Suitable canoe for me, my 3 legged dog and class 3 water

I’m 77 at 200 lbs and 6’, 2fus is a 75 lb Labrador missing one back leg and wears a bulky vest. Our running water experience is in a 14’ x 42" 118 lb beat up old Rogue River between Buchanan and Glasgow on the James River, VA class 2 rapids (Buchanan gauge at 4’+). The canoe was as sluggish, but also as stable, as the reviews said it would be but allowed us to “not” get our feet wet. He loves riding in d’boat as much as d’truck. Since I paid less for the Rogue River than it would have cost to board the dog I’m at the break even point and ready to get a really suitable canoe for future trips. I’m considering the Equis Pocket Canyon or Prospecteur 15 and would appreciate any opinions on other options. That puts the price ceiling at 2K, but of course less is better. Thanks for your help.

“Class 3 water” is a term that is casually tossed around.
If you are paddling Class 2 water, you probably know what that means.
A high percentage of paddles do not.
For ww you need a decent sized boat with rocker so you can turn it. No keel. It should be reasonably deep as in 14 inches or more with a dry hull that can shed waves. Some boats have sheer entry lines which slice through waves instead of riding over them.
There are lots of canoes that will work if you have the skills.

Thanks ppine. You reenforced my gut feeling on the matter. It sounds like I’m on the right track with the Pocket Canyon and Prospecteur.

1 Like

I second the Prospeteur, the 15 would be better for a single paddler and a dog. The Pocket Canyon, is only 14’ and some change might be tight with a pup. Esquif also has the Huron which is the Prospecteur 15 but make shallower 12.5" as opposed to 14" but with the same rocker. REI has a good deal on the Prospector 16 and the Huron 15 right now. They are both sub $2K and they will ship to store for free. I just picked up a new 16. It was the best price I could find anywhere by a couple hundred bucks and no shipping.

I’ve done a lot of paddling in solo canoes with a dog about same size as yours. Either of the boats you are considering will easily handle the dog. If it were me I might lean towards the Pocket Canyon because it does not have a front thwart so when you’re paddling backwards from the front seat the dog has a bigger open space in front of you. Plus the 4" of rocker should be even safer (for the dog :slight_smile: ) in fast water.

It is no big deal to move some thwarts and seats around in a canoe. You can take a smaller tandem say 16 feet and take out the middle thwart and add a solo seat in the rigtht place and move the forward thwart.

After paddling tandem canoes for so many decades with 2 paddlers and often with one, I am finding the solo boats with a beam under 32 inches feels tender. They settle down some when loaded with overnight equipment.

More good information. Keep it coming guys!

Hi Stuart,

I live quite close to you and have a Prospecteur Sport you can borrow and try out. I sent you a message, let me know if you are interested.


1 Like

In a canoe, a 3 legged dog is a good as one with 4 legs.
I moved my solo seat back a little because I always paddle with at least one dog in the bow, a BC named Ruby Begonia.

Thanks ppine. I bought an Esquif Prospecteur 15. 2fus sits just forward of the center thwart and I need just a few more pounds in the bow for me to paddle straight. I figure that as I improve my J-stroke (or carry more gear) I will be able to do away with the extra weight.

Thanks to everyone else who chipped in to help with my decision. The prospector model was one of the designs that I liked and the Esquif was the first one available within a fairly long one day trip. I’m loving it!

1 Like

Hello BoardSchwartz,

Thanks for the offer, maybe we can paddle together sometime.

Missing one back leg at the hip make him less stable than he would be. I leaned the canoe, maybe a little too much, and he tumbled to the low side just as a 10 knot gust hit us from the high side. We flipped like a pancake. His Bay Dog harness worked as advertised and he swam around as I got to shore and emptied the canoe. I put a 30"x30" 3/8"closed cell sticky back foam pad between the center thwart and the stern seat and that gives him better traction. We are paddling in reverse. I don’t like to say backward because that sounds as if we’re doing it wrong.

You won’t make that mistake again.
I like my dogs to sit in the canoe. They often lie down and rest. That lowers the center of gravity.
A good boat dog is a pleasure. I took Ruby on her first week long river trip at 6 months. It just took a few day trips to get her ready.

He sits but is slopped over on the missing leg side. He will lie down too for a while but he can’t see lying down and he likes to see. We’ll get better with practice.

1 Like