Submitted: 03-06-2012 by SAM
The Hellman Prospector is a good-sized tripping canoe with minimal build and options. After owning one for three years I can say this, while I was initially impressed with the canoe, I am ready to replace it with something else. I am still not convinced that their material (duralite) is any more durable than fibreglass, and worth the extra price. It is light for a big canoe, but easy to gouge and even some heavy scratches show right through the hull.
The main problems are loose and poorly space rivets on the gunnels (one is actually loose because the rivets only clipped the top of the composite). The seats are actually riveted to the hull rather than hung which, in my opinion, is a joke. The rivets on the stern seat are a bit loose and I can see that they will eventually wear through or pull out. Also, for close to $2000 price tag it doesn't have a comfortable carrying yoke - just a shaped board. But the biggest problem is that it's just plain SLOW. For such a long canoe (17'6") it really drags. Paddling it feels like pushing a bus.
Overall I'd say it's an adequate canoe, but there are better boats you can buy for your dollar. I don't recommend the Hellman Prospector for touring.