A big plus is they have a keel which ensures predictable handling in stiff winds, which is definitely not true of modern composite canoes no matter what they advertise about their "minimal bow/stern rockers". Noise can be subdued with some split hose on the Gunwales and a little carpet or pad on the bottom. I have also owned finely made composite cruisers from well respected manufacturers so I understand that for the aesthetic-minded, Grumman canoes won't get you to the zen level of paddling. But their practical attributes outweigh zen for most realistic outdoor experiences.
I give this aluminum canoe a bad rating. It's slow, cold, loud…
I give this aluminum canoe a bad rating. It's slow, cold, loud, slow and is a horrible design. I can't believe anyone would rate any gruman I've paddled higher than a 4. They're not bad for dragging behind a truck on icy roads, but that's about it.
Bought a used Gruman 20 years ago loved it it never failed…
Bought a used Gruman 20 years ago loved it it never failed me Ever!! Had to get rid of it from divorce no place to store it. Gave it to my friend and he and his grandson still uses it. Want to get another soon.
I have a 1949 Grumman Sport Boat. It is a fantastic boat…
I have a 1949 Grumman Sport Boat. It is a fantastic boat for both fishing and waterfowl hunting. A great performer with both oars and outboard. I currently use a Nissan 3.5 HP 4 stroke outboard and it will get the canoe up on plane with two full grown men. It is a tough and durable boat, perfect for the sportsman. I can also get it in and out of the bed of my pick-up truck by myself. A real plus! I highly recommend the Grumman Sports Boat for the sportsman.
I had used Grumman canoes many times while I was growing up…
I had used Grumman canoes many times while I was growing up. The first one I purchased I noticed at a marine store. It was obviously used and upon inquiry, was informed I could purchase it for $200.00.... SOLD!!! This is the 15' model with a motor transom. I use a 40lb trolling motor on it, and take it fishing, wildlife watching, exploring, etc....
The second Grumman I own I found for sale in a local paper. I went and looked at it and immediately recognized it as a sailing canoe. It has all the mounts and holes neccessary for the sailing rig... I just don't have one. Price on this canoe... $200.00.
I won't part with either of them as the kids get good use out of them. I am in search of someone who has the sailing rig and can make me some measurements so I might build a rig. I know it should be simple, I would just like to get it as close to original as possible...
I used to be a canoe guide in Canada in the 1970's…
I used to be a canoe guide in Canada in the 1970's. We used 15 foot and 17-foot Grummans and Aero-Craft aluminum canoes. The 17 -foot Grumman was the superior craft for numerous reasons. It tracked well on big lakes thanks to the keel. But it was a decent river canoe as well. Amazingly, the 17 foot Grumman weighs only 75 lbs. Flip it over onto your shoulders and the broad thwarts are quite comfortable even without a yoke. And it is PERFECTLY balanced for portaging. The equivalent Aero-craft was 95 pounds (a decent boat but a pig to portage). Based on my recollections, I just bought a 1974, Grumman 17 footer from a lady in Ann Arbor who kissed it goodbye. She had never swamped it in the 32 years she owned it. It was in mint condition and it reminded me why I loved this boat. I've seen these canoes get destroyed by going over waterfalls but the average smashup into a rock in a moderate rapids will only leave a dent and a scrape. An amazinly sea-worthy craft. The 17 footer holds three people AND cargo and still has a decent amount of freeboard. The extra two feet adds a compartment, more cargo capacity, and makes it a more stable craft in big lakes. Aluminum seats won't break out when people put their knees on the seats like cane or web seats. A classic machine. Can't recommend it highly enough.
My husband has owned his lightweight 15' Grumman for 25 years. Three…
My husband has owned his lightweight 15' Grumman for 25 years. Three years ago we were doing a trip on the north shore of Superior when bad weather hit. It usually doesn't last more than 3 days but after 7 days and running out of food we decided we had to do something. We set out to round a point that would lead us to a coastal trail. We could hike 6 miles to the car from there. We knew there were whitecaps but it was only once we were out in 10 foot waves and couldn't turn back that we knew how bad it was. We thought we were goners. It was Sept. - cold water, jagged rocks. But my husbands paddling skills are 'superior'. That and our bathtub of a canoe saved our lives. He’d like to get a swifter canoe but we'll never get rid of the Grumman. I won't let him.
Took my six year old son fishing last night in one of…
Took my six year old son fishing last night in one of these. My father-in-laws built in about 1959. It shows its age from years of heavy use fishing and camping but still paddles as nicely as the day it was made. With the little guy in front I turn the boat around backwards and off we go balanced perfectly. I have one of these in my garage. I let my father-in-law talk me into this one over one of the prettier canoes. I was planning on selling this boat as it doesn't get used all that much. No way! Tracks best with 2 paddlers but that may be partly my fault. Grumman used to call this the "last canoe you'll ever own. No question.
Best all around canoe I have ever used. No it's not…
Best all around canoe I have ever used. No it's not the fastest canoe, nor is it the slowest. Its other traits more then make up for that. It is seaworthy, nearly indestructible, can carry a huge load (I have probably exceeded the rated capacity many times but never felt unsafe) and easy to maintain (If you are real picky a coat of Turtle wax after the spring rinse off keeps her shiny and I think makes her a little faster).
The lanteen rig is fun but sailing performance is admittedly not good. The outboard motor mount with a 2hp engine is a great help getting gear to a camp site. Then pull it off for some fun paddling.
Mine is a handy down from my parents who bought it in 1973. A few minor dings from years of hard use but otherwise in perfect shape. These boats will last. You can't beat them.
I am a hunting guide in Alaska and have 10 Grumman canoes…
I am a hunting guide in Alaska and have 10 Grumman canoes that I and my guides use during along the rivers in my hunting area during the moose season. Four of these canoes are the 15'sportboat model (the others are the 19' freighters). I can't imagine a more practical, durable, or efficient work canoe. I routinely haul more than a 1000 lbs of moose and camp gear using 15 horse Evinrudes along more than 70 miles of sometimes shallow rivers (with the aid of a lift). Great Canoes!
I was bound and determined to buy a canoe this spring.…
I was bound and determined to buy a canoe this spring. I performed an extensive investigation into the variety of makes and models on the market today. I tried out several plastic, royalex, and aluminum canoes. I was certainly attracted to the sexy finishes and exotic materials used in modern canoes. While performing this investigation I also had to fully analyze what it was I was looking for in a canoe which as I understand it, is one of the key mistakes people make when buying a canoe. A fellow thinks he wants a canoe for whitewater but really the primary use is slow river and flatwater which by the way, is exactly what I needed to find.
While sorting through the many canoes, I wasn't concerned with price but rather selecting the most appropriate canoe for our uses. I kept coming back to the aluminum canoe based on its durability, design and overall outstanding performance characteristics. I visited many rental sites to find they either use aluminum or use plastic and if using plastic, they're thinking of going back to aluminum. I do know that those rental shops that use aluminum, have had their inventory for many, many years.
To make a long story short, I called the Marathon Boat company and talked to one of the managers. We talked canoes for a long time! I was very impressed with his knowledge and willingness to discuss his product and other customers’ products as well. Last week I drove 5 hours into the state of West Virginia to the only Grumman dealer in the state located in Ripley, WV. They had about five Grumman models to choose from, gave me a great price and I walked away with a sweet G1540C Lightweight 15'. It weighs in at about 59 pounds where my 15 year old son and I can easily manage it on and off my F-150 Ford with a topper/shell.
Today, we took it on its maiden voyage. What a beauty! It tracked well yet was easy to turn and we were also able to kick up some decent speed. It was quite stable with a nice blend of initial and secondary stability. Tomorrow morning we're getting up and taking it out on our favorite lake for some early morning bass fishing and some lake touring.
Based on its performance today, I would rate this canoe an 8/9 of 10. I take a point off for no portage thwart. I think this accessory should be standard issue and not an optional purchase.
At age 14 one of my teachers took me to the Adirondacks…
At age 14 one of my teachers took me to the Adirondacks. We paddled the Oswegatchie in his 15-foot Grumman. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with wilderness camping/paddling. My first large purchase as a young man was one of these boats (about two years of mowing dad's grass.) The canceled check from this purchase hangs on my wall today, just like the canoe hangs in my garage. It is not alone, there are five boats/kayaks in my fleet but it is the gunnels of the Grumman that meet my roof racks most often.
I have carried this canoe five miles into remote ponds. I can solo paddle this boat. I fish from this boat. I drink beer with George from this boat. My dog loves to ride in this boat. I met my wife in this boat. We have done-it in this boat! Most importantly I have introduced young 14 year olds to the sport of paddling in this boat
I have been sailing my Grumman 15 (see review below), and I…
I have been sailing my Grumman 15 (see review below), and I am happy to report that it sails very well indeed! I have the standard Grumman lanteen rig, and it moves the boat very well indeed! It is great to be able to lean back and watch (and hear) the water flowing by. It is not as tender as you might expect, and I haven't capsized it yet, even tho' I've had it out in 20 mph winds (about as much as I'd care to try). It sails about 45-50 degrees into the wind, and is about as fast as my Sunfish (although it won't plane coming off a a good wind, like the 'fish will). The only real problem I have is that the rig takes up a lot of room (and there isn't a lot of room to spare in a 15 foot canoe). All in all, a good addition. I have also added a rowing rig, and I'll post another review when I've spent more time with it.
I've owned and used my 15' Grumman Standard since 1975. I've left…
I've owned and used my 15' Grumman Standard since 1975. I've left it outside every winter in northern Michigan, and it is as good as new. Its a tough, maintainance free, easily handled canoe. I've had it on numerous river and lake camping trips and it is a good gear carrier.
Last Fall I bought an older (1972) 15 foot Grumman standard model…
Last Fall I bought an older (1972) 15 foot Grumman standard model, as the five of us no longer all fit comfortably in my Grumman Eagle. The smaller model has all of the positive traits of its bigger sibling: good stability, lasts forever, has a good capacity, is easy to handle. It also has the same less desireable traits: it is slow, noisy, and is a bit too wide for easy paddling. For families, tough, it is great. My kids (ages 13, 10 and 6) can manage it just fine by themselves. Even the dog likes it. I have found that it is also very easy to paddle solo, sitting backwards in the bow seat (needs a cushion, though, because otherwise the bow thwart gets in teh way. I've got a sail kit for it, which I am anxiously waiting to try out. It motors just fine with a trolling motor, as well. Another good all-around canoe that does everything well enough.
I purchased this canoe in 1985, and have used it on lakes…
I purchased this canoe in 1985, and have used it on lakes and rivers in Texas and Tennessee as a recreational craft, just to go out paddling to see whats around the next bend. It's not particularly fast, I'd estimate it at about 70% as fast as the fastest boats in it's class. Two paddlers can move it along rather smartly, with a satisfying bow wave and steady trail of bubbles from the stern. I sometimes paddle it myself using a long double-bladed kayak paddle, sitting on a cushion amidships, and find this quite comfortable. It is slightly over 35" wide amidships, and has a flat bottom with tumblehome sides, so the gunwhales are a bit narrower and easier to reach across than would be the case if the sides were straight or flared.
The most impressive feature of aluminum canoes is the lack of maintenance required. Unlike plastics and fiberglass, outdoor storage is no problem, as the metal will not age or become brittle as a result of exposure to ultraviolet rays. I grew up seeing the riveted seams on metal canoes, so to me, the lines of rivet heads along the gunwhales and keel are traditional features which look attractive. The rivets are doubled in number below the waterline, to spread stresses and minimize the possibility of leaks, and this canoe has never leaked. Mine has the "lake" keel, so wouldn't handle well in white water, although Grumman used to offer the option of the "shoe" keel, which allowed better maneuverability. The lake keel extends down perhaps 1/2" for most of the length of the bottom, with a shallow taper to prevent it snagging weeds, etc. It does seem to help tracking in a crosswind, at the expense of slowing maneuverability somewhat.
Seats are comfortable enough, although I often kneel, especially if facing a headwind. Aluminum canoes used to rule the water, and are the primary force for the current popularity of the sport. The Grumman is a classic design, in the same sense as a Ford Mustang, or Harley Davidson.