Anyone have a Keewaydin 14/15 Pack?

I’m looking for any reviews on Swift’s Keewaydin 14 and 15 Pack Boats. I’m 6’3 200lbs, and it’s been suggested that I look into one as an option instead of a 17ft Kayak for lake/river tours in the Canadian Shield where there are plenty of portages.

I have the opportunity to demo a 13 Pack in 3 weeks time, but hopefully someone can give some insight into the performance and comfort of the longer models.

The reason I’m asking is because there seem to be a few reviews from paddlers transitioning from a canoe to a pack, but not from a kayak to a pack.

There should be plenty of open water in my travels, but also a fair amount of river exploration and a bit of pond jumping.

Thanks for any input!

Faster and more suited to bigger guys
That 13 footer will wallow with you and tripping load

14 does nice for day trips. 15 is faster due to longer waterline and lower block coefficient makes better tracking

Touring canoes for expeditions with two packs have traditionally been longer around 15 feet or sometimes 16

Seeing more pack boats

– Last Updated: Jun-16-16 5:30 AM EST –

I see a fair number of pack boats on trips now, and all are kayakers moving to light-weight pack canoes. No one seems to have a problem in the transition. A number of folks have the Pack 12 - beautiful boat, but I agree with Kim that even the 13' version is probably too small for you.

I also see a lot of Rapidfires - also a beautiful boat, and probably more along the lines of what you are looking for. I know a couple of sea kayakers who have the Rapidfire and love it.

Can't say that I have ever seen either of the Keewaydin boats, but I am sure that they are beautiful.

I'm dedicated single-blader and about your size (well, maybe a little bigger - 225 lbs.), and do fine with two bags in a 14' boat.

If I had the money for a dedicated tripping boat, I'd probably go for a 15' boat like an Osprey or SRT. Coming from a sea kayak background, you'd probably feel more comfortable in the longer boat as well.

Good luck.

don’t dwell on the comparative numbers
from canoeists transitioning to a pack canoe vs kayakers to pack canoe.

A hull is a hull is a hull and the same principles of handling apply.

If you want to double blade sitting near the bottom the pack canoes are a little less deep to make that easier.

You can single blade too as long as you can find a short paddle

You can also double blade a more traditional solo with the seat higher; the tradeoff is you need a longer double… But probably not a 260 or 280 as you often see suggested.

So the length issue is just like in kayaks… want something sleeker and faster or a shorter more rec style yak?

I’m thinking you would LOVE a Placid Boatworks Shadow. Length to width ratio 8.5 :1 . Most touring canoes top out around 7 thought the RapidFire is 7.5:1. Shadow always wins its division in the 90 miler.

Essentially pack canoes are topless kayaks for just the carrying you describe.

No local Placid dealers
I certainly appreciate the insight. I live in Saskatchewan and pack boats are just beginning to appear at more local outfitters. Unfortunately no one nearby carries Placids, otherwise a Rapidfire would be what I’m looking for. The Shadow would be ideal, but I have a daughter arriving in a month so the slightly more stable Rapidfire would give peace of mind when I take her on day trips.

A local dealer has a good relationship with Swift, so the Keewaydin 15 seemed a logical option. It’s available in expedition Kevlar (34 lbs), Kevlar fusion (30 lbs), and carbon fusion (28 lbs). I’m leaning towards the Kevlar fusion, though it may result in a few more portages around smaller rapids that I would otherwise shoot.

The length width ratio is around 7:1, not as nice as the Rapidfire. Also the gunwale is 25.5" and maximum width 27". In the kayak I prefer a shorter shaft and quite vertical stroke, but I understand (or at least think I do) that a longer shaft is needed for a pack anyway so I may have to sacrifice some power for a more horizontal stroke.

What about a Magic
16’ and you often see them with a low seat and foot braces paddled with a double blade.

You probably don’t have a Northstar dealer near you either, but Bell sold enough of them that maybe you could find one used. Or just get the Keewaydin – looks like a beautiful boat.

a lot of the smaller makers
Placid, Hemlock, Northstar, Colden have a limited dealer network if one at all.

I don’t know the ins and outs of that. It may be production is limited and they cant tie up money in inventory at a far off place.

Swift is a far bigger operation.

sort of
I have had a kee 14 for 2 years, but with a high seat. It maintains a good tripping speed with little effort, turns great with just a little heel, carries me(180#) and 40# of camp fine. It is quite tender with a high seat and not real seaworthy in big waves, but it suits my fine on my ADK trips.

Hope this helps, Turtle

Keewaydin 15
I have a Keewaydin 15. It came with the standard seat, but I also purchased their carbon pack seat for it. Depending on my purpose for paddling I use the regular seat or pack seat. The pack seat is held in with industrial Velcro.

I find the regular seat is best for fishing and camping, but if I just wanted to go out for a paddle, the pack seat is perfect. I’m actually a lot faster in my Kee than the rec kayakers I sometimes paddle with.

I’m 6’ and 240 lbs and the size is perfect for me. I demoed the 13.6 and 15 pack and definitely preferred the 15.