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Submitted: 11-06-2006 by wildernesswebb
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Bought a Fiberglass Ranger in May and have used the canoe for a season now, so ready for a review. Have paddled it tandem from the bow facing the stern with a bit of weight (cooler works well) in the stern. Also paddled it tandem on day trips and overnights. Tracks very well, turns easily enough with a light load or day tripping, but can be a bear to turn on a river with a heavy load. I love the lower stems to shed the wind more easily and haven't found them to be an issue in waves up to 1.5'. The combination shallow-V/shallow-arch is comfortably stable, and is faster than I thought it would be. Having paddled hundreds of different boats over the last 25 years, this is definitely my favorite tandem in the 15-17' class. As for similar boats, it reminds me of a Mad River Malecite with a bit more stability. Having Owned a Mad River Explorer, Souris River Quetico 16, and Wenonah Adirondack, the Ranger is a bit faster than all and as stable as the Explorer without being as affected by the wind. Fit and finish was good; I would prefer real wood decks, but that adds weight. The ash gunnels are well made as were the contoured seats. I did switch out the seats due to my wifes complaints but I found no fault with them. Supposedly my boat was a "Blem," but don't remember what it was it was so insignificant. Very well made canoe and was an excellent "Value." And the owner/builder/designer/ was great to deal with. Giving it a "9" as nothing is perfect except maybe a Kruger. It's definitely the best 15-17' flatwater tandem that can also be pressed into some river paddling. WW
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