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Winisk Reviews


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Swift Canoe & Kayak
Winisk Reviews

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Local reseller here in…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/14/2015
Local reseller here in Finland gave us for a test run Swift Winisk Gold Fusion. We participated to a 60 km lake rowing marathon here in Finland. Winisk was easy, light & fast to paddle. Quite a few rowers were left behind us. Our finishing time was 7:53:17, it means 7,6 km/h average. We even had one lunch & peeing break. There was another C2, Wenonah Escapade, they lost to us one hour.
Winisk is a lot of canoe!

Bought a gold fusion layup in…

Submitted by: paddler235788 on 7/27/2014
Bought a gold fusion layup in 1992 (couldn't afford Kevlar) and put a lot of trips on it. Full gear wilderness in kenora. Daily relaxation paddles from our dock. My only regret is not getting the lighter layup. Even solo I can heel it to the gunwhale & turn into the wind. Loaded & facing 2 - 3 foot waves my wife could draw the bow & keep us pointed into the wind. And running a rocky chute of foaming whitewater proved out this canoes stability in extreme conditions. Not a white water canoe but one helluva tripping canoe.

The Winisk is a fantastic…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/23/2009
The Winisk is a fantastic touring canoe. Even loaded up it gets up to speed quick, holds a good line, and is really easy to keep up to speed gliding wonderfully. We use way less energy traveling longer distances then with other canoes used.

If you want a recreational boat for fishing or paddling around the cottage, this is not the canoe for you. If you are doing flatwater tripping it definitely is. With other canoes, including my beloved Prospector, we were paddling hard to keep up to others. We now paddle at a more moderate pace and now wait for some of the other canoes.

Initial stability is not very firm when not loaded, but this narrower waterline width also gives you speed. Loaded it is just great. Secondary stability either way is great, and the canoe is fine for keeling over solo, though I would not prefer to use it on a long solo trip.

I bought directly from Swift, as there is no dealer in Calgary, and got great service from them. I got the kevlar layup with the integral kevlar gunwhales and cherry trim, with an additional solo seat. I weighed the canoe after I got it, and it is a nice light 40.5 lbs, and is fantastic to carry around. The integral gunwhales did have a bit of a sharper outside edge that I filed down a wee bit to soften the edges, but I see now that they put a thin wooden strip on to alleviate this problem.

BTW, it is extremely rare for me to ever give a 10, so this is near perfect.


I spent a week with the…

Submitted by: tncook on 10/25/2004
I spent a week with the Winisk this summer in Algonquin and took it on big lakes and little winding creeks. As long as the boat was trim it tracked fine. Was able to reach cruising speed and maintain it easily. Initial stability was good, and secondary was great. Seemed kind of tipsy in the bow but took all of 3 minutes to get used to. Was able to solo this big boat and paddle with the gunnel on the water. Great Canadian canoe. Liked the Swift so much that the same summer I got a Kipawa which was much more suited where I live.

Everybody seems to say too…

Submitted by: paddler229633 on 4/9/2002
Everybody seems to say too much fluff about handling etc. so I'll stay away from that. I like this canoe. Buying it at the end of season in Canada with a great $US/$CN exchange rate and getting the sales tax refunded netted this out at $1342 US in October 1998. For a 55 lb beautiful, all ash gunwales, contour yoke, bow slider and kneeling thwart I think that can't be beat.

I love the seats. They are webbed with thick ash framing. They are curved downward in the front perfect for semi-kneeling (which I like). I also like the one piece ash yoke. I put 2 pieces of ensolite foam on my shoulder tops and the yoke works perfectly for me. I have a curved laminated yoke on my other canoe but I like the contour yoke on the winisk the best.

As far as choosing a canoe goes, take several trips borrowing and renting canoes to find what you like don't listen to anyone else. Pay attention to equipment people are using that are passing you. Ask them for advice.

For me it was the Winisk or a Minnesota II from We-noh-na. The Winisk was $600 cheaper. After 3.5 years I'm still totally happy with this boat. Now I'm looking for a 16 foot boat for more river use. Everybody thinks their boat is a 9 or 10.


I used to drive a Coleman…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 2/15/2002
I used to drive a Coleman canoe I got years ago. Finally decided to splurge and get a Swift. Tried numerous models at a Swift paddle event in Ontario and decided on the Winesk. My only regret was not getting it sooner. I did not get the expedition grade because the sales man mentioned that althought it is lighter, it is also easier to puncture. We travel primarily in Algonquin Provincial Park's Lake Opeongo and a puncture there would not be fun. We overload it with two adults and a nine year old along with lots of gear and it is a dream to paddle. One trip we bumped into the venerable grandma Swift and she thought we were renting the Winesk. She tried to get us to swap canoes with her. If Grandma Swift digs the Winesk, what does that tell you?

The workmanship of the Winisk…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/11/2000
The workmanship of the Winisk is first class. A head turner everywhere we go. The first time my iwfe and i used we used it we had two dachsies with us and launched without a load and with moderate waves and wind....we were taken by surprise at the lack of initial stability. We very carefully turned it around and glad we were able to make it back to shore without putting the wet side up!!! the next day with portage packs and equipment and food for a week the stability returned but you must keep the canoe loaded which isnt good for recreational fishing. Solo wasnt too bad empty but still tender. It is a design that will get you where you want to go quickly IF you are in a hurry. We have ours in the Expidition Kevlar layup. A word of warning...if you really concerned about weight be advised if Swift advertises 48 lbs...make sure you let them know that is what you want or you might end up with one in the mid 50's.

I had just recently purchased…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/5/2000
I had just recently purchased the Winisk model from Swift Canoe and had it shipped to Fort Worth, TX. It was constructed in the expedition kevlar layup with ash trim. Attention to detail is superb- it is one of the most beautiful canoes I have ever seen. The only drawback was that there were a lot of delays on their part getting it shipped out of Canada. It took approximately 4 weeks to get it shipped out after its completion.

I just returned from a trip to Quetico Park in Ontario. We encountered big water on Beaverhouse Lake when we entered and it handled this with no problem. The rest of the group I was with were using ultra-light kevlar Wenonah canoes. The performance and speed of the Winisk was the envy of the rest of the group. The secondary stability was unmatched by the other boats. In fact, one of the other canoes in our group turned over in the high winds, but we remained rock-solid.


Our Winisk is used mainly for…

Submitted by: paddler228345 on 10/29/1999
Our Winisk is used mainly for flatwater canoe tripping and some trips down slow moving rivers. I find the boat lacking in initial stability when empty, firming right up when loaded and excellent secondary stability. Flared ends keep us dry in big water and my wife enjoys the amount of rocker in the bow, which allows her to participate in the handling of the canoe. The Winisk responds well to a multitude of paddling strokes and is also a joy to paddle solo with the optional kneeling thwart. We have plenty of room for the two of us with two weeks of gear and a 65 lb dog. The expedition Kevlar layup with wood trim comes in around 54 lbs making it very easy to portage and also very durable. It is a beatiful boat and pretty fast too!

A solid big boat choice for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/23/1999
A solid big boat choice for big lake paddle. We took this ship with us on a 70-mile stretch of N. Lake Superior Coast in August and she kept up with the two sea kayaks that we had with us. Just as sweet was the way this boat, which is nearly 18 feet long, handled when we got off the lake from time to time to explore upriver. A jewel when you need to turn. Fast when you need to run. Rock solid at the rails when you like to lean her over and "show off."

I built a cedar strip of this…

Submitted by: memaquay on 10/21/1999
I built a cedar strip of this model. Took it on a good trip this summer. Big lakes, lots of rapids, class I and II. The Winisk was great on the lakes, very fast and excellent in big water. It was also excellent in the rapids, much better than I thought a canoe of this size would handle. Left the 16' Kevlar Prospector in the dust on the lakes. A great canoe for two week trips!

Low bow and stern decks allow…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/9/1998
Low bow and stern decks allow water to spash in during high wave conditions.

Asymetric with a rockered…

Submitted by: paddler227952 on 10/29/1998
Asymetric with a rockered flared bow that takes large waves and turns well with draw strokes. The stern in straight keeled and tracks great, even when soloing. I can put this canoe right to the gunwale and turn into my paddling side. Excellent tripping canoe. It's fast and silent. We haven't hit any serious white water, mostly short river stretches and portages between lakes in the Lake of the Woods area.