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Submitted: 10-11-1999 by Jon_L
I have a Swift Kipawa SuperLight Kevlar, with ash trim and cherry decks, weighing in around 46lbs. I paddle primarily Northern lakes, at times with a small child (or two), sometimes with another adult in the bow, and frequently solo. I paddle interior trips of several days duration, as well as day trips.
The Kipawa is the only boat I've paddled that seems to handle everything well. Last Sept. crossing Grand Lake in Eastern Algonquin Park (Ontario), loaded with 2 men and gear for interior camping (approx. 450 lbs.), the Kipawa handled 2' waves and stayed dry and in control. Later the same trip, while solo paddling an empty boat, I paddled from a creek directly into 35-40mph winds and white-caps on Stratton Lake. The Kipawa behaved almost like a solo boat, and I never doubted I could just point it towards my camp and go.
In Algonquin Park, my primary destination these days, a boat not only needs to paddle strainght and quickly across lakes, but must also wind through creeks with a foot or less of water, numerous beaver dams, and switchbacks every 100'. Any boat must not only track well, but also turn easily. Few boats do both. John Winter's designs incorporate more rocker than most, with the expected turning ability, yet are efficient and quick, and track well.
An amazing all-around performer for the 1-boat paddler.
In a perfect world, I'd own (at least) 4 canoes:
An 18' Wenonah Sundowner in kevlar for tandem flatwater tripping
A Swift Dumoine for tandem river tripping
A Wenonah Prism for solo flatwater tripping
A Swift Osprey for river paddling and day trips