Has anybody had any experience with a Navaro Loon kevlar canoe?
No experience, but they are beautiful
to look at.
I had one in wood canvas (fiberglass)
I had a Loon 17 in wood canvas. Beautiful canoe. Great handling. Very fast. I wish I never sold it. If the weight was lighter, it would be the canoe of my choice.
I am speaking from my experince after owning four different canoes.
Loon 16 is a smooth paddling hull
I own their Egret model which is a low profile (16-17 inch stem height, 12" center depth) version of the Loon 16 (according to Virgil). Mine is a 2-layer kevlar supported by mahoghany ribs. Seems very stiff and light (50 lbs). I took out the center seat and installed a nice contoured yoke for easy portaging.
It’s hull has a shallow-vee in the ends transitioning to a shallow-arch middle with about a 32" waterline width flaring up to about 34" max at the gunwale. Rocker is about one inch … and it manuevers fairly easily with up to 350 lbs load. You could load it to 450 but would then have to stay out of big waves to be safe. It’s hull flare adds some seaworthyness. The paddling widths are relatively wide compared to a Wenonah Adirondack (fuller body, less diamond-shaped than Wenonah designs) so the Loon/Egret doesn’t allow stroking as close to the centerline. It’s not too bad … but suits larger paddlers who can finesse the reach and compensate. This is one of the sweetest small tandems that also solos well … especially the low-profile Egret. By all means, look at the deeper-sided Loons for longer trips as their depth/volume would carry heavier loads. The Loon 17 has no rocker and is fairly fast for a 17 footer according to the reviews. Like I said, the only negative about these designs is the moderate reach out to the water for paddling.
I row mine … so the flared sides are usually a plus. Rowing allows me to sit low and stay centered. The Egret is a near perfect solo expedition rowing canoe. It’s light, stiff (very efficient with a 3-400 lb load), beautiful and extremely well-crafted. Hopefully, Navarro’s new owner will build them as well as Virgil’s crew did.
I have what is supposed to be their general purpose cottage canoe (i.e. slow & stable), the Otter 16.
It’s biggest downside is that it’s a beautiful boat – quite often too pretty to use if there’s any rocks or kids around, so it doesn’t get used as often as my other canoes.
What I didn’t expect was it’s speed and glide. This boat is easily the fastest of my five canoes.
The first time I paddled it solo I had to go back to the cabin to get my gps which then clocked me at 4.7 mph.
If the Otter 16 with its 36-inch beam is their slow boat, the Loon should not disappoint.