Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Cargo Description

Light and maneuverable, the square stern Cargo was designed for carrying large loads to remote wilderness destinations. Cargo’s versatility as a hunting and fishing canoe is enhanced by its phenomenal stability. Agile and quick, the Cargo can handle an outboard motor up to 3 hp, yet is also easily maneuvered with a paddle.

Cargo Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Seating Configuration: Solo, Tandem, 3+
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child, Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child, Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Additional Attributes

  • Construction : T-Formex
  • Length: 5.18 m (17’)
  • Width : 111.76 cm (44”)
  • Depth: 40.6 cm (16”)
  • Shape: Square Stern
  • Rocker: 7.6 cm (3”)
  • Gunwale: Vinyl
  • Colour: Camo, Green
  • Weight : 43.1 kg (95 lbs)
  • Carrying capacity: 455 kg (1000 lb)
  • Seats: Webbed seat yoke
  • Max outboard : 3 HP or electric equivalent
  • Option: Wood gunwale

Learn More

Esquif Canoes
Cargo Reviews

Read reviews for the Cargo by Esquif Canoes as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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It's a travel boat for my…

Submitted by: lowrider74 on 1/24/2020

It's a travel boat for my wife and I but have had both our adult boys and lots of gear in 3' waves and it's solid and controllable in light class II rapids. I usually run a Merc 9.9hp but is fine with a Merc 3.3 hp as well. I put kevlar skid plates on the front and rear on the bottom and it's only a 4 star due to weight. It works great for a stand up fly fishing platform due to it's stability. GLAD I have it you will be too.


I have been using an Esquif…

Submitted by: Big_D on 7/25/2013
I have been using an Esquif Cargo for several years. I purchased it for family use - there are four of us. The Cargo has four seats. It seemed fortuitous. In some searching, it's the only squareback I found that doesn't have a huge hump going down the center of the hull. The hull on the Cargo is smooth, slightly rounded, and has modest rocker. The bow is huge. I chose to add oar locks for rowing it when solo because of the size. I find rowing a large canoe far simpler than solo paddling.

It works well under power. I use a 2.5hp Mercury four stroke motor. It's very convenient for motoring upstream and floating back down to fish. It eliminates the need for a shuttle.

As far as initial stability, it has that by the container full (cargo ... container...). I stand to cast and sight fish frequently and am very comfortable doing so. As far as control in squirrelly water, it's easily controlled by oars and doesn't seem to mind squirelly water even when motoring up through it.

You will not win any races in this boat. It is slow, which you'd have to expect from a 17' four seat squareback canoe. So I'm sure that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone.
It's heavy, but lighter than other large squarebacks I've had.

The surprising thing is how well it steers and drifts. This is a terrific fishing canoe for those who fish medium to large rivers (my usual rivers are the Shenandoah and the Potomac). It's easy to set up for simple chutes and ledges. It rides through nicely, even when weighted (I have to use ballast in the front when it's me alone with the engine in the back), and has a surprisingly shallow draft. I easily slide over ledges that have given me fits in other canoes.

Also, when I am guiding someone sitting in the front, it's easy for me to control our drift to give him/her good targets and can come as close to surfing this boat in surprisingly small currents. All it takes is some finesse on the oars - no power - to hold position to give someone fishing in the front really good angles on targets.

I love the boat. It's a real river boat, not for whitewater but thrives in current. It's a real fishing boat, with a weight capacity that's unreasonably large. It's durable. Compared to other canoes its size, it is maneuverable and easy to steer. Under power, I couldn't ask for much more. It takes power against current very well.

The only drawbacks is weight (I use a trailer to avoid having to lift it).