Submitted: 09-25-2007 by sfbrian
O.K. I've owned an Otter for about 5-6 months now. I used it in just about every condition in that time on ~25-30 different long and short trips.
I absolutely love this canoe. It performs remarkably in most situations. I've paddled in on slow moving rivers, still lakes, fast moving rivers with class II+ rapids, and severely wind blown lakes. The only time it wasn't fantastic was in the heavy rapids and to be fair, that is not what it's meant for. On a three day trip on Lake Umbagog in NH, I took on some water, but the waves were about 2 1/2-3ft. and the canoe was fully loaded, so no real surprise there.
I think this canoe really shines in wind versus any other canoe I've owned or paddled. I love how low its profile is on the water, which helps to keep it from being blown around. In general, this is a very fast canoe (we easily keep up with kayakers on trips). It is a little tipsy for initial stability, but once she's moving she's like a rock. that being said, she's not really a great canoe for fishing (although we have fished very comfortably from her, and caught many fish without scaring them as in the other review!)
As for the other reviewer saying that he wouldn't even take his dog out in an Otter, well he probably doesn't have a very well behaved dog. My 65lbs. dog has been on every trip that we've taken in this canoe, even when it's fully loaded and it's never been a problem.
I also think it works great as a solo canoe either reversed or with my dog weighing down the bow. I love this canoe and would recommend it to anyone that knows anything about canoeing. It probably wouldn't be a good canoe for someone who has never canoed before or plans to use it primarily for hunting or fishing. I even have a friend who is considering selling his fancy 17' sea kayak for one of these next season. He's been on 4 or 5 trips with us and can't believe how sweet this canoe is.
So, no I don't work for Ranger Canoe, but I really do love this canoe that much.