Esquif Rangeley

Has anyone seen the Rangeley in person? Looks promising for fishing bigger water with a motor on back. Should also be great for rowing. Any thoughts?

Big D- How do you think it would compare to your “Cargo”?



Going by specs, it’s wider than my Cargo and a half foot longer, which is amazing. My Cargo is huge.

It’s got the same upswept front end and roughly the same shape as my Cargo. I’m not sure how all those little chines (?) would affect it. I expect not much, but there’s got to be some kind of reason for them. Perhaps they give a little extra water resistance against roll to add to initial stability. I can stand and fish easily in my Cargo - even when using the trolling motor. This boat looks like it would be even easier.

The adjustable seats and the rails to ease accessory installation look really neat (but heavy - but if you are considering weight as a determining factor in your boat, this boat is already not for you)

It looks like they started with the Heron/Cargo line and added some features particular to the fishing market.

Rowing, I think it would be good. Powered I think it would be fantastic. Paddled, I think it would be a dog. That’s all consistent with my Cargo, but I think maybe a little moreso for the Rangeley because of the additional width.

The only thing I saw that I don’t like is the center support rail, but that is probably what allows the adjustable seats to work.

My one piece of advice is to budget for a trailer too when buying it. Based on what I can find on-line, I think it would be real good and versatile alternative to a jon boat for fishing. A 2 to 3 hp gas engine on that thing would get you where you want to go, I think, and still leave you a boat you can easily control in mild rapids with oars. With two fishermen on my Cargo, one can ‘surf’ a rapid to keep it positioned with very little effort on the oars while the other fishes the tailwater of the chutes. It’s hard to do that with a jon boat (though possible).

For the kind of fishing I do, that boat would probably be very well suited.

  • Big D

Big D,

Thanks for the input. Supposedly it’s based on the old guide boats form Rangeley Lake (which I think is Maine).

They originally had a lapstrake hull which are the ridges along this boat’s hull. I read somewhere they also keep the hull more rigid. Not much info on the net about it yet. BTW, for folks like you and me who like big square backs there’s an Alaskan canoe forum with lots of good info. I’d give a link but I’m not sure if it’s allowed on this board.

Thanks for the reference
The Cargo is actually based on the Adirondack cruisers the old trappers used to use. They were literally cargo canoes. Believe it or not, the Esquif Cargo would be considered small by Adirondack standards. They can go up to 24’ long and were designed to be paddled through rapids by a single occupant from the rear - while carrying almost a ton of pelts!

I’m not really “into” this kind of boat. It just suits what I wanted - something to take my family, could take power or oar, and was well suited to fishing ledgey rivers.