Millbrook Souhegan Buy one and go poling

That’s my advice.

After almost 3 months since I picked her up, several paddling trips, and a few hours on my local pond attempting freestyle, I finally got her out for a day of poling! I hooked up with the NHAMC for a polers day above Sewel Falls on the Merrimack River in Concord, NH. The water level was slightly higher than optimum with the rapid abve the put in washed out on river right. That made the rapid below the put in really sweet though offering enough options for a good day of park and play poling.

With only a 32" beam the Souhegan as narrow a poling boat as I’d care to try. But her secondary stability is so strong that I never felt in danger of a swim. Yes you can sink a gunnel if you choose to. I didn’t choose to.

Compared to my Explorer the Souhegan spins like a top. A little heel goes a long way to turning this boat.

She is sensative to trim. I found with the boat empty I wanted to be about a foot or more back from center when pointed upstream and right up close to center going down. When I forgot to get back from center while headed upstream, the bow was a bit grabby. But as soon as I moved back she would turn up into the current like nobody’s buisiness.

Paddling this boat I’ve found her to be slow and less efficient when compared to my Osprey and other solo canoes. I was surprised to find that in moderately fast current she was pretty easy to push upstream.

So yeah, as a poling boat, I’ll give the Souhegan an 11.

Oh and I think Kaz is using pics of mine on his web page.

What would you say is max paddler
weight before moving up to the slightly larger Coho?

Paddling the Souhegan

– Last Updated: Jun-21-10 11:51 AM EST –

Tommy - I guess I'm not surprised that the Souhegan poles real well. I'm guessing it poles better than pretty much everything, although I wonder about that low sheer line in whitewater.

But I really wonder about it's paddling characteristics. So, it's not as fast as your solo boats - expected. How does it compare to paddling other tandems as a solo? Would you consider the Souhegan a viable solo tripper for someone around 170lbs and about 60-80lbs of gear (maybe more), where a combination of poling and paddling would be called for (with little portaging)?

I'm down to (I think) either replacing my NC royalex Prospector with a Blue Steel Prospector or a Souhegan. I'm a little concerned that I'd be giving up some whitewater capability with the Souhegan. OTOH - if I can come up with covered storage room for another boat, the price of the Souhegan would allow me to keep the rx Prospector. What do you think?

max PADDLER weight?
I dunno, maybe 400 lbs? Set up as a tandem at least.

For poling I guess that depends on said polers balance and tolerance for swimming.

At 180lbs I can sink a gunnel in the Souhegan just by standing with all my weight over that chine. In the Coho, I can not.

Interestingly we had both boats available Saturday and I got to spend a little time in the Coho. The biggest difference I noticed beyond the added stability is that the Coho responds dramaticaly to a more aggresive heel while the Souhegan doesn’t seem to require it.

Yeah, at 225 I think I would need the
Coho. Actually our 17’ Bluewater Chippewa (not described on the Bluewater site) promises to be a good poling boat. Shallow arch stability, keel line rises only 3’ from each end, light and so easily induced to turn and stop. But it’s a deep boat (16") and will blow around in the wind. I need to take it and my old Beletz pole to the river and wring it out.