Submitted: 03-19-2002 by Hendrik van Oss
I purchased this boat as a used demo and immediately moved the solo seat back 1 seat width, tilted the seat by 3", and added a center thwart and end flotation bags. The canoe is Royalex with vinyl gunwales--unfortunately, the gunwales lack an aluminum insert and so I fear they will eventually crack. I have run this boat in flatwater and Class I-III whitewater. The canoe will not appeal to beginners because it has very little initial stability, thanks to its virtually round bottom. It does have excellent secondary stability and can be healed to the gunwales easily. Be careful on fast, leaned, offside eddy turns lest you overlean the boat and wind up scooping water and swimming. Hmmm. The canoe turns reasonably well, though not quite as quickly as its substantial rocker would suggest. The timing of turns is a little bit unusual--this having to do with the very fine entry line not grabbing much water, so the real turning begins when the main hull width is reached--which is not quite where one would visualize it happening. It punches hydraulics/rides waves/surfs heads-on extremely well and takes side waves well. I have not yet mastered side surfing with it--maybe I need thigh straps. Without doubt, this canoe's best feature is its really quite amazing speed for a full "battle weight," short Royalex hull. I can easily overhaul tandem- paddled 16 ft and 17 ft hulls like the Explorer, Intrepid, Prospector, Camper, Tripper et al. when all are being paddled at "cruising" speed (i.e. not racing). Excellent glide--it paddles much like a kevlar hull in this respect. I have only used a straight shaft modern-style paddle with this boat.