Souris River Canoes

I’ve been looking at the Souris River Tranquilty solo and the Quetico 16 solo. Has anyone here paddled these boats? I’m interested in getting one this fall or early next spring. Where I live there are no dealers let alone outfitters where I could test paddle one. So I would have to have it shipped to me sight unseen. I’ve paddled quite a few canoes so I’m not clueless about what I want and these boats look like they have the characteristics I want. How is the quality of their workmanship? How durable are these canoes? I’ve heard they are quite durable and a favorite in the BWCA among outfitters. I would be using the boat for daytripping and weekend getaways primarily with an occassional one week trip into the wilderness. Most trips will be on lakes or deeper slow moving streams. Rock bashing is not on the agenda. I have a Royalex canoe for that. At 6"2" and 220 lbs I’m leaning toward the longer Q16 solo.

Souris River A-OK
This summer I went on a 15-day hardcore wilderness trip in a Souris River. I’m not sure of the model, but it was an 18’ lakewater tripping boat. I think their layup is called Duraflex or Duralite or something?

Not the boat I would’ve chosen for this particualr trip (the entry lines way were too sharp for lining rapids upstream and for manouverability running downstream), but that’s not the boat’s fault. They seemed very well made and quite tough, and were very light, which was awesome! Other than the lon keel line/sharp entry, I didn’t like having a thwart right behind the bow seat, but I’m sure most 18-footers have that. And the Duraflex did oil can a little bit, which surprised me, but is no big deal.

Anyway, if you think SR has a hull/boat that will work for your needs, I believe that they make good boats.


Nice report
Did it have a bow slider in it?

Souris River
Hey Kayakangler, you trying to aquire a good loaner boat for when I come visit :-)?

We used SR Quetico 17’s with boy scouts up north of Quetico a couple of summers ago. They had the duralite layup and I was very impressed with the toughness of the boats. Anything that can handle those portages in the hands of scouts earns my respect. We tried to take good care of the boats and stressed it with the scouts verbally and by example, still some of them were pretty low on the learning curve yet and I thought the boats held up great. The construction is very solid and I liked the design for that use. They were roomy, stable, tracked fine and where reasonably fast.

I looked hard at getting a Q 16 not long after we got back but just couldn’t find one like I wanted at a price that I could handle. I’d like a woven color in green.

Not sure how the Q 16 would compare with your OT. You’ve probably seen that the specs are fairly close. I’d guess that they are fairly similar in their balance of features. I’m biased toward composites where they’ll work so I’d give the nod to the Souris there. I don’t think you’ll have a durability issue. If you have lots of potaging in mind I’d sure look at the kevlar layups. Every pound counts.

Good luck with your looking.

SR Q16 solo

– Last Updated: Jul-11-05 10:27 PM EST –

I paddled a Quetico 16 solo a couple of years ago on a large lake and still remember it fairly well. I'm a little shorter than you are, but my weight was about the same at the time. The quality of the construction was very good. They are supposed to be very tough and very durable. I don't know how much of that is sales hype, but I would expect them to be at least as good as any of the boats from the other major manufacturers. The "favorite among outfitters" is a bit of an exaggeration, but that doesn't mean they are not good boats.

The Q16 as a solo was a very pleasant paddling boat. It didn't really do anything that made me go "wow", but it also didn't do anything that I didn't like - just a very competent, pleasant boat to paddle. I took it out into a fairly brisk wind with waves higher than the sides of the boat and it handled them just fine. As a tandem boat rigged for strictly solo paddling, I don't think you'll do much better.

Quetico 16
I worked at an outfitter on Moose Lake in the BWCA for a summer and we had a couple of Quetico 16’s that I used to take out in the evenings for a paddle. They aren’t a bad little boat. Easy to carry for one person and still plenty of room for gear. They handle pretty well on the lakes too.

Quetico 16

– Last Updated: Jul-11-05 11:34 PM EST –

I bought a Quetico 16 about 8 years ago. I owned it about 4, and a friend made me an offer I couldn't refuse (He bought it for a fair price, but I can borrow it any time I like). I have paddled it in the BWCAW both tandem and solo, and it works well both ways. If you intend to put two large people in it and paddle a week in the BWCAW, it can be done, but the Quetico 17 or 18 would be better. For our purposes, 50% tandem, 50% solo, it was perfect. It is a similar hull to the Wenonah Adirondack and the composite Mad River Explorer. Nothing spectacular, but a hull that paddles well enough on class I rivers and lakes, is stable enough to fish from, and can handle a moderate load. Ours is the duralight, and I really like the layup and feel it is very durable. Myself, I wouldn't even worry about spending the extra cash on kevlar just to save a few more pounds. Here's a couple pics of ours.

Thanks for the input
Appreciate the feedback. Sounds like the way to go.

Osprey the boat is yours whenever you come to visit. I’ve been meaning to e-mail you, but with the new job and house and trying to cram in paddling/fishing/camping/etc. I have not found the time. I’ll shoot you the details soon. (I hope).

WW nice pics. Was yours the woven color? I like that but wonder if it will show scratches more so than the plain kevlar version.

“Painted On” Color
I liked the color and hated the milky, translucent color of “Plain” duralight. It was worth a few extra pounds for the color to me. Unlike a gel-coat, it scraped off very easily. The new molded in color should actually show scratches less than the old painted version or gel-coat either one. BTW, here’s a portage pic, so you can see what the inside looks like. And, I still paddle it occasionally here on rocky Ozark streams without worry about the durability. you can also check out my review here on Take care. WW

The 18’er did have a sliding bow seat. I (210lbs) had it all the way back whenever I was in the bow and didn’t give it much thought, but I guess I would’ve if I was crammed up front and our trim had been way off.