Congratulations on the purchase of your American Eagle Canoe.
American Eagle Canoes are built to bring you and your family many years of outdoor pleasurable experiences. We recommend all paddle sport enthusiasts seek out instruction to gain paddling and safety skills, even if you are an experienced on the water. Please contact the American Eagle Canoe dealer where you purchased your canoe for information about instruction in your area. Or seek out local kayak and canoe groups. Ask your dealer about local groups.
Remember to register your Warranty as soon as possible at AmericanEagleCanoes.com
Check that you received the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) from your dealer. This MSO is required by most Government agencies in order to register your canoe. Most jurisdictions require registration if you place a motor (electric or gas) on your canoe.
Canoeing, like all watersports activities are hazardous and involve the risk of serious injury or death. American Eagle Canoes strongly recommends any person using our canoes obtain some level of training in safety and paddling techniques, rescue methods and CPR from a qualified instructor. Any person using American Eagle Canoes or accessories assumes the risks inherent with the use of any watersports product – and assumes all responsibility for damages, injury or death which results from the use of any American Eagle Canoe product.
- Always wear a US Coast Guard approved PFD (personal flotation device) when on the water. Accidents do happen even with the most experienced paddlers.
- Check with your dealer on local laws and regulations what is required to be onboard and/or worn when using your canoe. These laws and regulations may also differ if you are using paddle or a motor (electric propulsion is still consider a motor by most jurisdictions). At a minimum, we recommend lifejackets, personal signaling devices such as whistle/horn, flags, bailing device, rope, flightlight, and spare paddle (especially on longer trips). Nothing worse than being down river without a paddle to get back.
- If you are using a gasoline outboard that has a separate gas tank, always attach it to the canoe with a proper mount.
- Review the weight capacity of your canoe. Ensure you proper balance that load within the limits.
- Learn and abide by all Coast Guard regulations and State and local laws, regulations, ordinances, and rules concerning boating and boating safety.
- American Eagle Canoes are designed for use only in sheltered waters, lakes, and slow moving streams. It is not designed for whitewater use. Never adventure out in sever winds, rain, thunderstorms, choppy waters, strong currents, flood waters or where tides will affect your ability to maneuver. Avoid areas with heavy boat traffic.
- Respect your personal abilities. Do not venture farther than you can safely swim to a safe shore.
TRANSPORTING YOUR CANOE
We recommend you always use a quality roof rack system to transport your canoe or trailer built for canoes. Roof racks provide a safe, reliable and easy way to transport, if you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When using roof rack or trailer with flat bars, transport your canoe upside down. If you want to transport your canoe upright, we recommend having a trailer with a cradle. We do not recommend using ratchet style straps to tie down your boat. It puts unnecessary stress on the hull and may cause cracks.
Do not transport your canoe with the outboard attached. Remove the outboard each time you transport the canoe. The shock of road travel will put immense stress on the transom and may lead to cracking and eventual failure.
If you do not own a roof rack system use a foam block kit and carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regardless, we recommend that you secure both the bow and stern in addition to the straps over the main body of the canoe.
CARING FOR YOUR CANOE
American Eagle Canoes are built to be used, but it is still a canoe and can be damaged if not properly treated. A few simple steps will protect your investment for years of enjoyable use.
- While our canoes are built tough, they can still be damaged by dragging over land, sand, docks, sandbars, gravel beds, dead falls, dams or shallow riffles. Lift your canoe over obstacles to prevent abrasion and scratching of the hull.
- Place your canoe parallel to shore to loading or unload in ankle deep water so you can avoid damage while loading it. Make sure the canoe is floating when you load so you can shove off without damaging the bottom.
- Bottom scum increases friction and reduces the performance of the hull. After use, clean your canoe with mild soapy water and a freshwater rinse to prevent scum build up. Or you can use your favorite marine brand cleaner designed for gelcoat.
- We do not recommend waxing your hull. Waxing increases friction and reduces hull performance. Protect the hull with frequent applications of 303 Protectant (an UV inhibitor), which slows UV damage and keeps the hull clean. 303 allows scum, road grime and dead bugs to be wiped off easily. Follow instructions on the packaging, and apply whenever water no longer beads on the hull.
- If the resin or gel coat has been worn away and you can touch substantial fiberglass fibers cloth should reseal the fiberglass. Use either gel coat or resin to reseal.
- Annual Inspection: We recommend you conduct a complete inspection of your canoe once yearly. Inspect gunwales, yoke, thwarts, seats, drops and decks for loose hardware. We use mostly rivets for gunwales and hardware installation to minimize bolts that loosen.
STORING YOUR CANOE
Store your canoe out of direct sunlight. Over time sunlight will dull and eat away at your gel coat finish. For longest life possible of your gel coat, store your canoe indoors. If it is stored outside, store it upside down on a raised stand and under a cover. You should not store your canoe directly on the ground or on its side.
Do not store the canoe with an outboard motor attached. Overtime this puts stress on the canoe that may cause deformation of the shape or transom. Store your outboard on a separate outboard stand.