Submitted: 05-08-2009 by ldb
We have paddled the MinnII for ten years on 30 Boundary Water and Quetico trips. I object to the lack of free board when loaded over 600 pounds, with heavy paddlers there is not enough buoyancy in the ends, and there are stability issues when the waves are spaced with just the ends in the waves with not enough width be supported by water. When going with the wind waves from the rear or quartering from the rear suck the stability out of it. When fishing for small mouth or any time the rear paddler needs to angle the boat it gets very difficult to turn or pivot. The front seat paddler's sitting position is always in an unstable balance because the feat have no options, but to be on top of each other.
Good points: nothing goes into moderate wind and waves straight on or quartering with the tracking and speed of this boat. Even loaded with 650 pounds it is the fastest tripping canoe there is except for the original MinnII, I believe the new MinnIII's have more rocker than mine did. If you are big people you would be happier with the capacity of the MinnIII, but not the handling. They just don't put the rocks along the landings in the right places to get a 20 foot canoe to shore without rock damage. either canoe should wet footed and loaded only when floating, the thin enty lines put a lot of pounds per square inch on the ends and they get serious rock damage very easily.
Once on the Bayley bay beach there were 2.5' whitecaps coming in we found our MinnII took them sideways better than straight on, straight we got a lot of water over the gunnels. While all of MinnII folks were standing there watching the waves, two big Canadians with a 16' Chestnut Prospector came from the north. One was about 275 pounds the other 235pounds, with three number three Duluth packs. Heading for Lac Lacroi, with their life jackets still wrapped around the seats they headed straight in the Southwest gale and disappeared around the far west point, riding out the giant waves one at a time like they thought nothing of it. Which boat do you think was the fastest boat on the beach that day?