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Submitted: 09-22-1998 by DGK
I rate this canoe an "8", considering its intended use. My 1975 Guide Special is still going strong, although it has required several patches over the years. The patches are a result of running rocky Class I-III whitewater on occasion, which is not what this fiberglass boat was built for. It was built to effectively carry people and gear, primarily in flat water. Its low profile, total lack of rocker, 18-foot length, and sharp entry make it an excellent flatwater vehicle which handles windy conditions well (if properly trimmed). The low profile, length, and absence of rocker do NOT lend themselves well to large waves, however, either in flatwater or whitewater, but if the paddler keeps the boat's purpose in mind, it will serve very well in flat water or mild class I and II water.
This is a wide (36") canoe, with a very flat bottom. Hence, it is very stable. I find it an excellent fishing boat for two. It has very comfortable seats, as canoe seats go, shaped somewhat like the old-fashioned tractor seats. The only problem with these seats is that they are "forward facing'" and do not allow a solo paddler to move to the front seat and reverse his position to be nearer the center of gravity.
This canoe weighs 78 pounds, which is probably about average for a boat of this length. With its large volume and flat bottom with no keel, it can travel through very shallow (3" or less) water.
Workmanship is excellent. I still use this canoe on a regular basis on rivers in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.
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