Submitted: 11-21-2008 by ccooklin
I bought a kevlar 2005 Malecite. I have had it out two dozen times, and here are my impressions. I usually paddle alone, I am 6'4" and 235 pounds. I've had my wife and two kids inside as well.
The canoe has a fairly pronounced "V" hull. When I paddle it solo, even with my weight, the "V" hull can move side to side. It doesn't roll, it's a pronounced change that at first, I wondered if I'd be thrown overboard. Not to worry. I've learned to love this aspect of the boat, as it makes really sharp turns possible depending on how you shift your body weight, and paddle. It is a very responsive and rewarding canoe to a good handler.
It is better than most canoes in the wind. Still, over 20 mph winds in open water will make where you want to go difficult. That is solo. Weighted down it probably would do OK in 25 mph winds. Seating positions on the boat should be changed a little, in my experience. Lower both seats two inches, and for big-guy solo use, just plant a seat on the floor. This is mostly for the pronounced V of the boat, great for one person, but if you have a partner, they might react differently than you do, and even two experienced paddlers sometimes can't dance together.
I highly recommend the Malecite. Yet, the Bell Northstar is undeniably more refined, yet I can't decide which I like better. The Malecite really improved my paddling skills, not from necessity but because it accommodates.