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Submitted: 07-31-2006 by Neil

My wife and I purchased our 18 foot Jensen in the mid-80s after a knee injury prevented me from portaging our aluminum canoe. We have the lightest kevlar layup with a gel coat. From the start, we were impressed with the handling and speed, and the boat made paddling easy with our double bent shaft paddles. Since that time, we have actually done short wilderness paddles with my family when my two girls were young enough to sit side by side. I don't recommend that for long trips, however. My only concern is the freeboard in choppy waves, especially when going sideways to the wind. While we have never tipped or felt like we were going to tip, I always admired the Minnesota II in those conditions. While I have the We-no-nah plastic seats, for comfort,I recommend pads for the seats or maybe trying the web seats. Having said that, my wife uses the moveable tractor seat in the bow to trim the boat in different conditions, and we find that effective. I did replace the We-no-nah portage pads (delaminated on a trip) with the lovely, cushy rectangular pads that we all remember on the aluminum canoes. I should note that we also take this canoe down rivers, and we can handle tight turns and back ferries without problem.
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