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Quetico 18.5

by Souris River Canoes

Not only does the Quetico 18.5 allow for high capacity loading, but it retains amazing stability and handling characteristics.  Even when heavily loaded, this canoe is easy to paddle.  When it comes time to portage, you’ll be impressed with how light it is. Other canoes on the market with the Quetico 18.5’s capacity and performance do so with a ridiculous increase in overall length. This equates to more handling difficulties both on water and while threading your way through the woods on a portage. The vast majority of Quetico 18.5s are outfitted with three seats.

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Reviews

Owned the Quetico 18.5 Le Tigre for about year now and…

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Owned the Quetico 18.5 Le Tigre for about year now and have a 30 plus days of tripping with this canoe. We have two young kids and a Lab and this boat easily holds us and all of our gear for 3+ week trips. On the water it is fast when loaded and handles rough water very well. Big swells or white caps it handles them well while fully loaded and does not ship any water. This is a boat that you can paddle on those days that smaller boats will be staying ashore. It tracks very well; well enough that it is easy to handle with a 6 degree bent shaft at the stern. It is nimble enough to handle moderate moving water, but it is not a whitewater boat. The build quality is outstanding and it is a true wilderness tool. Designed for the job, not to look pretty. It has been hauled over never dams and had nothing but dry landings. Light, strong and it yields and does not brake, when stressed. Using epoxy and not resin makes all the difference.

After extensive research, I bought a one year old Quetico 18 (rental)…

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After extensive research, I bought a one year old Quetico 18 (rental) from Killarney Outfitters this spring (2015). I absolutely love it! They had completely resurfaced it so it was essentially brand new. I've used it on 3 trips this year and multiple days at the beach. On our last trip, we had 4 people (approx 650lbs) and probably close to 200lbs of cargo, for a five day trip, and a 3km (2miles) portage.

Probably the best money I ever spent (about $2000). If I ever buy another canoe it will be a Souris River, and most likely an 18.5. And most of my friends are saving up for one. It glides amazingly, with just 2 people paddling, but can easily carry 4, which makes portages way easier, because you only need half as many canoes. There's so much more to say, but you probably are sick of reading:) If you only plan on day trips or even extended trips with 2 people, go with a 16 or 17 though, the 18.5 is a bit extreme and you can save weight and money.

I purchased this canoe for my canoe partners, my wife and our…

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I purchased this canoe for my canoe partners, my wife and our 100lbs golden retriever. We paddle mostly in the BWCA and Quetico, so we needed a stable and light weight canoe that could carry a good amount of gear and weight. The Souris River Quetico 18.5 worked out better than I ever could have hoped for. I would recommend this canoe to anyone that needs to carry a load and is looking for stability while fishing the big water of the canoe country.

I've paddled a Quetico 18.5 since 2004 or so. Purchased from…

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I've paddled a Quetico 18.5 since 2004 or so. Purchased from one of a few US dealers at the time and am extremely satisfied. It has held up to a substantial bit of use over the years, ranging from occasional klutz moment to some wicked rock shore in howling winds.

I am a big guy, paddling with dog, packs and often others of not-small denomination. The center seat on mine had a wood flaw that only became apparent when I was hurriedly trying to solo back to a previous portage to collect gear left by a younger crew member - pulled quarter-size bit of hull loose with it....BUT Souris folks were GREAT about fixing the seat and I came away at least as satisfied as I already was.

Souris folks were/are excellent, product has been superior in some wind and waves that were challenging - better than several comparable tripping canoes I've paddled at other times. I think the flexing hull design holds up as promised and has worked better than other approaches on similar canoes built more along a racing model. Hey I just can't find anything I don't like about this boat and I've used it a LOT. I would also pick it over the 17s for larger paddlers or paddlers looking to haul kids or dogs.

I purchased a Souris River Quetico 18.5 in the spring of 2014…

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I purchased a Souris River Quetico 18.5 in the spring of 2014. It's kevlar and it was ordered with 4 seats and wood thwarts. I never weighed it but it is probably close to 60lbs which is still light considering it is 18 1/2 feet long.

It is built to be a tripping canoe. I only have done day trips but we bring most any thing we want. I have the option to bring the whole family or go solo. Since it is built to carry weight I'll put 2 covered buckets of water in the bow and sit in the second seat from the stern for solo paddling.

I often fish trolling for trout with temporary rod holders clamped or tied in. It is a comfortably craft to be in, we have paddled and fished from it all day getting out only when nature calls. The 2 middle seats are removable by hand with wing nuts but I never take them out so I put some thread lock on the bolts so I don't have to check them every time because they will get loose from traveling on the car.

The canoe is stable and good in the waves. I go out on larger lakes now that I would not feel comfortable going on with my old 12 foot canoe. Canoes in general ride higher in the water than kayaks so wind can be a bit rough. I watch the weather before going, a forecast of 10mph wind or less is ok any more and I don't take it out.

The canoe is light enough for me to load and unload from the car myself which is important to me. This canoe was ordered with yoke pads which I highly recommend even if your portage is only from garage to car.

The Quetico 18.5 is well built and beautiful. I have received many compliments on it from passers by. The folks at Souris River were great to work with. They made buying from Canada to the USA easy. I dealt mostly with Wayne and he gave me some good advice on the purchase and afterwards on strapping it to the car.

In final I have no regrets about this purchase I would definitely recommend the Quetico 18.5 and The Souris River Canoe Company.

My wife and I have owned the Quetico 18.5 composite canoe for…

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My wife and I have owned the Quetico 18.5 composite canoe for about 8 years now. We have paddled the canoe in Northern Ontario for extended trips ranging from 3-10 days. We have also used the boat for coastal paddling in British Columbia and the East coast for trips ranging from 2-12 days.

The boat is certainly built for capacity and tracks very well. It is not the most agile boat in moving waters and the composite material is not really designed for running large rapids (ie. Rocks). We have taken it through short runs up to Class II rapids while tripping and it has done the job. We have also paddled it in tidal currents and it has provided surprising stability when caught in thermal winds opposing tidal currents on the coast of BC (however, this was unplanned and not recommended...)

The capacity is second to none and has held gear, food etc for 12 day trip along with 2 labrador retrievers quite handily (with third seat removed). For a large boat it is also quite light for portages (~50lbs with third seat removed). We have also enjoyed it with the third seat installed for taking others around on short day trips.

The lightweight materials do require some maintenance and I have give the hull a light sanding and finished with spar varnish (as per recommendation from manufacturer) every year and the material has stood up. The boat is very well used however, still looks like new. That being said we have treated it very well by always storing indoors and preventative maintenance as stated above.

I would highly recommend this boat especially for a tripping boat.

Quetico 18.5 Carbon-Tec. Best I've ever paddled. Especially good for…

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Quetico 18.5 Carbon-Tec. Best I've ever paddled. Especially good for fat, old farts who've had a stroke seriously weakening the left arm. Canoed it in the Boundary Waters, Sylvania Wilderness, Turtle-Flambeau Flowage, Gile Flowage and more class I and II rivers than I can shake a stick at. I couples nicely with my custom Black Bart and my wife's Black Pearl. Easily carries all the gear I need on solo trips and all the gear my wife needs on tandem trips (and, trust me, she needs a lot of gear).

A great canoe!! We have made 5 trips to the Woodland Caribou…

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A great canoe!! We have made 5 trips to the Woodland Caribou region of Ontario with this canoe....some 65 days and over 200 portages across large lakes, up creeks, and over beaver dams. Our load includes my wife and myself, four Duluth packs, and two Labradors. It handles big waves well, portages easily, takes the tight corners on the small creeks, and handles the rugged nature of the country. We fish from this canoe, paddle solo on after meal expeditions, and have run some class 2 whitewater with this boat. A great canoe to handle the needs of big water, and gear for a long trip.

After owning two Wenonah's (a MN2 and a MN3) I decided to…

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After owning two Wenonah's (a MN2 and a MN3) I decided to try out the Quetico 18.5. I wish I had tried it first. While it might not have the speed of the MN3 it still gets the job done AND provides incredible stability; I have no complaints about the speed. And if you have bigger guys or heavier loads, this is definitely the canoe to buy. As far as a fishing platform, it beats the Wenonah's hands down. Perhaps the best part is that I can use it as a tandem or a triple. My kevlar layup is a boat that I will pass on to my boys who are presently 9 and 12, but I look forward to many years of paddling and fishing with them until then.

I purchased a Souris River Carbon Tech Souris River 4 summers ago…

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I purchased a Souris River Carbon Tech Souris River 4 summers ago. I have two other kevlar canoes, a 17' Quetico and a 17' 6' Bell Northwind Kev Crystal. The 18.5 Quetico gets the most use as friends borrow it for weekend Sylvania trips. This is a large stable Lake Canoe that carries four packs easily. The 18.5 length gives it good gliding qualities for a wide canoe. The folks who borrow it like the stability for fishing. If I had to keep one tandem canoe, a wide light 18.5 foot canoe is my choice. 17' canoes are a bit easier to portage, but if you can afford the light carbon tech 18.5 Quetico, it is my choice for the ultimate wilderness week long tripper canoe.

Too flat bottomed/square sided with unnecessary tumblehome - detracts from final stability…

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Too flat bottomed/square sided with unnecessary tumblehome - detracts from final stability when loaded with gear. Lack of rocker and flare makes it unresponsive - a problem in mild whitewater. Narrow front and rear causes it to wallow when fully loaded - especially in standing waves.

I give the Souris River Quetico 18.5 9/10. I would not give…

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I give the Souris River Quetico 18.5 9/10. I would not give any canoe a 10/10 because no canoe is perfect. I have the Le Tigre model weighs about 45-48# (depending on brochure you look at.

What I can say is that this model is perfect for me.

Positives: STABILITY--I don't know if there is a more stable canoe out there. This canoe great on rough water or unstable loads (i.e. dog or children). Great to fish out of. I have been in 3-4 foot rollers (not suggesting you should do this) with my wife and never once felt like we would tip--once again stability was awesome. Has an internal skid plate so reduces drag. I have had my canoe in the BWCAW/Quetico for over 56 days of hard use. It has stood up well. I do not abuse my equipment, but I do not baby it either--I maybe would qualify myself as rough on equipment. So far I have been happy with it's durability.

The one negative I can think is the flatter bottom which gives the 18.5 more stability and lets it ride higher in the water makes it a little susceptible to wind blowing it off of course--especially if it is not trimmed well or has no load. This will also make it a little slower than comparable models. You have to give up something for the added stability. The speed is not that noticeable to me and it more than makes up for it when the waves are high---you will appreciate the stability and then it becomes faster than comparable brands. We are always passing people when wind/high waves are an issue.

Final analysis: Stable canoe that can haul big loads and handle rough water.

We recently rented a Quetico 18.5 for a family trip to the…

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We recently rented a Quetico 18.5 for a family trip to the BWCA. Our family of 5 has outgrown our indestructible cheapo Coleman and we are considering buying a Souris River. No way would we spend that money before giving it a true wilderness test.

We piled in 3 kids (about 40 pounds each), two packs (overloaded to the max), a day/lunch bag and a diaper bag, PLUS the two grown ups (400 pounds together). Freeboard was more than acceptable.

We tried sitting 1 kid in bow and 2 on 3rd seat, or all 3 on 3rd seat. Either way, we were able to trim out pretty well. Bow was narrower than I prefer, but I guess is still better than comparable lightweight models. I was able to sit with two feet together, but felt a bit "pressed" compared to our own canoe. Each of our children did fit sitting or kneeling in the bow as well, but they are very small kids.

Boat was nice and quiet, tracked well and was a bit hard to turn with our usual stern strokes. Stability was not an issue, though we brought along the food pack on day paddles just in case.

Weight (kevlar) was fabulous. I can portage your typical 17' Grumman easy enough, but flipping the heavy canoes I always seem to need a bit of help. Not so with the Quetico. It flipped easily despite its length and portaged like a dream.

We were a bit worried about our first kevlar experience and our tendency to hit rocks despite wet-foot landings. I had visions of duct taping punctures, etc. Luckily, we escaped with mere scratches. Not sure how many were from our trip and how many were from previous renters, but I guess I should consider that a success. I definitely cringed each time we crunched into a landing - and my husband wondered aloud why anyone makes boats that require entering and exiting while already in the water...? Fact of life I guess until the kevlar is replaced by some tank-like material. Anyway, in May I didn't mind the wet feet, though I have to admit I have a new appreciation for the abuse our Coleman takes! Can't complain for 10 busy years with a $200 boat!

Anyway, we loved the Souris River experience and now will be scouring the classifieds for one we can afford. I'd LOVE a woven color one some day...

I have had this canoe for 5 years. I love it…

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I have had this canoe for 5 years. I love it. As far as a tripping canoe it is incredible. Very, Very stable it would take a lot of effort to tip this canoe. Faster than it is given credit for I have no problem keeping up with or leading my friends Bell Northbay. This canoe has enough room for major excursions. I also use it on smaller rivers. At 18.5 it can be tricky on really small creeks but has enough rocker to turn well. Most of all durability is amazing. I moved up from Wenonah, and I am amazed on every boundary waters trip the beating this canoe can take and show little to no wear. I have the duralight version. Kevlar would be nice depending on prices at the time.

I purchased a Kevlar two seater (with front slider seat) with black…

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I purchased a Kevlar two seater (with front slider seat) with black aluminum trim about 2 years ago. I am usually doing 2 person canoe/camping trips on flat-water (Iowa) rivers with lots of gear. After many years of rental aluminum canoes, I purchased an Old Town Discovery 169 about six years ago. Extremely durable but heavy, not so stable when loaded light. After getting the Quietco, I couldn't believe the improvement. Much more stable regardless of load. Almost as much flexibility in rough/rocky water and so far, excellent durability. Most suprising of all was the improvement in paddling efficiency. The same work results in substantially faster speeds and more distance covered. Maneuverability is better, too. Tons of room inside. Pricey but you do get what you pay for. The 52 lb. weight should extend my canoeing career well into my old age (I hope!) Highest marks!

We rented a Q 18.5 in Kevlar last week for a trip…

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We rented a Q 18.5 in Kevlar last week for a trip in the BWCAW. Our group of 8 was spread out in 3 canoes. With my 240 lb. self in the stern of the Souris and my wife and 61 lb. 6 year-old in the bow (plus the 80 lb food pack) it paddled like a dream. We had to stop and wait repeatedly to allow our crew to catch up in the Grumman and the fiberglas cheapie. When it got late in the day and we got in a campsite race, we really poured on the coals and easily made the claim (sorry to the other group heading for the same site on Lake 3). It was stable as can be with two adults and a squirmy kid, hauled plenty (we had three other bags in addition to the food pack, plus our personal stuff), and moved and manuvered like no canoe I have ever paddled before. If there was some heavy wind or rough water, I bet it could have made a 10. As it is I'll give it a 9, expecting more. The blessing of Kevlar made it even better. At 48lbs, it felt like nothing to portage. I suppose too, that is saying something about the quality of construction when an outfitter rents a kevlar canoe as opposed to a heavier layup. There were some scratches when we got it and the stems were crunched from past renters "bridging" the boat for portages (why?), but we enjoyed even wet-footing to be responsible to the outfitter. I want one.

After much review and research I purchased a Souris River Quetico 18.5…

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After much review and research I purchased a Souris River Quetico 18.5 in Duralite, weighs in at 56 - 58 pounds. Took it on a 40 mile loop though the BWCA during which time it rained and the wind blew hard constantly. The canoe did every thing we asked it to do, and was a pleasure to fish out of for two big guys. Great Canoe... period.

After looking for quite some time I purchased a Souris Quetico 18.5…

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After looking for quite some time I purchased a Souris Quetico 18.5 in Durra-Tuff. In August I took it on a 96 mile loop in the BWCA. After hauling my 86 pound Grumman, the 56 pound Durra-Tuff seems light as a feather. I did back to back 280 and 240 rod portages and my canoe is light enough to allow me to carry a small pack with it. It handles big water really well and it has lots of leg room for my bow paddler. It is slower than a MNIII but that is not a problem for me as I am not into racing from place to place. I like the rib system they use as it doesn't flex unless you run it into a summerged rock. I hit one on Oyester lake. Being the stern paddler I was able to see the canoe flex in and then pop back. When it was happening I was sure I would have to repair it, but all it came away with was some scratches.

The seats are web which I find comfortable even after paddling all day. I did raise them up a couple of inches to a height I prefer.

My criteria in choosing the Quetico 18.5 was enough volume to handle a 6 week wilderness trip, able to handle big watrer, and strong.

As to durrability, I am seeing more Souris canoes than any other type when I paddle in the BWCA. Most of the outfitters seem to have switched to using them. After years of watching renters abusing canoes, I guess they must know the Souris canoes can take it.

We used a Duralite model on a recent 50 mile plus trip…

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We used a Duralite model on a recent 50 mile plus trip based out of the BSA Northern Tier Base near Atikokan. The canoe performed well in all aspects, stability, seaworthiness, toughness and ease of paddling. I was particularly pleased with how well it handled the big windy lakes and how it was forgiving of some scouts with modest experience in paddling and getting in and out and sitting still. It was very stable yet had good speed and handling. Scouts are not always easy on equipment, but these boats seemed to be in very good shape after serious use. At 58 lbs the duralite is not a super light boat, but it was not bad on the moderate portages we made on our trip.