Most Recent Reviews
Bood stability and tracking in slow to medium rivers depending on rising or falling tide and wind. Recently took her on a 4 day camp/canoe/hunt excursion in Georgia...put in at landing...paddled solo almost 8 miles against the wind but at least I had a slow following tide. Boat was loaded completely with cooler, water, camping gear and my recurve, arrows, etc...plus clothing in waterproof bags. Boat was a little uneven with front up about 8 inches even with water and cooler of food in front which caused the wind to catch it on the paddle to camp. I was able to learn the boats nuances and paddle fairly predictable by playing the wind and current and staying to edges and cutting corners. During the stay it worked great for going from island to island chasing feral hogs. On final day it was loaded for the paddle back to landing just above freezing. The falling tide was much swifter and with the lower water it exposed a lot of sweepers and water obstructions... even a fairly fast exit into a diversion canal to save time that was blocked by a sand bar and a sweeper with a strong wind to my port side trying to push me into the obstructions I was able to dig with the paddle and keep it moving without dumping on me. Some good chop and with a boat fully loaded I was very pleased with the handling of the boat even in a precarious situation.
It is not the fastest though with two people on flat water it flies in my book...not most manueuverable but is able to make good turns even in small tight lowcountry tidal creeks and swamps...stability is good especially secondary. This is not the best canoe I have ever seen or paddled but is a good, solid, reliable and stable canoe that will cover a multitude of situations in a GOOD to VERY GOOD response. It excels on flat slow water with two paddlers but is up to the task for an occasional solo paddle or in faster moving water if needed. To me this is the epitome of a expedition/trapper styled canoe that can handle it all well...but really showing its worth on flat water when loaded.
Got her in and settled and then I pushed off and settled in my seat. A little tippy at first as it was empty save for my large frame in rear and her much lighter in front. Good 15knot wind started across from us and front wanted to turn with wind but got the feel for boat and was able to side slip until the turn to get it as a headwind.
The canoe paddled very nicely...my own rustiness and lack of familiarity with this particular canoe was more of an issue than the boat itself. After 30 minutes she was settling down and I was able to more precisely paddle her where intended. The tumblehome I had always heard about from a DY canoe was all I had been told...I was able to maintain posture while paddling in near vertical position without impacting canoe....and the Bending Branch Traveler paddle propelled us forward quite efficiently...with limited disturbance at completion of each stroke. The rx material was solid and the only time I felt any movement in skin was when going over a submerged log with only 3-5 inches of water....so at that time I was thankful we were sitting high in water. LOL
With another 75-100 lbs in the boat with 75%of it towards the bow for balancing the load I could see this as being a very stable craft. Even empty save for us paddlers and its tippiness...it really wasn't bad. Once I got settled it was very stable...
There is good secondary stability as well though at my size I felt like I could easily dump it if I gave more than a little effort...think I will try Canadian paddling style solo when the water warms a bit. :)
I look forward to my next trip and for a full year of paddling this fine craft....so far it is all I expected and look forward to many hundreds of hours of pleasure this year.