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Name: tstanton

Most Recent Reviews

Recently I spent 8 days and nights in the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande. It is recommended by NPS that canoes have a spray deck or floatation bags. With gear for an eight day trip the spray deck was the best option. . I have other North Water gear and have been impressed with their quality of workmanship. I chose the North Water spray deck because of its features and how quickly they answered my emails. I ordered a solo one piece cover for my Mad River Legend 15. The product was completed and delivered as promised.

When the cover arrived, I must say that I was impressed with the quality of materials and the workmanship was superb. When I ordered my cover I had measured my boat as I would have it loaded for my trip, (my large ice chest is taller than the gunnels). I read the instructions and installed the cover without any problems. Installation took about 4 hours as I measured and re-measured to make sure every detail is right. With the cover installed over my gear, the fit was perfect.

I ordered mine with the extra large portage hatch, map case (keeps the river guide book handy too) and deck top anchor strip (for throw bag and biner clipped water bottle). I highly recommend all the items. When you order the portage hatch, you still get another smaller hatch or credit for the smaller hatch. As I was rigged for solo, I opted for two hatches, the large portage hatch in front of me and the smaller one behind me. With two hatches I had accessibility to all my gear without removal of the cover.

North Water's cover includes a cockpit that allows for sitting on the seat or kneeling while paddling. The design is solid and works extremely well. I had outfitted my boat with knee pads and was able to drop right into the knee pads without any fuss.

During my Lower Canyons trip we encountered many rapids, a few in the class 3 range with technical boulder gardens and exciting drops. While those without spray decks bailed gallons of water out of their boats, I used just a sponge. This allowed my boat to handle well throughout all the multi-part rapids. I never experienced a decrease in boat maneuverability that occurs when you take on water.

Another plus I found was that the spray deck diminished the wind effect. No longer did I have to fight the wind to keep the boat pointed in the right direction. With this experience, I will use the cover on windy days even if just day tripping mild rivers.

How tuff is the cover? I banged into rocks in the boulder gardens and took a few wall shots and the cover took all the abuse without complaint. It is obvious this cover will last many years. This is a quality product I highly recommend.

Just returned from a 92-mile trip on the Rio Grande at Big Bend NP. I am just a novice with class 2+ experience. This boat is extremely stable and forgiving. I set up this boat as a solo tripping boat. I paddle the boat reversed, from the bow seat. I removed the stern seat and added a thwart for gear packing ease. I started this trip with approximately 450 pounds of load including myself. I do not recommend this boat for tandem tripping, as the gear capacity is too limited for two paddlers.

The main attraction of the Rio Grande at Big Bend are the canyons that rise straight up from the river. In places the canyon is only 25 feet wide. Within parts of the canyons are obstacle courses of boulder gardens and gravel bars with tight turns. This provides numerous opportunities for wall shots, strainers and more boulders. The boulder gardens consist of large boulders the size of cars and even much larger.

Throughout the entire trip I felt extremely secure in the Legend 15. Even when I did not follow the best line the Legend pulled me through. On a few occasions I broadsided the wall on a turn and was slipping water over the gunnels on the upstream side. With just a little weight shift I was able to keep her upright.

If your river tripping includes technical whitewater I highly recommend this boat. If you are a novice you cannot go wrong with this boat for a solo river canoe. I rate this boat as a 9 because the Mad River workmanship is less than stellar.