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Submitted: 05-23-2005 by Mark

I bought my Pelican Explorer 16'6" canoe yesterday at Dick's. Seemed like a pretty good buy; I got it for $297 because the bottom was bowed a bit from sitting on the display rack for months.

Understand that I'm a BIG guy, and I haven't been in a canoe in about 15 years. I didn't feel like the boat was all that stable when I took it out on the lake, and while I didn't tip it over, it felt pretty scary even heading directly into motorboat wakes. My knees don't allow me to kneel, so I turned the canoe backwards and sat on the front seat to get nearer the center. When I did try kneeling, I found -as did another reviewer- that my size 14s just don't go under the seat at all! I can't blame all my discomfort on the canoe though; I know I'd sit lower and the whole deal would be more stable if I weighed 150 pounds. News flash: I don't.

As for maneuverability, I found that there were times when the Explorer tracked beautifully and slid effortlessly through the water, even against the current. Other times, it steered like a wet sponge and seemed to take loads of effort to propel. Long and short: I feel like the hull is too thin and flexible to offer consistency. I'll take it out every evening this week and find out if I just need to get used to it or if I really made a bad choice.

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