Considering an Esquif Pocket Canyon pros and cons and what else should I consider?

We are working our way into adventure canoeing. Currently our focus is on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail for which we have been using an Old Town Camper which is slightly heavy so we have been looking about for a replacement. I had decided that we will be purchasing a Swift Keewaydin 16 in the Expedition Kevlar at some point but considering that we are focused on mostly river runs for the next few years I was wondering if an Esquif Pocket Canyon would be a good choice for this portion of the NFCT? We are also liking class II and III whitewater canoeing which Esquif is supposed to be a good fit for and, it supposedly can be soloed quite comfortably so I could use it for fishing too.

Thoughts on my thinking? If I am looking at the Esquif Pocket Canyon, is there another boat(s) that I should consider?

Thanks in advance!

The nfct is a good news bad news kind of place. Just about any boat can work (as many have already proven) but different sections favor different craft. Most but not all of the portages are wheelable (raquette falls, mud pond portage are two very notable exceptions) so I’m not sure weight is the biggest concern if you go wheeled. As a ww person I’ve done some of the rapids but still have had to portaged the class IV+ Even when paddling class II, III I sometimes ran the boat light and portaged the gear. WW boats tend to slower on the flats but you do gain some of the time and effort back when you skipping some of the portages around class II and III. My own experience is limited sections 1, 2 and part of section 3 in New York and I have also paddled most of the nfct’s route in maine (but long before it was designated as such). Lake Champlain is perhaps the biggest challenge and one I have yet to face. I have used both kayaks (when solo) and canoes (tandem) I think the mechanical advantage of the double blade is something to consider for a solo trip. I find Verlen Kruger’s single blade expedition style to be the exception rather than the rule. Something else to consider is water levels. Unless you are doing one section at a time at ideal flows you probably will encounter less than ideal conditions (lots of rocks instead of ww). I like the idea of a long skinny boat for Champlain and for attaining in vermont and nh. I general like the idea of a ww race kayak (12r, green boat), but they lack hatches so packing would be more difficult. They also tend to be heavy and difficult to portage so I’m thinking a small set of wheels. Make sure whatever you get that the seat is comfortable and keep the paddle light. Esquif has a good reputation, makes quality boats, and I once owned one of their experiments (Taureau). The moose below the demo road and roll dam are a lot of fun- done them both in canoes and in kayaks. Packing and portaging is easier with a canoe. Running ww, attaining, and getting blown around less I give the edge to kayaks. a few photos of canoes (since that’s what you favor) on nfct waters!