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  • 17' 4" Length
  • 35" Width
  • 43 Weight (lbs)
  • $ 3,345 MSRP

Leo 17 Description

The Leo 17 is the ideal 2-person touring canoe. This is Nighthawk's most popular model, offering light weight, stability, and speed. It has enough capacity to take two adults and lots of gear across the water. Choose this canoe for a tandem design that works great for both light recreational paddling and for serious tripping. Can be configured with two or three seats and a removable yoke, for an extra paddler, or for occasional solo paddling. Product image is in aramid layup. Also available in carbon fiber layup (black boat in gallery photos). 

NOTE: Kevlar/aramid layup pictured, carbon fiber is also available.

Leo 17 Reviews


Read and submit reviews for the Leo 17.

Leo 17 Specifications

  • Seating Configuration: Tandem, 3+
  • Weight: 43 lbs
  • Length: 17' 4"
  • Max Width: 35"
  • Bow Depth: 20"
  • Center Depth: 14"
  • Max Capacity: 750 lbs
  • Primary Material: Carbon Composite

Leo 17 Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Hull Shape: Shallow Arch
  • Side Shape: Tumblehome
  • Bow Rocker: 1.25

Additional Attributes

  • Symmetrical Hull

Recommended Usage

  • Activity Type: Recreation, Touring
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water, Open Water/Ocean, River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Duration: Day Trip, 2-3 Day Trip, Extended Trip
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult

Learn More

Nighthawk Canoes
Leo 17 Reviews

Read reviews for the Leo 17 by Nighthawk 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!

Yesterday I had the...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of trying out a "Nighthawk" brand canoe. Wow! The canoe cut the water so well I found little in the way of a wake. The chairs are very comfortable and the paddles, Nighthawk is a distributor of, are first class. You move without much effort. If you want an excellent canoe I urge you to try a handcrafted Nighthawk. Impressive is an understatement.

I recently got a treat...

I recently got a treat from my friend Benjamin Skroch and he took me out on one of our beautiful Minnesota lakes in one of his canoes. I grew up in Montana canoeing the Missouri River in a fiberglass whitewater canoe which was pretty cool at that time. This boat, however, is far superior and a dream to paddle. Fully rigged out it was an easy 50 lbs. to lift and carry but the real test is in the water. Very stable and absolutely quiet you could easily fish as well as nap in the sun in this canoe. His craftsmanship is superb so this could be the only canoe you ever need. Buy one.

This is a great canoe! I...

This is a great canoe! I was able to use one this summer on a local lake. It is extremely lightweight and glides nicely through the water. Anyone considering a strong, lightweight canoe like a Wenonah needs to check out a Nighthawk first. A nice feature of the Nighthawk is that the seat placement works equally well for either tandem or solo paddling.

Last weekend I had the...

Last weekend I had the opportunity to paddle the Nighthawk Leo. I have not paddled the front of a canoe for a long time as my wife does not like to paddle the back. I generally find paddling more enjoyable and comfortable in the back. Having said that, paddling in the front of the Nighthawk was really easy and comfortable. We paddled into a headwind for an hour and were not really aware of how stiff the wind was until we turned around and sailed back. Cutting through the water was easy and felt very stable. I have done multiple trips in the Boundary Waters usually with aluminum rentals. This was an entirely different experience and I could begin to dream of moving deeper into the wilderness with equipment that makes the trip relatively effortless and more comfortable. The workmanship on the Leo was stellar. I recommend this canoe without reservation.

I had the opportunity to...

I had the opportunity to paddle the Leo 17 model Nighthawk canoe on two different occasions. The first experience was in very windy conditions with three large adults. The swells were big enough that we took water over the bow on several occasions but the canoe remained steadfast. I was impressed with the stability and the comfort of the bow seat.

The second time I paddled this canoe the conditions were much more favorable. There were two of us (both adults) and I paddled from the stern. For a tripping canoe that is made to handle heavy loads, I was surprised with the stability when empty. These are beautifully made, light weight and durable canoes. I have paddled many different light weight flat water canoes and the Nighthawk Leo 17 is equal to or better than any of the top manufacturers.

I love my brand new...

I love my brand new Nighthawk 17 foot Kevlar canoe. It handles great in the water, and at 43 pounds, is actually fun to carry. It also happens to be the best looking canoe I've ever ridden in. It was a pleasure to work with Benjamin, and see the care and craftsmanship that he puts into each canoe.

I purchased the Leo model 17 foot basic black canoe. (a beauty in and out of the water) After my last boundary waters trip, and a wrenched back, I decided never to carry a heavy canoe again. At the end of June I'll head back up with the Kevlar canoe and take some longer portages. (The first is a 380 rod portage) In early July I will let you know about my boundary waters experience, and how the canoe handled in different lakes, winds, and waves.