Sunday, August 21, 2011

The "new" canoe

I'm still not sure how it began, but a friend and I started talking canoes at prayer meeting one night. He was telling me he had a nice canoe, but was thinking about getting rid of it. I told him I'd be interested in buying it from him, if he'd tell me what he thought a fair price. Well, he decided a fair price would be me coming to his house to take it from his garage.

So yesterday I went up to his place and picked up the canoe and three paddles. I wasn't quite sure what I'd find: he said it was "a good canoe", but didn't recall any particulars about it. I figured it would be worth a drive to find out.
From Sundance

Turns out the canoe is a Mad River Sundance. According to the old Mad River catalogue, it's 17' 6" long and 34.5" wide at the beam. That's a whole lotta canoe.
From Sundance

When I saw the canoe, I told my friend that it's too nice a canoe to give away: he should sell it. He said, "I can't sell it, because I'm giving it away". That's very generous.

The canoe's in great shape, but a little dusty.
From Sundance

I cleaned it up a little this afternoon to get rid of the dust and touch up the dings in the wood. A little polish and it's in fine shape.
From Sundance

I did rub some Danish oil into the gunwhales: that might be a stupid thing to do, but they felt a little dry. I think it'll be fine. It definitely added some shine to the wood, which is nice cosmetically. Danish oil should handle the water just fine.
From Sundance

The hull only needed some soap and water, then we put a shine on it with a vaguely Armor-All(R) -like substance.
From Sundance
From Sundance

This is a little longer, but narrower than my current canoe, a We-no-nah Prospector. And the Sundance has a keel, while the Prospector is flat-bottomed.

Of course the Prospector is a gorgeous canoe
From Mohun Lake

but I've found it's pretty squirrely. It's flat-bottomed and doesn't track very well, and the high stems catch the wind like sails: it's a challenging canoe for the solo paddler or the novice. On the other hand, it turns on a dime and can handle a lot of abuse. I love my Prospector.

But I'm really excited about the new canoe. It's probably about 20 years old, but it's been well looked-after. And there's something really classy to those lines.

I'm planning on trying it out later this week, so I'll try and post an update then.

I'm really grateful for my friend' generosity. He insists he wasn't using it, but the fact is that he could've sold it: giving it away really was kind. It's a nice canoe, and it's in good shape, he didn't have to give it to me.

1 comment:

Shan said...

Wow, I really envy you. I have been trying to find a canoe for the past two years doesn't sound difficult until you hear my budget, which is "free or will pay up to $100 if it comes with paddles and racks". So, basically, it is a chimera.