Canoes come in different shapes and sizes, but another critical aspect about the vessels which is equally important is their material. Manufacturers use different materials to craft canoes, including aluminum, polyethylene (plastic), and fiberglass.
An aluminum canoe is one of the most popular options among canoers primarily because it is durable. But how much does it weigh?
On average, a 16-foot aluminum canoe weighs approximately 60 to 75 lbs. On the other hand, Plastic (Polyethylene), T-Formex, Wood, Kevlar, and Fiberglass canoes of the same length weigh 75 lbs, 65lbs, 70lbs, 50lbs, and 70lbs, respectively.
An aluminum canoe has its fair share of pros and cons. Thus, read the sections below for an extensive elaboration of why you should choose this canoe over the rest.
We’ll also give insights into why a canoe’s weight matters and also explain what determines a boat’s weight. Read on.
How Much Does an Aluminum Canoe Weigh?
The weights of an aluminum canoe of a constant length are varied from one manufacturer to the other. However, on average, a 2-people 16-feet aluminum canoe weighs about 79lbs.
Also, you’re likely to find aluminum canoes weight lesser or more than this, depending on the manufacturer and design.
What Determines How Much a Canoe Weighs?
A canoe’s weight will depend on the following aspects:
Canoe Construction Material
A canoe’s overall weight primarily depends on its construction material. As highlighted above, canoes are made of various materials; the heaviest is polyethylene or plastic.
Also, a plastic canoe lacks the advantages synonymous with aluminum or canoes made of composite materials. However, in terms of cost, plastic canoes are the cheapest. Besides, in addition to their low cost, they are as attractive as canoes made of composite materials such as T-Formex or Kevlar.
Meanwhile, carbon fiber canoes are the priciest, but they are the most durable and tough canoes. They also weigh significantly lesser than plastic canoes. For instance, a 16-foot carbon canoe weighs about 30 to 33 lbs, while a plastic canoe of the same length weighs about 75 lbs.
Size of Canoe
The canoe’s size is also a key determinant of the vessel’s weight, although the type of material also determines the weight differences from one vessel’s size to the other. For instance, a polyethylene Old Town 14’7″ GUIDE will weigh about 74 lbs, while a similar polyethylene Old Town 15’8″ DISCOVERY will weigh about 80 lbs.
On the other hand, suppose the above boat was made of Kevlar, the 1-foot difference in length would have accounted for only a 1lb difference in weight.
Also, often solo canoes are lighter than their tandem counterparts. Primarily, this is because solo canoes are relatively narrower and shorter than tandem canoes.
Canoe Manufacturer’s Options
The manufacturer’s design and additional features also influence the overall weight of the vessel. The differences are not only profound from one manufacturer to the other but also between models made by the same designer.
One of the popular options in canoes is having a wooden trim instead of the conventional aluminum gunwale. This is primarily intended to change the canoe’s appearance, but it also results in a significant increase in weight.
Besides, the following factors also influence how much a canoe weighs:
- Seat style and setup
- Number of the canoe seats
- Spray skirts
- Integrated foot braces
- Yoke style
Why Does Canoe Weight Matter?
Here are some of the top reasons why your canoe’s weight matters:
Overland Carries and Portages
As a general rule, carrying and lifting your canoe from one navigable waterway to another often is an inevitable undertaking. This process is called portaging. In some instances, you may have to lift/carry your canoe for a mile or more which is why its weight really matters.
A heavy canoe will be a nightmare during overland carries and portaging, and it may make you dread the whole canoeing experience. Thus, choosing a canoe that you’re comfortable lifting and carrying is imperative.
Mounting on Car
Carrying your canoe over long distances is a critical practice that can only be facilitated by the use of a car, pickup truck, or any other SUV. Nonetheless, a heavy canoe will give you problems, especially when setting it on the car’s truck.
The issue is particularly problematic if you’re using a conventional car that is not designed to carry loads.
It Determines the ease of Canoe Storage
Also, as a general rule, you must store your canoe after use, preferably in a garage. But, for many people, having sufficient storage space is quite a considerable issue, thus necessitating the need to hang the canoe.
Hanging a heavy canoe is an energy-intensive task than if the canoe was lightweight.
Why Choose Aluminum Canoes?
Aluminum is a relatively lightweight material compared to others, such as wood. But what are some remarkable upsides that make it better than other canoe materials?
Rust-resistant and durable
Aluminum canoes are resistant to rust. This property is essential, especially for canoes that operate in salty lakes. Resistance to rusting also makes the canoes relatively durable compared to materials such as wood that will decay over time.
Leaving or operating an aluminum canoe out in the sun will do little to no damage to its hull as the material is resistant to such forces.
With the growing concerns about environmental pollution, aluminum canoes are some of the best vessels in the market as much as environmental conservation is concerned. Aluminum is not a pollutant, and it’s recyclable. Thus, canoes made from the material are environment friendly.
Easy to maintain
Aluminum canoes are also easy to maintain, and most of their repairs are inexpensive. The material is also easy to clean and is dirt resistant primarily due to its slippery nature.
Aluminum Canoes Downsides
Slower than composite material canoes
Aluminum canoes are relatively heavier than other materials. This additional weight also slows them down during paddling.
Aluminum canoes are Expensive
If you are operating on a tight budget, an aluminum canoe should not be on your priority list as it is relatively more expensive than other materials. Also, since Aluminum is a valuable metal, their canoes are an easy target for metal scrapers.
Hence, leaving your aluminum canoe unguarded means it is more likely to be stolen or vandalized than composite materials or wood canoes.
Aluminum canoes are extremely shiny
The metallic luster of aluminum canoes means that they are excellent light reflectors. Thus, rowing in an aluminum canoe in the sun predisposes your eyes to damage. Besides, the sun’s reflection is annoying, especially on an extremely sunny day.
Other downsides of aluminum canoes include the following:
- They are prone to sticking to rocks, especially while paddling in shallow waters.
- Also, the aluminum casing can be cold to touch in the morning, night, or cold weather.
As you have seen, an aluminum canoe ranks among the heaviest canoes per unit size. Nonetheless, canoes made from the material are durable, easy to clean and maintain, and they are environment friendly. But, as you’ll find out, they can be relatively more expensive than other options and are also slower.
We’ve listed the different factors that determine the overall canoe weight. Further, we’ve elaborated on why canoe weight is such a critical consideration. Thanks for being a good company throughout this read, and we’re hopeful that your gray areas on canoe weight have been lightened.