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Submitted: 11-05-2010 by n7zuq
A Jensen 18' fiberglass was our first canoe. It may not be what you would pick as an ideal beginner canoe, but it turned out be be a fantastic boat. It's original design is as a racing canoe. So getting it as a first canoe was akin to getting a Ferrari as a first car. Because of it's shallow arched hull, it's stronger at secondary stability than primary, but the secondary stability is very good. For all our efforts, we've never tipped it over. It's felt at times like we were going to, but when that secondary stability kicks in, it's almost like something is pushing back. It's an unusual sensation.
It wasn't a relaxing ride at first. Just floating stationary, that low primary stability still feels a little "tippy" even though you know it won't do so easily. But in motion, it gets very stable. It maneuvers surprisingly well for such a long boat with no rocker. And when you want to go fast, it will do that, just as it was designed to do. It's more fun than I imagined it would be to go fast in a canoe. It tracks super straight, glides superbly, and carries a surprising volume. It's a great boat for someone looking to go far or fast. It does well on large and small bodies of water alike. While probably targeted toward experienced paddlers, it's also an unexpectedly fine starter boat that get's you accustomed to learning and trusting the secondary stability of a boat.