Ever buy a product that meets or exceeds every already high expectation? To me, Navarro's Otter rates tops because is achieves in spades what is important specifically to our wishes: 1-Looks 2-Performance on a slow moving river 3-Ease of maintenance.
Details? The "looks" part was a no-brainer; there wasn't even a runner up when we bought ours quite a while ago. Performance on our piedmont Virginia James River is good all around--speed, stability, capacity and tracking (if rocks are an issue for you, the glass model would quickly show scratches, tho).
The big surprise was maintenance. After multi-year, outdoor storage, covered with an old tarp, all it takes to renew it's head-turning appearance is a quick hosing off. Why the oiled wood parts never have discolored or rotted is beyond me and a wonderfully welcome surprise. Same with the woven seats. We have spent exactly no more time than a quick rinse every few years and absolutely zero dollars to own a like-new craft for almost 20 years so far. And, I expect to pass my Otter down to my grandchildren... but not before we're finished with it.
Bottom Line: expectations exceeded!Feeling the need for a pretty boat, I bought this when Navarro was still in Southern Oregon. Picked it up at the factory while on vacation and it probably is one of the last original Navarros built by Vernon Pew.
At 16-foot long and 36-inches wide this boat appears to be bigger than it really is due to the seats being as far forward and as far back as possible.
Even though I bought it for its beauty and can rarely use it due to my local waters being rocky and fiberglass unfriendly, each time I take it out I am amazed by it's speed. Absolutely the fastest canoe I've ever paddled which makes me wonder how fast Navarro's other boats go as this is supposed to be their pedestrian cabin boat?