Replacing/Upgrading Canoe

-- Last Updated: Dec-16-04 8:55 PM EST --

Currently I have a Mad River Explorer 14TT. It has been a good canoe...but...I want MORE! Unfortunately, I only have room for one canoe so I'll have to get a replacement rather than an extra. I want something that can be paddled solo or tandem. I only use this canoe for fishing on rivers and I usually encounter class I and II rapids between the flats. If I should encounter anything more, I'll portage...I have no confidence in my paddling abilities beyond class II. Sounds like a need what I already have right? Yes...and no. Stability is my main concern...the 14TT is good, but if I take a novice, I'm too worried about tippin' instead of fishin' Stability is my primary concern. I'll be car topping this craft and carrying it to and from the river so I also want something really light like royalex. Also, I'm out there to fish and not to exercise so I want to use a trolling motor to propel the craft. I have a side mount that I used on the 14TT that works great. Should I get a canoe to side mount or should I be looking at square stern? Is there a disadvantage to side mounting a light canoe...will the weight of the trolling motor cause problems when the motor is raised to get through rocky areas and rapids? Price is not an issue for me so I'm willing to look at about anything. Please advise what canoes I should consider. Thanks for the help.

motor mount
Just one comment about motor mounts. I’ve had both side mount on a regular canoe and rear mount on a square transom canoe. I much prefer the side mount as it is easier to handle the tiller. It is very difficult reaching behind you unless you sit sideways and that is difficult in a canoe.

if moneys no object…
I’d get a composite MR Explorer with the IQ gunwale system. That way you could convert it from solo to tandem, spray skirts, work decks… there’s all kinds of gadgets available.

Take a look
I’d take a look at the Bell “Morningstar” in Kevlar at 40 lbs it’s light enough to handle alone. the stability is good and has the capacity needed for a weed=end trip . Handles quite well either solo or tandem.

Is Kevlar tough enough for an occasional bounce on the rocks? I’m hitting the occasional class I and II while fishing. I do my best to avoid rocks, but there’s gonna be times I’ll make contact. I know Royalex will hold up fine.