Hi! Does anybody have experience of foldable Bergans Ally canoes?

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Feb 25, 2021
11
14
Finland
Hi! Does anybody have experience of foldable Bergans Ally canoes? We have already kayaks, which we use a lot on on sea and lakes. Now we have a plan to get a dog, which makes kayaking more challenging... Is Bergans Ally any good? How does it perform and how robust is it?
 
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birchwood

Nomad
Sep 6, 2011
354
44
Kent
A couple of friends have Ally’s, I have the Pakboat 16’ canoe and the Puffin Saranak 15’.
They are light, very tough and handle well.
Although I find the canoe is affected by the wind if not loaded and I am solo. Not a problem as I usually have my camping kit in it.
You would need some sort of mat in it for your dog because of the frame.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,085
1,208
Berlin
I don't own one and never used one, but I got told that they are good.

BUT

My brother recently bought a young dog and it bites in everything it can reach.

I guess these canoes aren't made for this.
 

Grebby

Nomad
Jul 16, 2008
427
16
Sutton Coldfield
I have an Ally 16.5 DR. It's lighter than my 14ft Apache canoe. Strangely the Ally in its bag feels much heavier than when its constructed :O_O:
We've had the whole family (2 adults 2 kids) out in it and there was capacity to spare.

They are well built. Spares are available. They do take a bit to put together though, about 30 mins.

Cheers
Grebby
 

Roark

New Member
Sep 1, 2021
1
1
74
Cumbria
Hi! Does anybody have experience of foldable Bergans Ally canoes? We have already kayaks, which we use a lot on on sea and lakes. Now we have a plan to get a dog, which makes kayaking more challenging... Is Bergans Ally any good? How does it perform and how robust is it?
Hi we have used Ally’s for over 30yrs. We are two adults and a golden retriever. We now use a 13ft 6 inch Ally which is great but sadly now for sale as disability precludes me from assembling it is easily. This smaller size is a better one for handling. We always have removed the seats and sat on our rucksacks. Also we have been paddling with double ended kayak paddles which helps keeping it straight. Brilliant and will be sad to see mine go.
 
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Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
863
679
42
UK
Hi we have used Ally’s for over 30yrs. We are two adults and a golden retriever. We now use a 13ft 6 inch Ally which is great but sadly now for sale as disability precludes me from assembling it is easily. This smaller size is a better one for handling. We always have removed the seats and sat on our rucksacks. Also we have been paddling with double ended kayak paddles which helps keeping it straight. Brilliant and will be sad to see mine go.
Selling it you say...... I'd be interested!

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

Tvividr

Forager
Jan 13, 2004
243
18
Norway
www.gjknives.com
I have an Ally 16.5 DR (since 1997), and cannot praise it enough. I have used and abused it extensively for all those years and it is still going strong. Some might think that it cannot cope with extreme canoeing and wilderness use, due to the rubberised cloth used as covering. I guess those people have their impressions from pictures, and have never seen an Ally canoe in real life, or at least never been paddling one. I was myself quite sceptic before I got my own Ally canoe, but was convinced after the first paddle I ever did in it (a 150 km trip from the Hardangervidda down to the sea).
The rubberised “canvas” cover is made of synthetic fibre, and reinforced with fiberglass strands as well. I have seen the manufacturer demonstrate the strength of the fabric by stabbing a hole with a sharp knife (yes that makes a hole…), but the hole would not tear any further – even when two strong men from the crowd of spectators was called to tear it apart between them.
I have never experienced any holes even after use in extremely rocky white water rivers - except for 3 small pin holes in the side due to abrasive storage over extended time (a BIG storage barrel on a 4 week long canoe trip). That never caused any concern, and was easy covered up with gaffa tape.
My canoe has been paddled in some hairy white water and dragged over sand, sharp abrasive rocks and through very thick thorny acacia and jesse bush. The first really hard abuse it got was during a 7 week long expedition in Africa, and later on shorter expeditions to the same continent – as well as the normal use and abuse here in Norway and trips to Sweden every year.
I prefer to store the canoe ready for use, but if you are short on space it easily packs up for storage in the basement or any other place. It is easy to transport on public transport – I have travelled by train and bus, as well as on planes to Africa on several occasions (oh well…you might have to pay for overweight luggage, unless you can split it on several people…).
The Ally canoe is somewhat slower to paddle on flat water when compared to more rigid and very light canoe constructions of carbon/Kevlar/gimmewhathightecmaterial. But it excels in white water and rapids due to the flexible construction which adjusts and flexes in contact with waves, current and stones – much as the construction of the old Viking longships which were also flexible.
All in all I would recommend the Ally canoe above any other canoe for wilderness and expedition use, as it is easy to repair as well.

Ngwavuma9web.jpg
 
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Tvividr

Forager
Jan 13, 2004
243
18
Norway
www.gjknives.com
I don't own one and never used one, but I got told that they are good.

BUT

My brother recently bought a young dog and it bites in everything it can reach.

I guess these canoes aren't made for this.
Not a problem. The damage done if a puppy chews on it will be minimal as you would have plenty of time to stop it before it eats the canoe.

Norwegian Jens Kvernmo had a black bear chew on his Ally canoe on an expedition to Canada two years ago. The canoe was left unattended when he was portaging his equipment to another lake, and when he got back for the canoe he had to chase the bear away. Presumably the fish that he caught for food had left smelly stuff in the bottom of the canoe. The bear had made some 8 or 9 small pin holes in the side / bottom of the canoe. The largest hole was the size of a "bear tooth", but most of them were very small (no tears in the fabric). Was easily patched up, and the canoe was good to go in a short time. Worst damage was to the sleeping pad in the bottom of the canoe, and not the rubberised covering.
 
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