Thinking Of Buying A New Solo Canoe

Canoe on Seagull Lake, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota.
Canoe on Seagull Lake, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota.

I already have an aluminum canoe.  It’s pretty old, I think fifteen or twenty years old.  Seventeen footer and durable.  Sadly though I can’t haul the thing around as easily as I want.  It weighs close to 90 pounds.  I want something smaller, something for solo canoe paddling.

Here’s the rub; I don’t want to spend thousands on a new canoe.

If I go to the BWCA I rent a super light Kevlar canoe.  But for the little lakes and flat streams around where I live I would like to be able to get into them with a cheap canoe… nothing fancy.

My wife has some back issues and is not into canoeing anymore.  I pretty much am clear to buy a solo canoe for myself.  She wouldn’t stand in the way of my being able to get out and do what I love in the outdoors.  Yeah, she is awesome!

I am Considering Two Different Solo Canoes

There are a couple solo canoes that have caught my eye and don’t scare my wallet.  One is aluminum, the other is polyethylene.  Both would work well for the smaller lakes in my area.

Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Canoe

The Old Town Discovery 119, a cheap and popular solo canoe.
The Old Town Discovery 119, a cheap and popular solo canoe.

It’s only 11 feet 9 inches long, 32.5 inches wide, and weighs 49lbs.  Not the lightest little canoe out there, to be sure.  But easily manageable for me.  I wouldn’t have any issues loading it onto the top of my SUV.  It’s max load range is 500lbs, which is plenty for me and a large pack if I wanted to do some canoe tripping.

Reviews I have read on this little canoe are fantastic.  Stable and durable.  Maybe not the fastest paddle out there, but I’m never in a race when I go canoeing anyway.

The Old Town Discovery 119 has a suggest retail price of $699.00, which is very affordable.  Much less than than a $3000.00 Kevlar canoe… though it does weigh about twenty pounds more.

Grumman 12’9″ Solo

The other canoe I am interested in is the Grumman 12’9″ Solo.

Grumman Solo, an aluminum solo canoe with a nice price tag.
Grumman Solo, an aluminum solo canoe with a nice price tag.

As the name implies, it is 12 feet 9 inches long, 29.5 inches wide, and weighs in at 48lbs.  Again it’s not the lightest ride out there, but it’s aluminum and will last forever.  As with the Discovery 119 it would be easily manageable by me to load and unload from my SUV as needed.  It also has a max load range of 585lbs.

Again, great reviews for this canoe, though not as many as the Discovery 119.  I think that is due to the trend of people moving away from aluminum canoes, but I like aluminum… they last, and that means a lot to me.  An aluminum canoe can take banging on rocks and stumps, not that I go looking for those things to smack my canoe on, but it happens.

Poly canoes, and Kevlar can’t take the same beating that aluminum can.

The Grumman 12’9″ Solo retails for around $1200.00, which is also not scaring my bottom line.

I Will Decide Which To Buy This Winter

I have a couple BWCA trips coming up in 2018.  I would not likely be bringing either of those canoes with me if I bought one.  More than likely I would rent a solo canoe from an outfitter.

With that said, I do want to have a new solo canoe on hands by the spring of 2018.  I have a couple months to decide.  More than likely I will go to some local sportsmen shows this winter and check them out thoroughly, and a few others that I am sure will catch my eye.

Stay tuned for exciting canoe buying action!



TD is the owner and publisher of TD All Outdoors. He has been enjoying the outdoors since since he was a child. Over the years he has spent as much time as he can solo wilderness canoe tripping, overlanding, hiking, fishing, bushcrafting, hunting, hammock camping, and more. Aside from this blog, he also own his own coffee brand,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *