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by Mad River


The Slipper was designed by Cliff Jacobson and Bob Brown to fill…

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The Slipper was designed by Cliff Jacobson and Bob Brown to fill a void in the solo tripping canoe ranks. There are now, of course, many excellent options but the Slipper has aged well and remains a very capable and viable choice for day tripping to canoe camping.

I'm now on my 2nd Slipper. The first one took me all over, most memorably to James Bay via the Missinaibi River. It performed extraordinarily well. With a few dramatic exceptions, the Missinaibi is fast and populated by relatively interesting but not overly difficult rapids. As the trip progressed I developed a technique whereby I approached the lip of set of rapids, leaned the canoe over and spun it into an upstream ferry. When I reached the chute I wanted to use I spun it again and dropped down through the waves. Repeat as needed.

The Slipper was designed at a time when designers were designing rocker out of hulls. That helps with tracking and maximizes the waterline length for decent speed. The other half of the equation lies in the shallow V hull shape. That shape leave a nice flat plane on each side of the keel line. When you tip the boat to do that top-of-the-rapid spin you lean out on that plane and feel the canoe firm up nicely. Very confidence inspiring.

I weigh quite a bit more than Cliff Jacobson. With me and 10 days worth of gear the canoe was loaded beyond its design limits. It continued to handle fine but was prone to taking on water in big frothy waves. Still, even swamped as I once was, I was able to paddle through the rapid and stay upright all the way. Those who use a little more sense than I should have no problems.

Yes, this is truly an oldie but a goodie.

I just traded a tandem canoe yesterday for this 1998 Carbonlite 2000…

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I just traded a tandem canoe yesterday for this 1998 Carbonlite 2000 45# Slipper with black aluminum gunwales, wood thwarts and carry handles and a two position plastic tractor seat. I agree the two previous previews regarding the handling and appearance. I had it out on a broad river with winds from 20 to 30 mph using a double-ended kayak paddle and the Slipper did great going into the wind, across the wind and with a following wind. It handled the 1' to 2' rolling waves with easily from all directions. The slightly flared bow blocked all waves from entering the boat. The following waves felt very interesting and fun, they were pushing me up river, almost like surfing. The tumblehome made reaching water very easy. The boat felt very stable and secure with nice balance and decent speed. The contours of the seat felt like they were for a smaller adult or a child, not as comfortable as my tandem canoe tractor seats, but were comfortable enough for the hour that I was out on the river and probably for much longer after I get used to it. The positioning and height of the seat are great for me (5'6" and 145#). The seat adjusts easily from tilted for kneeling to level for sitting while you are still in the boat and on the water. My size 8 shoes fit easily under the seat while kneeling. The Carbonlite 2000 hull material looks like it should be pretty durable and take bumps and bangs pretty well. About 1/2 of the hole plugs in the aluminum gunwales (where the wooden thwarts, seat frame and carry handles are attached) were missing, but should be easily replaceable. The rest of the fit and finish looked pretty good and the Slipper is nice to look at. I'll have a better Idea about hull speed after I get it out on my favorite lake on a calm day. My only solo canoe before this was an Old Town Discovery 119 and I like everything about the Slipper much better than the Discovery 119 (except the 5# heavier weight).

The slipper is indeed a delightful solo too paddle. Its very responsive…

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The slipper is indeed a delightful solo too paddle. Its very responsive and has a lively feel to it. It turns very quick and tracks resonably well. Handles waves and boat waves without a hitch. The wind does take it a bit but is usually easy to get back on track. Paddles upstream around hairpin turns like a dream sometimes the current can catch it if its not leaned over far enough. Hull speed is adequaate I can stay with my wifes Independence without any trouble. It moves along with ease unless your really trying to push it. Its a fun boat to paddle mines out of Kevlar Id give it an 8 in rating.

(Please note that this review is of one of the classic Slippers…

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(Please note that this review is of one of the classic Slippers that were not made after 1995. It is not a review of one of the newer carbonlite models with the tractor seat.) This is a beautiful, petite solo canoe--lovely ash trim and walnut decks. It is more maneuverable than Mad River's Independence due to its shorter length and the hull having less of a pronounced shallow-vee design. Initial stability is fairly close to final stability and the Slipper leans well to the rail for carving turns. Hull efficiency is less than the Independence but still ample (about like a Wenonah Moccasin).