Despite all the people that claim that a 12' canoe is too short, this Stillwater has been great to us. As long as you know your requirements and how you will realistically use the canoe, this will be great for you. If you aren't expecting to charge down whitewater and explore new land...then this will do the job.
We put it on lakes, even one with motor traffic and we can comfortably paddle, fish, etc. Is light enough for one person to load and portage. That is the most important factor to me. Its durable, and all canoes scratch on the bottom. Great deal compared to the cheap B&M store canoes.I just got the Stillwater 12 and spent last week on a large reservoir paddling about.
I really enjoyed it while alone or with one of my kids up front. Wind presented some problem while alone. I am 175 and had a 230 pound brother-in-law up front and did not like the feel at all. I also had my wife up front once and it was a little better. The best part about the canoe is its ease in carrying plus stability. I had hoped to use it for some distance floats on calm rivers and creeks with a hunting partner but I think it might be a bit small for that.
Overall, it is a good canoe for its purpose. The pros outweigh the cons.I've had this boat for a few years now. I use it mainly for fishing and that's what it's good for. I have no problem standing up in the boat while drift fishing in moderate wind. The boat paddles well solo. I just sit at the bow facing the stern. If it is a particularly windy day I put a 50lb bag of sand up front and the boat becomes much easier to control.
Although this is my first boat and I don't have much to compare it with, it doesn't impress me as being too fast. It also takes a fair amount of effort to keep it tracking straight. When loaded with a lot of gear (i.e. when two people are paddling it across the lake with fishing tackle and a week's worth supplies) the boat is especially slow. Also, the exterior scratches easily. But who cares if your boat looks used. Just be careful around rocks.
Overall I am pleased with this boat. Very light and very stable. This is an excellent fishing boat for 1 or two people. There is not much room between the bow seat and front of the boat so make sure your fishing buddy, girlfriend, or whoever will be sitting up front isn't too tall.The Stillwater 12 is a very stable boat. I'd say it's very good for one adult, or an adult with a kid or dog or two, or a couple of kids alone, but it's not good for handling much weight, contrary to what Old Town claims (their web site says this has a 750 lb capacity). We had about 450 lbs total weight in our Stillwater last time we used it and we felt like we were paddling through molasses! (one problem was that the heavier paddler was in the bow - things might have been a little better had the bow been lighter than the stern, but the whole canoe just seemed to wallow with that much weight in it)
The Stillwater 12 is so wide (downright tubby!) that it's not going to set any speed records, but that width is what helps make it feel very safe and secure even for nervous first-time canoeists. If you were thinking of putting two full grown adults in this boat, especially with any extra kind of weight added (like a dog, gear, or a kid), I'd recommend going to another canoe.
Final note: As the other reviewer pointed out, the fiberglass coating does indeed scratch easily. Looks really bad on the dark colors (ours is maroon)