Haven't owned a canoe before the Allagash 164, but spent many a summer out on a lake in BC canoeing with a close friend when I was a kid. So buying one now, some 25 years later was well, tough! But I settled on the Allagash and am very happy. My son and I took it out on Potholes Lake for several miles and it really performed very nicely! The wind didn't bother us too much unless trying to sit still (then we just drifted away) and the wake of speed boats didn't matter either.
On smaller lakes it's a dream and we were finding our selves dumping it in every little pond we could find to do a little fishing :)
Medium lakes with lots of wind weren't much of a problem either and going solo in this canoe just seems 'right'. I'd like to get another actually, but I see they may not make this model anymore.We put the Polylink 3 to the test this weekend when we returned from canoeing and were unloading the canoe from atop our SUV. While the Allagash is only 75 lbs., it still is hard for me, a 5'5" female to lift it overhead. Unfortunately, while unloading, it slipped out of my hand and I dropped my end of the canoe from about 5 feet smack onto a cement driveway. Horrified that I had ruined our new, not-so-cheap canoe we quickly inspected it to find a 3" heavy scuff, but thank goodness no cracks. Whew! I know I will never sail into a rock that hard while paddling on lakes (even very large ones), so I trust my "Allacrash" (dubbed for my clumsiness) to stay as strong in the water as it did on the concrete. I can imagine the damage that blow would have done to a fiberglass canoe.
We found the Allagash 164 to feel solid in the water, easy to steer, easy to track with two paddlers, and the size was perfect for two adults and two wiggly kids. My husband even gave it the tip test after the rest of us had unloaded on the shore. He went out a few feet, stood up, and rocked back and forth trying to see how far he could push it. We were amazed at the canoe's stability and resistance to tipping completely.
What a fantastic canoe! I love it!