Have owned Tripper since 2003 and use it on mountain lakes and rivers in Oregon/Washington ranging in size from Deschutes to Columbia. Canoe handles all waters extremely well, even when winds come up on large lakes. Often carry 2 adults w/camping gear for extended periods to out-of-the-way sites. Canoe always serves us well. Fast, stable, easy to paddle distances - love the tractor seats for comfort and better paddling entry. Very maneuverable compared to other canoes I have tried. Relatively lightweight for 17'6" canoe at 71 lbs - easy to cartop. Narrow bow entry cuts through waves rather than slamming through them. Good for 2 adults with small kids (2) or dog as well. Can't say enough good things about this canoe - would highly recommend. Love it and if it ever wears out (no sign after all these years/trips) I would buy another without hesitation - they are that good!
I am the second owner of a 1999-build Clipper Tripper. I've owned the boat for 10 years and in that time I have taken it on fresh and saltwater trips ranging from day paddles to the Bowron Lakes Circuit. My usual bow paddler is one of my kids, the youngest being 11 now, but even she can handle her end of the boat, making it turn smartly, so the canoe performs nicely. Speed is decent, load hauling ability is excellent, and I am a big fan of the tractor seats and footbar for good paddling position (but then, as a kayaker, I'm partial to that particular seating position for power transfer).
What really impresses me about this canoe is how robust the layup is. I have not been gentle on this boat -- lots of dragging over logs, impacts with rocks, and scraping over barnacles on BC beaches. I am simply amazed at how tough the fiberglass construction is. As I age, I do think about getting a kevlar boat, likely a smaller Clipper model, to save my back, but then I will simply hand over this boat to one of my kids and expect it to give another 15 years of service
Good things; Faster than hell. Easily the fastest canoe I've owned. Little rocker meant it was easy to keep on a straight line.
Turning it was interesting. My partner and I found that if we leaned it hard enough we could do a very snappy eddy turn, but that much lean was deep into the secondary stability: The edge between enough lean to turn fast, and a bit more that required changing your turn to a high brace in a hurry wasn't very big.
I'm a 'motor moron' It takes me a large number of reps to learn a new mechanical skill. My partner Murray was a lot faster at picking this up. We figured it out with under a dozen dumpings.
The Tripper, for speed has a narrow bow and stern. This gives it a tendency to cut through the waves, instead of bouncing over them.
The answer here was easy too: Go through big waves backwatering lightly. This gave the bow time to rise over the crest. If you did this through a hay stack however, it gave more time for foam to pour over the gunnels. The balance was learned over few fills, where, after each, we'd paddle gingerly to shore to empty out.
Most of this learning was done on a training course on the canyon on the Athabasca river just below the falls. Long runs of big class II+ water
This is a great canoe for running rivers like the Yukon, Slave, McKenzie, where rapids are infrequent. It's a great canoe for Northern Saskatchewan where most of your time is on small lakes separated by portages.
It's satisfactory for expeditions, as long as the paddlers are experienced. E.g. I would seriously consider this canoe as MY boat when leading a group of kids in Discover 169's say. The faster lines give me enough speed to check up on members of a group slightly scattered, and the difficulty of handling in white water makes me more conscious of the new paddlers limitations.
Mine was in fiberglass. This makes for a moderately heavy portage. We usually portaged with 2, with one person under the sternplate and the front person resting the bowplate on one shoulder.
Build quality was good. Because it's FRP, it will show wear, and the narrow ends concentrate that wear on the centerline of the bow and stern. If you are going to use it on rough country, buy and place the kevlar skid plates now.
I hate the tractor seats. Both of us had trouble kneeling for rapids. I generally find them too low, and I don't feel I can get power with my feet that far in front of me and my back unbraced. We ended up putting spacer blocks between the seat and the support brackets, raising the front a bit over an inch, and the back a bit over 2 inches. This gave the most comfortable position for kneeling and was good for paddling too, provding you had a load that you could brace your foot against to keep from sliding off.
We weren't finished experimenting with the seats when the canoe was stolen.
Aluminum gunnels wear against paddles, and the resulting very find powdered aluminum is black. on hands. It's also bright and shiny--one of the reasons I don't like aluminum canoes.
Split PE pipe can be used to cover the gunnels, but it adds pounds. If I get another boat with aluminum gunnels I will cover the aluminum with the marking tape they use on gym floors. This will wear through on actual wear points, but the bulk of the metal will be covered, saving both the black problem and the reflection issue.
The workmanship in these boats is by far the best I have seen and the attention to detail does not go unnoticed, with features like the sliding bow seat that make it an excellent option for families with kids who want to paddle from the front without the canoe riding stern heavy.
...on the river, the Tripper handled the moving water eagerly and with ease. Not once did we find ourselves concerned with the stability of the craft and were content to point and shoot our way down the length of the river.
The build quality was fantastic (I've never seen a better showing fiberglass or Kevlar canoe), the black aluminum trim and eye-catching colours really set the boat apart. The sliding tractor seat in the bow really made a difference for keeping us trim and dry in some of the rougher conditions we found ourselves in, and in the fiberglass lay-up we had the opportunity to paddle, the weight was considerably more manageable out of the water than our 15 foot 'Alouette'.
All in all it was a very eye-opening experience for us, and beyond a shadow of a doubt my next canoe purchase will be a CLIPPER.
We have other canoes for specific purposes, but this canoe is with us for the long term as it does everything very well...and is exceptionally comfortable and stable.
This boat is really fast, none of my friends can keep up in their canoes. Will probably trade mine in for a Ultra-Lite Kevlar model in the next couple years.
Now for the Trippers good points. It seems fairly maneuverable to me, once you know how to paddle. It goes a lot faster than my Old Town Guide 14'7 and is much more comfortable in rough water. During the race we had to cross Lake Labarge and we had a tail wind and 3 to 4 foot waves. The Tripper handled it great. A couple waves splashed over the gunnels but we had a spray skirt that kept most of the water out. The Jensen that was traveling with us looked like they would have been swamped if they didn't have a spray skirt. Don't get me wrong, the Tripper is still a canoe and if your headed into the waves, it doesn't take much to take on water. A spray skirt is wise to have in anything over 2 feet unless you know for certain its not gonna get any bigger.
The Tripper handles weight great as well. My Old Town is rated for 900 lbs but has very little free board with 500 lbs. The Tripper is rated at 1000 lbs. and barely looks like it has anything in it with 600 lbs. If you're looking for a good versatile Canoe that you can hold a 3 to 4 mph pace for long periods of time, and carry its rated weight comfortably, and maneuver fairly easily, I suggest the Clipper Tripper.
We have transported big game animals in it, even towed a moose shot in the water across the lake - but that was a workout! so decent load capacity
It has excellent secondary stability even for less experienced folks we have lent it too in challenging wind-whitecap conditions.
It's been a big part of the family.
Only reason I give it an 8 is it's terrible for Solo, and on real windy days on our large northern boreal forest lakes (yes one of them is Grey Owl's lake :))the bow catches the wind and if you have a weak partner in front, it will require more zig-zags to get where you want to go.
What a beautiful craft. Fit and finish is excellent. On the water this canoe moves very well. My wife and I were imediately impressed. With bent shaft paddles there is little effort to make this thing go and keep it going. It's very fast. We have paddled the Tripper in calm and rough conditions and have never once felt nervous. Wind does affect it's tracking (tends to turn perpendicular) if it's not loaded but I believe it will do better with a few hundred extra pounds. Initial stability is less than the "prospector" canoes that I've paddled in the past, but I would still rate it as "good". After a few outings it was no longer an issue. Final stability is excellent. On one choppy outing, my wife and I let the canoe drift with the 2'+ waves (perpendicular) and as mentioned before never felt nervous. Very stable!
I tried paddling this thing solo without much luck. The slightest amount of a breeze will have you frustrated in seconds. There's simply too much boat out of the water for that sort of application. The only way I could get any real control was to sit in the centre like in a kayak. But the reach to the water with the paddle is too much.
So now I'm in need of a solo canoe too!
All and all, we are very satisfied. I believe anyone looking for a tandem family / interior expidition / touring canoe would be a fool to not seriously consider this wonderful craft.