View topic - paddling rivers in a kevlar or other composite canoe

It is currently February 28th, 2021, 5:20 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: January 19th, 2021, 9:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: August 7th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Duluth, MN
My prime river tripping days were in the Royalex era. Now that I'm getting back into tripping, and pushing 50, I'm looking to lighten the carrying load, but I still can't wrap my head around bashing down a river in anything but Royalex or its derivatives, though I know it's quite common. I sold the Dagger Venture because I knew I didn't want to carry that beast any longer (though I got a little teary watching it go). Now I'm in the market for a solo tripping canoe and a tandem tripper, and am seeking canoes I don't have to baby, but I want something light enough that a long-slog portage won't kill me.

So, collective canoeing brain trust, talk me through the switch from Royalex to the composite world for extended river/lake trips in Northern Ontario and the like.

I'm planning to buy used, so it may take some time to find what I'm looking for.

My solo canoe short list: Swift Raven--Royalex and heavy, but seemingly bomber and high volume (what's the weight of Royalite Raven?)
Hemlock SRT.
15-16 Prospector of some sort.
Other suggestions welcome.

Tandem tripper?
I don't have many ideas of yet, though I'm sure many will work. Saw a 18 foot Mad River Horizon on Craigslist recently. Not sure how it would fit the bill. Anyway, any and all advice appreciated! Cheers. Here's hoping us dumb American blokes can event get into Canada this year or next....

-tom


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 19th, 2021, 10:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: September 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm
Posts: 623
Tom -

If I recall correctly, my Royalite Raven was listed at 52 lb. It may have been a bit heavier because of the wood gunnels. The last time the boat was weighed (by an air charter company) it scaled 58 lbs. That may be because the cloth and epoxy I have added to it weigh more than the plastic I have scraped off over the years.

jmc


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 20th, 2021, 6:13 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2588
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Any good composite boat will handle the vast majority of tripping situations. My tripping over the last 25 years has been almost exclusively in cedar strip canoes. The modern composite boats I have paddled have been tough as nails, you would have to work hard to destroy them. The Wenonah Spirit 2 I used for a coupe of multi-day trips was 17 feet and 44 pounds. I was skeptical, but came away a believer. Have used a Bell Northstar, that thing was incredibly light. I didn't like the way it paddled, but it did take a very good beating without complaint.

About the only downside to the new light weight canoes is the heavy-weight price tag.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2021, 6:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 15th, 2020, 8:48 am
Posts: 12
My boat is a Nova Craft Prospector 15 in Blue Steel. 45lbs, tough and durable. Excellent for river travel, whitewater, flat water, and for both solo and tandem trips. I've put about 500km of travel on her so far and zero issues or complaints. Not cheap but they can be had for 10% off in the springtime usually, or if you see a used one I'd jump all over it.

_________________
Fishing, canoeing, camping, and hiking adventures can be found on my Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwVvd8 ... subscriber


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2021, 10:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: July 10th, 2020, 4:02 pm
Posts: 29
I second the Nova Craft Prospector recommendation, I did the Steel River this summer in a NC Pro 17' in TuffStuff. At 56 pounds, it was bit of a beast on the ports, but with the low water levels we had in August, it was a pretty serious bump-and-grind on the way down the river.

We weren't very experienced with river tripping going into it, and having a strong canoe was absolutely crucial, and this canoe really delivered. If you loved Royalex, the basalt/Innegra blend won't disappoint.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 24th, 2021, 7:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: July 6th, 2004, 5:46 pm
Posts: 112
If you get up to Atikokan, check out the Souris River Skeena (bit long maybe).
Discount on exchange, and sometimes they have seconds.
Of course you can try them up there as well.
There is another boat rental place in Atikokan, but can't recall what they have.
I've paddled the Wenonah Roque, which I've liked, but not their prospectors.

At 50, I'd say get what you want and forget wasting too much time looking for used-
get a boat and get out there.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 25th, 2021, 12:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
Posts: 481
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Personally, I'm not a fan of gel coats. I love Souris River's layup. You can get coloured cloth for a nice look without a gel coat. Their hulls are quite durable and easy to maintain. A jug of 105 and 206 (West Systems) and some basic tools and your boat will probably last decades of river travel.

Losing the gel coat saves a little weight but it's also an extra layer to maintain. I've never done gel coat repairs but it looks to be more frustrating than epoxy repairs.

I'm also not a fan of the Tuff Stuff. I thought I read that they've fixed the problem with gel coat chipping off but I still don't think they're worth it. If you're anxious about tripping with a composite, just get a T-Formex boat. They're great.

As for the hull, you can't go wrong with a Prospector. Nova Craft, Souris River and Esquif all make good Prospector hulls. Pick you material and go!

Not trying to steer you away from Hemlock or Swift. I've never paddled them so I can't speak from experience.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 25th, 2021, 2:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
Posts: 2012
Location: Manitoba
If you want to lighten your load, then aren't Royalex and T-Formex off your list? and the only options are composites?

You can lighten your canoe by getting a shorter canoe. Given the same canoe model and materials, the 16' foot version is lighter than the 17' one.

_________________
Brian
http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca

 


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 25th, 2021, 8:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: August 7th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Duluth, MN
On the solo front, I think a full Royalex Raven is off the list if it's 60 plus pounds, but if Royalite is in the neighborhood of 52 pounds, I'd strongly consider it. I have an expedition kevlar swift osprey that's probably 45 pounds and is my go to solo tripper (I'm pondering a longer trip one of these years so trying to explore solos with more volume). I've got to buy used, as my canoe budget is limited, and given that I have two solos my first priority is a tandem tripper.

What would be your top choices, brand and model, for a durable but middle-aged portage-able river/lake tripping tandem for trips up to a month in duration (you Canadians sure love prospectors--that Bill Mason influence shining through):)

Thanks all.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 25th, 2021, 11:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: July 6th, 2004, 5:46 pm
Posts: 112
Attachment:
IMG_BuyBoat.jpeg


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: February 25th, 2021, 11:58 am 
Offline

Joined: March 21st, 2013, 11:30 am
Posts: 134
Location: Minden, NV USA
What is your skill level?
How perfect do you want your boats to be?
Stay off rocky rivers at low water and you will be fine. Keep an old beater around for those.
I have have run rivers in the west mostly with a cedar and canvas Old Town from 1951.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group