See Products from North Water Paddlesports Equipment in the Buyers' Guide!
|North Water Paddlesports Equipment in the Buyers' Guide:|
• Canoe Spray Decks
I was immediately impressed with the fit and finish of the deck. It fits my Bell Northwind like a glove. The order form requires a lot of measurements, and for good reason. They make a very tailored deck. It was a bit unsettling to drill 26 holes in a brand new canoe, but it all worked out just fine. The attachment loops are above the waterline most of the time, and they don't leak anyway.
The Northwater deck is a little costlier than some of the competition, but the absolute custom fit is worth it. The craftsmanship is very high quality, and the deck is rugged. Just moments after the initial installation, my German Shepherd jumped on it and ran up and down the canoe looking for a way in. It survived without a scratch.
When the cover arrived, I must say that I was impressed with the quality of materials and the workmanship was superb. When I ordered my cover I had measured my boat as I would have it loaded for my trip, (my large ice chest is taller than the gunnels). I read the instructions and installed the cover without any problems. Installation took about 4 hours as I measured and re-measured to make sure every detail is right. With the cover installed over my gear, the fit was perfect.
I ordered mine with the extra large portage hatch, map case (keeps the river guide book handy too) and deck top anchor strip (for throw bag and biner clipped water bottle). I highly recommend all the items. When you order the portage hatch, you still get another smaller hatch or credit for the smaller hatch. As I was rigged for solo, I opted for two hatches, the large portage hatch in front of me and the smaller one behind me. With two hatches I had accessibility to all my gear without removal of the cover.
North Water's cover includes a cockpit that allows for sitting on the seat or kneeling while paddling. The design is solid and works extremely well. I had outfitted my boat with knee pads and was able to drop right into the knee pads without any fuss.
During my Lower Canyons trip we encountered many rapids, a few in the class 3 range with technical boulder gardens and exciting drops. While those without spray decks bailed gallons of water out of their boats, I used just a sponge. This allowed my boat to handle well throughout all the multi-part rapids. I never experienced a decrease in boat maneuverability that occurs when you take on water.
Another plus I found was that the spray deck diminished the wind effect. No longer did I have to fight the wind to keep the boat pointed in the right direction. With this experience, I will use the cover on windy days even if just day tripping mild rivers.
How tuff is the cover? I banged into rocks in the boulder gardens and took a few wall shots and the cover took all the abuse without complaint. It is obvious this cover will last many years. This is a quality product I highly recommend.
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