Esquif Mistral 16

the Esquif ? too much rocker for long pools or not ?

does a straight bottom with up stern and up bow drag ?

from excess eddy ? solo with a camping load maybe 50 pounds.

what hull would be a notch faster in ‘still’ river water ?

A 16 is a lot of hull to solo, if your
camping load is that low.

As to the hull shape, we have a 16+ foot Bluewater that is straight except for a few feet of rise at the ends, and it does not “plow” on the flats. It isn’t a fast boat, but it moves easily. However, at 6’ 5", I find the Bluewater too wide at 34.5" beam to solo comfortably.

You may want to look harder at solo canoes, perhaps the Swift line.

Esquif Mistral

– Last Updated: Feb-20-15 5:24 PM EST –

The Mistral is basically a Prospector type of hull with asymmetrical sheer and lacking the very high, recurved stems of most Prospectors.

Hard to say if it has too much rocker for the pools. Depends on how fast you want to go. Everyone seems to have a different tolerance for how well a canoe should track and how efficiently it needs to paddle.

I have paddled the Mistral 16 solo a little. My friend Terry has paddled it solo a bunch. Yes, it is wide for a solo, but the rocker frees the ends nicely so a solo paddler can maneuver it pretty efficiently.

The Twin-tex material is difficult to moderately impossible to mend so I would not recommend it if any rock bashing is anticipated. If you are thinking about buying a used one, make absolutely sure that is is not one of the early models that had a balsa-cored bottom. Worst idea I have seen from a major canoe manufacturer for what is basically a river boat.

If you get one of the newer models be aware that they do not have positive buoyancy unless foam blocks or air bags are installed. The Twin-tex has a specific gravity greater than 1.0 so without a core or supplemental flotation they are "sinkers".

If you are looking for a big boat to solo that would be more efficient I would look around for a Royalex Penobscot 16. They have very little rocker but I have seen a ton of folks use them for river tripping and they seem to do quite well.


I was confusing Twintex with Wenonah TuffWeave.

Esquif answers the question with their Avalon.

I’m wearing polypro belts with friction slip thru clasps. So far not gluing. Sew only.


Yes, a friend twice won the cruising
class of the downriver event on the Nantahala in a Penobscot 16. Just maneuverable enough to dodge holes and wave trains.

A friend

– Last Updated: Feb-22-15 7:42 AM EST –

owns a Penobscot 16. It is not the boat I would select if you are running a lot of continuous class three and four whitewater type stuff - but as an all around solo tripping canoe with a mixture of flat and whitewater including occasional class three stuff I think it is hard to beat. It is very light for a royalex boat which is nice. Ducks wind pretty well.

Short Synopsis

– Last Updated: Feb-21-15 8:17 AM EST –

Floundering through the flu, currently, so don't feel like typing much. The Mistral is too much boat unless you're big and are going to load it down. If you get caught in the wind with a light paddler, think "Leaf." Here's a more extensive review (and other's reviews) with a few pictures of my first and replacement Mistral. Hope that helps? BTW, I'd buy a Mistral only in the non-balsa core construction.