Souris 16ft Prospector Canoe

Has anyone paddled the boat.

I’m interested in the canoe because of it’s rocker.

Any idea how it would paddle next to a Starfire?


Different beasts
more info…on rivers, solo…whats your skill level etc.

Four inches is a lot of rocker…if you have less than a perfect forward stroke the Prospector will tack up the lake…more a river boat. Calls for a load. Everyone wants the cachet of the name… all Prospectors are different but this one too seems to be a load hauler.

Star more of a flatwater boat; great FreeStyle tandem or good for smaller lightweight packing paddlers for trips (its only 15 feet) outstanding secondary stability. For the larger paddler its also a good solo. CEW has the measurements…believe the Star is 3 inches narrower at the center station.

Have paddled Star and Prospector is from the website…havent paddled that…

I’m running rivers here in Montana.

I currently own a starfire, but would like a all around boat a little larger for tandam paddling yet can still be solo’d.

I’m attacted to the souris 16ft boat because they haven’t taken the rocker out of the design.

It’s difficult because I have yet to even meet someone who has paddled the boat. The souris employee’s have been great but haven’t really qualified the boats charateristics on the water.


Check how flat the Souris Prospector
is in cross section. If it is as flat as their other models, I would question its usefulness for solo paddling. I remember an article by Jon Winters where he talked, in a technical sense, about the paddling characteristics of a very typical Prospector. That boat not only had some rocker, but was also arched in cross section, not flat.

But if you are soloing it
Canadian Style heeled over the flat bottom is now a side of the boat…to complicate things.

Depends on how you are going to solo this one.

A flat bottomed "Prospector " is a new wrinkle on this overused name.

I just wonder, because Souris boats
are characteristically flat-bottomed. If they made a shallow arch Prospector, I wonder if they would skip the reinforcing ribs? I will have to go to their site and see whether the Prospector cross section is discernible.

“Traditional round bottom” according
to the Red Rock description for the Souris Prospector:

“Fun to paddle, heavily rockered (4”) canoe with traditional round bottom."

So we can set aside any concerns I raised about a flat bottom. It sound like the canoe can be heeled and paddled Mason style, if one is so inclined.

rocker is exaggerated
i’ve spoken to 2 different Canadian retailers who have extensive experience with the boat and one who keeps them in his outfitting fleet and they’ve said the rocker is the moderate standard couple inches from center to near the ends as in a traditional prospector. looking at photos on Muskoka Outfitters it looks the same as Evergreen and Trailhead prospectors, and in fact it is made also for Trailhead and uses their molds, which is a nice balanced version. Red Rock, being a US store, looks at these boats differently, arched bottoms, rocker and symmetry are considered quaint and inefficient in the region where race inspired designs are the norm. unfortunately SR being typically Canadian, does a terrible job of promoting these boats, and has one paltry photo on their website, which shows no detail at all, and even if you email them, they will say, ‘go to our retailers’, and he won’t send you any pictures of the boats.

Great light boat
I have one and like it. I haven’t tried a starfire, so I can’t compare.

It is very responsive, and acceptably fast. It is very light, and acceptably strong. It is a bit on the small/narrow/low volume side to make a great expedition canoe.

When compared to my big royalex trailhead prospector the souris river is easier to paddle, easier to portage, and turns a bit faster. It is also easier to swamp.

I’ve used it in some whitewater, but not extensively. It is my favourite canoe for solo, and would make a nice solo tripping canoe. Compared to most other prospectors it is more responsive.

One thought - Souris is now making a canoe called the skeena for whitewater. Perhaps they would make the prospector in the skeena layup. I know all the hype, but there is no way in my mind that a good 40 lb canoe will be as tough as a good 60 lb canoe.

Another option, especially if solo trips and moving water are your interest, is the Hellman Scout. I have a Hellman Slocan and really like that one.

Its not hype
If you learn about the right way to apply and use materials, and which to use where, a 40 lb boat can well be stronger than a 60 lb boat.

Not all Kevlar layups are equal as well as others like glass or carbon fiber.

I happen to be a huge fan of the StarFire but its a different boat than the Prospectors usually are. Beginners can find it overly twitchy…more advanced paddlers have the skills to make it shine.

Red Rock shows exaggerated
rocker and bottom arch in a cartoon illustration. The Muskoka pictures show a rational design with enough rocker for the intended use, but no more.

Souris 16’er
Yep, I have experienced the same problem asking for photo’s from Souris River. They won’t send the over and untill recently they didn’t even have one on their website. The guy at Red Rock doesn’t like the boat and wouldn’t let me test paddle it at his shop because he said that the water was to cold “spring conditions”; even when I had a tippy’er Starfire on my truck at the time.

The photo that was just posted is the best look at the rocker that I’ve seen.

I’m interested in the cano as a large solo, and an overnight tandum. If the rocker is comparable to my Starfire then it should prove to be a manuverable moving water boat that is easier for me to load (sitting backward in the canoe and placing packs and dog infront of the paddling station.

Unfortunatly I’m going to have to wait until I can test paddle the boat in person. That looks like it will have to be at the factory.



Souris River told me a year ago that they would make a 16ft prospector in the Skeena lay-up for no extra charge.

Refreshing in today’s canoe market.


Not twitchy, but still light.
I’m not saying it isn’t strong enough. I am saying the Skeena Lay-up or Hellman’s duratuff or Clipper’s duraflex will certainly be stronger. They made this lightweight layup to be dreamy over the portage and on flatwater - not for extensive whitewater.

Apples to apples, same materials and construction, more layers will be tougher. My canoe came factory refurbished, and it needed patches in a couple of places (as they are not indestructible).

As I said - great canoe, and I use mine in whitewater if it isn’t shallow and tricky (deep and tricky is fine, and it went through a couple of 7 foot standing waves once).

custom layup

– Last Updated: Nov-02-08 11:21 PM EST –

i'm sure they would do whatever layup you wanted. the Skeena layup seems overkill for all but the heaviest of white water, where certain bump and grind will be expected, however that may be ideal for your use. given the inherent strength and resilience of the their std epoxy layup, i'd be tempted to go with the kevlar layup as is, or ask for something in between, maybe one extra layer of cloth just in case. i wouldn't be doing much low river bump and grind rapids though, so the std layup as advertised may be sufficient as is. the Red Rock guy certainly thinks so. he's an odd one, he seems to think that rockered, arched bottoms are really difficult to handle and that developing white water skills in a canoe is a really extreme thing and wholly unnecessary for good old fashion canoein'. he essentially thinks prospectors are way over the top and too demanding for all but the fringe experts. maybe he's one of those inherently afraid of water type paddlers, who knows, i've met a handful of this kind.