Submitted: 05-23-2003 by CW
I have had a bell northwind in black gold and wood trim for 2 years now. It has seen 3 years to the Quetico and some lazy river paddling. I do not like this boat. It seems to have an optimum cruising speed but once this is exceeded the bow or stern paddler who is stronger overpowers the other person and the boat begins to turn big time and no matter how hard j-stroking or other corrective stroking it done, it will not straighten out. It is s a pain to keep it tracking straight when going faster.
Also, we found it not suitable in the wind. On our quetico trips we had to try major weight shifting to get it to handle better. The only thing that improved it (only improved it some) was loading it extremely stern heavy. We had to jam a full food pack behind the stern seat and the stern paddler had about 30 pounds on the bow paddler.
Everyone else posting liked this canoe. I think it's overengineered. Anyone else out there had problems? Anyone know of a good tripping canoe without differential rocker? I like the canoes looks and no wind paddling but add wind or try to speed it up some - this canoe doesn't cut it.