Swift Quetico & Bell Mystic?

Anyone know why these canoes were discontinued? They both looked like attractive flatwater cruiser/trippers. Neither is currently on their respective company websites.

Been wondering the same thing about the
I picked up an UL kevlar Northwoods from a nearby dealer a couple weeks ago for a fantastic price (an 05’ that was in stock). I was very interested in the Mystic, but apparently they just didn’t sell well and with Bell being aquired by ORC in 2006 they trimmed the models they offer based on sales #s.

Why gone?
Different boats; different tales.

Swift’s Quetico was designed as a compact tripper for small couples. All very cool; redesigned a few times by John Winters, it is now called the Mattawa; a fine compact tripper for compact couples; ~ 32 lbs w/ infused rails.

Bells Mystic is a different story. Conceived as the shouldered Sorcery, a sub pro spec tripper, it was flared to save $ by coming out of a single piece mold. That compromised bow paddler access to the water, and the boat did not perform as anticipated. In conflict with “the Bell Curve” advertising, it just faded away.

Thanks, but. . .
The Bell Mystic story makes sense, but the Quetico evolved into the Mattawa? Really? I realize you’re an industry insider, but losing nearly 3’ in length sounds like a whole new boat, not just some redesigning.


Cool comments from Charlie. I paddled a Mystic and it was a lively bullet that seeed to run up to a pretty high hull speed effortlessly but then hit a wall. Not very stable for a long boat and did not turn very well. I paddled a Quetico on the Detroit River in fairly rough water and it was a dream…like a bigger and much more efficient Northstar or Mattawa…cruised almost like a Mystic but turned om a dime and much dryer and more stable.

Sounds like time to go find a nice Quetico 18’4".

Bell Mystic
The ads promised blinding speed and a super tripper. the hull delivered a super squirrelly ride and poor speed. The hull was too narrow to make spec in some races and was allowed to race stock class in others. Never saw one place, and several times saw the Mystic fail to finish when the paddlers swam in waves.

Paddled one briefly, could not take more than 30 minutes and that was enough to find out it was not that fast, and it was not paddler friendly. About as stable as a pro boat, and about as fast as a 17’Jensen.

Definitely paddle before you buy, and against known hulls on the same course.


quetico 15’10"
I think Charlie is talking about the discontinued Swif Quetico 15’10", not the 18 feet one, which is quite a different boat.

I do not think one could really call the Mattawa a redesign of the the Quetico 15’10" too though. The Quetico 15’10" really was something different. This was a touring canoe with a comparable design concept as the Kipawa, I think, but a lot smaller and much more oriented to lake travel, and – for me – the most easiest paddling tandem canoe I (we) have ever experienced: keeping it on course was so easy, that I almost got bored in the stern… Also you really needed the bow paddler for quick and precise maneuvers. But the (in)stability of that canoe was something you would have to get used to, especially when paddling sitting. Because of this instability it did not sell (well enough) I quess, and Swift discontinued the model. I still regret not buying this boat when I had a chance, but at that time (1991) I was much more interested in fast tandem boats like the 18’ Jensen and the Swift Cirrus.