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Tripper

by Clipper Canoes

Reviews

My background: I’m a sea kayaker with considerable experience in rough…

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My background: I’m a sea kayaker with considerable experience in rough water and on trips in coastal BC, but as far as canoes are concerned, I haven’t tried many models, so take my review with that in mind.

I am the second owner of a 1999-build Clipper Tripper. I've owned the boat for 10 years and in that time I have taken it on fresh and saltwater trips ranging from day paddles to the Bowron Lakes Circuit. My usual bow paddler is one of my kids, the youngest being 11 now, but even she can handle her end of the boat, making it turn smartly, so the canoe performs nicely. Speed is decent, load hauling ability is excellent, and I am a big fan of the tractor seats and footbar for good paddling position (but then, as a kayaker, I'm partial to that particular seating position for power transfer).

What really impresses me about this canoe is how robust the layup is. I have not been gentle on this boat -- lots of dragging over logs, impacts with rocks, and scraping over barnacles on BC beaches. I am simply amazed at how tough the fiberglass construction is. As I age, I do think about getting a kevlar boat, likely a smaller Clipper model, to save my back, but then I will simply hand over this boat to one of my kids and expect it to give another 15 years of service

I've owned this canoe for several years. Good things; Faster than hell…

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I've owned this canoe for several years.

Good things; Faster than hell. Easily the fastest canoe I've owned. Little rocker meant it was easy to keep on a straight line.

Turning it was interesting. My partner and I found that if we leaned it hard enough we could do a very snappy eddy turn, but that much lean was deep into the secondary stability: The edge between enough lean to turn fast, and a bit more that required changing your turn to a high brace in a hurry wasn't very big.

I'm a 'motor moron' It takes me a large number of reps to learn a new mechanical skill. My partner Murray was a lot faster at picking this up. We figured it out with under a dozen dumpings.

The Tripper, for speed has a narrow bow and stern. This gives it a tendency to cut through the waves, instead of bouncing over them.

The answer here was easy too: Go through big waves backwatering lightly. This gave the bow time to rise over the crest. If you did this through a hay stack however, it gave more time for foam to pour over the gunnels. The balance was learned over few fills, where, after each, we'd paddle gingerly to shore to empty out.

Most of this learning was done on a training course on the canyon on the Athabasca river just below the falls. Long runs of big class II+ water

This is a great canoe for running rivers like the Yukon, Slave, McKenzie, where rapids are infrequent. It's a great canoe for Northern Saskatchewan where most of your time is on small lakes separated by portages.

It's satisfactory for expeditions, as long as the paddlers are experienced. E.g. I would seriously consider this canoe as MY boat when leading a group of kids in Discover 169's say. The faster lines give me enough speed to check up on members of a group slightly scattered, and the difficulty of handling in white water makes me more conscious of the new paddlers limitations.

Mine was in fiberglass. This makes for a moderately heavy portage. We usually portaged with 2, with one person under the sternplate and the front person resting the bowplate on one shoulder.

Build quality was good. Because it's FRP, it will show wear, and the narrow ends concentrate that wear on the centerline of the bow and stern. If you are going to use it on rough country, buy and place the kevlar skid plates now.

I hate the tractor seats. Both of us had trouble kneeling for rapids. I generally find them too low, and I don't feel I can get power with my feet that far in front of me and my back unbraced. We ended up putting spacer blocks between the seat and the support brackets, raising the front a bit over an inch, and the back a bit over 2 inches. This gave the most comfortable position for kneeling and was good for paddling too, provding you had a load that you could brace your foot against to keep from sliding off.

We weren't finished experimenting with the seats when the canoe was stolen.

Other things:

Aluminum gunnels wear against paddles, and the resulting very find powdered aluminum is black. on hands. It's also bright and shiny--one of the reasons I don't like aluminum canoes.

Split PE pipe can be used to cover the gunnels, but it adds pounds. If I get another boat with aluminum gunnels I will cover the aluminum with the marking tape they use on gym floors. This will wear through on actual wear points, but the bulk of the metal will be covered, saving both the black problem and the reflection issue.

This canoe would have a lot higher review if people understood that…

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This canoe would have a lot higher review if people understood that this is a tandem tripper. It can be soloed but why would you when there's plenty of solo canoes around. I own both the Prospector and the Tripper. The Prospector actually catches more wind than the Tripper. In saying that any canoe catches wind. I totally disagree with some comments. If you have any expierence in canoe tripping you will understand wind drag. For a northern boat with a mix of rapids and lake travel they are the best period. You could sail a Souix river which is lighter but would not stand up to heavy punishment.

What can I say that hasn't already been said about the Clipper…

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What can I say that hasn't already been said about the Clipper Tripper, in our family alone we have two! One is a used Kevlar from the 80s and the other is an ultra light. These boats have been put through the wringer and have survived everything thrown at them and then some.. Two kids and a dog squirming in the center and they are still stable and paddle like a dream.

The workmanship in these boats is by far the best I have seen and the attention to detail does not go unnoticed, with features like the sliding bow seat that make it an excellent option for families with kids who want to paddle from the front without the canoe riding stern heavy.

We rented a Clipper Tripper 17.5 ft for a 7-10 day Bowron…

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We rented a Clipper Tripper 17.5 ft for a 7-10 day Bowron Lake circuit and loved the ease of paddling, the stability in rough waters and the load capacity of the canoe itself. Would buy this canoe in a heartbeat!

My paddling partner and I recently found a chance to paddle the…

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My paddling partner and I recently found a chance to paddle the 17 foot 6 Clipper Tripper down one of our local rivers -- nothing more than hard class 1 at it's roughest -- and we were both blown away! We are fairly amateur paddling enthusiasts and our own canoe (an 'Alouette' Fiberglass monstrosity with a very pronounced keel along the length of the hull) absolutely PALES in comparison to the speed, tracking and stability the Tripper gave us... not to mention the confidence to really push ourselves on the water and get moving. - It was a blast!

...on the river, the Tripper handled the moving water eagerly and with ease. Not once did we find ourselves concerned with the stability of the craft and were content to point and shoot our way down the length of the river.

The build quality was fantastic (I've never seen a better showing fiberglass or Kevlar canoe), the black aluminum trim and eye-catching colours really set the boat apart. The sliding tractor seat in the bow really made a difference for keeping us trim and dry in some of the rougher conditions we found ourselves in, and in the fiberglass lay-up we had the opportunity to paddle, the weight was considerably more manageable out of the water than our 15 foot 'Alouette'.

All in all it was a very eye-opening experience for us, and beyond a shadow of a doubt my next canoe purchase will be a CLIPPER.

We have owned our 17'6" Tripper for 13 years. The problem…

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We have owned our 17'6" Tripper for 13 years. The problem for the manufactures is we still do not need a new one as the construction is very robust. We went with a kevlar with gel coat assuming the gel coat would be more durable over repeated trips. This has been a good decision recognized we could have shaved a couple pounds. Most of its original use was on extended trips, however we have started to use it more recently for river races including the Ski to Sea in Bellingham. It is a quick boat and tracks very well for tripping, while having a little flare in the bow to stay dry in big waves and whitewater.

We have other canoes for specific purposes, but this canoe is with us for the long term as it does everything very well...and is exceptionally comfortable and stable.

Test paddled lots of canoes before I purchased and the Tripper was…

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Test paddled lots of canoes before I purchased and the Tripper was by far the best performer for our type of paddling, mostly long flat water trips. Build and finish are top notch, we have taken huge hits in our finer glass Tripper and it stands up really well.

This boat is really fast, none of my friends can keep up in their canoes. Will probably trade mine in for a Ultra-Lite Kevlar model in the next couple years.

I bought this canoe to use in the Yukon 1000 canoe race…

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I bought this canoe to use in the Yukon 1000 canoe race from Whitehorse Yukon to the Dalton Hwy in Alaska. The race organizer suggested the Jensen model for the race but I wanted something more versatile. I found several reviews that said the Tripper was fast, and one that gave an actual speed. I couldn't find anything like that for the Jensen. Now that I've seen the Jensen in action, the Tripper doesn't hold a candle to it's speed. So if your looking for a racing canoe go for the Jensen.

Now for the Trippers good points. It seems fairly maneuverable to me, once you know how to paddle. It goes a lot faster than my Old Town Guide 14'7 and is much more comfortable in rough water. During the race we had to cross Lake Labarge and we had a tail wind and 3 to 4 foot waves. The Tripper handled it great. A couple waves splashed over the gunnels but we had a spray skirt that kept most of the water out. The Jensen that was traveling with us looked like they would have been swamped if they didn't have a spray skirt. Don't get me wrong, the Tripper is still a canoe and if your headed into the waves, it doesn't take much to take on water. A spray skirt is wise to have in anything over 2 feet unless you know for certain its not gonna get any bigger.

The Tripper handles weight great as well. My Old Town is rated for 900 lbs but has very little free board with 500 lbs. The Tripper is rated at 1000 lbs. and barely looks like it has anything in it with 600 lbs. If you're looking for a good versatile Canoe that you can hold a 3 to 4 mph pace for long periods of time, and carry its rated weight comfortably, and maneuver fairly easily, I suggest the Clipper Tripper.

Fiberglass - family owned for 25 plus years. Great tandem canoe in this…

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Fiberglass - family owned for 25 plus years.
Great tandem canoe in this sportsmen family. Our top speed using GPS was 9km/hr. 7km is very comfortable for us later thirty-somethings. So speed is decent.

We have transported big game animals in it, even towed a moose shot in the water across the lake - but that was a workout! so decent load capacity

It has excellent secondary stability even for less experienced folks we have lent it too in challenging wind-whitecap conditions.
It's been a big part of the family.

Only reason I give it an 8 is it's terrible for Solo, and on real windy days on our large northern boreal forest lakes (yes one of them is Grey Owl's lake :))the bow catches the wind and if you have a weak partner in front, it will require more zig-zags to get where you want to go.

The Tripper is a great canoe. Granted, like the other reviewers suggest…

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The Tripper is a great canoe. Granted, like the other reviewers suggest, a load is mandatory for this canoe to perform to its potential. When loaded, this canoe is a caddy. I chose to outfit it with wedge thigh pads. Combined with the footbrace, I could not imagine better control. Clipper does need to make the appearance a little more flashy, but hey, who needs flashy when you need to get to A to B. A great "Tripping" canoe!

I bought a brand new Clipper Tripper about 2 months ago in…

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I bought a brand new Clipper Tripper about 2 months ago in Kevlar. Red with Black trim. It came with a deep dish yoke that is very large and extremely comfortable. The yoke is stained black and matches very nicely with the boat. The tractor seats are incredibly comfortable. The bow seat slides to help not only to properly trim the boat but to assist the bow paddler to help wedge their feet up agains the flotation tank. The stern paddler can do the same with the foot brace. Why would anyone not want a foot brace?? The combination of the foot brace, the tractor seats and the thigh pads makes you feel like the canoe is a part of you. You could paddle this thing in complete darkness, in rough water and still keep it upright!! (as long as you didn't run into the rocks!) It's all about feeling the canoe's movement.

What a beautiful craft. Fit and finish is excellent. On the water this canoe moves very well. My wife and I were imediately impressed. With bent shaft paddles there is little effort to make this thing go and keep it going. It's very fast. We have paddled the Tripper in calm and rough conditions and have never once felt nervous. Wind does affect it's tracking (tends to turn perpendicular) if it's not loaded but I believe it will do better with a few hundred extra pounds. Initial stability is less than the "prospector" canoes that I've paddled in the past, but I would still rate it as "good". After a few outings it was no longer an issue. Final stability is excellent. On one choppy outing, my wife and I let the canoe drift with the 2'+ waves (perpendicular) and as mentioned before never felt nervous. Very stable!

I tried paddling this thing solo without much luck. The slightest amount of a breeze will have you frustrated in seconds. There's simply too much boat out of the water for that sort of application. The only way I could get any real control was to sit in the centre like in a kayak. But the reach to the water with the paddle is too much.

So now I'm in need of a solo canoe too!

All and all, we are very satisfied. I believe anyone looking for a tandem family / interior expidition / touring canoe would be a fool to not seriously consider this wonderful craft.

Great canoe for tripping, exploring, fishing anf general purpose. Used on…

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Great canoe for tripping, exploring, fishing anf general purpose. Used on the Bowron Lakes and around BC. Fiberglass model easily carried on shoulders. Good ergonomics (seat, braces etc) Drawbacks: high freebord (when unloaded)catches wind and makes for difficulties paddling in all but the lightest wind. Not the most stable of canoes. I would definately recommend this canoe to paddlers with some experiance.

I bought the Clipper Tripper for rec. racing in fiber-glass.We have used…

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I bought the Clipper Tripper for rec. racing in fiber-glass.We have used it in 2 races so far.In one race wecame in 3ed.We lost to two competition cruisers.In the other race we were against 18'6" canoes,and placed 5th out of 7.Not bad since we gave up about a foot and they were all kevlar canoes. I think the bow is a little blunt for racing, but great for what it is really made for.A great tripping canoe with speed and stability to get you where you want to go.

Our family has owned our fiberglass Tripper for about 2 years now…

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Our family has owned our fiberglass Tripper for about 2 years now. It is a very nice canoe depending on what you want to use it for. We use ours for both small and large rivers. For small rivers the rocker creates to much side to side movement of the canoe and takes more correction strokes than some times wanted. If you practice and are a decent paddler you get used to it. But it can be annoying at times. On large rivers however this canoe comes into it's own. It sits very high and can hold alot of gear. The need for correction strokes is not needed on big water and the canoe trackes much better due to the larger size water, where tracking isn't as much a big deal. My father and I use our Tripper to race in class 2+ down river races. The canoe is awesome in rapids, as it stays dry, and the manuverability is appreciated. The canoe actually gets more stable when the water gets rougher, or with a load. Overall we like our canoe alot. I would easily give it a 10 if it wasn't for the correction strokes needed to keep it on course is small rivers, but that is probably just me. It isn't made for small rivers. I would recomend this canoe for anyone looking for a tripping canoe for large rivers, or does tripping in rough water conditions. It has speed, handles rapids and a heavy load very well, and is made with good quality. Overall a very good tripping canoe, and worth a seriouse look.

I purchased a kevlar tripper with gelcoat. I have done multiple trips…

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I purchased a kevlar tripper with gelcoat. I have done multiple trips mostly lake. The canoe tracks well it has a good cruising speed the initial and the final stability are also good. Clipper claims that the boat will handle up to grade 3 white water maybe with a spray skirt but the boat has nearly straight keel and there isn’t enough rocker on the boat to make maneuverable. Clipper uses a hand laid method of applying resin witch is generally heavier than using a vacuum bag method. Clipper claimed 60 lbs for the canoe I have confirmed it. The manufacture has done a nice job on the kevlar lay up, but all the fit and finish regarding the hardware is of poor finish and quality. They're using 1*1 aluminum hangers for the seats where the corners still have rough edges on it. My wife has nicked her ankle on it. Rivets are used to attach the hardware through the kevlar, the rivets that they use are also to long which are exposed. My boat came with a standard foot brace which was not perpendicular to the side of the gunnels poor installation. Base price is $2350 Canadian, add a couple of option including vinylester resin and the price creeps up. Overall I don't recommend this. I have owned numerous canoes and if you're looking for a tripping canoe for the price you get a lot more canoe for you're buck from different manufacturer.

This is only my second year into canoeing and my wife and…

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This is only my second year into canoeing and my wife and mysely done the Bowron lake circuit in British columbia in the clipper Tripper (kevlar) and found this canoe to be first class, tracked very well on the longer lakes and weight wise the portaging was easy. With the canoe fully loaded the stability was excellent even in strong winds.

I purchased my Clipper Tripper in fiberglass to do pleasureable day trips…

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I purchased my Clipper Tripper in fiberglass to do pleasureable day trips around local freshwater. This canoe is a dream and an effortless rocket on the water with two-up. With the adjustable front seat, tracking is great in any weather conditions. Lots of room for gear, extra passenger, dog or trip findings. I load/unload this wonderful craft by myself with ease. I haven't found a negative thing about this canoe and can only go on and on with praise. After writing this, I think I will go canoeing.

I purchased this canoe in an ultra-light layup, kevlar with no gelcoat…

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I purchased this canoe in an ultra-light layup, kevlar with no gelcoat but a thin exterior layer of glass. Claimed weight for this layup was 56 lbs but I never confirmed that. It is light enough for one person to handle. It is a great boat. Only drawback I've seen is due to high freeboard when not loaded with gear, it catches windage that affects tracking.