Submitted: 01-03-2011 by Brock
Paddled my new (used) Northwind on Saturday...New Years Day. Temps got out of the 20-30s here and were up to 68*F... so took the wife out for her first voyage in canoe though I have been in and out of them since my youth. Found a quiet lake near home with access only by light portage.... only 50 meters at most or could go to a floating dock. I did not take any cooler or gear so the canoe was expected to ride quite high in water and be a little tippy.
Got her in and settled and then I pushed off and settled in my seat. A little tippy at first as it was empty save for my large frame in rear and her much lighter in front. Good 15knot wind started across from us and front wanted to turn with wind but got the feel for boat and was able to side slip until the turn to get it as a headwind.
The canoe paddled very nicely...my own rustiness and lack of familiarity with this particular canoe was more of an issue than the boat itself. After 30 minutes she was settling down and I was able to more precisely paddle her where intended.
The tumblehome I had always heard about from a DY canoe was all I had been told...I was able to maintain posture while paddling in near vertical position without impacting canoe....and the Bending Branch Traveler paddle propelled us forward quite efficiently...with limited disturbance at completion of each stroke.
The rx material was solid and the only time I felt any movement in skin was when going over a submerged log with only 3-5 inches of water....so at that time I was thankful we were sitting high in water. LOL
With another 75-100 lbs in the boat with 75%of it towards the bow for balancing the load I could see this as being a very stable craft. Even empty save for us paddlers and its tippiness...it really wasn't bad. Once I got settled it was very stable...
There is good secondary stability as well though at my size I felt like I could easily dump it if I gave more than a little effort...think I will try Canadian paddling style solo when the water warms a bit. :)
I look forward to my next trip and for a full year of paddling this fine craft....so far it is all I expected and look forward to many hundreds of hours of pleasure this year.