I had the opportunity to paddle the Leo 17 model Nighthawk canoe on two different occasions. The first experience was in very windy conditions with three large adults. The swells were big enough that we took water over the bow on several occasions but the canoe remained steadfast. I was impressed with the stability and the comfort of the bow seat.
The second time I paddled this canoe the conditions were much more favorable. There were two of us (both adults) and I paddled from the stern. For a tripping canoe that is made to handle heavy loads, I was surprised with the stability when empty. These are beautifully made, light weight and durable canoes. I have paddled many different light weight flat water canoes and the Nighthawk Leo 17 is equal to or better than any of the top manufacturers.I love my brand new Nighthawk 17 foot Kevlar canoe. It handles great in the water, and at 43 pounds, is actually fun to carry. It also happens to be the best looking canoe I've ever ridden in.
It was a pleasure to work with Benjamin, and see the care and craftsmanship that he puts into each canoe.
I purchased the Leo model 17 foot basic black canoe. (a beauty in and out of the water)
After my last boundary waters trip, and a wrenched back, I decided never to carry a heavy canoe again. At the end of June I'll head back up with the Kevlar canoe and take some longer portages. (The first is a 380 rod portage) In early July I will let you know about my boundary waters experience, and how the canoe handled in different lakes, winds, and waves.