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It is very large in volume, probably too large for most individuals paddling unloaded, as it will catch quite a bit of wind. It is quite fast for its size and can be heeled quite confidently, which is fortunate because due to its waterline length and straight keel line, you need to heel it to get it to turn well.
Not a very nimble river boat, like most downriver racers, and I find it is easier to maneuver downriver using back ferries and side slips and keeping an eye well downstream. It does have very pleasing lines to look at.
I used to paddle this boat solo and unloaded many miles on a flat water lake, and with the sliding seat back all they way, I could put one of my kids in front of me on a small folding chair and paddled many river and lake miles like that. I also tried running this boat down some rather technical Class II whitewater one time, which worked less well, but both the boat and I survived.
If one is looking for a large volume solo canoe to paddle loaded, or with a sizable dog, there are few better. But having too much windage (for most) for a good lake canoe, and lacking sufficient maneuverability to make a great river canoe, there are probably better choices for most folks these days.
The most similar canoe on the market to the Traveler is probably the Swift Shearwater. I find that I do use the sliding seat to adjust trim, mostly when I am facing the wind from a different direction. It is very easy to slide the seat forward or back while paddling. The Traveler is not 16’6” as some people have posted in prior reviews. It is 16’2”. My Traveler has beautiful straight grain ash gunwales. I wish they still made them like this. When I compare the quality of ash used between my newer Bell canoe and my old Mad River Traveler-it makes me sick to see the difference. The Traveler’s ash gunwales are truly beautiful, Bell not so nice. The Traveler is not as fast as a Bell Magic, but otherwise I find paddling the two canoes quite similar. I can sit and switch or paddle Canadian style with the Traveler.
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