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Submitted: 09-19-2006 by outdoors4me
I purchased the Limited Edition El Tigre kevlar version with black trim this summer and have used it on local lakes and one BWCA trip.
In researching this purchase, I had read that the Souris River build quality was supposed to be very good but I would describe mine as merely average. It had several minor cosmetic defects such as runs in the varnish on the seats, internal skidplates not quite centered, and black coating peeled off of many of the rivets. Nothing that would effect performance, but a little disappointing considering the price.
For comparison, I owned a MNII for a few years before the Q17. The Q17 seems to be a good all around canoe for tripping. It handles well both empty and with a load and steers easily even in a wind. It is very stable and comfortable to fish out of. In the MNII, my back often tired as I felt the need to make adjustments based my paddling partners movements. The Q17 portages very easily - seems to almost want to balance itself when shouldering it. The only area it really seems to fall short is in speed. It is not slow, but has nowhere near the glide of the MNII.
Overall, I'm happy with the purchase. Canoe design requires compromising in some areas to get gains in others and I think that the Q17 offers a good balance of stability, manuverability, capacity, and speed that will please most paddlers.
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