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Submitted: 08-21-2006 by Seb

Purchased the Elite16 from a local dealer this summer (2006), new. I have been comparing a lot kevlar 16-18 canoes over the past couple of months and Elite ended up being the one I purchased simply because it made it to the top7 short-list and of local availability (wanted to see before buying). I believe the hull construction is designated as Expedition Kevlar or Ultralight Kevlar (I should check for sure). While the sales-assistant quoted it to be 48lbs, one of the very first things that struck me once we were out in the woods is that she is a dream to carry. Don't get me wrong, I detest portaging as much as the next guy, but having rented almost every kevlar model offered by the rental-places in the province, this one ALMOST makes it fun. (read: she may be 48lb but she feels more like 38lb). The hull has a shallow keel which might suggest better tracking characteristics, but that aspect I was a little disappointed with. Perhaps my expectations were a little high. The boat is symmetrical and for some reason I found that for stability on wind-waves I had to put more weight toward the bow then conventional wisdom might dictate. In the past I never gave my ratchet-action roof rack strap-ons a second thought, and tightened rental boats till the ratchets could not be clicked any more, but at the purchase I was warned to be careful how much pressure I apply on the Elite16. Apparently ratchet straps are known to have damaged such delicate boats in the past. Needless to say I am now using 4medium tension straps , rather then 4hight tension straps. I tend to baby the boat in general, seeing how it is still shiny and new. If you will go on white-water or don't want a delicate boat, this one is not for you. I have only done one 5day near-wilderness trip in her, so my rating may be quite subjective at this point still. But definitely a good first impression.
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