Submitted: 09-14-2004 by DR
This my second Canoe purchase, I have found a winner here. I previously owned an Old Town Guide model. I was unfamiliar with this manufacturer label which is North East Outfitter manufactured by Johnson Outdoors Water Craft. But the traditional appearance and design caught my eye, to say nothing of the post season mark down. My previous canoe (Old Town Guide) can not hold a candle to this one. The canoe does not carry a fancy name, only a footage and acronym designator. It has an accentuated keel of about 2 inches. One aspect of the design which is particularly clever is that the seats are supported in the center by a tube aluminum U shaped brace which runs most of the length of the keel. This does double duty to not only support the seat but stiffen the hull bottom. There is no oil can effect. The seats (2) are maple frame with webbed seats which allows the butt to keep cool compared to the molded seats. I predominantly solo canoe and I was immediately impressed by the rear seat placement verses load balance. I am 230# and this canoe's bow is barely out of the water with me in the aft seat. Compared to the wheely I would have with my former Old Town.
It is a beamy boat at about 42" from gunnel to gunnel at its widest. The canoe tracks beautifully and any oar stroke will do. A "J" stroke will easily keep it on track however though not purist, I am sold on a Kiyak paddle. A solo paddler, with this boat a Kiyak paddle can move the boat along swiftly and can be handled well in a 10-15 knot breeze. The weight is 68# which is ruff car topping solo but with a long bed pick up It does fine for short distances tied in the back with a flag. The boats stability is excellent and is a great boat for beginners with its wide beam. With the keel however it will not turn on a dime but can be easily maneuvered via good paddle work. I recommend this boat to anyone and it is a definite keeper for me. The hull material is single sheet High Density Polyethylene. It carries a modest price tag when not on sale and is a worthy boat. With traditional lines and wooden Thwart and seats it looks good too!