Has anyone paddled these boats?
not sure if you’re up to a drive
but my local store is having demos this weekend.Collinsville Ct. I’d call ahead if interested to see what Esquifs are coming in.
I have paddled both and own an Avalon. They are very different boats. The Mistral has quite a bit more rocker and a rounded bottom. The Avalon has a semi v hull and is much more suited to flat water. I would however, like to own a Mistral also. The Avalon has good glide and speed. My bride and I even raced it once. (We didn’t finish last.)
I’ve paddled the Avalon, as said, it is a flatwater boat. Good speed and surprisingly maneouverable. Initial stabilty feels solid but I have suspicions about secondary: I don’t think you want to lean it a whole lot. Seems well made and quite light for Royalex. I liked it.
The performance emphasizes flatwater, 'tho class 1 and easy class 2 wouldn’t be out of the question.
Sort of reminds me of a Malecite. Good tracking for its length, pleasant manouverability. I did not think that it got tremendously more manouverable when strongly heeled. Still, a very nice balane. Handles wind a bit above average for a boats of that length.
Nice detailing- adjustable front seat, plus kneeling thwart, standard. I think this is a very versatile boat.
I will get to paddle a Mistral, soon. A student of mine just bought one, with the intent of having a boat useful on flatwater and easy whitewater, paddled solo or tandem. Her emphasis will be on using it for moving water and whitewater; since the design is supposedly based a bit on the Esquif Canyon (a boat I have paddled quite a bit), but with slightly less rocker, it is the better choice for those situations than the Avalon.
One more thing. The catalog claims that the Avalon is made from Royalite, not Royalex. I was just in the Avalon last Saturday, and you sure could have fooled me. I think of Royalite as a bit too flexy. This boat was anything but.
Rarely would I ever buy a canoe without paddling it but I am going to do just that. For 3 reasons:
1. I wanted a very versatile (tripping, solo, whitewater, etc), high quality canoe.
2. This canoe was highly recommended to me by Becky Mason.
3. The new Twin-Tex material & the look of it is great. The 2010 model has the option for a ash gunwale.
4. And finally I've heard nothing but great things from outfitters.
If you want check back with me in April & I'll let you know how it paddles.
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I’m thinking about buying a Mistral and am wandering if there are any more thoughts or reviews on it.
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