Millbrook Souhegan

I was wondering if anyone with this boat could give me some insight into how it paddles solo. I am looking for somthing that is faster on the flats than a prospector (mine is a bell), narrower, and a little smaller all around. I worry about the depth. Is it dry in high class II’s? How would it handle about 250 lbs of total weight? I love how my prospector paddles, but it a little more boat than I need and a real load to carry. I also will pole the boat, but I have been able to find plenty of info on how it preforms poling. Thanks

look for
Tommy C1. He’s got one. I poled Ed Haydens personal boat a few times, and loved it for poling, but though he told me different (told me I could do cl.3 with it) I didn’t see the design being conducive to good paddling. It just seemed low and relatively wide to me for a ww paddling boat. That being said, I think Tommy likes his.

Doubt it’s faster
The Souhegan is a whitewater boat, designed for manuverability, not for speed or flatwater efficiency.

I’ve not paddled/poled the Prospector but I doubt the Souhegan is faster or takes less effort to push across lakes.

She is plenty dry in class II+ and 250 lbs total load will not bog her down.

I am finding Milbrooks standard layup a bit delicate for my clumsy ways. A heavier layup will mean a heavier boat but IMO an extra 10 lbs would still make her a light boat for her size.

Flimsy comment
I remember Ed bitchin’ about paying for the extra layer he got. I think it was worth it though; I noted a big difference between Eds and Tommies boats.

Looking at the pictures on the Millbrook
website, I think I could solo it down the Nantahala, but there would be more bailing and dumping than I experience in my old MR Synergy, a true WW boat similar in behavior to the ME.

The Souhegan looks like it should look for serious poling on class 1-2 water. It needs to be relatively low in rocker and to have the flattish bottom needed for standing stability. Its modest rocker and low depth will mean taking on more water in heavy wave trains. Experience, and good boat management, will make up for that, up to a point. But I’ve run class 2 rivers recently, such as the Schroon in New York, that I could not have run in the Souhegan because of the length of the rapids and no opportunity to bail.

I’ve also looked a bit at this boat. It’s a little longer than I need, and I would guess it wouldn’t be much for poleing. Anyone paddle one? I’m sure it would be more efficent than my prospector, but how manuverable is it? Thanks

It was designed to contest combined
downriver and slalom events. It’s maneuverable, but as you say, it’s a bit long for solo use.

Note that there is also the Coho, a little wider than the Souhegan. If you can tolerate the extra width, it would run drier.

If you wait a few weeks…

– Last Updated: Jul-07-11 5:13 PM EST –

...I should be able to tell you how the Coho compares to a Prospector, paddling and poling.

edit: BTW - Kaz isn't a poler, but he doesn't seem to think of the AC/DC as a boat suitable to poling.

that rocker

– Last Updated: Jul-07-11 7:38 PM EST –

there's more than you may realize, Gary. I think it's 3 or 4 inches Ed told me. The middle of the canoe is flat, and the ends angle up. Ed told me he designed that for attainment ease on ledges. Damn, I miss that guy.

Might still work
I wonder if I could live with the legnth. I’ll use the boat on a lot more flatwater than I’d care to admit, and it would be nice to pick up some speed. Could anyone give a comparison as to how it manuvers compared to some other all around boats (prospectors, explorers, penobscots, ect)?

I don’t regard lifted ends as rocker.
Lifting the ends, sometimes incorrectly called “dead rise,” will help a canoe turn better, but it is NO substitute for rocker properly and fairly evenly distributed through the length of the hull. When the paddler leans forward or back in a hull with properly distributed rocker, the paddler is always on an effective pivot zone.

As I said, an experienced WW paddler could do quite a bit paddling a Coho or Souhegan, but put them on an easy slalom course against an AC/DC or a Patriot (Millbrook’s smaller ac/dc), and the result is easy to predict.

Better than Penobscots and Explorers,
but some Prospectors might handle as well. Thing is with a boat like the Souhegan, if you can avoid overloading it, the boat will sit on top of the water with its chines only lightly engaged, and thus will turn readily when you want it to.

The only issue I have with it is the lack of depth and the lack of rocker. Here’s an example of where that could be a problem. I ran the Schroon in New York, which has only short sections of low class 3, but long sections of BIG class 2 waves where there were few places to eddy out and bail. There is one rapid literally a mile long, with few bailing opportunities. I had no problems, because I was in a Millbrook designed for the Grand Canyon, highly rockered and 17" deep. It never took water. But if I had been in my MR Synergy, I would have taken on considerable water, and if I had been in my MR Guide, I would have swamped.

That’s the kind of class 2 rapid where the Souhegan might be in trouble. Another example would be the section from Carry Brook down to Forks on the Kennebec. Big, long class 2 wave trains where water just keeps coming into the boat.

I say this as one who has been interested in the Souhegan for exactly the same reasons as you. Any boat choice is going to have implications for what you choose to run in it.

What about
the AC/DC. I guess that was the boat I was asking about the manuverability of. Any experence with that boat?

Tangent: Schroon
Don’t know anything about the Souhegan, but I can’t help reacting to one of my favorite runs, which I have done dozens of times, and where I was trained by John Berry and the LeClairs.

The stiff drop (Horicon Falls) after the mile long rapid is quite impressive at high water. It’s a great open canoe river to practice water intake avoidance by using boat angles and upstream J-leans.

Which Millbrook boat were you in?

I call it the Edsel because Kaz only
briefly offered it until he decided he was having too much trouble with the only mold.

It was called the Big Boy and was designed by Connolly for his Grand Canyon run. It is similar to the Fat Boy, later renamed the Defiant, but later renamed the Defiant. Thirteen feet long, under 30" at the gunwales, 17" deep, ~50# outfitted. Blows around badly in wind. Handles better than my Synergy. As noisy as a Grumman when the light hull is slamming the waves.

I put in below the dam on the Schroon so as to catch all the rapids. Low wind that day, so the flat parts weren’t any trouble.