Canadian Canoe Routes

Kee 14 vs 15
Page 1 of 2

Author:  Free2fish [ March 10th, 2018, 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Kee 14 vs 15


I'm 5'10" and weigh 155 lbs and found myself on the wrong side of 70 a few years ago. I've canoed most of my adult life and after selling all my canoes a few years ago find myself regretting that action. I recently bought a home on the La Salle River, here in Manitoba and decided I needed just one more canoe. It will be used solely on this river to paddle and do a bit of fly fishing. After some extensive research on my part, I've decided, rightly or wrongly, the perfect canoe for me is a Swift Keewaydin 14. However the price, including all taxes and shipping turns out to be north of $4600. and I wonder about the prudence of that expenditure given my age.

I've stumbled onto a used Kee 15 that is relatively cheaper and wonder if anyone can provide an opinion on the differences between the two, other than the obvious ones. Again, my main interests are paddling, fishing and a bit of freestyle playing.

Any comments would be appreciated.


Author:  Prospector16 [ March 10th, 2018, 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

I cannot really comment on the differences (a friend has a kee 16 and it is great) but I can advise you that if the canoe market in manitoba is anything like Ottawa don't think too much on this because by the time you make up your mind it will probably be gone.

14 is a better solo craft no matter the layup. 15 would not be terrible though I don't think.

Author:  martin2007 [ March 10th, 2018, 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

Can't comment on the relative merits of the two hulls, but I can wish you well for getting back into paddling. Fantastic! If fly-fishing from the boat is of a high priority, you might consider a wider, stabler tandem boat in an ultralight layup, i.e. if you like to stand while casting. Many more lightweight tandems come up for sale than do solo boats in any layup, lightweight or heavy. You seem to know what you want, though, and I hope you'll share some of your experiences as you get back into it. Good luck!

Author:  littleredcanoe [ March 11th, 2018, 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

Neither was designed for FreeStyle use.
Stems don’t free up unless you have the balance to put the rail to the water
That said for the remainder of your purposes the 15 is more suited quick

I’d go for the cheaper slightly wider one

Author:  MartinG [ March 11th, 2018, 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

I think the Kee 15 sounds a little better suited to you than the 14. You could also take a look at the new Swift Prospector 14'. As a freestyle and fishing platform it might be a better choice than either of the Keewaydins.

Author:  Free2fish [ March 11th, 2018, 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

Thanks for your comments; I guess that makes 2 votes for the Kee 15. Neither model being designed for freestyle is not too relevant since I only meant it in the sense of playing on the water; not competition or anything serious. My most important consideration is paddling fun on my smallish, lazy river with the occasional cast with the fly rod.

I'm now a bit confused since I thought the Kee 14 was designed for the smallish paddler (me) while the Kee 15 was meant for the larger paddler (not me) or someone more inclined to multi day solo tripping.


Author:  Prospector16 [ March 11th, 2018, 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

He sure knows his product line.

And Swift sure does have an advantage with their Algonquin Outfitters rental fleet. It is a product testing ground unlike any other where they have a massive fleet deployed and can go at any time to review how the watercraft are holding up.

I think for that reason if I were buying a new canoe I would definitely look first at Swift.

Oh and I LOVE those camo boats!

Author:  littleredcanoe [ March 11th, 2018, 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

You mentioned fly casting. That means more body outside the gunwales during casting
If you kneel you could get away with the 14
You didn’t mention stance
You’re correct that the boats are sized for people of different size it when you mention fishing or even dog. The equation changes
Not sure of the Prospector hull shape. Historically they are kind of round

Author:  Free2fish [ March 11th, 2018, 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

Thanks, I get your point. An extra touch of initial stability might be helpful with fly fishing although the stream size makes excessive arm flailing unnecessary. I plan to kneel more than sit, providing my knees agree.

For me the prospector conjures up visions of moose hunting rather than pan fish on the fly. Way too much volume for my needs I suspect.


Author:  daypaddler [ March 13th, 2018, 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

Well Harry you're making me nervous since it sounds like a really important decision and also sounds like you may not be able to test paddle the various Swifts.

Do you kneel or sit? Do you want the hottest boat possible or some extra stability?

I've not paddled a Kee 14 but I've paddled my friend's Kee 15 and I've got an Osprey and a Shearwater. The Kee 15 is an efficient cruiser with surprising initial stability even for sitting paddlers. It reminds me of my Bell Merlin II but with even more stability. But neither boat is fun to play with on ponds...they are cruisers.

The Osprey is a riot on quiet of my all time favorite boats to just play around in. It's a fine river boat....way better than either Kee. I think you can still order one. They have some personality (quirks) but most Osprey owners deeply love their boats. I kneel...if you don't kneel I might not recommend an Osprey.

Don't give up on the Prospector 14. You are within the minimum efficient weight range. Even though it is not as hot as the others you are looking at based on specs, it is a Yost design and you can see the rounded shoulders that should make it a sweet boat to play around in. I imagine it will give up some cruising efficiency to either Kee but at same time for your use it might be a good fit. I had an Oscoda Solo 13 that was a Yost design with little or zero rocker and it was a surprisingly sweet and fun boat on gentle water and I would imagine the Prospector 14 to be better.

At least I can state with confidence that the Shearwater is a bit too big for you.


Author:  Free2fish [ March 17th, 2018, 9:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

Some of the comments, including the last, have made me rethink my decision. I can't justify spending that much money without having tried out the canoe.

I hope to kneel for most of my paddling and wouldn't value the characteristics of a cruiser or tripper. More important would be responsiveness and agility. I have pretty good balance and seem to handle boats that others find "tippy" quite well.

I think I'll now focus on the used market where a purchasing mistake can be corrected without a substantial financial loss. I've made a list of models I'd like and am now scouring craigslist and Kijiji for possibilities.

Thanks for the help in getting to what I believe is a better purchasing option for me.


Author:  open_side_up [ March 17th, 2018, 8:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

If the price is good on the Kee 15, just buy it, if it doesn't suit you, you can always resell it at worst for minimal loss, most probably for what you paid for it, or if you a like me, end up making a little money.

Author:  Free2fish [ March 18th, 2018, 10:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

The price wasn't that good.

Author:  open_side_up [ March 18th, 2018, 8:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

I don't imagine there's any open water in Winterpeg yet for a test paddle?

Author:  littleredcanoe [ March 19th, 2018, 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kee 14 vs 15

Look for a rare Bell or Colden Starfire.
It’s a big guy solo but is a tripper and also with lots of symmetrical rocker bow and stern wickedly playful

The Wildfire too touchy for fishing. I use it for tripping

Colden makes them new which has to be regarded as an investment
Bells would be used

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 5 hours
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group