Buying A Used Canoe

Recent years we have seen a resurgence of the canoe, a trend demonstrated by the fantastic assortment of quality used canoes available on the market.  When many outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to consider purchasing a canoe for their next adventure they immediately think of large, heavy and bulky craft they couldn’t imagine portaging into their favorite fishing lake or hopping into to negotiate whitewater.

Canoe Materials

While some of today’s aluminum used canoes are still on the heavy side, other materials have been introduced that maintain the canoe’s strength but reduce the weight remarkably.  Fiberglass, Royalex and Kevlar are just 3 of the popular materials you’ll find in used canoes that offer excellent durability in a lighter, more maneuverable form.  These and other resins have revolutionized the way people think of canoeing, and for good reason.  They offer much better performance and deliver a ride that features enhanced control.  Longer distances can be canoed with less fatigue.  The materials employed in the models you consider will be one of the most significant factors in the prices of the used canoes.

Canoe Styles

If you haven’t been around the canoe scene for awhile, or are new to it, you’ll be surprised to learn that there are differentiated styles that are built for various purposes. 

Recreational Canoe

For example, the most basic style of canoe is now often called a recreational canoe.  Used canoes in this category appeal to those who plan to use it on relatively calm waters in sedate circumstances.  If paddling near the shore, fishing, or navigating a lazy river at the cabin is all you intend to do, these affordable used canoes will likely serve you well.  They usually run 13’ to 16’ with a wider hull for greater stability.

Whitewater Canoe

Another popular category of used canoes is called the whitewater canoe, designed for hitting the rapids.  They sport extreme rocker, meaning the ends of the hull taper upward to keep them out of the water.  Many canoers add toe blocks and a kneeling pedestal for better control when the water turns white.

Racing Canoes

Racing canoes are long, sleek and fast.  The specialty canoes are 18’ to 20’ in length and are built for straight ahead paddling.  Used canoes in this category can be a bit pricey because they are high-performance models.

Wilderness Tripping Canoes

Wilderness tripping canoes have a large weight capacity for carrying weeks’ worth of gear and 1-3 adults.  They are typically 15’ to 18’ and built for stability and efficiency.  The river tripping canoes are a sleeker version of the tripping canoe and are made for adventuring in fast-moving water. 


Good deals on used canoes in these styles are available, but ask about damage to the hull since many of them have seen some rough conditions.

Peruse the collection of used canoes for sale and narrow your choices based on the way you plan to play.  A great used canoe is the perfect craft for hitting your favorite form of water this coming season.


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