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June 19, 2003
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5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: James
I test paddled the ultralight version of this boat.
This canoe has a number of flaws in my opinion. The most serious of which are the adjustable seat is placed too far forward to achieve proper trim without an addition weight (pack?) placed aft. Moving the position of the slider 4" aft would fix this. This is a major issue for a boat that is a premium product. Its unfortunate that Bluewater couldn't get this right.
Second The lighter layup means that there is perceptible movement of the hull (oilcanning) under the paddle with weight shifts etc. Ultralight is good but not at the expense of making a canoe rigid enough.
More minor problems lie in the fit and finish of a premium priced boat. The wood trim was superb, the layup was poorly monitored with edges of cloth sticking up, and excess resin in the tight corners of the spray ridge/stabilizer wings.
Finally the handling. Yes this boat is quite fast, but it also requires moderately high effort to get that speed. The boat tracks more poorly than you might expect and at the same time is harder to turn that the tracking would indicate. It really requires a heeling the boat up to get a quick turn.
I think this combination of problems can probably be attributed to a flat bottom and little rocker. A more ournder hull would be appropriate on this hull since its target is solo paddlers who tend to be more skilled AND the spray "wings" give a great deal of secondary stability when they come into contact with the water.
All in all a disappointment for a solo boat in this price range.
The dealer (Frontenac Outfitters) I test paddled at was very good, service was excellent and the staff friendly and knowledgeable.
Similar Products Used:
A variety of other tandem canoes paddled solo and a selection of kayaks as well in the 23 years I've been soloing boats.