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Anyway, this canoe... I didn't have much time with it before the trip, and I agree with other's assessments that the initial stability leads you to wonder about the lower gunwalls? Then, I loaded it up with equipment, winter gear for an October trip, 2 Nikons a bunch of lenses and a tripod.
Great day to arrive?!
When I get there, a fireman is on the dock at Seagull and tells me: "It's too windy, don't go out we just fished a guy out of Duncan." (An easy small lake.) He was right, whitecaps everywhere... But I'd driven all this way? I knew another way in, from the north and Big Sag, hugged the shore, and got to my first island after all...
And found I loved this canoe on this trip. Sitting in reverse for solo, and loading the gear to balance me, I found this canoe extremely stable and was able to challenge the wind and waves of October on Seagull and Big Sag...
So, I'd agree with many comments...
But I'd say this canoe is made for a trip. Once loaded it's very stable, and you'll get to laugh at the 37 pounds on your back when you portage. Putting it on the car, or hiking over the rocks, is practically effortless compared to other canoes.
It's not meant for a day it seems, it's meant for a journey.
1) Fast for a 16' boat.
2) Super light, the lightest of any I tried.
3) Great secondary stability.
2) Initial Stability.
I tested this boat on a windy river with a few open straights in calm conditions. I found the boat to be quick and efficient but had trouble getting it to maneuver on tight stuff. It definitely like to be steered from the bow, but still always felt a bit drifty and not really tracking where I wanted it to. Initial stability is something I didn't like. I almost went in the drink a couple times with this boat, not because it felt twitchy or rolly, but because it has low sides and doesn't give the feeling it is going over. It all seems line until it as at the point where water is starting to come up over and you realize you are in a huge lean. I felt this way about the handling, very disconnected. I'd rather the boat tell me what it is doing, I didn't get that from this boat.
Speed and straight line tracking was great in the spurts I had. Would be a great lake boat although I question how well it would do in rough conditions because of the minimal rocker and low sides.
All in all not for me.
The Adirondack is designed as a medium volume "performance tripping" boat. The boat is light on initial stability particularly unladen which lends to its efficiency and glide. Secondary stability is quite good though and very confidence inspiring. The boat tracks well and glides easily yet it remains relatively agile with two paddlers. I had no trouble handling the boat myself on my first solo experience and first river experience on my 7day Green river trip. The boat will turn well from the middle, and ferrys easily as well. However, with it's minimal rocker and unflared stems it is by no means a whitewater boat. In class I or flat moving water though it is very capable.
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Other than that, nice design. Can be paddled solo by flipping the boat around. I added a center seat (mimics the Wenonah Solo Plus) and it works great. And the good news, it actually is available in something other than green or red.
Recently I took a shake down float in my new vagabond and my buddy paddled my Adirondack solo, from the bow seat. Trimmed properly, he said this was his best canoe fishing/camping experience he'd ever had and he's done a lot. The Adirondack is a great all around boat, efficient, fast and I know I will never get rid of mine. It doesn't have tons of volume, but if you pack reasonably you should be able to carry plenty and still have a great experience.
Cons: Not the ideal whitewater or solo canoe.
Overall, great if you bring small children along, but I'm still searching for the perfect solo canoe that will make it easier to keep up with the kayakers and tandem canoists. The Savage River Otegon has caught my eye, but I have never paddled it. Any reviewers out there?
I have used this canoe on a very rocky river in north Georgia nearly every weekend in mostly Class I rapids (a couple of class II when the water is high). The rocker makes it very easy to maneuver. We tried a class II-III river, but the canoe wasn't ideally suited for that level of whitewater. All in all though, it's a great boat for the money.
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