Keewaydin 18.6 vs. Northwind 18 or Wenonah?

I had a Bell Northwind 17.5, the equivalent to the NW17 and although the 17 (really 17.5) is a fine boat in it’s one right I think you are wise to hold out for the longer boat. I think the NW18 is even more fun and playful lightly loaded than the NW17. I’d get the NW18 over the 17 for sure. Cheers.

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Thanks for your input! We have been leaning longer and I think we will be going that way again. Any of these are shorter than 19’ which is what we are use to so I think we will be more comfortable with that plus the extra length will hopefully give us a tad more speed for our longer trips.
Just a side note. I called Rutabaga again and they do have the Keewaydin 18.6 in stock for demo along with the Northwind 18. Now for the ice to melt. :grinning:

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I strongly recommend that you allocate at least an hour to spend at Carl’s Paddlin in Lone Rock, WI. It’s about 45 minutes due west of Rutabaga so you may drive right past it. Carl’s is an old fashioned canoe shop, a one man operation. Carl has hundreds of very interesting used canoes (some quite rare) and Carl is a real character and worth meeting. Plus he has a huge inventory of new Northstar boats so if you end up wanting the NW18 I bet there’s a good chance that Carl may have the lay-up and trim you want (I’ll recommend BlackLite with aluminum trim but Starlight is fine if you want max weight savings). Carl also lets you test paddle boats.

And just FYI Madison has an awesome free zoo and they also have amazing ice cream at the student unions. The main (old) student union is a gorgeous old building with a huge patio area overlooking Lake Menona (or Mendota).

Have a great trip!

Thanks for info! I looked up their website and it does look like they have a wide variety of canoes and would be worth the stop. We’re still debating on whether to take the trip especially with fuel prices the way they are.

This is April of 2022 Ppine by your comments, yes, lets go. Good company is precious. My 20 footer, my usual is 3 inch rocker, very maneuverable, easy even. My second time in the Breaks I was leading a scout troop. And in the evening,Eagle Creek camp, following Clark’s survey notes, I walked straight to a fire ring in exactly the spot noted, and there read Lewis’s description to the troop written right there 200 plus years before. The Breaks is a favourite flatwater cruise… A slight preference, especially if you have never done it, Green River, Utah, the 120 miles to the Confluence with the Colorado… Stillwater and Labyrinth Canyons. Take your time, desert camping and hiking at it best, unparalleled scenery. Make certain you have booked a pickup at the Confluence with one of the jet boats out of Moab. A right turn on the Colorado, 2 miles down is Cataract Canyon. Great good fun, if you are prepared for it. 20 plus Class 4 and 5 rapids in short order.

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Hi paddler.
The Green R is a great trip. We did that one about 30 years ago but took out at Mineral Bottom above the Confluence. A friend of mine did Cataract Canyon two years in a row and just finished the last trip this fall.

I met Jerry Nehir sp? in Denver at his paddle shop a long time ago. He and his friend paddled from the Confluence up the Colorado River to Moab by eddy hopping. I paddled with him a couple of times on the S Platte River in Denver. He most the most skilled paddler I have ever seen.

Lately I have enjoyed the rivers in Oregon. Great to paddle in a forest. I really like the Willamette River. Big and open with few other boats and camping everywhere. Good fishing some times of the year. There are towns along the way to resupply for longer trips. Last time we went from Eugene to Albany around 78 miles.

Well, It was a busy summer for us so I’m finally getting around to post an update. We did end up buying a couple canoes. We didn’t get a chance to try out all the options we wanted to but made a decision based on what we could try out. We tried a MN2, Keewaydin 16 and a Northwind 17. We bought a Keewaydin 17 and a Cruiser 14.8 Pack boat for my dad since he was use to kayaks. So far we like them. The Keewaydin 17 is nice and holds a reasonable cruise speed of 6-7KPH on the GPS. It doesn’t have the top speed that the MN2 or Itasca have but is fine for us for now. Oh, and Dad loves his Cruiser and keeps up with us pretty well. Hope everyone had a great summer and enjoyed some paddling!