Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

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thomsonbytheriver
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Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by thomsonbytheriver » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:22 pm

Further to the radical new boat material thread, I thought it'd be fun if anyone out there wanted to share their memories or tales of carnage from the Grumman days here. I for one still have my Dad's Grumman which he got new over 40 years ago. It has survived several of his northern canoe trips, 4 boys, countless dogs and my own inumerable beatdowns scraping down any moving current I could find. It is 17' 8" long and over 85 lb- a joy to portage :-? I will never forget outfitting it with a truck tire inner tube to learn whitewater. Picture the scene- a skinny redhead kid with a Buoy O Buoy life jacket, contractors knee pads, Converse All Star running shoes and a poplar paddle. The boat came with an outrigger and a sidemount for an outboard motor, (which I still have). My Dad taught all the kids on the lake how to water ski behind that thing. Look at this picture- that's my father taking me disking behind the Grumman with a 1937 3 hp Champion motor. :D

https://picasaweb.google.com/1106909802 ... 8675753762

I love royalex, polyethylene and the like, but I can't say as these boats will ever have the versatility and longevity of the classic Grumman. 40 odd years of abuse and not a single leak, neither a need for repair.

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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by BobH » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:47 pm

great picture :D

thomsonbytheriver
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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by thomsonbytheriver » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:14 am

Ahh the 70's... Does anyone remember those ski belts? Here's a closeup of the disker!

https://picasaweb.google.com/1106909802 ... 9516058354

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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by clt_capt » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:32 am

I learned to paddle whitewater in a grumman - in the 70s. I have no regrets about that. I think in many ways, it made me a better paddler - you learned very quickly that aluminum boats are very grabby on rocks. There is still something special about the slap of whitewater on the bottom of an aluminum canoe - nothing else sounds like it.

and nothing else sounds like an aluminum canoe pitoning a rock - especially if it wans't your canoe that pitoned :D

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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by thomsonbytheriver » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:39 am

I know that slap- same as crossing a windy wavy lake. It makes me think of Boundary Waters where I spent 3 weeks in that boat.

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Craig Smerda
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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by Craig Smerda » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:46 am

My first year paddling ww a buddy and I made $50 each one evening removing a banana peel wrapped Grumman from around a big rock. It made noises I can't even begin to describe in words. :lol:

That said... the Grumman story and the stories of Grummans which many of us likely have... are truly part of our sports history. Aluminum canoes in their time were a quantum leap forward in canoe materials. Think of this... how would YOU paddle today if we were still paddling canvas canoes? :wink:

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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by Craig Smerda » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:59 am

btw... we made $50 each not because he wanted the canoe (which was trashed) back or because he didn't want to pay a fine for leaving the boat (IL tags) in the middle of the river... it was because he had his $400+ cellular phone triple zip-lock bagged inside a Seals bag in the boat and wanted it back... badly. Funny to think how huge the phone was back then... even funnier was that he also shared every last can of beer left in the cooler with us when we got it back to the take-out.

Ahhhh... those Grumman memories. :D
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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by KNeal » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:32 pm

Ahhhhh. The restful sound of waves slapping the side of an aluminum canoe, stimulating a tranquil feeling of peace while the paddler is one with the river and surrounding wilderness. All the while doing his/her best to not contact the searing, sun-baked sides of that canoe from the wonderous sunlight shining all its radiant beauty upon the waters and the shiney, mirror-like metal vessel.

Yeah, I have quite a few fond memories of my earliest whitewater experiences in a Grumman canoe as a teen-ager. About as many fond memories of that boat as I have of the 17-foot Coleman canoe that I took down our local river at near-flood levels. 8)
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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by John Coraor » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:24 pm

I've still got my father's 17' Grumman (lake keel), which was used on many a family outing, including some tentative ventures onto whitewater. Mostly it was used for various trips in the Adirondacks, both with the family and with our local Boy Scout troop. Great memories!!!

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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by milkman » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:41 pm

Not to hijack the thread, but photo 1 in your Boating series indicates a need to zip up a boy's PFD and provide some role modeling on their wear. Admittedly my first major canoe trip was in the Boundary Waters and in a Grumman and I don't think we even knew what a PFD was. In the early 70s you didn't need a permit. Or apparently a PFD.

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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by PAC » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:00 pm

Summer camps and camping...from my youth.. what more needs said and see below....

Currently making memories with scouting by getting kids out on flat and moving water. Lets see...
o canoes and pinic table = mother ship / dive platform
o fishing day and night
o water safe ( tipping, flipping, throw ropes, etc)
o races - flat water, tripping, submarine racing (fill with water and paddle), etc.
o turn over and make into picnic table or a drum line
o portage (pod of 11 & 12 year olds struggling to carry an aluminum moster from point to point as a team while the older kids blister by them)
o finding "cool" stuff along the river.. live and dead animals, rope swings, etc.
the list could go on!
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thomsonbytheriver
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Re: Why Grummans Rock... My story and Your thoughts please.

Post by thomsonbytheriver » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:03 pm

"Not to hijack the thread, but photo 1 in your Boating series indicates a need to zip up a boy's PFD and provide some role modeling on their wear"

A valid point- I just deleted that picture. It's funny because that's my son Isaac who is usually the ultimate safety geek. He's always the one reminding me to do up my chin strap or buckle my seat belt. It was a hot day as I recall- he must have snuck it down when I wasn't looking. At least his waist buckle was done up.

Back on topic, I just had my own recollection of summer camp when we'd flip a Grumman and see how many kids could swim into the air pocket underneath. Man was it loud in there!

And on that vein, my dear wife just reminded me of another awesome picture- here is that same Grumman from the 70's on a family canoe trip last summer. We all decided to see just how many people could fit into it before it sank. We never did sink it, but it got pretty tippy:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1106909802 ... 2791571746

Ian

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