Bell Prospector?

Hi All

I find myself strangely drawn to the Bell Prospector, even though I’ve always been a long boat kinda guy. Has anyone here had any quality time with one? I’m especially curious about how much speed I might give up wit only 16’ to play with.


Steve Baker

Bell Magic

Island Falls 18.5 guide

Depends on how hard you’re pushing.
“Slower” boats are often decently “fast” at easy cruising speed, in part due to lower wetted area. The speed advantage is greater when you push both hulls to the max. One thing I notice about WW boats is that they accelerate fast from rest, compared to straighter boats of similar length.

Our fastest boat is an 18.5 Moore Voyageur, raced on WW back in the 70s. But in our old age, we find our ~17’ Bluewater Chippewa easier to paddle at low to moderate speeds.

just demoed
a kevlar Bell Prospector. Didn’t feel impressed with speed. Tried some sprinting. It went okay but it not designed as a high speed hull. Like my dagger reflection and swift dumoine, I think it’s a good all around hull design.

Prosrpector vs. Northstar

– Last Updated: Apr-27-06 11:37 AM EST –

I saw the Prospector at a symposium for the first time recently, but it wasn't an on water demo occassion. I have considered selling my Lincoln 5.3 meter canoe for something shorter as it is now usually just me or on occassion one of my sons who are now moving on that uses it. I would be looking for a boat to use both as a solo and tandem, fly fish from, primarily flat water with infrequent class I/II white water. I didn't know if anybody had thoughts or comparisons on the Prospector to the Northstar for my proposed uses.

Long Prospector
Esquif makes a 17’ Prospector …err, Prospecteur, I think only in Royalex.


Nice boat
I’d consider trading in my stalwart Tripper for this boat. The Esquif is just about as big and is at least ten pounds lighter. It felt even lighter but it is supposedly 70 lbs. The entry line is more gentle and I found this hull to be well behaved and enjoyable to paddle solo or tandem.