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So I own all three. The Loon is the lightest and trimmest, and I prefer it for day trips, packing light, and ultra marathon racing on protected waters. I'm taking the Sea Wind on the Everglades Challenge in March, no questions asked. I only own the Monarch so I can cat it up with the Sea Wind. The Monarch and the Sea Wind fill the exact same niche, with the exception that the Sea Wind is gonna be tougher in the worst conditions.
I should mention that there are two OTHER decked expedition canoes that deserve mention in the context of this review. One is the Superior Expedition. This boat, to me, is the bigger brother of the Sea Wind. If you want a fuller, drier, and larger boat, built to the utmost quality and durability, you should consider an Expedition. An Expedition is better compared to the "Deep Dish" Sea Wind than to the regular hull, that I own.
The other boat is the Clipper Sea 1. I have never paddled one or seen one in person. c2g reviewed it as well, and I watched the six Youtube clips. While I'm enthralled with all things expedition canoe, I doubt I'll ever try to buy a Sea 1. Strange cockpit shape, no rim on the cockpit makes spray skirt use mandatory much more often. Don't like the bulkhead or the way the seat height is adjustable only with tools, and doesn't have a built in portage yoke. Don't like the feathercraft rudder design on such a large boat either...
Back to the Sea Wind...10/10. IF I had to find a single fault or improvement that could be made, I would like to see a rudder design that allows the the paddler to PULL DOWN the rudder instead of relying solely on gravity. Sometimes sand and grit can be an issue.
Mark P. is building them just like Verlen did. One made today is just like mine, made 17 years ago. I can wrap this up by telling you that if my Sea Wind got stolen tomorrow, I'd be finding me a replacement Sea Wind, tomorrow night!
Mark does a great job on these, the work is excellent, and he is justifiably proud of them. I wouldn't trade mine for any other boat.
At just over 17 ft. this is not the most agile skinny river boat, but this boat will still work ok due to being able to use either a single or double blade.
My Seawind has been slept in (yes you can remove the seat and have room for a very large Fla. cracker boy. I have done this several times with a therma-rest). Boat has been dragged every where, put in 5 ft. seas, and sailed in stuff that scares me. Have not turned over YET.
Most of my trips have a camping total weight of around 460 LBS. myself, boat, and gear with water,and I have carried over 9 gallons of water on some trips. Most of my trips are in salt water. Completed the watertribe E.C. and the M.R.340 - ALMOST AT 1800 MILES THIS YEAR.
There are faster boats out there for the short distance but with a seawind you will run them down in time. Also with COMFORT!
I have a quartet of 4 single boats - a Wenonah Prism, a Nigel Foster Legend, a Baidarka Explorer, and a Night Heron. If I could only have one boat it would be the Kruger Sea Wind. I believe that I could paddle this boat farther, with less effort over a longer set distance then any of my other boats. It has superb initial and secondary stability and is very comfortable to paddle. In rough seas it is much easier to keep on a compass course than any of my other boats. On our last day of the Keys trip the winds were gusting from 30 to 35 mph, tough paddling but the Kruger handled it with aplomb. It's a very confidence inspiring boat to paddle.
Also Mark Przedwojewski of Kruger Canoes is a craftsman and a straight shooter who takes pride in his work.
Once it is up on my shoulders, the Sea Wind feels no different from carrying my blackgold Bell Magic which is considerably lighter. The Sea Wind's yoke is outstanding and makes the canoe feel much lighter than it actually is.
Is it worth the money and sacrifice of my two kayaks? Yes. I searched for a different and less expensive solution to paddling on the great lakes with my dog and I couldn't find one. I think my paddling speed is fairly similar with my Sea Wind as it was in the kayak. I use a Zaveral paddle and you can really get a high paddle cadence using a Zav. For most people, a Sea Wind won't replace their kayak on open water trips but for me it is working out well. And, I especially enjoy the luxury items I can now carry-like my comfy camp chair.
The Kruger Cruiser is the two person version and is the most stable canoe I've ever been in and it is fast. It will hold all the gear that two people would ever wanna take with room left over with comfort. I have been paddling canoes for 40 years now and since 1991 with Verlen canoes it changed my way of thinking "with his help" about paddling and canoe trips. These canoes are as good as they get if you really like feeling secure, 'IT DON'T GET ANY BETTER THEN THIS.'
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