Submitted: 04-09-2001 by BJCB
I recommend this boat enthusiastically. It can carry a huge load and still offer superb performance. I rented a pair of Northwoods' on my most recent Boundary Waters trip. We weren't exactly traveling light on this trip: the crew roster included five adults, my ten-month-old daughter, and a big, happy, dumb dog. We carried more gear than I would have dreamed of until I became a Daddy.
The Northwoods proved both fast and stable. Most of the way in, we paddled against whitecaps churned up by a strong quartering headwind. The boats seemed to have a tremendous amount of bouyancy, even when carrying such a heavy load. They shrugged off the waves and spray effortlessly. Stability was excellent; there was never a moment when we seemed in danger of tipping. And, despite the circumstances, they seemed to track straight and true. The return trip was made in calmer weather, and the Northwoods seemed to move quickly through the water without a great deal of effort. Despite the 18'6" length, I found it fairly easy to turn.
It also bears mentioning that, from an aesthetic standpoint, this is a beautiful boat. I would like to have one in the black/gold layup, with wood trim. It's not the absolute lightest canoe in its class, but it's easily portaged. I've been told that its hull offers greater durability than some lighter boats posess.