View topic - Langford vs Souris vs Nova Craft vs Swift...

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PostPosted: August 14th, 2020, 9:39 am 
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Is there really any big difference in the canoes from the major manufacturers.

If you were to buy say a 16.5 foot Kevlar prospector from any of the above would there be any noticeable difference? Or is it just personal preference and brand loyalty??

For example: I love the look of the Langfords but I could say that it is a better canoe than the others....

EDIT: Sorry that this is under" Camper's Kitchen" for some reason not sure how to move it at this point....


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PostPosted: August 14th, 2020, 11:36 am 
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I would say yes. A prospector isnt a prospector. Sure. They are all similar but after the name that's where the differences end. Swift makes light boats, but you often don't see them on big expeditions where as nova crafts are heavyer but stonger and are often on expeditions. I put a wenonah 16 prospector beside a nova craft prospector 16 both in royalex. They weren't even close to the same. Both where close to 16ft. Both were a symectrical but that was about itm


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PostPosted: August 14th, 2020, 12:08 pm 
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RAY1984 wrote:
I put a wenonah 16 prospector beside a nova craft prospector 16 both in royalex. They weren't even close to the same. Both where close to 16ft. Both were a symectrical but that was about itm


I find that fascinating- what were obvious differences - was it just overall look and feel? IE "sturdiness"???


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PostPosted: August 14th, 2020, 8:35 pm 
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Over all both great boats. The wenonah was not as deep, it had less flair in the bow (the main reason i sold it) and felt like a much smaller boat. The nova craft was bigger wider and also slower. Both are nice boats just depends on what you are looking for. But far from the same.


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PostPosted: August 14th, 2020, 10:13 pm 
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Boat designs are different. Not necessarily better or worse. Manufacturers have different construction methods and goals. Although I think the differences will be more noticeable for more experienced paddlers.

Identical boats will also perform differently for different users. For example, larger more powerful paddlers might go faster in Swift Keeeaydin 17. Where a smaller lighter pair will be faster in a Keewaydin 16.

Even when manufacturers claim to make the 'same' boat, they turn out different. The most noticeable difference I remember was an Evergreen Starburst vs. A Nova Craft Moise. Sure, they were different materials. Royalex vs. Tuffstuff Expedition. But they are marketed as the same thing, but with composite being more 'responsive'. Both boats were modeled on the Blue hole Starburst. I think the Evergreen were made from the Bluehole molds. Not sure how Novaceaft supported their claim. I paddled both side by side on the same river. The similarities ended with the marketing copy. The Starburst was more predictable, more maneuverable, and had noticeably more flare in the bow making for a more comfortable bow station and a dryer ride.

So yes I think the differences are real.


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PostPosted: August 15th, 2020, 10:09 am 
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A "prospector" is a concept, not a standard. Expectations are that it has a high load capacity, is dry, and is maneuverable. Different manufacturers will approach those expectations differently and with varying priority. I've paddled both Trailhead and Scott prospectors - very predictable, initially stable. I tried an H20 and it was twitchy and reacted to every input - intentional or not. Then there's actual construction - epoxy vs vinyl ester; traditional layup vs vacuum bagged; foam core vs ribs; in-house vs contract (Langford is made by Rheaume). I would never buy without trying first.


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PostPosted: August 15th, 2020, 11:45 am 
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We bought a Langford 16.5 Prospector about a decade ago for doing trips on G Bay. we are quite pleased with it overall. Not as fast as our 16 ft Novacraft Tripper but a lot roomier and more manuoverable.(sp?) Gotta try before you buy!

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PostPosted: August 15th, 2020, 2:30 pm 
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Langford doesn't make their own canoes anymore - for that reason alone I won't personally consider them for a new canoe.


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2020, 8:45 am 
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scratchypants wrote:
A "prospector" is a concept, not a standard. .


Right, I agree with that. I guess what I was getting at is between the big established canoemakers is there really a big difference in quality//performance for price?

Or is it like Ford/Chevy/Dodge pickups - all three have their tribal "never gonna drive a ____" die-hards but when you get down to it they are pretty much going to get the job done.....

(For the record, the correct pick-up choice is Toyota).


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2020, 5:08 pm 
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Swift doesn't make cheap FG canoes anymore but they do have a 2nd brand they make them under. I forget what that brand is.


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2020, 8:36 pm 
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Prospector16 wrote:
Langford doesn't make their own canoes anymore - for that reason alone I won't personally consider them for a new canoe.


100% agree, they are not even on my radar plus I had an awful experienceat there store the one time. I wont own a langford.

Prospector16 wrote:
Swift doesn't make cheap FG canoes anymore but they do have a 2nd brand they make them under. I forget what that brand is.


Northern canoe

ameaney wrote:
scratchypants wrote:
A "prospector" is a concept, not a standard. .


Right, I agree with that. I guess what I was getting at is between the big established canoemakers is there really a big difference in quality//performance for price?

Or is it like Ford/Chevy/Dodge pickups - all three have their tribal "never gonna drive a ____" die-hards but when you get down to it they are pretty much going to get the job done.....

(For the record, the correct pick-up choice is Toyota).


Yes, I think there is a quality difference. but i don't think your analogy is wrong. Personally, I would pick a nova craft over a swift, but I'm not saying I wouldn't paddle a swift, but i would also grab the ford key before a chevy or even a dodge (shutters). I think if you what light weight reliable Souris is a great choice but swift isnt a bad choice, the suttle difference on the souris would sell itself. If i wanted a moving water expedition canoe Id take the nova craft then again a buddy of mine paddled the Yukon in a 17
souris, so i mean to each there own.


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2020, 8:51 pm 
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Here is something to consider that is difficult to overlook - Swift supplies most of the canoes going into Algonquin Park and that is a LOT of canoes. Because of their relationship with Algonquin Outfitters which from Bill Swift's own mouth 2 years ago is "they are basically one company" (Bill's brother runs AO)

That means they get a shit-tonne of feedback on their R&D on an annual basic - probably way more than any other company out there. They can and do go through the inventory at AO and see where the problems develop through heavy use, and how they develop. That is a HUGE advantage in my view.

Souris has a similar deal with Killarney though I don't have numbers I suspect it is a lot fewer canoes.

I love my Nova Craft and bought it new, and would buy another one new too. But man it would be a tough choice between Nova Craft, Swift and Souris River. Fortunately I won't be in that position again any time soon so I won't have to anguish myself over the decision :-)

But they are my top 3 brands for used canoes for sure. H2O a close 4th.

Oh and Swift also makes some of the canoes now for Trailhead in Ottawa under their store brand.


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2020, 6:41 am 
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Prospector16 wrote:
I love my Nova Craft and bought it new, and would buy another one new too. But man it would be a tough choice between Nova Craft, Swift and Souris River. Fortunately I won't be in that position again any time soon so I won't have to anguish myself over the decision :-)

But they are my top 3 brands for used canoes for sure. H2O a close 4th.


Top four brands of Ontario made.... There are some other players that are just as good..


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2020, 10:01 am 
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Other top brands such as Clipper and Northstar Canoes.

http://www.clippercanoes.com

https://northstarcanoes.com

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PostPosted: August 19th, 2020, 6:26 am 
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We went from a clipper tripper that we had paddled for years to a H2O Boundary this year. We needed something lighter for Ontario canoeing. We love it but agree its "responsive" and takes a little getting used to especially for the bow paddler. The clipper was fast and efficient but cannot touch the new H2O Boundary. One of those canoes you think your going slow in until you look at your time/speed/watch.
Paddle them all is what we did, we rented some, borrowed some and took them for as long as we could. With the price these days and the expected time you can hold onto a canoe spend the time to get the right one.


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