NorthStar ADK/Pack Canoe Advice

I am looking at the Northstar ADK. I mostly paddle in a small river, no real current to speak of. My husband is worried a speeding bass boat will go by, water will come over the edge and I sink, or I will tip over easily. Is this a realistic concern with these boats?

Hard to know how to answer that. What kind of boat are you paddling now? I have a couple of light, composite pack canoes including a Nstar Firebird. They all have very good secondary stability, paddle nicely with a double sitting low on the floor and I don’t think they are particularly prone to being swamped. I believe the ADK is one of Nstar’s more stable canoes, not particularly slim and racy; shouldn’t be too easy to sink unless the local boaters are extremely reckless. Since it is light the wind can push you around a bit if you are small, but you can always add a little weight. Seems as though speeding boats would be a problem for anyone if it’s a common occurrence. Then again, by choice I mostly stay off the waters that power boats use.

As long as your load is within the recommended 250 pound limit I see no reason to avoid the ADK. Boat wakes are rounded waves; canoes ride up one side and down the other. With any canoe it’s helpful to point the bow into big boat wakes. The rounded hull of the ADK will help let waves that hit you broadside pass under the boat and the relatively full (not skinny) ends will also help it ride over waves. I have a solo canoe that’s on the shallow side and it has never been a problem plus it helps quite a bit in keeping the boat from getting blown around by wind. It’s darn near impossible to fall out of a boat when you’re sitting on the floor.


Agree with @Curlymoe that the ADK is relatively stable. The Pack version, with a floor mounted seat, is even less “tippy” due to the lower center of gravity. Still, the sheer at midships is just 11 inches, and the freeboard will be less depending on load. That’s not out of the ordinary for a pack boat, but it’s definitely vulnerable to mishandled boat wakes.
To manage risk: (1) wear a good PFD, (2) don’t overload the boat, (3) distribute weight evenly (a 75 lb Labrador in the bow might not be the best idea), (4) be aware of what’s going on around you (no boat naps in higher use areas!), and when you must deal with a wake, turn the bow toward it so the boat intersects the wake at a 90 degree angle when it arrives … no worries, ADKs turn easily.
Here is a short introductory video from ACA.


Agree with the responses above. Unless conditions are extreme where you paddle, the ADK would serve you well. I really like mine.