Several years ago I spent quite a bit of time looking for an open water canoe for the family to use. After trying several different makes we purchased the Temagami in expedition Kevlar. 54 pounds and balanced well enough for my wife and I to lift over our heads and load on top of the van.
In the water the canoe is a dream. Properly waxed the hull cuts through the water with ease. A broad side wind has a tendency to push the canoe around a bit, but that may be due to having 5 people on board catching the wind as well. For fishing, the canoe offers a steady responsive canoe to work from.
Tough to paddle solo, I am actively looking for my solo Swift canoe.As with any canoe, I'm rating it in the context that it was chosen for. The immediate intended uses are:
1) Family tripping canoe for 2-3 day trips with 2 adults and 3 kids ages 7 1/2, 5 and 3.
2) Big tripping canoe for a 6-day spring base-camp style fishing trip. Heavily loaded going in, daytripping with the empty canoe to fish all week.
Family Tripping - We're quite happy with it so far, which admittedly was only an afternoon on the water. It handled well, even with squirming kids. Had 2 kids on the centre seat and one kneeling/squirming between the back thwart and the centre thwart. The 2 on the centre seat weren't squished at all.
A very stable canoe, barely felt the kids moving around, they had to literally all move to one side for us to care. My 7 year old was trying to rock the canoe back and forth, so he was definitely comfortable. My 2 year old also got comfortable enough to try and stand up (he sat down again pretty quick. The only time it seemed a bit hard to paddle was when my oldest decided to sit up on the centre thwart which put too much weight forward and push the bow down. As soon as I had him move back to the back thwart you could feel the difference. Another positive sign that it handles well when properly trimmed.
Figure we have room for at least 2 big packs and a 'wannigan' for our 3 day trip in July. Might even have room to take the dog along.
2) Base-camp Fishing Trip - Heavily loaded for the trip in and out of Algonquin the canoe handled well, probably slower than the Langford Northwind we were paddling with but then again we were fishing on the way and the other guys weren't. Paddling empty all week for fishing, we had no problem with the standard heavy waves on Welcome, even paddling almost sideways to the waves.
Very happy with my choice so far.