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  My feeling is
  Posted by: rpg51 on Nov-28-12 7:34 PM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Nov-29-12 7:17 AM EST --

that Royalex is the better boat for that trip. Not to say it can't be done in a Kevlar boat. But the lack of carries of any real significance, and the potential for long stretches of very shallow water where you are standing and looking for a route with enough water to float your loaded boat both point to royalex as the best material in my judgment. Don't misunderstand, it can and has been run in wood canvas and fiberglass hulls as well. Also, personally I feel that a bigger hull does better on the big lakes AND ALSO on the shallow river stretches. I just think that a big royalex makes the experience more relaxed and so except for one time, out of 7 or 8 trips on the Allagash, that has been my choice.

Edit - The locals up there often choose a 20' Old Town Tripper XL when paddling tandem - with good reason. Although it is a bear to bring across the Allagash Falls carry - definitely a two person carry with that boat. I agree September can be a wonderful time to do that trip - even October - because you won't see many people. But, you do need to pay attention to water levels and be sure you have enough water to finish the river portion of the trip. There was one trip I did when we were forced to take out early because of extremely low water - I believe it was October. We could have made it all the way but it would not have been much fun. I also should say that Norm's advice to stay away from Kevlar is good advice for 90% of the people that paddle the trip and is based on a LOT of experience he has had seeing people damage kevlar boats on the trip. But I do agree, for a good experienced paddler, the trip can be done in kevlar. I just don't see the point of it.

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