your paddlesports destination

Passage (XL)

by NorthWest Canoe

Reviews

I finally took two long paddles on my Northwest Passage Solo woodstrip…

Submitted by: on

I finally took two long paddles on my Northwest Passage Solo woodstrip canoe. I built this to design specs of 15' and differential rocker. This is an excellent solo canoe for downriver and class I&II rapids. Can pull an eddy turn, and paddle straight with ease. On flatwater it tracks well enough but gives up speed and tracking to the longer 16'6" designs with less rocker. I do race USCA C-1 solo canoe (J203) but I would not bother racing this Northwest Passage Solo. Is a little narrow for stand-up poling.

My canoe is build durable and came in at 50#, heavier than planned, but still light enough to portage. I will not hesitate to take on BWCA expedition but expect to paddle to keep up with good canoers in tandem tripper canoes. If BWCA is your main use then I recommend you build the Northwest Merlin instead.
The Passage is a very good all-around solo canoe.

I recently built two Passages from the plans available from the Northwest…

Submitted by: on

I recently built two Passages from the plans available from the Northwest canoe shop. We added an extra section 7 to lengthen the canoe out to 16 foot from its design length of 15 foot. The Passage has a differential rocker somewhere between the Bell Magic and Bell Merlin2. The waterline on our two boats is fairly soft so they allow you to lean the boat close to the rail and accomplish many free style moves. The extra water line has made for quick boat but to maintain speed you have to shift sides more frequently due to not tracking because of the rocker. I noticed that heavier paddlers do not have this tracking problem that I do(I am 180 lbs). I know with a load of gear it would firm up nicely.

Speed wise empty I can kick it up over 6 MPH in a sprint and on a fast cruise I can keep it up over 5.2-4 for about a mile before I tire out. at a steady cruise she will stay at 4.9 -5.0 for as long as I want. I have raced the Passage (XL)many times and have successfully beaten Advantages and some older Jensen designed white water boats.

The Passage is not a hard canoe to build and is fun to paddle. It is not a race boat though. You are not going to be competitive against a dedicated race cruiser so if that is your intention don't consider it. On the other hand for tripping, or if you are heavy it is a good option.

If I was over 220 pounds, I would give the boat a 8.5 or 9 but at my weight it doesn't sit in the water for adequate tracking. (of course the flip side of that is in the last race I went over the rocks with just a little scuffing to my varnish...)