Submitted: 08-17-2009 by Bloss
I've had this boat out twice, once in a stiff wind when I was the only one out on the lake and once in calm waters. I've found it easy to control even in the wind with a partial underwater recovery. I have the Kev light layup with wood trim and it weighs in at around 34 pounds.
It tracks straight yet turns easily and has good glide and acceleration. I am 5'10'' and weigh a little over 200 pounds and I find it very stable and plenty roomy. It does have some wobbliness on center like all Bell hulls but it firms up quickly when heeled and has very good overall stability once you get used to it.
The finish was not perfect as I found what looked like some light scuffs above the tumblehome crease and I noticed the same thing on another new Bell Magic at the canoe shop. Evidently it occurs in the manufacturing process and it appears to be of cosmetic impact only. Still, for over $2,000 the boat should really be free of any defects, though nothing in this world is perfect. For that reason I rate this boat a 9 rather than a 10.
Having said that I would have to say that this boat does everything well and it may be the best solo boat available if you can only own one solo canoe. Two thumbs up from this canoeist!