Submitted: 08-23-2007 by grandpa
This canoe is not as versatile as Old Town's blurb suggests; i.e., it's a good tandem but in my experience, paddled solo it is blown about by the wind and is very difficult to control, especially when I sit in the bow seat facing stern. For paddling solo, I recommend sitting not in the bow seat--uncomfortable reach over the gunwale--but in the stern with something heavy in the bow--weight, person, whatever. So it may be good for solo tripping, which I've not done.
It worked pretty well for my son and me on the Moose River-Attean Lake "bow trip" and on the West Branch of the Penobscot River/Chesuncook Lake trip (calm water, fortunately) several years ago. This summer ('07) my wife and I paddled it on Moosehead Lake, a huge body of water, and I was a little unnerved by the small length (16') and the big waves. For such conditions, a larger tandem is better.
A retired desk worker in my late 60's, I wanted a craft under 60 lbs.. Lifting it up by myself to portage it is not as easy as it once was (damn it); my next canoe will be Kevlar. I had also wanted to learn to handle rapids, and thus a Royalex canoe; but running rapids at my age and experience is more and more distant. My wife likes kayaks; I don't. So my next canoe will be a fast and light solo. I rated it 7 based only on my own situation and experience.
In brief, a good tandem but not a particularly good solo, but a big improvement over my previous canoe, a 17' Grumman.