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PostPosted: September 7th, 2020, 9:00 am 
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Joined: July 7th, 2020, 7:08 am
Posts: 19
Hi friends, I'm looking for a some advice about purchasing a new canoe next year. I bought my first canoe a couple years ago without too much research....I was just eager to get into the game lol. So most of my trips going forward will be solo with the dog(I never go without him) and average 2-5 days in length. My dog weights about 50lbs, my pack and barrel together on average weights 45 - 50lbs and I come in around 160. I'm currently using a clear water design kawartha model 16ft 34" width polyethylene canoe. I hate to admit it but I am getting up there in years and it is quit the chore to portage this thing anything more than a km. So when I first started thinking about getting something new, weight was a major factor but I think stability is the number one factor for me....the dog is great in the canoe and doesn't move around too much....but if a big black fly comes around he does go on offense lol. Speed will be number 2 factor and as far as weight goes I think whatever I buy will be considerably less heavy as my current model comes in at 69lbs. I've been looking at some of the following models keewaydin 16, the prospector 16 and the algonquin 16. I've also looked at the keewaydin 15 solo canoe. I'm sure there are a bunch of other things i'm overlooking but any advice on what the more experienced trippers think would be best for me would be greatly appreciated. I also wanted to add that I will be keeping my current canoe for family trips and the new model will be used by just me and the dog.
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PostPosted: September 7th, 2020, 9:39 am 
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Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 6233
Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Hi Scott... don't know where you are, however some dealers and outfitters might be willing to let you test-paddle and port, in S Ont Algonquin Outfitters and Swift Dealers have said they will be happy to help you decide. Even better would be a rental with a canoe trip and maybe they'll let you apply the rental fee towards the eventual purchase.

PS... Swift's website includes some very light canoes and their recommended load ranges, canoe, pack, dog, plus paddler, all adding up to the total load weight so that might help narrow things down, eg. which size of Keewaydin to try.

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PostPosted: September 8th, 2020, 3:23 pm 
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Joined: September 16th, 2019, 1:47 pm
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I solo paddle almost exclusively, and of the club boats I usually take out either the Prospector or the Pack-canoe. Paddling the Prospector has made me a better paddler. It is a very capable design. The Pack-canoe is light and easy to handle, and I've found quite a versatile little canoe. Probably too small for carrying a dog and camping gear unless you camp ultralight. Don't underestimate the smaller canoes - they make going for a spontaneous paddle almost effortless.

The wider hulls of 36" or so require paddling single-sided - I like Northwoods style as it keeps my weight over the paddle. My personal canoe is 34" wide, and that's just about the limit for switching sides on strokes. I've fairly long arms. Many dedicated solo boats are 30-32" beam. For high initial stability you'll be wanting a fairly flat-bottomed canoe - unlike a Prospector - which feels a bit roly-poly at first but has lots of final stability. Once you get used to it though - and dog gets used to it - it'll serve you well.

Take a look at Hellman's Scout and Solitude models for comparison. I have their Prospector and find it a good Cruiser and Touring canoe. Quite long though at 17'6". Where I paddle I need the longer length to match the longer wave periods.

Best advice I can give - buy the lightest, smallest canoe that will do what you need it to do. In the long run you'll paddle more because you'll struggle less loading, unloading, portaging, and paddling.


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PostPosted: September 12th, 2020, 1:18 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1813
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Scott, that is all important and useful information in suggesting a new canoe. To parse:

Scott white wrote:
most of my trips going forward will be solo with the dog(I never go without him) and average 2-5 days in length. My dog weights about 50lbs, my pack and barrel together on average weights 45 - 50lbs and I come in around 160.


So, 260lbs including you and the dog. A lot of canoes will handle that in their “optimal” weight range, but packing volume becomes an issue with shorter hulls. If you eventually do longer trips, with more food weight, or off-season trips with more/heavier gear, or trips where you need to haul potable water, a boat with ample carrying capacity will not be unappreciated.

Nor when running frothy stuff with more freeboard.

My first thought , solo multi-day with an always dog, pack and barrel, runs to a 16-ish foot, symmetrical hull/rockered tandem, either bow backwards, or, my preference, with a custom positioned center seat, sans the bow and stern seats for more open dog & gear storage/trim.

Scott white wrote:
I'm currently using a clear water design kawartha model 16ft 34" width polyethylene canoe. I hate to admit it but I am getting up there in years and it is quit the chore to portage this thing anything more than a km. So when I first started thinking about getting something new, weight was a major factor but I think stability is the number one factor for me....the dog is great in the canoe and doesn't move around too much....but if a big black fly comes around he does go on offense lol.


Any modern composite you get should be lighter, with a sleeker entry. I can’t speak to your bottom shape preferences, but with a 50lb dog that occasionally (suddenly) goes on fly offence I would not want an elliptical bottom. Shallow arch or shallow vee instead, but that is admittedly my bias in almost any canoe.

Scott white wrote:
Speed will be number 2 factor


Waterline length divided by waterline width will give you a rough idea of the cruising speed. Sharper, less poly-blunt stems will help as well.

Scott white wrote:
I've been looking at some of the following models keewaydin 16, the prospector 16 and the algonquin 16. I've also looked at the keewaydin 15 solo canoe


I like the first three, for different reasons/applications. Maybe not the Kee 15, with a 27” waterline and an always dog, presenting possible shorter-length what-goes-where trim issues. Consider how your pack and barrel, depending on size/volume, are stored; with a 25.5” gunwale width some of my 115L would be damn snug stuffed in sideways, if it fit in that orientation at all.

Something like the Kee 16 may not be as fast, but will feel a lot more KILL THAT FLY lunging dog solid, and be easier to pack.


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PostPosted: September 16th, 2020, 4:20 pm 
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Joined: July 7th, 2020, 7:08 am
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Thanks so much for all the feed back guys


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