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Name: paddler210485

Most Recent Reviews

A Nimble Whitewater Boat That Can also Straight Line Very Well and With Decent Speed

After 2 Knee replacements I had decided to sell my canoes (a 15ft and 17ft Nova Craft Prospector) and get a kayak. I had lots of mileage in both types of crafts but since I could no longer kneel while paddling I thought I would use only kayaks for the rest of my paddling years. It didn't take me but a few months to realize i was a canoeist at heart so I talked my wife into letting me sell the yak and get back into canoes. I was lucky enough to find 2 Royalex Canoes at Rutabaga in Madison, WI. They had a Nova Craft 15ft Prospector and a 14.5ft Esquif Pocket Canyon. I had already owned the Nova Craft but I thought that if the Pocket Canyon could track ok with a good J-stroke then it would be a more versatile boat since its whitewater performance was already well known. I took the Pocket Canyon for a test run and it did everything quite well. I have had it for almost a year now and I love the boat. I paddle it always from the seated position and find it to be plenty fast for a whitewater boat and a very good performer when maneuvering through narrow tricky places. I paddle it mostly solo (sitting in the bow seat with stern seat forward) but it also handles fine when paddling tandem. This boat is a lot of fun even for a 71yo geezer.

I had sold my 17 ft Nova Craft Propector and my 16 ft Nova Craft Prospector when I bought new boats in the past. I just traded a Wenonah Ultra Light Minnesota II to get my 17 ft Nova Craft Prospector back. The Wenonah was fast but I just love the Nova Craft Prospector line. They use strong Aluminum gunnels and beautiful ash furniture. Looking back on years of canoing and several different models I think the Nova Craft Prospectors in Royalite are the best bang for the buck and the most versatile and beautiful canoes out there. If I could only have one boat it would be the 16 ft because I paddle solo most of the time but I never hesitate paddling the 17 ft solo either. Great Company and a great boat.

This is an additional review since I have put many miles on my Clipper Prospector since my last review. I have run our local stretch of the Colorado (Black Canyon) many times since my last review. My wife and I both find it faster than either of our other canoes and I think it handles well on the river even when going against a fairly strong current. We carry everything including the kitchen sink and the boat performs flawlessly. The boat does better in wind by having a little balast up front. When paddling solo I kneel in front of the bow seat with the stern to the front. I usually put at least a 2 gallon water container up front for ballast and stability. This boat continues to be my favorite. I recently went up the river with a group of about 16 kayaks and had no trouble keeping up even when paddling solo. Not bad for 60 yrs old. What a great boat. DT

This is a fabulous boat. I ordered mine in Royalite from and got it in 4 days via roadway express. I paddle it mostly solo and with camping gear and it has performed flawlessly. I paddle heeled over , Canadian Style and paddling off the right side all of the time. I have also owned the 17 ft Prospector but like the 16 ft better because it is as much fun solo as it is tandem. I am 60 and I paddled it 72 miles on the Bowron Lake Circuit in Canada. Lots of folks were amazed as I finished the circuit in 7 days. This boat did very well. I have paddled it on Lake Mead in high winds and 3 ft waves and it did just fine. I use a five gallon water bag as ballast if paddling without gear or a partner. Empty, the boat can be a handful in high winds. Use balast. I am sure this boat will be with me for many years.

This boat gets a well deserved 10 and so does the company. I bought mine from Western Canoeing and Kayaking (the factory) In Abbottsford, BC on the way back from a trip to Bowron Lakes Provincial Park. I had met one of the company's employees when doing the Bowron circuit and he could not say enough good things about the product line. I also saw several Kevlar Prospectors on the circuit while I was there. I was set on this particular boat before even stopping at the factory and Marlin the owner showed me a fresh new hull in the Kevlar Duralite layup and said he could have it ready by the next day at 10 am. I picked up the canoe the next morning. These folks at the store were some of the nicest people I have ever met. I have since paddled the boat on the Colorado river and on Lake Mead and it is a fabulous boat whether solo or tandem. I paddle it Canadian style, heeled over and paddling on the right side. It turns on a dime but can straight line on a very windy Lake Mead as well. I had an accident when I first took the boat out in which my bow line got caught in my front tire when I was cartopping the boat on my Jeep Liberty. This pulled down very hard on the boat and bent both gunwales and put a kink in the kevlar. Western Canoeing and Kayaking quickly sent me 2 gunwhales and lots of rivets as well as Kevlar and fiberglass to do my repair. They tutored me over the phone as I repaired the boat and now it is as good as new. This is a fine company with a fine product and great staff. I would reccomend this company and this boat to anyone. They really understand customer service and they build a fabulous canoe.

I have a Nova Craft Prospector 16ft in Royalite but wanted a faster composite flatwater canoe. I chose the Northwind in Blackgold with wood trim. I was considering the Minnesota II but although lighter and faster it would not double as a solo boat. I also thought the Bell's finish work to be better.

The boat is gorgeous and paddles like a dream. When solo I paddle Canadian style and use a Turtle Paddleworks Ottertail. With about a 70# Load and my 195# the boat handles beautifully. I have paddled it on Lake Mead with 2 ft waves and on the Colorado River with a light current. The boat steers effortlessly and glides well with each stroke. Fit and finish is excellent and a kneeling thwart was a great addition. Anyone who has trouble paddling this boat straight needs serious work on their J.

It's a great boat. I bought mine from Mr. Canoe's Paddlesports in Forestville, CA. They met me at a nearby lake for a demo and I was smitten by this fine boat within the first 10 minutes of paddling. Shane and Tom were great people to deal with and they absolutely know their stuff when it comes to canoeing. Go by and see them and while you are there have them treat you to the Bell Experience!

Great paddles. Just did Black Canyon of the Colorado River. Paddled 8 miles up stream and 8 miles back with a good quartering headwind on the way back. I was in a 17 ft Nova Craft Prospector. This was flat water in current but no white water. The paddles did great and were able to maneuver the canoe anyway I wanted. I tried lots of different stokes. Sculling draws were powerful whether going sideways backwards or forwards and put the boat just where I wanted. Good paddles and beautifully made.

Just paddled Black Canyon of the Colorado from Willow Beach to Arizona Hotsprings. 8 miles up and 8 miles back. This was a solo paddle but the new 17' Prospector did great. Started out paddling from the bow seat with canoe facing backwards. When the wind came up I moved to the center kneeling and paddled with bow front. The canoe was very easy to manage even in strong quartering headwind. A lot of boat solo but still very manageable. Used my new Bending Branches Explorer Plus Paddles. The trip took 2hrs and 40 min upstream and 2hr 20 mins downstream in headwinds. Can't wait to get the canoe in some good whitewater. It has just the right amount of rocker to give you the best of both worlds. Bought my boat at Sierra Outdoor Center in Auburn, CA. Great shop and a great boat.