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PostPosted: March 25th, 2019, 6:21 pm 
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I'm looking at buying my first, modern canoe. My wife and I stick to flat water and week-long or less trips. I like to fish but of primary importance to us both is stability during adverse/unexpected conditions. Light weight and durability are also of concern. I've been focusing on epoxy resin layups: Souris River or H2O. The SR Quetico looks interesting, but the flat bottom is giving me concerns for secondary stability. Their prospector has a lot of (too much?) rocker for what we'll be doing with it. I'm leaning towards an H2O prospector in Innegra Basalt, but could use some input. We plan on renting our potential purchase a couple of times before making the commitment, but we really don't have many opportunities to get out so thinning the field beforehand is necessary lest this exercise last several years.


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2019, 6:54 pm 
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You may be overthinking the stability issue, you are going to get good initial stability or good secondary stability but rarely both in the same boat.

Any boat with a reasonably flat bottom (or V type like many Mad River boats) will have sufficient initial stability that secondary won't be an issue.

Size, weight, layup are all probably much more important especially for a boat designed primarily for flat water.

I don't have a lot of experience with "prospector" designs (almost a meaningless term these days since every manufacturer has a different version of a "prospector"), the one thing I have found is that the bow position is often very cramped.

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PostPosted: March 26th, 2019, 8:47 am 
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My wife and I use an H2O 16.4 Prospector for our flat water paddling adventures. We are very happy with the overall function and performance of this model. I'm sure you would be quite happy with one.


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PostPosted: March 26th, 2019, 11:50 am 
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Location: Brampton, Ontario
Hi Scratchypants, I agree with 4badboyz, the H20 prospector is a great boat. I have paddled everything over the past 30 years and am also quite knowledgeable in resin layups and boat composition and in my opinion Jeff @ H20 builds the best quality boats out there right now. (let the hate mail begin :D ) One of the main reasons I say this is because what other companies offer in options and upgrades, Jeff includes them just because it is the right thing to do and makes for a better canoe. He has a small shop with only a few employees. Every boat is build by the same few people. Jeff himself is involved in every boat he builds. I actually have a boat on order right now. I went with a Prospector 16.4 in Carbon/Innegra layup. The boat will come in at approx 35lb with all the trimmings I got. The carbon /Innegra layup is the current "best of breed" available right now, but it adds a few extra bucks. H20 was also the manufacturer of Alchemist canoes (in my thumbnial pic) for the boys up at the paddle shack on Hwy11. They have been building canoes and racing canoes/hulls for a good 15 years under the H20 name.

Obviously there are many opinions out there and many great manufactures of canoes, it all boils down to quality workmanship and bang for the buck, and of course whatever 'floats your boat' but you can't go wrong with an H20.

Happy Shopping!

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PostPosted: March 27th, 2019, 1:31 pm 
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I did my research this winter and I'm adding a H2O Prospector 16.4 to the fleet as well.

In the Brute Force- Innegra/Basalt lay up. Was looking for a more durable river tripper to complement my flatwater boats.

Jeff is delivering right to my door for me. I take delivery in May.

If you are anywhere near me Scatchypants I'm a stones throw from Kempentfelt Bay in Barrie You are more than welcome to test it out if that helps you out. Just PM me.


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2019, 1:35 pm 
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ShawnD wrote:
I did my research this winter and I'm adding a H2O Prospector 16.4 to the fleet as well.

In the Brute Force- Innegra/Basalt lay up. Was looking for a more durable river tripper to complement my flatwater boats.

Jeff is delivering right to my door for me. I take delivery in May.

If you are anywhere near me Scatchypants I'm a stones throw from Kempentfelt Bay. You are more than welcome to test it out if that helps you out. Just PM me.


Shawn - That's a mighty generous offer. Thanks! I'm in southwestern Quebec, though - so a bit of a haul :D


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2019, 8:32 pm 
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For flat water, you want a long boat for speed and no rocker for travelling in a straight line with ease. Prospectors, IMHO, have too much rocker and thus require more and mpore aggressive correction strokes. I suggest at least 17 ft, though 18.5 feet is much faster. Boats with high intial stability tend to have low secondary and are harder to manage in wind and waves.

Don't worry about the weight, unless you are portaging lots. Anything under 60 lbs is light enough to carry and you won't notice much difference in the water when the canoe is loaded. Just think long and no rocker.

We have a Clipper Tripper (Kevlar) and have done many week+ long trips in the ocean. The canoe flies, carries up and down the beach easily and handles wind and waves well. Our canoe has bucket seats with a foot bar for the stern (the bow uses the floatation tank and to push against). Pushing against something increases stroke power by enabling the paddler to use the legs and core muscles. Foot bars also improve stability because more of your body is in contact with the canoe (it's like kneeling but without kneeling). Wenonah makes a similar canoe.

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PostPosted: March 28th, 2019, 5:20 am 
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Algonquin Park is a bit out of the way for us, and it seems ludicrous to travel that far from home when here, in Quebec, there are no lack of waterways and backcountry. However, Ontario has the needs of the casual tripper covered in a way that for us, there simply is no comparison. The combination of Jeffsmaps, online booking/reservations, outfitter/rental support, and the "just wild enough" feeling makes it an ideal destination for us. However, we feel that we need a minimum of 2 (short) portages between us and any access point to feel like we've actually gotten away. Finding such a route combined with water bodies that don't present potentially significant weather challenges is kind of difficult.

We are not athletes - far from it, in fact. Being able to add some portaging distance would significantly increase our options.

We camped on Booth last fall and, embarrassingly, the portage from Farm turned me into a whimpering, shell of a man. I don't get it - I see videos of people twice my age humping out their cedar strips and packs in single trips. My expedition Kevlar rental felt like it was going saw through my trapeze muscles.

TL;DR: If I'm going to plonk down some serious dosh, weight will definitely play into the decision.


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2019, 5:56 am 
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Get a quality yoke, yoke pads or whatever it takes. Also proper balance is critical, achievable either through yoke location or using small weighted objects at bow or stern.

These things will make more of a difference than 10lbs of weight.

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PostPosted: March 28th, 2019, 7:20 am 
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If I already owned a canoe, of course I would be trying ways to change its carrying characteristics. I don't though. I bought a Level 6 pad that I used on my last trip, and I messed around with holding the painters down low. Sure, it helped a little. Again though, I'm shopping for a new canoe and while weight doesn't trump my other, aforementioned criteria, it will most certainly be part of the selection process.

Thanks for all the input thus far - I really appreciate you folks taking the time to weigh in.


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2019, 7:55 am 
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I couldn't agree more with you on the weight issue. I'm 62yrs old,160lbs and have no problem whatsoever portaging the H2O with a small pack or barrel on my back. It makes a huge difference in the fun factor of the trip. I had heavier canoes in the past and they made my back and shoulders sore and my trip much less enjoyable. I just swapped out my solo canoe, a Nova Craft bob 15 for a Fox 14 in Aramid light for this exact reason. I'm a big fan of Nova Craft canoes, but the H2O 16.4 prospector is our favorite tandem.


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2019, 1:15 pm 
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Location: Toronto Beach(es)
Scratchypants, even with your hands by your sides controlling the attitude of the canoe with the painters, you can still fight the yoke by scrunching your shoulders. If you are not already, try dropping your shoulders, relaxing your traps and keep them soft. I find this makes a huge difference for me.


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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2019, 3:22 pm 
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Just got back today: Started paddling at 6:30 this morning and am now back home, 450 KM's away. We rented the 16-4 H2O Prospector and it was a fantastic boat - just not for us. To be clear - I take nothing away from H2O, they clearly make an outstanding product, but I think we were a little light. Myself, wife, and gear probably made 450 lbs, but we had difficulties that shook our confidence. Any amount of wind made the canoe a handful. Monday, as we were making our way in, there were localized surface gusts that had nothing to do with the prevailing breeze. At the Rock-to-Pen portage, there was a bit of a traffic jam and as we were waiting our turn one of these gusts hit us broadside. It tipped the canoe and then got under the hull. The leeside gunnel went under and we took on about 4 gallons of water (6" in the bottom of the boat) - I don't know how we didn't go over. The remainder of the trip included planning our routes with a deep concern for the wind - holding close to the shoreline and bracing for these random gusts. We decided to be off the water by noon each day. This morning, the water was very flat and so we booked it out of there. Next trip we will be trying out the aforementioned Quetico and we'll be doing it on a much smaller lake lest my wife decides that canoe-tripping is no longer her cup of tea.


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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2019, 6:35 pm 
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I tell you I often regret buying my Nova Craft Prospector 16 in Royalex, I was all set to buy it in Aramid when the whole Royalex thing happened, so I bought it instead.

But today to do over I am pretty sure I'd pick up the Basalt Innegra for a good combination of weight and durability. It is 10 lbs lighter than the Royalex and about 12 lbs heavier than the aramid.

And I do love their P16 hull - I've also paddled a buddy's NC P16 aramid bought around the same time. Though yes as noted above it is a little tight in the bow seat. I might try to see if I can retrofit it into a sliding seat or something like that.


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PostPosted: May 24th, 2019, 11:33 am 
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Prospectors are generally built to withstand waves and have some rocker. Tripper style boats in kevlar run straight, have lots of room and are fine empty or fully loaded. Check out the Clipper Tripper from Western Canoe and Kayak.
http://www.clippercanoes.com/tripper/

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