Thursday, July 30, 2015

Our New Canoe

We went to Trailhead in Ottawa on April 25, 2015 because LT wanted to buy his own paddle.  How many stories start off that way, "We were only going to get X, but ended up getting X, Y, and Z!"

What a coincidence, it was their spring sale!  There were a variety of vessels outside on the ground in the parking lot.  I got there first and scoped out all the canoes on sale.  There weren't a lot of them.  It almost appears as though the store is stocking up on the newest water trend, SUP or stand up paddleboards.  The second most popular item is the kayak.  Canoes are always popular, but they do seem to be that item that you buy once, use a bit, then relegate to the cottage or the rafters of the garage or shed outside.

Two canoes were of particular interest:  a black canoe and a yellowish canoe -both made of kevlar.  LT arrived and we went into the store.  He was checking out paddles, staff were busy dealing with the influx of customers on a spring Saturday with a major sale in progress.  I dragged him into the basement to look at the canoes in stock, then I dragged him outside and showed him the 2 canoes I had spied.

While outside a staff member came up to see if we had questions.  Yes, why are these 2 canoes so cheap for kevlar canoes?  I love hearing a story and he wove a good one.  These 2 canoes were made by their supplier as a sample for them to see if they were interested in selling them.  Both canoes were branded wih "Trailhead Canoes".  But alas they had decided they were not going to carry either of these canoes.  So the samples were on sale as they did not want to have them in stock, only confusing people.  And the yellow one had a larger discount applied to it.

LT takes a while to make a decision about anything and he wasn't quite sure which paddle he wanted.  He suggested we walk over to MEC to check out their stock, so we did.  He didn't see anything there either that struck his fancy so we went for lunch.  

I spent the lunch hour pleading the case for the canoe.  It was almost half the price one would expect to pay for that kind of canoe.  It was exactly what he was looking for, a 16' Prospector.  It was 45 pounds in weight.  The canoe under discussion was the yellow one.  The black one looked cool, but would be just the opposite in the water with the sun on it.  

LT was planning to purchase a canoe eventually, but it was on the list for next year.  There were other things he needed this year (a new washer/dryer).  So we came to an agreement.  I would contribute half and we would co-own it for a bit with him eventually paying off my half and becoming the full owner. That is IF no one else had bought it while we were having lunch.

We walked back to the store and I quickly scooped up the data sheet on the still-available canoe bringing it into the store to claim the boat.  The pressure was on now for LT to pick a paddle and he did.  I was holding onto the data sheet like it was a winning lottery ticket.  A staff member working in the section helping LT pick out his paddle noticed the page in my hands.  "Oh you're buying a canoe, which one?"  I mentioned the yellow one and asked him why it was so cheap.  Another staff member piped up and gave us the best explanation so far.

The canoe we chose did not have any paint on it.  It wasn't pretty red or green or blue.  Paint, believe it not, can add 4-5 pounds to the overall weight of the canoe.  Yellow was the natural colour.  However, the clear finish allows for the view of the kevlar underneath and some of it had slight folds or wrinkles. These folds do not affect the strength of the canoe, but aesthetically can bring the price down a bit.  And I think there was a scratch.

That sounded more plausible and we ended up going out and examining the canoe much more closely this time.  We decided to buy it. The sale went through, I took out my magic plastic card, and LT had to go home while I waited behind, so that he could get his canoe straps and foam blocks, things he had bought last year to have one less thing to rent.  

The new baby going home for the first time!

Canoe Selfie!
It's been out on 5-6 trips now and it's got its fair share of nicks, dents and scratches.  But it's holding out great, it handles really well and we're both very happy with the purchase.

The mushroom's point of view

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