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Submitted: 04-12-2005 by wildernesswebb
I bought this little boat in Fall '03 after falling in love with the hull upon paddling a friend's. I have the royalite version and feel this light layup is fine for my use. I use it on Ozark streams and sometimes just to play around on the farm pond. I think it would make a very good freestyle boat.
I've paddled class II on the upper Buffalo, and this is the upper limit for this boat. If you paddle this type of water frequently, you probably should opt for a boat with a deeper bow and mid section, or you will need to dump the water that will spill over the bow. Class I with only the rare to occasional class II is more this boat's forte. I feel the initial stability is good and secondary excellent. The only time I've come close to dumping this boat accidentally is when hitting a strong upstream eddyline. I've leaned this boat to the rails without a brace, just to see how good the secondary stability is. I did dump it when I took it a bit past the rail, but that was without bracing.
Speaking of braces, this boat can be ordered with foot brace, which I would recommend. I didn't order the foot brace, but am fortunate that my 6'1" frame and size 11.5 feet makes the thwart in perfect position to serve that purpose. If I was a little shorter, or had smaller feet, this wouldn't work.
Tracking is fair when paddling the flats, but this boat is more suited to rivers, than lakes. If you need a boat for long stretches of flatwater, I'd look elsewhere. I have thought of possibly adding a second thwart to reduce the flex of the boat, which you notice only when entering, exiting, or paddling very hard. This is the only reason I give this boat a 9 instead of a 10. If only they could use Wenonah's Tuffweave, it would be the perfect solo canoe for the class I to occasionally II rivers I paddle.
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