I bought a Coleman 15'6" open canoe last year about this time and had a fantastic summer with it. Easy to stick on the top of the car with a roof rack. Very stable and responsive.
I went out with my lad who's 13 and we basically taught ourselves all the main strokes, and it wasn't long before we were working together without even communicating. The book New Way of the Wilderness by Calvin Rutstrum is an excellent book and has got a good Open Canoe Section which I learnt all the main strokes from. Once paid for (don't forget PFD's)
we had some fantastic days out on it for completely free. Get one !! they're excellent fun :biggthump
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. - Frank Lloyd Wright