Submitted by: jdb on 6/15/2011
The boat exudes quality. Fit and finish are top notch. The woodwork is beautiful, especially paired with the royal blue exterior. The seat hangers look beefy and strong. The seats are high enough to kneel comfortably, but low enough for stable sitting. The yoke has a nice contour and is comfortable enough to use without pads for short portages. Weight is listed at 59 lbs, which sounds lighter than it feels. Nevertheless, I don't have any trouble car topping it by myself.
On the water, the Avalon tracks well and is easy to maneuver either tandem or solo. The initial stability isn't very stable, initially. It's tippier than I might like for taking the kids out, but they'll get used to it. Secondary stability is excellent; it heels like a champ when soloing and carves nicely into turns. My impression is that the Avalon is primarily about the joy of paddling and is less well suited for ancillary canoe use like fishing, birdwatching, or photography.
I will be paddling mainly on flat water and calm streams, sometimes tandem and sometimes solo. This boat is the hot ticket - I am very pleased. Its beautiful to look at and feels great to paddle. I look forward to many adventures with this fine canoe.