I've worked at an outfitter for 6 years and grew up in a canoe in Algonquin and the Souris River is a canoe that is ment to be used, if your an experienced paddler with a solid J-stroke the Souris River Prospector 16' is your best choice in that style, size and class, it handles a ton of gear and has lots off freeboard, you will stay dry in big water with this canoe, after having or paddling a few Swift Prospectors, Peterborough, Chestnuts Geisler, NovaCrafts, Scott's, Lakefields, Wenonahs, old towns, and Blueholes I can say this boat out does them in every way but looks, it is enjoyable to use as it won't crack like glass everytime you touch a rock, it scratches and doesn't dent the foam core like other lightweights, it actually weighs 40Lbs, unlike all other canoe makers who tell you what the canoes weighs before it is completed. The sides of the Souris River are a little soft as it is single layer Kevlar, so you should avoid throwing the canoe up using the leading knee flic, but due to the weight of this canoe it is easy to pick up and wear like a hat, you should avoid tying to many paddles PFDS and fishing gear in the canoe during portages for this reason also, but again the Swift and other ultralight weights also share these problems. The Souris River does have a reinforced bottom which is where it takes all of the abuse and wear if you are using it for its intended purpose, other canoes with Champagne Bottoms all have cracked gel coat issues, spider cracking and gel coat chipping, non-issue with Souris River so you can enjoy using your canoe and not regret taking it into the backcountry and avoid constantly grumbling at your bowman/women to watch for rocks and careful getting out. The Souris River will glance off and keep going, and if the scratches or repairs bother you they are easily fixed by the DIY'er and won't be noticeable repairs, gel coat is extreme difficult and expensive to repair, and requires professional sanding and polishing to hide the repair, let alone the difficulty of matching and sourcing said gel coat and hardener. So if you want a canoe to use this is your boat, if you want to hang a canoe in the cottage and never use it, look elsewhere. The design of this canoe makes it fast, easy to manoeuvre and carry, I would advise you store this canoe so that is is not exposed to direct sunlight, the more UV exposure it gets the quicker the Kevlar will turn to a Brown Colour and may ba one more brittle, but again all clear canoes share this issue.