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Northbay Description

The Northbay is a canoe brought to you by Bell Canoe Works. Read Northbay reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other canoe recommendations below or explore all canoes to find the perfect one for you!

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Northbay Reviews

Read reviews for the Northbay by Bell Canoe Works 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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This canoe was short-lived…

Submitted by: on 10/29/2018

This canoe was short-lived in production but an absolute delight. Despite being 20-30 years old it's still lightning fast for a tripper.

I took it 350 miles along the MN-Canada border in 12 days, across massive water (3 five mile crossings on Rainy Lake) and it was perfect. Its 50 pound carry-weight was just as critical as its speed and capacity on this route given the many, many portages.

The next summer we paddled it from Minneapolis to Winnipeg along the muddy Minnesota and Red Rivers; I couldn't imagine a better boat for paddling up the Minnesota or down the lazy Red. Both rivers are almost rock-free and rapidless, so needing a more durable Royalex (or comparable plastic-foam sandwich materials) boat isn't a concern, the Kevlar-gelcoat combo is just fine. What's better, we longed for the wilder Lake Winnipeg and Hayes Rivers further along our expedition (where we used the Bell Alaskan) and the Northbay allowed us to maintain a cruise at 4+ mph over long distances, getting us to the wilderness faster.

Google the Northbay and you'll get that it has a rep for tippyness; weigh it down and you'll find it's much more stable. I've watched it tipped by my father and buddy's dad, but the boat was empty except fishing gear. My buddy and I have better balance and agility than them, sure, but it's tippyness has never really been a concern of ours either. Critically, what it lacks in initial stability it makes up for in secondary, so assuming you're quite practiced in the boat and in tune with your partner, you'll be fine.

All in all if you're practiced, the speed x capacity x weight is highly beneficial to covering large distances expedition style without support.