Just bought this canoe in Kevlar Fusion with aluminum trim and I really love it. Not only is it stunning to look at but it is light, turns well, tracks well and is quick and efficient. It is a jack of all trades but really master of none. I tested boats that were faster and ones that turned better but none that did everything as well as this boat.
I wanted something that was a good all around ship for lakes and streams... a tripping canoe. It is light enough to be easily carried around rough stuff. Tested it in wind and waves and had good stability and very good speed. Stability is good as well - it feels a bit twitchy at rest but it lets you know what it is doing.
I believe this boat is a little beyond my skill level which is good because the better I get with it, the more it rewards me. It is forgiving enough though that I don't end up in a rock or in the water if I make a mistake. It is however very sensitive to weight ballast. It does not track well in wind and waves if that is off - the adjustable front seat makes this a breeze to adjust for though... the boat requires a lot of communication with the bowman and likes to be steered from the bow.
I can't speak for it's solo prowess and don't plan on using it solo. For tandem it is great and pushes both paddlers to work together. A really fun canoe - comfortable as well. A great all around performer!I decided to write initial review of Swift Keewaydin 16 canoe based on my initial impressions. I have 10 years of canoeing background and this is my second canoe. My first canoe is MR Explorer rx and I keep it for whitewater and mixed water usage and for duck hunting.
I bought the Keewaydin 16 for flatwater canoeing both as tandem and solo usage tandem canoeing being more frequent usage. Keewaydin 16 fulfills these criteria wonderfully. It is fast flatwater canoe having enough primary stability. It turns enough well especially if you tilt canoe gently to outer side of curve.
This canoe does not catch windage very much. Bow is quite high but in center and stern positions side are quite low. The Keewaydin 16 is fast canoe. In stiff head winds it is capable to maintain approximately 6 km/h speed. In other wind direction speed is 6.5 - 8.0 km/h and you can maintain this speed whole day. In calm speed is 7 - 7.5 km/h.
As I said this canoe has low windage but also this canoe does not lose its speed when it hits to wave. This canoe can somehow handle waves very gently.
I have not paddled Mad River Malecite or Bell Northstar but I guess this canoe is one of the very best choices for flatwater canoeing both as tandem and solo. I have tried Wenonah Solo Plus, Wenonah Escapade and Swift Kipawa and I liked more Keewaydin 16. Both Wenonah are bit faster but j-stroke cannot be used. Sitting positions in Wenonah are very low and footbrace should be used in those Wenonahs.
The Kipawa was fast but not as fast as Keewaydin 16. Kipawa turns very quickly but on the other hand Kipawa has very low initial stability. So Keewaydin 16 had features that I wanted from my second canoe.