The Old Town XL Tripper is the best canoe I've ever paddled. Regardless of the length, when just one or two on board it turns great because of no keel. But if you want to load it up, and up and up, it can handle up to 1700 lbs, (that's eight 200 lb people +). Just keep them sitting on the floor unless they are paddling.
I have run class 2 and 3 in this canoe solo and tandem with great agility. Other things I've used the XL Tripper for: hauled two weeks of ample camping supplies for two, have pushed over two miles into a flooded cave, fly fishing for two with room to cast, hauled a rick of firewood, hauled a 15kW generator (400+ lbs, fished in the ocean.
The Royalex material has stood up for years.
Recommendations: get a center seat or foam saddle for the middle if going solo or triple. If doing the Boundary Waters or long trips, make a snap on rain cover.The Tripper XL is an excellent heavy duty expedition boat for big people and lots of gear. I've been very happy with it. The hull speed is roughly the same as a standard Tripper.
We've paddled it in very big water, using a bomb proof Northwater spray skirt (also heavy) and had the times of our lives. It is also very maneuverable in technical whitewater for its size.
It is very stable with a load and can be
easily poled. We added a thwart just behind the bow seat with a reinforced hole the size of our poling pole. We glued a D-ring directly below the hole to use as a step for our mast (our poling pole with a pulley near the top attached with a pipe clamp.) With our triangular sail, we were able to sail broad and beam reaches in winds
up to 30 miles/hour without much heeling. We moved right along. Total additional weight of the sailing gear was 18 ounces.
The Tripper XL is a heavy boat by any standards and is a bear to portage, even with a knu-pac. Since it is a solidly built boat, it can be dragged over vegetation and then lifted over rocks. Not good for heavily trampled
I love this boat, but it is just to heavy for trips with a lot of portages.
Our paddling is mostly long distance rivers with a lot of class II and III rapids. It laughs at hitting rocks.Twenty feet long. One hundred and five knee-buckling pounds. A moose, pure and simple -- and like North America's largest deer, the Old Town XL Tripper is most at home in wild, remote country, where its unique combination of strength and size comes into its own. Not a whitewater playboat -- you'll find its length to be a bit of a handicap when attempting tight eddy turns in narrow, technical rivers -- the XL Tripper is best paddled as the voyageurs paddled their North Canoes. As you slide this big boat from side to side, lining up the chutes, you'll discover just how powerful a technique the ferry can be.
The XL _is_ fast, make no mistake: the long waterline sees to that. And it holds a lot of gear. Half a ton isn't too much. Get something else for your whitewater weekends and for pond hopping in the Adirondacks, but when the horizon calls and the days stretch out into months, get an XL Tripper. You won't do better.