I probably won't use the Encounter much for its intended purpose of loading it down with lots weight for expedition work. I haven't paddled it in much wind but noticed that the wind would push the bow down and make it more difficult to control. I'm sure a cover would take care of this problem for most paddlers. For me the seat is in the right spot no trouble manuvering this fine craft.
Yes it is a big boat and incredibly stable so its not as exciting as a narrower hull. This boat turns incredibly well if you know how to lean the boat on the opposite side of the turn and use the right strokes. I usually kneel in a canoe but I can make this one turn sitting almost as easily. She is effected very little by the current even when going upstream around tight turns.
If I only had one boat for wilderness travel this would be my pick. Its too bad its only listed as just an expedition canoe, paddled light shes a gem in my opinion.