15' DR Canoe
This boat is a sweet ride! I set it up as a solo boat for a trip down the Tischu and Keele Rivers through the MacKenzie Mountains and then down the Mackenzie River to Norman Wells. It handles beautifully in whitewater, flexing slightly so you ride down and up over surprisingly large waves without torpedoing and the hard chines caused by the rods mean you can carve turns like a dream so you can ride the wave shoulders and miss the rocks and sweeps that come up suddenly. It has a fast hull speed and tracks well on flat water and you can cut a pretty strong headwind. It is truly a joy to paddle on a river. There are only three issues of note… 1. The seat sucks and you’re kneeling on aluminum rods. I added a foam pad under my knees and a couple inches on the seat to raise it up and it was OK after that. 2. It’s a bit splashy and hard to bail. Because it flexes under weight, you're sitting in the lowest part so you’re in the soup and it’s cold. If you were out on a lake and waves came up you could get swamped by splash. Get a sprayskirt if you’re expecting waves or hard rain. 3. It sticks to rocks! They bulge up into the spaces between the aluminum rods and you stop hard and are stuck fast! Terrifying in the middle of rapids! Boulder gardens are a horror show! The Tischu was low and was a nightmare for much of it. Nothing you can do about this so pick your trips and lines well. Other than those issues I love it. It would likely be catastrophic in a wrap but it was surprisingly tough as I abused it by dragging it down boulder gardens too shallow to run. I’m giving it a 5 despite the three concerns. They are manageable or reasonable trade-offs for the fold-up ability. A sweet ride!