Swift Shearwater and Raven

Rather than threadjack the solo canoe thread I started this new one to inquire if anyone (Kayamedic?) has paddled these two boats enough to compare them?

I have the Shearwater on order for an upcoming river trip, but I also have a need for a rock basher river tripper similar to my MR Guide but with more volume and dryer ride? Faster and lighter, too.

My other question has to do with weight. I’ve seen several iterations of the Raven listings from 46 in Kx, to 55 in Rx and 48-50 in Royalite.

Any thoughts?

Can speak to the Shearwater only
Have had mine for 5? years. Used for all purpose until getting a Magic for lake trips. HOw much more volume do you need? I’ve had at least 320# in it for river trips (3-4 days) and it was not the least over loaded. I would not hesitate to put another 50# in it even for CII or wind and 1.5’ chop on lakes.

However, with no load it is an entirely different boat. Still a nice paddling solo but susceptible to winds at least w/o a spray cover.

In the “expedition” kev layup I’ve bashed a few rocks and only removed gel-coat. Weighs in around 45#. Pretty manageable. For dedicated “flat” water (discounting wind and waves) I use the Magic hands down with or with out a load.

Hope this helps


call Swift?
I had a Shearwater and loved it and would get another in a minute.

Someone told me that the Raven was really slow…I don’t remember who. Maybe someone (or several people) at Swift could give you some insights. I’ve paddled a Guide and it’s impressively efficient for a Royalex boat with so much volume…it seems logical that the Raven would be less efficient if it has more volume and stability.

Hemlock SRT’s are pretty tough/sturdy if you really need the volume (rated 400 pound capacity and super dry 14 inch center depth) and want some performance. It has less primary stability than the Shearwater but the secondary stability is awesome…feels like you could stand on the rail without bringing in any water and feels like you could bring along a passenger (or two dogs) without burdening the boat.

My Raven was a lot heavier.

Call Rebecca at Swift in Muskoka

We have been talking to her extensively and she can answer just about any question you can throw at her about their boats (or she’ll find out and get back to you).

Excellent customer service representative.

Not as heavy as Guide
Guide is supposed to be at 57.

Raven is supposed to be 52.

I think both of these are off but I still would give the five pound bag of sugar to the Raven to equal things out with the Guide.

The Guide has a heavier thicker layup.

However remember these are river boats where presumably you dont have to portage that often.

– Last Updated: Feb-08-07 3:46 PM EST –

MR's Freedom Solo(Royalex) just looks like a great "do anything" canoe.....have yet to find to demo!;-)
Royalite?...haven't paddled many, nor have I paddled a RLite boat that didn't oilcan. The only lighter boat that may begin to pass the rock-bashing contest is TwinTex(sp?)..(see Esquif's Zephyr(an OC-1))
Try demoing an OC-1 zeke! Fun boats...specialized downstream canoes!!!

I was leery
of royalite when I bought my swift dumoine. Bought it used, real good shape, and i have beat the crap out of it this year.Outside is getting pretty dinged but no oilcanning.

I have had my raven (in royalex) for 5 years now. I have outfitted with floatation bow and stern, knee cups, thy straps and a removable yoke. Have done several trips up to 6 days with tandem paddlers and have been able to keep up with little problem. Run up to class 3 and short 4s and stay dry, most of the time. It really stable when loaded with kit and healed nearly to the gunwales (I find this a very comfortable for paddling distances) When not loaded it becomes tender on initial stability but still has solid secondary stability and is quite responsive to Paddle inputs. For large rapids I will portage my kit and then take the ride. With a soft chine it doesn’t carve very well, you have to heal it pretty far to get a good carve. Over all I have been very pleased with the boat and its performance.


Paddle up