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Submitted: 06-08-2005 by TT
I've paddled a UL Mattawa for three years now and find the boat amazing. I have a solo by Wenonah which is very different but the Mattawa gets the gold star for versatility. Being a fan of Wenonah canoes I wanted to compare it to their line of touring canoes. I tried the Adirondack, the Spirit II, and the Solo Plus.
The Mattawa was better to paddle than all of these hulls. I found it faster than the Adirondack, Spirit II and Solo Plus. It was also as maneuverable as or better than any of the hulls. Yes, you did read that correctly, the 15'8" Mattawa is faster than the Spirit II - 17'. This might sound funny but I believe this is b/c of the bow rocker which causes the bow wave to start around where the bow paddler is sitting, further down the boat rather than the bow stem. The boat has some of the most responsive maneuverability for a flatwater boat that I've ever been in. This boat will not have the capacity for very long trips but as long as one isnít bringing the kitchen sink, weeklong expeditions should be ok.
The versatility of this boat is amazing combining a great tandem hull with a kneeling thwart will prove to the most skeptical its possibilities as a solo hull as well. I would advise against a center seat and stick with the kneeling thwart but thatís just my preference. The seats are very comfortable but I am not a big fan of their contour yoke. It is very pretty to look at but it doesnít fit my neck very well.
As another reviewer commented, the stability of this boat is nothing short of incredible. I suggested it to an elderly couple who live near me and paddle with from time to time and they decided to try it. They came back the same afternoon with a champagne/burgundy two tone with cherry trim. It blew mine away (merely forest green). It had to be one of the prettiest composite boats Iíve ever seen. I have been impressed with Swift in general, their dealers and company are great to deal with (even meeting Bill) and would suggest this boat to anyone.
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