Best all round tripping canoe?

16 v 17+
So there is a basic decision whether to go with a 16 or 17 (or even bigger) boat. I go back and forth. But the 17 is best for my life so that is what I like best. I have owned both. I agree the tripper is very maneuverable - more rocker maybe than the explorer and with the same load it sits higher in the water maybe? If I paddled solo all the time I would probably go 16. But the 17 is fine solo on a class two/three river with strong current and it is superior tandem. Lots more capacity on a long trip and more comfortable. Not the best on the lakes solo - but manageable if you are not going for speed.

The best?
No such thing. As you can see by all the expert’s opinions here, everyone has different ideas of what can handle class III loaded and unloaded, portage weights, maneuverability’s, length, classification of rapids, etc.

If you wait around looking for the perfect canoe you’ll never get on the water. Use whatever you can get your hands on.

For what it’s worth; Dagger Venture 17 gets my vote, if you can find one.

Have fun, I have a feeling you already are. :slight_smile:

like I said
it takes more skill to paddle the explorer. Translation- boat lean/weighting/angle to initiate the turns. You need to be comfortable bracing and leaning out of the boat. Once I got that down i found it a more responsive boat with more possibilities. you’ve got to commit more in the explorer but ultimately I found it way more responsive because of the 2ndary stability and the ability to “put it on edge” and sink the gunnel down to the waterline. For me the tripper was a straight up or over boat. It definately sheds bigger water better. I had the same problem with a short ww canoe. Never could get the hang of the “taureau”. That flat displacement hull and deep sides didn’t do it for me, felt like a miniature tripper.

I’ll bet I could beat you on a slalom
course, you in an Explorer 16 and me in a Tripper.

I have a good friend who used to solo an Explorer on the Chauga Gorge, the upper Conasauga, and section 4 of the Chattooga. But he didn’t use it because it was nimble or he had figured out “tricks” to overcome its deficiencies. He paddled it because he had trashed his c-1s. He had no illusions about the Explorer’s technical handling. But he had outstanding ability to read water and plan ahead.

The main deficiency of the Tripper is that it takes a very tall person (like me) with considerable reach to manage it. But the Explorer isn’t much narrower.

paddled an explorer on section three,
tandem. We crashed pretty good in one of the drops. My usual section three boat was a flashback. Section 4 was a gyramx.

good ol days on the chattooga

sorry no pics of the explorer just the flashback and the tripper in maine, always had to borrow an explorer since I didn’t own one

Hemlock SRT for a dedicated solo …
… is the best tripping canoe I know for running 2-3 rapids plus speed on a lake. That’s precisely what the canoe was designed for by whitewater champion, freestyle innovator, and wilderness tripper Harold Deal – namely, to run the long river and lake combos of the Canadian wilderness.

A tripping canoe needs depth, at least 14 inches. To “run” 2-3 whitewater, especially with a tripping load, you need bow fullness and flair plus some reasonable rocker. The SRT has all these features.

The SRT also has a narrow waterline width, a rounded bottom (more so than shallow arch), and a pinched stern with differential rocker for speed on flatwater. In fact, I’d say the hull is tuned more for lake running than whitewater “play”. Playing whitewater is not the same as running it.

As for the OP’s desire for a day tripping boat on his local class 3, the SRT can certainly do that. You can do eddy turns, ferries and surf quite competently, but you can’t “play” whitewater in an SRT like a dedicated WW play boat. You can’t free spin the hull; to turn, you must be adept with using eddy lines, current differentials and aggressive heeling.

That all said, you can play an SRT in whitewater as well as you can a solo MR Explorer or OT Tripper, and you can implement better bow strokes while doing so. The SRT will smoke those tandems solo on flatwater for someone with strong flatwater correction or sit 'n switch skills.

Many trippers prefer soloing a tandem for space and stability reasons, and we have had the usual pnet cacophony on that as on all issues. There’s no perfect solution to the OP’s question, but there are several reasonable and enjoyable ones.