After wisely advising me to take a Keewaydin 15 for a spin, Brian then spent more time reviewing all the options and features available. It didn't take long for me to make a decision, and Brian drew up a quote that was exactly what we had discussed, and I placed my order. The boat was ready on the date specified on the order, and when I went to pick it up Brian, Skip and Chris all went above and beyond to make sure I was completely happy with my purchase. Knowing this was my first canoe, they patiently explained its features, offered useful tips and advice, and took time to show me things like how best to get it on and off my shoulders for carrying and how best to get in and out of the boat at a dock or beach.
After a couple of hours spent paddling my new boat on Oxtongue Lake, these three gentlemen then spent even more time with me, helping me load the boat on the roof of my vehicle and again offering tips and advice, this time around safely and efficiently loading and unloading the boat. Everyone at Swift was an absolute pleasure to deal with, and they all made it clear that their number one goal was making sure I was happy and excited and educated about my new purchase. My being happy seemed to be all they were concerned with, and it showed in their exceptional customer service.
As for the boat itself, I can't wait to take it on a backcountry camping trip, and to reap the benefits of a pack canoe over a sea kayak for gear hauling and portaging. But already, even just based on an inaugural test paddle, the boat has exceeded my expectations. It is incredibly easy to lift for car-top loading / unloading or for a portage carry. It is easy to enter and exit for someone more used to kayaks than canoes.
Its initial and secondary stability make it feel and paddle more like a kayak, responding nimbly and moving quickly under a double-bladed kayak paddle, even in a river current or a wind-driven chop. A couple of times I had to remind myself I was actually in a canoe and not a kayak. On returning to the car from my first outing, ready to load it up and take it home, the Swift staff asked me what I thought, to which I replied "I feel like I've been cheating on my wife, I love this boat so much."