We take canoes seriously around here in Ely. They are the transportation through 2000 protected wilderness lakes in our backyard. The Boundary Waters is accessible only by canoe and the deeper you go, the more friends you take, the longer you want to fish the more your needs become specific. We ship and sell canoes all over the country for a reason. That’s because we paddle these canoes.
We don’t just drop ship these boats, we bring them here to Ely and we use different models in our rental fleets each year. Every year we rent and sell over 125 canoes and kayaks from our rental fleet alone. Each one of these boats from 4 Paddler Wenonah Minnesota IVs and Northstar Northwind 20s to our most popular solo canoes, the Wenonah Prism and Northstar Magic, experiences the Boundary Waters and Quetico Park.
We sell our new canoes to folks all over the U.S.A. In fact, just last week, I spoke to someone who wanted to know if we ship canoes to Alaska. The answer of course is yes. Also, New Mexico, Maine, Florida, New York, Washington State, California. We’ve even found a way to get canoes to states in the Midwest :). And Hawaii. How we do it is simple. Ely is a destination town. People come here from all over to go canoe camping and to vacation in Ely. We get rides for all of our canoes with private individuals and we strap down our canoes ourselves on their vehicle just for you. They drive your canoe right to your door or pre-arranged meeting place. They take much better care of the canoe on top of their car than the freight companies do with their fork lifts and potential for delay.
This is just part of the personal service we offer. Tom Roller, our canoe buyer, is available to answer all of your questions about canoes and kayaks, to compare features, to recommend options and even to take trade-ins if you are in the mood to upgrade. We’ve been in business since 1979 and we love talking canoes because we love to paddle them ourselves. If you find yourselves in Ely you can even test paddle different canoes for free anytime, no questions asked, unless there’s ice on the lakes (November thru April commonly). That’s a great way to get a feel for what your new canoe can do.
The bottom line is we’ve got the canoe for you and we’re dedicated to taking the time to make sure you feel confident in your purchase. Kevlar makes canoeing possible for older paddlers whose backs are not as strong as they used to be but still want to paddle and take canoe trips. Kevlar saves young backs longer, so they can enjoy paddling for a lifetime. Wouldn’t you like to carry a 42 pound canoe down a tree-lined portage instead of a 70 pound plus aluminum or wood canvas boat?
Here are a couple of recent reviews from two customers who recently test paddled canoes before they bought one. This is an excellent and free service we provide (like test driving a car) if you can come to Ely and Try Before You Buy.
“I am an avid canoer with 50 years of BWCA and river/lake, flat/whitewater experience. At this stage I wanted to buy a new canoe that I could actually carry by myself. I am a petite, older/wiser woman whose body cannot do the heavy lifting any more. I just wanted to paddle around the beautiful mountain lakes in Colorado.
In early July I called Piragis (my favorite store in Ely) and talked with Tom Roller, explaining my paddling needs and my intention of being in Ely the second week of July. He gave me helpful advice on options and met with me in person on July 12. Because they were doing a marketing shoot in two days, and were heading to the lake with a rack of demos, he offered to take along a couple of canoes for me to try as well. What a magnanimous offer!
I was able to demo the Wee Lassie as well as a hung seat solo Wenonah. It was an amazing morning and I was quite joyful to discover that the Wee Lassie was just exactly what I needed! Done deal!
Tom and his team were exceptional in their knowledge of product, kind and attentive to my needs, and extremely helpful with the whole purchasing, loading, and securing of my new treasure for the road trip back to Colorado!
Many thanks to the canoe professionals at Piragis.” Colette
Here’s feedback from another happy customer who took a test paddle.
“Clinched It For Me:
Calm waters, blue skies, green surrounding woods … perfect for my Wenonah Wee Lassie 12 foot, 23 pound Test Paddle.
At the Boathouse, Tom knew just the canoe to suit my needs and preferences. He knew just the paddle to complement the features of this particular canoe. I was near becoming convinced that my insecurities of solo paddling might be overcome.
At the beach, after Tom’s safety instructions and encouragement to “take it out and see how it feels,” my solo test paddling glided me smoothly along shorelines of flowering lily pads and turtles sunning on the rocks with a bald eagle soaring overhead. Idyllic!
So pleasantly surprised at my comfort level, my insecurities faded and excitement stirred over this newfound freedom on the water and explorations ahead of me.
We love providing this service. If you’d like to Try Before You Buy, just call us or stop in and we’ll get you all set up!
Tom and Tyler 1-800-223-6565
NOTE: WHAT FOLLOWS IS A CURRENT LIST AS OF PUBLICATION OF THIS BLOG 09/21/2023 OF OUR AVAILABLE RENTAL CANOE FLEET USED CANOE PRICES. AVAILABILITY CHANGES CONSTANTLY BUT THIS GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT MIGHT BE AVAILABLE TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OR END OF SUMMER RENTAL SEASON. Please visit https://www.piragis.com/used/used-canoes.html for an updated list of available used canoes.