Hemlock Eagle

OK. First I lust after Dave Curtis-built boats. I have no question as to the design or quality.

There is only one review of the boat on this site and I have some questions.

For a 6-7 day trip (BWCA), Dave lists his upper end optimum at 700#. I believe his numbers…

Me and my partner account for 400# more or less and I estimated our gear weight from last year to be another 150-170 including everything.

We paddled a rented SRQ17 last year and saw some 1.5-2.0 foot swells and whitecaps. The SRQ handled it admirably.

Does anyone have experience with the Eagle under these loads and conditions? I realize this is an exceptional and uncommon boat. Hope there is someone to offer insight.

As always TIA


Bump, hope for some reply

Pack, Paddle, & Ski
Try contacting Rick and Randy French at Pack, Paddle, and Ski (Bloomfield (?), NY). I think they use Hemlock canoes(including Eagles) for their programs, perhaps under similar conditions that you describe.

PPS does use Eagles
that’s a good idea to contact them. Also ask Tony Fig he can tell you anything you need to know about the canoe. Wes you already know my take on this canoe, everyone should have one. Can be a tad heavy for portage but it’s built for the real world of hard knocks, and you’re a young man still and I’m sure you can handle it. Paddled solo you could carry a months worth of gear and supplies. You can always test one at Canoe Country. I’m sure you would be impressed.

Dave Curtis directly at Hemlock. I bother the man with stupid questions and he patiently answers them and is very prompt with reply’s. I saw him in the Everglades with a Hemlock Eagle he and his wife were paddling. In the glades we need to take all our water with us so I am sure he had alot of weight in that boat as he was doing a 7 day trip.

Thanks Folks…
Always a nice bit of input from the PN group.

NT, no question that I SHOULD own one. Just thinking to last year, not much abuse in rock banging but I looked at the pics on Hemlock’s site and the one shows a loaded boat with not much freeboard. Pics can be deceiving of course, but that looked like a bit of a wet ride in good chop…

The SRQ is certainly higher volume and not as sleek but quite the work-horse.

I plan to email Dave…he has been gracious in answering my rudimentary questions as well. I’ll state again that I trust his judgement and integrity.


Hey Wes
When I was up at Dave’s recently I looked through a photo album he had on the counter. In there was a picture of an Eagle being solo paddled completely full of gear. I mean COMPLETELY full, the gear was piled high, in front and in back. It didn’t look like it should still float, I asked Dave if that guy had enough gear along.

These boats were designed for tripping, so I doubt that you would incounter any issues. Although as mentioned by NT, they are a bit heavier than some. But I’d guess that’s due to a tougher layup.

I have paddled most of the Hemlock boats, but not an Eagle, but I would guess it has a similar personality as the others. My feelings…(which may greatly differ from others) I think Dave has captured something that is unique to his vessels. They track well, carry good speed, but respond to the paddle and manuever better than most. I’m not a big fan of hard trackng boats and I love a quick response to precise paddle strokes and I think that is what draws me to the Hemlock boats.

Good luck with the search.