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Submitted: 02-21-1999 by Jim
The Souris River Prospector 17.5 is perhaps the best canoe I've ever paddled! It has about 3.5" of rocker and handles much like a wood canoe as far as grace on the water is concerned. While caught in the wind on Basswood by Ely, MN, we needed to turn into the wind and I swung the bow around by myself in 2.5' whitecaps. My bow paddler (11-year-old son) didn't have quite the strength to turn sweep or draw in that situation. It also does not feel tippy in choppy water because of the round bottom. The waves pretty much slip right underneath. The Prospector has excellent secondary stability and might feel tippy to paddlers who have left the stable feel of flat-bottomed Grummans however. You also need to actually know paddling technique like a good J-Stroke and feathering. Overall, it tracks well, turns well, carries a big load and portages well. (mine is 44 lbs. in kevlar) The durability of the epoxy resin and flexible rib system is unbelievable. I accidentally dropped it on a round rock and it bounced with no damage other than a scratch. Other kevlar canoes that I've owned wouldn't do that. I'm very happy!
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