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Submitted: 10-12-2006 by packhorse

During the 18months I have owned my Explorer 14TT we have both shared quite a few adventures on rocky rivers, lakes and dams here in North Queensland. My paddling interest began about 5 years ago; so I haven't had the opportunity to experience a wide range of canoes but I know enough about them to realize that the 14TT is very good for the kind of activities that I use it for.

I am about 104kgs/ 230lbs and mostly paddle solo or with my27kgs/ 60 lb Dalmatian, occasionally my wife will come along for the ride. I have fished out of this canoe on many occasions both solo and with my dog on board and covered quite a few miles running some fairly rocky rivers here in the tropics.

It's probably fair to say that any canoe which helps you to enjoy catching a fish or spending time on the water with friends is a good one, so I guess I am very happy with this canoe. I have the IQ2 gunwale system, webbing seats and portage yoke/thwart in the centre. The webbing seats are comfortable and I have a plastic backrest for added back support which I can quickly fit if I intend having a long day in the saddle.

The boat seems to track very well and turns quite easily using a double blade kayak paddle. My only complaint with this canoe is that the keel line on the shallow V has distorted upwards a bit after taking quite a few bumps on rocks but this doesn't seem to effect the way it paddles. The lowest point of the shallow V has quite a lot of scrapes and scratches mainly towards both ends but none have gone through the outer layer.

It looks like I am stuck with this canoe, if I get rid of it my dog "Sam" will never forgive me. Not real sure how to rate this MR 14TT, some people here on PaddleNet say it is a bit on the heavy side at 31.5kgs / 69lbs but I still reckon it would have to earn at least a 7 or 8. If it was the Explorer 15 RX model which has almost identical dimensions, is somewhat lighter and much more expensive then I would say a definite 9. Sam the Dalmatian would reckon 10 for all the fun he has had in it.

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