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Evergreen canoes
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Author:  Hopalong [ May 23rd, 2003, 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Evergreen canoes

Hi everyone - anyone out there have experience with Evergreen Prospector canoes? A new MEC store just opened in Montreal :clap: and is selling them, but I don't know much about them. Checked out some Scotts in Kevlar up in the Ottawa Valley last weekend but they're a bit pricey, the Kevlar Evergreens are selling for about 500 bucks less. I know I'll have to take one for a test paddle, but are there any comments on handling, durability etc.? Thanks in advance....

Author:  normhead [ May 23rd, 2003, 12:46 pm ]
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Their factory and store is about 15 minutes from my house, here in Toronto. I just bought their Royalex Prospecter which is made from the same molds as their fiberglass boats and kevlar boats. I've only paddled it for a weekend, but so far I quite like it. I don't have paddling experience with a lot of other boats so I'm not really qualified to give you a comparison. The selling points for me were, moderate rocker so reasonably manouverable, no keel, 14" deep. so it stays dry,and has lots of freeboard, 34" wide , so relatively narrow and fast, but not so stable as a wider boat and it has a solo thwart for when you're out by yourself. The other thing that surprised me was even fully loaded, it is a very quiet boat to paddle, no bow wave to speak of and therefore no resulting noise.

Author:  Hopalong [ May 23rd, 2003, 5:47 pm ]
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Thanks normhead for your comments, I never even considered the noise factor - it's good to know I might get a little closer to wildlife and actually see an animal before it turns tail or feather. Sounds like a fun canoe to paddle, by your description a lot more interesting than my current Cadorette fiberglass beast. Time to move up a notch!
Cheers, H

Author:  Andy_ [ May 24th, 2003, 4:16 pm ]
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I bought an Evergreen Prospector last summer, and I'm pleased with it. I went with the Evertech model, and found it to be a good compromise between weight and price (compared to the kevlar and fibreglass models). The Evergreen Prospector appealed to me because it seems to be decent version of the original Chestnut design. Compared to my old three-keel fibreglass boat, it is a pleasure to paddle and is very responsive. My only gripe is that the gunwales on the canoe I purchased aren't perfectly flush, so there is a small but sharp edge between the inwales and the outwales; however, this is my first good canoe, and maybe this is a minor thing to complain about. I would recommend that if you go with the ash gunwales, you should re-oil them sooner rather than later as the factory coat was a bit light.

Author:  Hopalong [ June 2nd, 2003, 1:07 pm ]
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Thanks Andy, wish I could tell you what I saw last weekend but MEC is sold out of the Evergreen Kevlar prospectors :cry: Even they were surprised all the Kevlars sold so fast. They say it'll probably be a month before they get any more in, then I could rent one to try it out, then I could order one, which would mean another month wait. Anyone know where else around Montreal one can look at canoes? Not that I'm impatient, but once you get the notion you're getting a new canoe....

Author:  goose [ June 2nd, 2003, 2:17 pm ]
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Why not go with the Evergreen maple?...probably a better canoe for flatwater tripping than a're not going to be taking that beautiful new kevlar boat through any WW, so I'm assuming you want a flatwater canoe...

Author:  Hopalong [ June 2nd, 2003, 3:29 pm ]
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Goose thanks for the advice. You're right, I do mostly lake tripping but I also like heading down twisty slow-moving creeks, how would a straight-tracking canoe fare in such waters? Also, in my reading I saw that the Maple is an asymmetrical shape, and I'm one of those paddlers that when going solo (which is about half my trips, and most of my day paddles), likes to flip the canoe around and sit in the bow seat. How does that work with an asymmetrical hull?
I'd love to have several canoes dedicated to different kinds of paddling, but there's no way I could afford that. So I'm looking for a canoe that can do lots of things, and I've heard the Prospector can do it all. Maybe I'm headed down the wrong path (river?), since I'm not doing much whitewater?
I really need to get out from behind this desk and do some test paddling....

Author:  goose [ June 2nd, 2003, 4:07 pm ]
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Hi Hopalong,
Sorry to question you...seems that you've really done you're homework...Prospector looks like a much better fit for you...especially since you'll be doing a lot of solo paddling. If you want to look at other manufacturers, I think a Swift Mattawa, Nova Craft Bob Special, or Langford 15' Prospector would be a good fit too. A friend of mine bought the Langford...very nice boat...cost them around $1500 for it in Kevlar which is cheaper than the evergreens at MEC. You might also want to call Evergreen...I called them before and found they can give you a better deal than you'll get at MEC...guess you'll have to see if its worth the drive into T.O. though.


Author:  Hopalong [ June 2nd, 2003, 4:44 pm ]
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Hey goose
No apologies necessary, I should have defined my criteria better but I didn't want to bore everyone. Your questions were most welcome and helped to sort out my thinking a bit more. I'm intrigued by your suggestions for 15 footers, makes lots of sense for solo paddling, but what about those week-long tandem trips that I can sometimes convince my girlfriend to take with me, do you think a 15' would be big enough? I think I'm back to that place of wanting different canoes for different things, and I'll probably have to compromise somewhere. I think I saw a thread here somewhere about 15' vs 16' canoes, time to do some more research....
It's probably a good thing MEC had none left, I might have rushed into something that I should be taking my time with. And I do appreciate all the advice I've been given so far. What a great site!
Thanks again

Author:  Jon L [ June 3rd, 2003, 6:16 am ]
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Personally, I think this symmetrical/asymmetrical thing is carried a bit far. I solo an asymmetrical canoe with a kneeling thwart (Swift Kipawa). The kneeling thwart has minimal impact on loading the canoe, since there is room for a pack between it and the yoke (about 18 to 20"). It is better-positioned for solo paddling than the bow seat reversed, as it is just aft of centre. In fact, the comfort with which the tandem Kipawa (with Swift's angeld kneeling thwart) can be soloed is one of the factors that led me to select it in the first place.

An efficient, modern design like the Maple, Kipawa, Nahanni, etc. is just as much at home on rivers as the venerable prospector-style, when comparing kevlar canoes. The more modern design is also likely to be faster, easier to paddle, less tippy, and have more capacity (though these are generalizations). I'd be the first to agree that for a specific-purpose WW tripping in royalex, the Prospector would be better suited.

Not intending to reopen the argument-without-end with this post, I am only suggesting folks should not limit their options. Despite it's place in Canadian canoing lore, the power of the name "Prospector" as a marketing tool should not be underestimated, and it is not necessarily the best canoe for everyone.

That being said, I'd love an Evergreen Prospector in Royalex. Make mine green please.

Author:  Hopalong [ June 4th, 2003, 6:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

I didn't know there was a never-ending argument about the prospector name, being new here I must have missed the debate the first time around. But Jon L you're right, I've heard so much about the prospector shape being "the most versatile of canoes" and I think that's part of what led me down this road. Just the fact that MEC sold out of everything called a prospector illustrates the power of the label. From others' posts (and my inferences thereof) the prospector would seem to be a good choice for WW and other kinds of tripping, but if I'm not planning on doing much river running it seems there are more appropriate canoes to be had.

I should also say that I'm no master canoeist, more of a hack actually, I've done a couple of one-week trips each summer for the past seven years, and most other weekends I just play around on day paddles. (Just can't get enough time off from work :( ) I don't run rivers yet, but would like to learn. And I need something stable since I do a lot of fishing on my trips.

I've never paddled an asymmetrical canoe, I've heard their main benefit is speed, but what's the rush? Thanks for listing other design features in the above post, I thought asymmetrical canoes were narrower and therefore less stable, good to know the opposite is true. Since I'm mostly paddling lakes, I don't kneel much, and I'm not a big fan of kneeling, which is why it's great to turn the canoe around and sit in the bow seat when going solo. So I'd like to keep that option. Now this may be a stupid question, but what happens when you go stern first in an asymmetrical canoe? Common sense (what little I have) says it would be slower and less stable - anybody ever tried it?

I think I need one of those magic canoes that changes its shape and materials depending on what it's being used for. Since they don't make those (yet), I'm looking for something versatile. The advertising people almost had me convinced the prospector was the way to go, thank goodness I can also get good opinions from experienced canoeists to put it all in perspective.

Marketing aside, when I do decide on something, it'll be red. Then I'll be able to tell it apart from the green ones I'm buying for everyone as thanks for all their help.


Author:  normhead [ June 4th, 2003, 6:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

Here's me in my prospector, if this isn't happiness i don't know what is.
You might want to check out this thread, just to see what everyone does, it was part of my search, which went on for most of 9 months.

Author:  Barbara [ June 4th, 2003, 6:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

Normhead, you don't need a pfd when your canoe is that colour! The rescue chopper will see it a mile away, just stay close to it. :D

Good time had by all at Rosebary?


Author:  normhead [ June 4th, 2003, 6:48 pm ]
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A great time was had by all, Barb. Did you see my pics?

Author:  Hopalong [ June 4th, 2003, 7:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

It sure looks like happiness, normhead. Would also make a great ad for a prospector....

Thanks for the link.


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