I’m a big guy 5’11" and 225. I’m looking for a new solo canoe and have narrowed it down to a Hemlock Peregrine or a Swift Keewaydin 15. It this there much difference between the two? Are there other options? I’ve been paddling for a long time, but am no way an expert. I have a Wenonah fisherman that can be used as a tandem or solo, but I need to lose the weight (me and the canoe)!
The boats are quite similar in many ways…both are stable and cruise efficiently and turn cooperatively if not sharply. I had a Peregrine and would get another in a minute. My buddy has a Kee 15 and I did not like it as much as I thought it would, but it suits him extremely well because he never kneels and always paddles gently and the Kee 15 moves along at a very nice pace with low energy inputs. I sometimes push my boats a bit and the Peregrine responds better to higher energy inputs. Plus although I’m a Swift proponent and have 2 (Osprey and Shearwater), the quality of Hemlocks is a notch better. Plus the Peregrine will be strong and light. You are not that big and many boats will handle your weight easily. I just got back from paddling my Merlin II with my dog and our total load is bout 240 and the boat is not burdened at all with our load. The Shearwater is a lovely boat…bigger than the Peregrine and Kee 15, turns significantly better than either one, but is not as fast…but still maintains a very nice pace with minimal inputs…and it could handle lots of extra weight if that matters to you…mine can take me (175 ish), the dog (60 pounds) and a 70 pound 10 year old.
Overall I recommend the Peregrine for you.
I’m 6’3", 230, and have the Peregrine. No problem.
Both are great canoes. The Peregrine only comes with wood gunnels and they take constant upkeep. I have the snake skin gunnels on my Swift Osprey and they require no oiling.
I disagree with the constant upkeep part of the above post. A lot depends on where it’s stored. Stored inside I
think the upkeep is minimal and the oiling is quick and easy. If I was storing it outside I probably wouldn’t get wood.
Over the years I’ve owned several boats with wood trim all stored inside, the maintenance is minimal.
Naturally this is all my opinion but in addition the looks of wood can’t be beat.
I’m with JZ on this one. I think gunnel maintenance is the only chore I enjoy since it takes so little time and is so rewarding. I do have one boat outside and I’m glad it has aluminum gunnels.
I don’t find wood gunwhale maintenance rewarding, just essential, and gen though my boats are stored inside.
The Peregrine is quite straight keeled. And sometimes hogged. Mine was and I’ve seen two others like that . This may be a rarity but check with a laser level. Specs of rocker did not line up with reality. That said it’s a very good tripping canoe and if you heel it can negotiate twisty rivers
The Kee is more maneuvarable flat.
Neither boat is exciting
The Colden Nomad is way faster rounder bottom but not scary round and available in sub 30 lb weights
Integrated or wood gunwales. Your choice
No disrespect to LDC. Fine builder. Yes we tested the Nomad vs Peregrine head to head
Hey Elkster, I do think that either of your top two choices are very fine canoes and you would love either one…so you can’t make a bad decision and you might just pick whichever one appeals more to you.