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Submitted: 12-04-2011 by serge88

I've owned 20 + canoes , 10 of them solo and paddled others that belonged to paddling buddies. The Raven is the best long distance (7+ days) big water solo tripping boat on the market. Of course everything is a compromise in canoe design with speed and tracking ability balanced with gear carrying capacity, maneuverability and a dry entry. The Raven's best feature is ample capacity and a bow with enough volume and purposeful sheer to keep things pretty dry. Since fully loaded tripping boats rely less on turning ability than ease of ferrying to maneuver the 3"//2 1/2" bow/stern rocker is a little excessive (2 1/2" //2" would probably be better)and a little less rocker would make tracking and ferrying a tad easier. That said the Raven is not a difficult boat to paddle straight and has very comfortable appointments (read seat!). The extra rocker would actually be a plus if you were running a rapid with the boat empty. The deep hull and pronounced (for a tripping boat) rocker can make paddling this boat a bear in windy conditions but if you're using it for it's intended purpose you'd probably want to add a spraydeck which will help to ameliorate the effects of the wind - plus keep you all-around drier in any situation
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