We bought our prospector in the spring of '85 for $1300 new which was a ridiculously outrageous price to pay for a canoe at that time. But, long story short, buying this boat has certainly been one of the best investments we've ever made.
In our evolution as paddlers, we've pushed this thing up to multi-day class 3 whitewater trips and despite the knocks, hits and bumps endured along the way, we just know a boat of less quality would have ended up on the junk heap a long time ago, We were in our late 20's when we got this baby and we're now just touching 60 and whenever we take it for a spin, especially on a silky smooth lake, it's like putting on a favourite pair of jeans -- it's just feels so darned right. We've since backed off from those adrenaline-filled days and have sold our hard-core play boats, but our Prospector will remain in the family for some time to come.
Our kids who learned to paddle and had many adventures in that boat mentioned the other day that we can get rid of the ATV, the travel trailer, the truck and even the house, but that we CANNOT sell the Prospector. Never thought we'd ever have to bequeath a canoe but there you have it. We think that's an apt testament to the quality of a Clipper canoe.
The quality and finish are first class. The boat feels very safe from the time to step in. It has good primary stability. We didn't lean the boat but it handled well anything we face, although conditions were quite good, just a bit of a head wind, wake, wind waves. No real rapids just the regular river stuff. Although it has quite a bit of rocker, it tracked really well and at the same time was very maneuverable.
All in all, we were impressed and very happy with the purchase. I give it a nine for now with a view for a 10 when I paddle it solo and in more challenging conditions.