I bought my 169 last year as my first canoe, kayaking being most of my paddling experience. Moving to a canoe for the ability to bring my 90 lb. Labrador retriever along on outings. It’s a big boat for one paddler but totally manageable, the wind does get tricky. Very stable and plenty of room and yes, a bit heavy but the toughness is worth the weight. The dog loves our trips and gets very excited when she see me starting to load the boat on the vehicle. Looking forward to some longer outings and with a canoe like this I feel confident in it getting us there and back.