Savage River Susquehanna for DR Racing

I’m trying to find a fast tandem downriver racing canoe. I’m talking about boats that meet the ACA’s 14% rule (width no less than 14.376% of length at the 4" waterline amidship; center depth no more than 15").

I don’t think there are any boats that are still marketed as downriver racers, and there are very few models that are even still being made: Clipper Whitewater II, Wenonah Odyssey (which isn’t on their website, but can be ordered), Savage River’s JD Cruiser Whitewater (not on the website, but still made), perhaps the Wenonah Minnesota II. Used boats (particularly the Wenonah Whitewater X and XX) get snapped up pretty quick.

Has anyone had any experience paddling a Savage River Susquehanna in significant whitewater (Class II+). Rivers like the Nantahala (Gorge), Deerfield (Fife Brook), or Lehigh (Upper).

Savage River can increase the boat’s depth by an inch. The extra inch of depth would give it good center and stern depth for a downriver racing boat. However, it would still only have 18" in the bow. Even with a front deck, water diverters, and spray rails, I’m wondering if it would be wet. The boat lacks any rocker, but I understand it turns OK when leaned.

As a related question, does anyone know how well Savage River’s Carbon/Kevlar layup holds up to encounters with gravel bars, rocks, logs, and other hazards of whitewater.

Other boat suggestions are welcome.

We had a ultralight Savage River

– Last Updated: Jun-04-15 5:44 PM EST –

Susquehanna (Carbon/Kevlar) and there is no way I would take it down the Nantahala, and I have been down the Nantahala many times.
We raced it in the ADK a few times, and our Jensen 17 handles waves better than it did.

As far as I am concerned, I wouldn't want to drag it over gravel bars or bump into rocks. It is just too delicate for that type of paddling.
Down river fine if there are no class I-II rapids and it is deep water.
If I were you, I would look for a different boat

Jack L