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Submitted: 08-06-2003 by Keith

We rented a Q 18.5 in Kevlar last week for a trip in the BWCAW. Our group of 8 was spread out in 3 canoes. With my 240 lb. self in the stern of the Souris and my wife and 61 lb. 6 year-old in the bow (plus the 80 lb food pack) it paddled like a dream. We had to stop and wait repeatedly to allow our crew to catch up in the Grumman and the fiberglas cheapie. When it got late in the day and we got in a campsite race, we really poured on the coals and easily made the claim (sorry to the other group heading for the same site on Lake 3). It was stable as can be with two adults and a squirmy kid, hauled plenty (we had three other bags in addition to the food pack, plus our personal stuff), and moved and manuvered like no canoe I have ever paddled before. If there was some heavy wind or rough water, I bet it could have made a 10. As it is I'll give it a 9, expecting more. The blessing of Kevlar made it even better. At 48lbs, it felt like nothing to portage. I suppose too, that is saying something about the quality of construction when an outfitter rents a kevlar canoe as opposed to a heavier layup. There were some scratches when we got it and the stems were crunched from past renters "bridging" the boat for portages (why?), but we enjoyed even wet-footing to be responsible to the outfitter. I want one.
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