View topic - Hellman Prospector vs Slocan vs Scout?

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PostPosted: April 21st, 2020, 8:32 pm 
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Location: British Columbia
Has anyone paddled all three of these? I have a Hellman Prospector but bought it when we were living somewhere with more flatwater being paddled. Now that we're in Northern BC and central/southern BC over the next couple years I want to get back to more river paddling. The narrow bow has cut right through some waves while paddling loaded so I'm wondering about it in bigger rapids.

The Slocan and Scout seems to be the same boat with 2 feet cut out of the middle. I'm torn as something in the middle of the two would probably be best for us. The Slocan seems long but I thought the Prospector would be big and it's fine to handle.

Bow paddler is 100lbs, I'm 150. We pack fairly light with more backpacking styled gear. We also have a 55lb dog. With life and work the way it goes, long weekend trips and day runs are realistically what will be paddled. Ideally at least one extended trip would happen each year but who knows. I lean to the Scout for most days. I lean to the Slocan for the longer trips, room for the dog, and the length likely helping on the flatter water.

How much more spiny are the Slocan and Scout with their extra 1.5 inches of rocker?
How much does the 2ft of the Slocan slow the spin compared to the Scout?


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PostPosted: April 21st, 2020, 9:04 pm 
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Location: Back to Winnipeg
I've paddled a lot of BC whitewater day trips, starting in normal tandem canoes (including a NC Prospector) and then moving to play boats (and solo ww). OT Discovery - NC Prospector - OT Appalachian - Esquif Vertige X.

I now have a Slocan as our do-all family tripping boat.

Based on your own good description, seems clear you'd be better off in a Scout most days, and it would be more fun. The Slocan is a pretty big boat for catching eddies on day trips. Go smaller. If you ever need a bigger boat for a longer trip, rent.

You do know you need a boat like the Scout. You're not sure if you sometimes might need something like a Slocan. Done deal.

And rivers are fun. I'd go with maxing out your maneuverability. Once you get into ww, you're more likely to get interested in smaller & more playful boats, so the Slocan could feel too big pretty quickly.

You think you need a Scout. You might actually need something sportier than that for the eddies & surfing, plus 2 solo boats!!

Cheers, Pat.

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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2020, 8:48 am 
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Joined: July 6th, 2004, 5:46 pm
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I've paddled all three and own a Slocan (with skirt). As above, the Slocan is a goto
boat for longer rivers and gear carrying. Great boat and paddles shorter than it's length would
suggest. So the answer is clear- get a Scout. If you need a longer boat to haul
dog etc. then use the prospector. Especially since you won't be doing too much WW
with a dog in the boat, and the prospector is adequate for easy rivers.


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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2020, 2:34 pm 
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yarnellboat wrote:
Go smaller. If you ever need a bigger boat for a longer trip, rent....

...You think you need a Scout. You might actually need something sportier than that for the eddies & surfing, plus 2 solo boats!!

Cheers, Pat.

Right. I forgot to mention that some of the bucket list bigger trips would likely involve flying to the closest town and renting anyway

ski-it wrote:
So the answer is clear- get a Scout. If you need a longer boat to haul
dog etc. then use the prospector.

Also forgot to mention that the though is to replace the Prospector. I don't have room for two tandems right now and adding a solo play boat is on the horizon as well.


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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2020, 7:50 pm 
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"Also forgot to mention that the though is to replace the Prospector. I don't have room for two tandems right now and adding a solo play boat is on the horizon as well."


Well again the answer here is clear, move.
Your partner might start feeling you are afraid of commitment.


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2020, 6:42 pm 
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Location: winnipeg
I own a Slocan and have owned the Souris River Prospector (which I think is the same design).

The Slocan is an amazingly big and stable boat for a river trip. I find it fun, but I am heavier than you, and use it mostly for tripping (and I often bring a Dutch oven).

I agree with the others that the Scout would likely be the ticket.

Just like a 17' Prospector is considerably bigger than, say, a 17' Jensen, the Solcan/Scout have more volume than their length alone would suggest, and I bet the Scout would be more capable than a 16' Novacraft Prospector (speaking of which the poly NC Prospector 16 is only 15'6" anyway).

It's funny because I really like the Slocan and have considered adding a Hellman Prospector just for a bit more speed, but rationalize that the Slocan can do everything the Prospector can, just a wee bit slower and heavier.


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PostPosted: August 4th, 2020, 12:11 am 
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Does anyone have a picture of a loaded Scout? The only thing I'm really worried about with the Scout is being able to fit everything. I picture gives a really good idea of what will fit and how hard it was to fit all that in. Between a weekend trip and week+ trip the only real difference is food. I'd want to know there is still space for more food. We don't seem to have the time to prep our food super well so it does end up being more bulky than dehydrated meals.


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PostPosted: August 4th, 2020, 12:37 pm 
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I would be tempted to keep your Hellman 17' prospector and instead purchase a skirt from Northwater, which will run you around $1500. This would eliminate the issue of having a wet ride, and your dog can comfortably sit on top of the deck. It will also keep your gear together in the event of an upset. A a 16 or 17 ft prospector with a skirt is the standard set up for Blackfeather trips on northern whitewater rivers, so that design has a proven track record. The Scout looks like a lovely boat, something in between and Esquif Canyon and Pocket Canyon. But if your intention is to have a dog along most of the time, space will become an issue.


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PostPosted: August 4th, 2020, 11:11 pm 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
How about a different idea...?

Spread the beam on your Prospector by two inches. (of course save all old thwarts to go back to original if needed)
This will raise the stems for more rocker (turns easier) and flatten the bottom of the boat side to side slightly (higher initial stability).
Though it still will cut through the waves because of the sharp ends it will be quicker to rise with the widened beam.

I think the best idea is to keep your Prospector till you don't use it for a year or two. Then if you don't use it, sell it.
I bet you'll end up keeping it.

Also, buy the Scout as well for lightweight tandem tripping and an incredible solo "do it all" boat.
It is a beautiful boat.
I was able to try it out for several applications during a week long instruction course and it shined.

We just passed on our Prospector a couple of years ago because we used the shit out of it. It was one of our favourites.
It is a beautiful boat too.

We always tripped with two adults and two medium sized dogs. When needed, we used a custom Northwater deck to keep everything tidy. The two dogs were positioned just in front of the stern paddler in the boat.
I don't know about a dog of any size on top of the deck. (maybe for solo paddler that could adjust the trim on the fly?)

Hope any of that helps.


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PostPosted: August 5th, 2020, 12:50 am 
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swampwalker wrote:
I would be tempted to keep your Hellman 17' prospector and instead purchase a skirt from Northwater...
.....A a 16 or 17 ft prospector with a skirt is the standard set up for Blackfeather trips on northern whitewater rivers, so that design has a proven track record. The Scout looks like a lovely boat, something in between and Esquif Canyon and Pocket Canyon. But if your intention is to have a dog along most of the time, space will become an issue.


Yeah keeping the prospector is becoming more and more likely - at least till we don't use it. It's more of a storage space issue though. There was more flat water and portaging around where we were living before as well so I opted for the no gel coat option to save weight. Now I'm regretting not having the gel coat to sacrifice as abrasion protection.

The Prospector design is proven but quite different between companies. I had been out of the paddling game a bit and this was my first canoe I bought so I think slipped into the thought of all prospectors being the same when I was looking at a bunch of different boats. The Hellman has 2.5" of rocker and a narrow entry where as the esquif is more full in the front with 3.5" of rocker and more depth in the ends. I've paddled the esquif prospector quite a bit and would just get a skirt if that was the boat I owned.

Canoeheadted wrote:
Spread the beam on your Prospector by two inches...
...I think the best idea is to keep your Prospector till you don't use it for a year or two....
...Also, buy the Scout as well for lightweight tandem tripping and an incredible solo "do it all" boat.
It is a beautiful boat.....


Have you spread the beam before? I've never heard of doing that - can't see it working out very well

Agreed - should probably keep the Prospector - it is great on flatter water and lighter for any bigger portages

I have been wanting a solo as well and have been thinking the scout would be good for that. It's a bit on the larger side for me as a solo i think but it would do.


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PostPosted: August 6th, 2020, 11:45 pm 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
Yes I have.
It's a way of manipulating the characteristics of a design. (some respond well and others don't)


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