The Loon is fantastic for totin' kids, dogs just about anything you need yet still is very maneuverable and moderately fast. The Loon tracks well, stable, and very forgiving. Hull is stiff, rugged, hold the colour well, has an adequate amount of deck tie points, a nifty paddle bungee on the side. The seat is adjustable fore and aft for balance and has an adjustable lumbar support. I've at times, pulled the seat completely out and used a low camp chair for comfort.
This long Loon design is built more like a decked solo canoe, think station wagon... It is not the fastest nor sleekest but by far the most practical design for creeks, shallows and flat water, therefor one of the best overall designs for 98% of water play. I highly recommend this boat and would buy another just for a loaner for newbies to the sport.
I highly recommend this boat, Grumman is a fantastic aluminum canoe, IF you can ever find the light weight racing model, CALL ME!
I've often used canoe as well as kayak paddles with no problems or quirky awkwardness. Portage is comfortable, well fitting and padded yoke with the seat flipped. The kevlar hull feels a little light compared to the high priced Kruger boats, but mine has gone over countless log jams, sand bars, and oyster reefs. Lost and recovered after riding out hurricane Ike in Galveston and twenty years of brutal sun and salt air, she's a little faded but still looks good and has decades of service left.
Although discontinued by Mad River last century the Monarch is highly sought after, so if you find one BUY IT you will not be disappointed!
I use it with a Kruger boat solo canoe so it does receive a fair amount of abuse from rocks, logs and sandbars. Although a rather expensive pushstick/prybar, It has performed admirably. The length, light weight, L or R preset locking blade angles and blade design make both high and low angle paddling a delight with touring or fishing kayaks as well as a low slug solo canoe. Although a skeptic and proud user of inexpensive, whatever is available paddles for years, I simply love the light weight and design of quality equipment. Do yourself a favor and start with quality!
This paddle is simple, light weight, straight forward quality you will enjoy for years!!!