Submitted: 07-14-2010 by NorthPaddle
I've had a Northwind in the Royalex layup for about a month. I have had it out five times so far, all on lakes. I've paddled it in windy and calm conditions. It tracks great, and is easily controllable.
I like the canoe a lot. It's proved to be very stable, and durable. It's not the fastest canoe around with a hull speed of about 4mph with a moderate load. If I wanted something faster, I would have got a longer, narrower canoe. The speed and glide are fine for a 16 and half foot canoe. The tumble home sides are a rarity for a Royalex hull. They give the canoe a nice profile, and make paddling a bit easier, especially for smaller paddlers.
The only dislike I have is the design and placement of the forward thwart. It is right behind the front seat and it prevents solo paddling the canoe backwards from the front. This is the only thing that prevented a rating of 10. It has a point on it that will hit the front person in the back if they lean back. It's kind of a minor issue really, but something my wife discovered while attempting to lounge a bit.
I haven't paddled the canoe solo yet, but I surely it could be done from the kneeling thwart in the rear.