OSAGIAN CANOES PUT TO THE TEST
My son and I love to canoe, and we have made a lot of great memories while camping and fishing from our Osagian canoes. I bought my first Osagian when I was in Jr. High over 30 years ago. Lately, some of my buddies have been giving me a hard time about using "old fashioned" aluminum flat bottom keeled boats. They claim that the newer shallow arch bottom (no keel) boats made out of Royalex are more efficient, so my son and I ran a little side-by-side comparison on a small lake up here in northeast Iowa. We put an Osagian up against a Wenonah Spirt II and an Old Town Penobscot. All of the test boats were 17' long, and my son and I were the motors for each boat. Since most of our heavy paddling is done on flat water, the evaluation criteria was top speed and straight tracking. We measured speed with a hand held GPS, and tried to get each boat as level as possible (front-to-back) for maximum paddling efficiency. I think you will find these results very interesting: 17' Spirit II - Royalex 5.3mph into the wind 5.8mph with the wind Poor tracking 17' Penobscot - Royalex 5.3mph into the wind 6.0mph with the wind Fair tracking 17' Osagian - Aluminum (no side sponsons) 5.8mph into the wind 6.2mph with the wind Excellent tracking
As you can see, the "old-fashioned" Osagian was 7%-9% faster than the Spirit II, and 3%-9% faster than the Penobscot. The Osagian's rigid Aluminum hull held its shape while moving through the water, but the Royalex hulls flexed a lot while we were paddling. We wasted power pumping water around under the Royalex boats, so our speeds were lower. A speed advantage may not be a big deal on a short float down a river, but if you need to paddle upstream or across a lake for a few hours, every bit of efficiency helps.
When is comes to tracking, the Osagian was again the clear winner. The most efficient track up a river or across a lake is a straight line, and it is hard to beat a keel if you want to paddle in a straight line. The flexing of the Royalex hulls seemed to add rocker, making it difficult to hold a straight track. I straightened the track out as much as possible with use of a j-stroke, but we still found ourselves travelling a zig-zag path in the Royalex boats.
I should mention that we also paddle a lot of rock bottom streams and small rivers here in northeast Iowa, so we did not consider any of the fiberglass or Kevlar boats in our test. These boats are certainly efficient, but will not endure the beating that the Osagians take on sharp limestone rocks. My buddies got a real kick out of this test, and I would not be surprised to see an Osagian leaning up against one of their garages in the near future. It is hard to beat the cost, robustness, and efficiency of the classic Osagian. Keep building those great "old fashioned" boats!
TORNADO TESTED CANOE
We had just come home from a barbeque in time to grab our cats and run to the basement before a tornado hit. There was about 30 seconds of tremendous roaring and some banging sounds, then it was over.
When I looked out the window of the walk-out door the first thing I saw was my 17-foot side sponson Osagian Canoe lying in the backyard, apparently intact. I laughed and yelled to my very upset wife and 11-year-old daughter, "Hey, the canoe's in the backyard!" It had been cable-locked to a tree in the side yard. I thought it was pretty funny that this appeared to be all that the tornado had accomplished...until we got outside and saw the devestation to our house and our town, Canton, Missouri.
Trees and powerlines were down everywhere, debris in the form of shingles, boards, and roofing tins littered the yard. The tree that the canoe had been locked to had broken off and been flung into the back yard. The canoe had flipped over in the process and landed upright. Later I found some shallow dents in front, but no holes.
I took it out to the Wakonda State Park with some friends and paddled it around on one of the lakes. The canoe ran straight and had no leaks. I guess you could call it tornado-tested tough.
-Joseph Coelho, Ph.D.
I also want to add. This is my second Osagian. I had to leave my first in Minnesota when I moved from there back in '92. I had the same model that I have today. What I want to point out is, when I was an avid duck hunter, I used my canoe to hunt from using my canoe paddles to propel myself. The stability provided by the side sponsons made the canoe a great "big" water canoe and a very stable shooting platform. Happy canoeing.
WEDDING ON THE WATER
A recurrent bone of contention throughout my first marriage of 23 plus years was a desire for a canoe that we never seemed able to fit into the budget due to events such as broken appliances and vehicles, child rearing expenses or unexpected military moves. Whenever my husband would relay news updates of friends and coworkers buying ski boats, motorcycles, or sports cars, he'd end it with the pitiful phrase "and all I want is a canoe".
So when he asked me to marry the second time I suggested a canoe as a wedding gift. We planned on a very private wedding at home. I thought after the ceremony we might take a maiden voyage down the local Gasconade River. The day I suggested this he said, "Good idea, I know just the place I want to go to look at them. I've been researching this for a long time. I want to drive to Lebanon to look in the Osagian stockyard".
That same day, we walked into the reception area and my X-husband/fiance said, "we'd like to buy a canoe, do you have any canoes for sale?" The customer service received from the staff was unbelieveable! You would have thought we were buying 10,000 canoes! We requested a custom design and paint job, which was not only accommodated, but produced at a reasonable cost. Even though our wedding plans caused very short notice for a custom product we picked up the canoe and our canoe paddles, which far exceeded our expectations in less than 2 weeks. By this time, we decided to get married ON the river IN the canoe! Our wedding colors were chosen by the color of the Osagian emblem! Oh yeah, it was redneck romantic all the way! We even wore the complimentary Osagian T-shirts and hats!
The ceremony was performed by a minister on the bank of the river, while we took our places at the shore line in the canoe. Friends and family threw fish food instead of the traditional rice at the completion of the ceremony to send us off on the second leg of our journey... and it all started on a spectacular Indian-summer day in an Osagian Canoe.
-Tim and Heidi H.
HUNTING IN A VANTAGE PT
Just dropping you a quick line to let you know how well that duck boat (Vantage PT/PTX) works. That little rig is the best thing since sliced bread. I can sit up or lay out flat inside the boat. I use the 4' premade grass panels, I can stand them up or lay them flat. That low profile gets invisible when laid out. I use a 6hp go devil that is just the ticket, moves along but does not get squirrely. We don't have too many ducks here as of yet, but I just can't wait. THANKS!
- Douglas O.
THE HIBDON'S FIND SOLACE IN THEIR MISSOURIAN CANOE
My husband purchased his first canoe-an 17' aluminum Osagian-in the mid 1980s & had it in the water on the way home from your facility. He won my heart by taking me out on this canoe. When we got engaged in 1995, I asked for a 17', 44" wide cargo canoe (now called your "workhorse canoe") & a trailer instead of an engagement ring! Both canoes have been in regular use the past 15+ years with zero problems.
Our cargo canoe has taken us literally thousands of miles on the Gasconade, Osage, Osage Fork, Niangua, Little & Big Pineys, Maries & Tavern rivers. We are serious canoeists & our trips average 2-3 weeks at a time. The cargo canoe's carrying capacity enables us to provision sufficiently so we never have to leave the river, despite being out a couple weeks at a time, & provides plenty of extra room for many extra items that normally would not fit into a narrower canoe-which makes this canoe perfect for our extended river trips This canoe has been drug over shallow areas in rivers, run on top of & bounced alongside trees in rivers, trailered & tied on top of vehicles, & had other canoes loaded on top of it-in other words seriously field tested-& has yet to leak from a single rivet!
We've definitely gotten our money's worth, especially from the cargo canoe! This canoe never fails to turn heads & we've received numerous positive comments from folks. The cargo canoes are perfect for persons who require increased carrying capacity or desire a canoe that can be used with or without a motor. The 3 keels track true on the water, whether one is paddling or motoring. We have used a 4 hp & a 5 hp motor on this canoe with 1 or 2 persons & the bow planes out quite well.
Bottom line-if one desires a rugged, river tested, reasonably price canoe, then Osagian canoes are the obvious choice! Thanks for making a great product that stands the test of time!
John & Stephanie Hibdon
1st TRIP DOWN BUFFALO BAYOU -- HOUSTON, TX
Just took our first canoe trip down Buffalo Bayou in Houston, TX with our new 15’ Osagian Classic. What an adventure! About a mile and a half down the bayou my son spotted a 6’ alligator sunning himself on the bank (this week in Houston it averaged about 100°F everyday). I don’t know who got more of a thrill my son, or the alligator? Who would believe there are alligator right in the middle of Houston? We had a number of portage challenges along the bayou and our canoe met them all. We had no problems maintaining stability and during moments of just resting, the canoe handled the bayou currents without little or no effort to keep the canoe pointed down bayou.
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