I recently purchased a Keewadin 16 in carbon fusion, with the carbon tech package. Will the entire boat composite, it makes for an extremely light tandem canoe.
The boat performs flawlessly on the water. I have absolutely zero complaints. The real joy is when it comes to the portage. At only 34 pounds it is a piece a cake to pick up and carry solo.
The carbon hull has proved to be extremely rigid. There is absolutely zero oil canning as there has been with some of my other royalex canoes.
If m vendor would have had a Keewaydin combi in stock, I might’ve gone that route. My only misgiving with the Keewaydin is that it is not really a solo boat. Since I don’t have a kneeling thwart, it’s really best paddled by two people. For short distances, I can kneel midship and manage the boat.
The craftsmanship and attention to detail is the best among any of the four brands of her Canoes that I own.
I originally reviewed the Northwind 16 in 2010, giving it a 9. I've changed my opinion after five years of heavy use.
The canoe is one of my favorites and I also own a Mad River Explorer,and a Wenonah Prism.
Rather than repeat much of what has been said about stability and toughness, I will add a bit on capability. I just paddled 200 miles of the Yukon River in the canoe that was certainly overloaded. (I love to over pack on week long trips)
The boat performed perfectly, albeit with less free board than I would have preferred on thirty-two mile long Lake Leberge. My spray deck made that possible.
The Northwind is back in production by Northstar Canoes, which is owned by Ted Bell. I would recommend the Northwind as a great family canoe. The current versions are composite canoes that are much lighter than my Royalex version, making a good flat water canoe even better.
I have only paddled on flat water so far. The boat tracks very well. It does not require nearly the effort that it does to solo a tandem canoe. Yesterday I picked up a kayak paddle, and that is even better. This boat flys.
So far, my only concern is getting in and out of the canoe. It is a trickier affair than getting in or out of my wider canoes. I would prefer to have the option of kneeling, but the sliding tractor seat makes it a sit down canoe. After seven uses, I am adjusting to that.
I look forward to trying the canoe in heavier wind and chop to see how it feels.
Wenonah craftsmanship is top notch.
I like the canoe a lot. It's proved to be very stable, and durable. It's not the fastest canoe around with a hull speed of about 4mph with a moderate load. If I wanted something faster, I would have got a longer, narrower canoe. The speed and glide are fine for a 16 and half foot canoe. The tumble home sides are a rarity for a Royalex hull. They give the canoe a nice profile, and make paddling a bit easier, especially for smaller paddlers.
The only dislike I have is the design and placement of the forward thwart. It is right behind the front seat and it prevents solo paddling the canoe backwards from the front. This is the only thing that prevented a rating of 10. It has a point on it that will hit the front person in the back if they lean back. It's kind of a minor issue really, but something my wife discovered while attempting to lounge a bit.
I haven't paddled the canoe solo yet, but I surely it could be done from the kneeling thwart in the rear.