canoe help

Looking to get a more solo friendly canoe.I’m 6’2" 300 lbs and paddle an Old Town tripper turned around. No real problems downstream and have taken her upstream in some healthy currents with no wind (Silver River).Would like something a little lighter,more responsive,able to take some bigger water(class II or III),royalex or royalite. Have M.R.,O.T.,Wenonah,Bell local and Nova Craft 10 hrs away.Just from reading and looking at hull designs I’m thinking Nova Craft prospector 16,Wenonah prospector 16, Bell Morningstar setup with one seat.Can demo the Bell,Wenonah dealer doesn’t have a prospector in stock to demo, and Nova Craft dealer is 10 hrs away. Any info or thoughts would be appreciated.Thanks


…makes a good tough boat.

A friend has a kevlar NS Prospector that’s been everywhere and done just about everything, including spending a night pinned in a river with the currrent pouring into the open boat - no structural damage, but it sure took the shine off - he does a lot of solo work, and loves the boat. I’ve paddled it, and like it better than our BlueWater 16. If you want more info, you can drop me an e-mail.



Wenonah 16’ Prospector
be a nice boat paddled Canadian style. Never tried a Nova Craft so ah’ kin’ not tell yer about dat one. Can’t go wrong wit a Prospector (unless yer be an inexperienced canooist - which yer not). Gonna pick up me wood/canvas Prospector next month.

So, yer gots an OT Tripper - one of de all-time great canoos. Still use mine an’ it’s gonna turn 29 years old dis year.


Not All Prospectors Are Alike

– Last Updated: Feb-25-07 10:11 AM EST –

I have had the good fortune of paddling most of the Prospector models that are currently available.

At your size and intended white water usage I'd personally lean you towards either Novacraft or Esquif (A hard to find brand but super high quality boats). The biggest difference is that these two designs have more 'cheek'/bow volume that helps keep the boat dryer and quicker come back up after running a drop.

The Wenonah and Bell Prospector designs both have lower volume ends and less cheek, which makes them track a bit better in calm water conditions, but a bit wetter in WW.

If there is a Old Town dealer near, the Appalachian would be a great boat for your needs.

Its also worth mentioning that Novacraft and Esquif use a heavier Royalex sheet. Its a bit more weight on your shoulders, but its also a bit more material to beat against the rocks. Lighweight boats are great for non rocky conditions, but I prefer a heavier/stronger boat for white water.

Not a one will do better than a Tripper
in whitewater.

The Tripper was at one time the whitewater playboat of choice. I still see them on class IV occaisionaly.

To do better IMO you would need to look at dedicated whitewater playboats. The 16’ boats will likely be wet and unresponsive by comparison.


Too true. Soloed my Tripper
whenever the run was too long to suffer in a c-1, and the water too heavy for my shorter opens. A Tripper runs really dry. It is also very maneuverable as a solo, though its high swing weight means one has to plan in advance to execute turns.

Anyone remember the Mini-Tripper? It won the combined slalom/downriver class one year at the WW Open Canoe Nationals. I believe a MR Courier won another year.

While your checking out the Novacrafts–take a Supernova out for a spin… I am a big guy and works pretty good for me…

Try both Bell’s Prodigy & Prodigy X, if Class II/III ww is a priority. Both nice boats…and are as close to a flatwater boat hull, in a ww boat, as you’ll come.


I like the tripper alot.Have had it for around 15 yrs now and jus would like to get something a bit easier to load on the car.After I build my next stripper I’ll be looking for a wood/canvas canoe,maybe one to restore. Enjoy the new canoe, You’ll be the envy of many.Thanks for the info.


Thanks to all
Made some calls today and will have to make a 10 hr road trip to try out different boats.No biggie,just something to do.Thanks to all for the info.


would an OT penobscot work
It is lighter than the tripper and I think it might turn a little faster

Have kicked that one around but will go with the the Appalachian if I go with an Old Town. Would like a little more rocker than the Penobscot 16 has.