next canoe help

My dagger is getting pretty beat up and is a little small (i.e. WET) for my growing boy and me in the whitewater. Do some flatwater, nothing real long, but love cl. 2-3 whitewater. There is also some cl. 4 we were scoping out, and would like to try. I was partial to the swift dumoine, but last flatwater demo wasn’t so sure. Choices among local dealers would be swift, bell, old town, mad river. Combined weight about 400 pounds.Any advice/experiences appreciated.

A Penobscot 16…
might be worth checking out.

I know it is good for II-III

I don’t know about for the class IV though.

I don’t have killionies big enough for a IV!


Merry Christmas,


thanks Jack
I’ll definitely look into the Old Town dealer. The cl 4 is my sons idea. Looks like we have about a 4’ wide path through 2 spots, miss them and the adrenaline rush just wouldn’t matter. Merry Christmas to you as well.

If I got this right you have been paddling a Reflection 15?

And you have been doing the Farmington at Riverton?

Satan’s Kingdom? Tarrifville? Unionville? New Boston? Do you know what levels?

What I’m getting at is that you want to think about what you plan to do with your boat. That could point you in a few different directions.

The Old Town Penobscot that Jack mentions is a good river runner. I see folks using them for down river races fairly often. They don’t turn very well and I wouldn’t want to take one through more than a short class III rapid. They do paddle flatwater pretty well and they are a lot tougher than the composite boats that tend to win those races.

Boats like the MR Freedom 16 and the Old Town Appilacian are a little beamier and have a bit of rocker. They will turn a bit better and run a bit dryer at the cost of some speed and flatwater efficiency. These are also good poling boats.

There are many other boats in these classes that I’m not familiar with. Hopefully others can fill in the blanks.

If you are seriously thinking about doing continuous class IIIs and higher you ought to consider the heavily rockered playboat designs. Playboating is not just fun. The focus on using eddies, waves and other features allows you to break a longer rapid into easily managed bits while the skills aquired in surfing and hole riding help you deal with any unintended encounters. Sadly these boats are getting harder to find but the Esquif Vertige, the Mohawk Probe 14, the Dagger Dimension, Caption and Caper, as well as the MR Synergy are boats to look for.

These boats will turn easily and run as dry as an open boat can run. They are really fun boats for playing in the whitewater. They are a chore to paddle on flatwater.

So there are three classes of boat, Down River Racer, River Tripper, and Playboat with three somewhat different purposes.

Something to think about.



– Last Updated: Dec-24-05 8:43 AM EST –

generally run riverton to satans kingdom. Ran at 2000 cfs during the flood this fall. Was real wet but a lot of fun. Wouldn't run Satans at that level though, we got out at mainstream outfitters in new hartford. looking for more places as my son is getting older, bigger, more competent and has really turned into a whitewater junkie.Maybe I'll get him to kneel to up the ante....and go from river runner to playboat.One thing I'm wondering. is there good season long whitewater on the farmington? Everywhere we check seems to dry up, so we go sailing instead, or go flatwater. If I could find good whitewater all summer, I'd probably sell the sailboat(pain in the butt storage etc...) and seeing as my son just lit up at the thought of playboating, we'd probably pursue that venue. Thanks, Matt

Summer whitewater
Tarrifville Gorge down in Simsbury runs a lot of the time.

Below 2 feet it’s mostly class II but it’s a clear step beyond Riverton. You probably want to hike it from Tunxis Road and have a look before you try it your first time. (Don’t miss whirlpool rapid below the dam!) It’s nice because it starts out easy and gets progressivly harder as you go down the river.

Another place that’s a bit further away is the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield in Charlemont Mass.

That has releases all summer and is in between Riverton and Tarrifville in difficulty. Like Satans Kingdom, Zoar Gap is optional with good takeouts above and below.

You might want to look into joining a club. Makes it easier to find a shuttle if nothing else. I’m not sure how open boat friendly Conn AMC is but the Boston AMC and the NY NJ AMC both have good programs.

Good luck,


Thanks Tommy
Appreciate the info. Too many types of boating, too little time.

No on the Penobscot 16
I’m going to disagree with JackL on the P16. Not that it wouldn’t work, but for class 3? Going to be a wet ride and not enough rocker for what you may encounter. Too many other boats for that purpose.

anyone familiar

– Last Updated: Dec-26-05 1:07 PM EST –

with the swift dumoine? I demoed twice, first time loved it, second time not so sure, both times flatwater only. Think I'm going to stick with the downriver(sorry Tommy) in the spring and flood season, and keep my sailboat for the summer. Also Bell yellowstone info would be appreciated.I have read the reviews. Anticipate class2, stretches of 3, bailing out on the 4(or doing those stretches when the rivers down). Tommy and david cool pictures. Love that sailing canoe.

I’d put the Dumoine in somewhere with the P16 - a fast all-round river runner, but not a dry boat or a good turner if you’re into class III. They are pretty flat and pointy.

Given that you’re not going to go for a full-on ww boat like a Vertige X, Probe 14 or Bell Nexus, then I’d suggest a roundish 16’ river-tripping boat with nice full ends, such as the OT Appalachian or MR Freedom.


when I demoed the dumoine the first time, I thought it turned really well, better than my dagger reflection(yeah Tommy you guessed it.). The local dealer who sells old town is not on a river and seems pretty much like a retailer. The place that sells mr,bell, and swift has open houses,dealer demos, consignments, rentals for sale etc… so I’ll probably be finding a used demo like last time, seeing as it’s going to be bouncing off rocks. Thing I didn’t like with the dumoine was all they had was royalex"lite", which seemed a bit thin to me.I’ll have to check the mr though.

I have a Dumoine and love it. My son and I used it on a river trip in northern Saskatchewan a couple summers ago and it handled class II easily. We did take on some water in the bigger standing waves as we were loaded for a two week trip. But, we have used it on day trips and it grabs edies with ease. I think for a boat its size it turns very well. Very stable.

thanks Mr. Consonant!!
Think I’ll try the dumoine again. Maybe they’ll let me try it downriver in some local rapids. There was a like new one(used once) for sale for $625 last spring. Shoulda jumped…