Lookin for info on less common pro boats

-- Last Updated: Sep-04-12 9:51 PM EST --

Hello all,
Id like to buy my own pro boat later this winter and Im trying to get some info on the different models available. I figure it will probably take me a year to track down a used one within 12 hours of me in good condition so may as well get a start on deciding what I should look for.

Its hard as crap to find any info on the less common ones like the V1-M (Michigan), Corbin, Gillies, or JD pro. Im not looking for the normal measurements, more so subjective experience or a comparison to a v1-pro.

If you know of a thread that compares these could you point me to it? Or if you have experience with any of them how do they compare to a V1-pro? Ive been to the respective websites of the makers but they just give the basic measurements not personal/subjective experience which im lookin for...

About me: Im 185 lbs. Dont have a regular paddling partner. I'd probably paddle bow for a year or 2 then transition to either position as my racing skills progress. Id be paddling mostly on small/medium lakes and medium rivers. Id like to try to get to a tripple crown race in the next couple years. Im fine if the boat is more advanced than my skills are at the moment. Ill be with this for a while and am fine with growing into whatever I choose. But that said a wenonah v1 pro feels fine to me in all but very rough conditions.

Thanks in advance

Don’t rule out
a Crozier build either.I would advise against a Bell

proboat,(there are a few out there). I never saw one

in the front of pack. I wish I could give you more exact answer to your question though,

Ausable River Canoe Marathon
Web page under Articles “Which Pro Boat”

That was exactly what I was looking for
That was exactly what I was looking for! thanks!

Still feel free to share any person experience with these boats.

A couple more
Savage and Grass River, now GRE Newman Designs, both make excellent, winning, pro boats.

For shear perfection of workmanship and design it’s hard to beat a full-on Crozier.

The Bell Pro was a Hassell design made to fulfill a deal between Ted and Dan. We were quite busy making recreational canoes and the pro boat outfitting never got the attention it needed to become competitive.

If anyone is interested in the future here’s a recap of the article mentioned above.

Feel free to add comments/qualms with the pros reviews


Best all around

Moderately stable

Turns well with a lean

Passes wake better than Hassle, worse than a Corbin or Gillies

More forgiving riding wakes

Less distinct top end –less of a wall

Easier to control, good boat if you haven’t paddled together much


Most unstable pro boat

Very fast for a light team

Good glide –Good for long/marathon races

Narrow stern, hard to get rear seat far back

Best for experienced teams

Low volume boat, best for 320-340lbs 380 is too much.

Can be run/likes to be stern heavy

Similar handling to a V1


Very fast in all water types

2nd least stable (gillies being the most unstable) Sensitive to cross waves (like on a start)

Doesn’t like to turn without a lean –twitchy feeling lean

Takes seat time to get comfortable with

Very sharp nose, passes through wakes well

Fast in rough water but sits deep due to a low volume, large waves can come over bow

Rear seat can go back, but not as far as a V1 or Bullet

Best for experienced team

340lbs around the max ideal weight

Likes bow light (bow up/stern down)

Likes stern wave better than side wave


Flatter bottom than average pro boat –Good stability

Flatter bottom means it pops in shallows very nicely but is slower in open water

Has a large Bow which is good for large paddlers but means in large waves its slow because it goes over not through them

Large bow means passing a wake is more difficult as it wants to climb over not cut through

Narrow stern which may be bad for large paddlers but good for smaller ones

Fairly maneuverable

Best on narrow twisty rivers


Good in shallow water and Suck water (3-5 ft)

Similar to a Hassel- Goes over waves not through Good stability -Turns easily

Good for a heavy team or noobs

Newman Pro

Fairly stable –good in rough water –leans well

Wider stern, better for mixed weight paddlers

The 3x27 is as far back as specs allow giving sharper entry into waves

Ideal team weight of 330 lbs

Likes bow down

Climbs wake similar to v1

Does well in shallows

Maneuverable -Easier to turn than V boats

JD pro

No info due to being too new when article was written

There’s certainly a frustrating lack of info out there on racing canoes in general. I guess the people that are into that seriously are too busy racing and training to dink around on the internet. I’ve searched in the past and never came up with anything better than what you’ve already found.

Happy hunting.