For a lone paddler it is almost impossible; sure you can put a 40 pound weight in the front to keep the nose down, but it is still very difficult. For two people paddling it is obviously much better, but still difficult. Miss a stroke and you wind up sideways even when you have two adult 140 pd plus experienced paddlers.
All my previous canoes have had keels and this one does not, and I think that is the problem. When I discussed this with sales reps they said they have never had a complaint about that, which I find hard to believe. A friend has one and he too is disappointed in this aspect of the canoe.
I have the sage barracuda two tone with a white champagne bottom. The rails are carbon kevlar with the cherry trim tops. Because the canoe is symmetrical, it was a very easy thing to sit on the front sliding seat facing rearward. I adjust that front sliding seat so the nearby thwart is just under the bend in My knees and My seating position on the seat is right at the seats canter. There is absolutely no need to kneel and have a kneeling thwart put in, or heaven forbid, intall a canter seat which would not work at all. My solution is working very well.
I have had no problem at all reaching the water with My paddle and I would not change a thing. It seems to Me that it's all just exactly by design and that I'm not just making the best of things. I have a dry bag at the opposite end with about 40# of water in it and the Prospector is just a very small bit above level exactly where I want it. If You are a solo paddler and would like the 17# foot Prospector, this system works very well. Actually, I have removed the yoke and rebolted it in reverse. What I now have is a Prospector with a stern sliding seat. In 5 minutes the arrangement can be changed back to the way it was made and ready for tandem.
The canoe itself is very high quality and at 33 lbs., it allows me to be able to handle it myself when loading on and off my vehicle. Being in my senior years, this means I can keep canoeing many more years to come, Lord willing.
The Prospector handles well in the water, esp. when I'm paddling alone while my wife is taking birding pictures using a telephoto lens on the camera.
I highly recommend Swift.
Pros:-light weight, -stable, -handles waves well (1m)
Cons: -tracking requires close attention (to be expected no keel), -hardware (nuts and bolts) not water resistance. (suggest replacing with brass or stainless steel), -capacity
I was pleasantly surprised at how well it handled waves. I was in a large lake with waves over a meter and just ignored them when navigating across the lake. I was surprised (should not been) at tracking. The canoe does not have a keel, so tracking has to be paid close attention too.
Turning was neither a negative or positive, I found it to be good, nothing special. I was a little surprised at capacity. It is not able to carry more weight than my old 14' which was a surprise. I personally would like the seats to be a little lower. This is just a personal preference.
All in all this is a good canoe and the criticisms are all small.
Swift is the first placed we stopped off at near our home in Huntsville, Ontario at the Oxtongue Lake store. We did not need to search any further as our sales/support team Brian and Skip made the description, water demo, even helping us with tethering it to our SUV, looking after our paddle and PFD selection a delight.
Swift is the best for your value and we are delighted!
At 40 pounds, our Kevlar Fusion boat was a real pleasure to portage (if portaging could ever be a pleasure). The hull construction, especially in conjunction with the integral Carbon Kevlar gunnels, makes this an extremely robust and rigid boat. It has excellent tracking capability for a 16 footer and slices through water with the speed of a much longer boat. It's ability to turn on a dime worked very well on backcountry creeks and it has remarkable stability in the heavy waters on the open lakes, especially when loaded. Even though this boat has more than enough room for two people and a week's worth of gear, it is also a joy to paddle solo.
We are delighted with the purchase of this boat. While I know there is no such thing as the perfect canoe for all conditions, I firmly believe this boat comes close.