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

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PostPosted: August 20th, 2020, 9:53 am 
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RAY1984 wrote:

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


Who else would you add to the list? Keeping in mind that CAD vs USD makes US made unaffordable for most of us...


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2020, 3:13 pm 
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Abitibi who now makes Scott - maybe. Not convinced they are as good as the other guys though.

Quessy? Not impressed with most of what I see from them but maybe some white water boats?

Seems like I am missing one of the Quebec ones ...


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2020, 6:33 pm 
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Esquif.

If you are planning on crossing Ungava Bay or motoring up the George, Norwest makes a non-nonsense freighter.


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2020, 8:35 am 
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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??

I recently checked out a couple of these boats from different manufacturers in researching which to buy and found some substantial differences. Apart from length and weight and of course materials of the various Prospector models, the rocker size was substantially different (2" vs 4") which really affects handling. Also, the interior finish from one manufacturer was very different from another - one had very rough kevlar edges on the interior that could snag a finger or knee whereas the other had completely smooth finishing. Owners of each loved their boats but those were their personal preferences. I suggest trying to see and paddle each to really understand the differences.


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2020, 9:22 am 
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Otiswinston wrote:
. Owners of each loved their boats but those were their personal preferences. I suggest trying to see and paddle each to really understand the differences.


I'm actually not in the market. And quite frankly I don't think I logged enough time paddling to really appreciate the differences.

I was curious to get the opinions of some of the veterans on this site.

You mentioned that fit and finish varied from mfg. to mfg - which had the "smoothest" vs which had the "roughest" interiors?


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2020, 10:13 am 
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I found the Swift's interior hull was much smoother than the Souris River. I don't want to disparage the SR or suggest it isn't a good boat - the owner I talked to loved his and said they performed very well when he managed a rental fleet.


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PostPosted: October 21st, 2020, 9:51 pm 
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It would be fantastic to get prospector 16 from every major builder in same material and color,
and run a day long analysis comparing them in depth.
Even if just floating them side by side in a glassy pond and snapping constant pics. Rotating them, snapping. So many questions would be answered with those pics, for so many years to come.
It also would be beautiful.


ps,
SourisRiver prospector16 = Trailhead's prospector design
SourisRiver prospector17 = SourisRiver prospector design
Esquif Prospector16 + 17 = Trailhead's prospector design
Esquif Sport prospector = Esquifs prospector design
Trailhead prospector 16+17 = Trailheads prospector design
Swift prospector 16+17 = Swift design, except when Tformex (then, Trailheads design).
NovaCraft prospector 16+17 = NovaCraft prospector design


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2020, 4:16 pm 
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tanaphar wrote:
ps,
SourisRiver prospector16 = Trailhead's prospector design
SourisRiver prospector17 = SourisRiver prospector design
Esquif Prospector16 + 17 = Trailhead's prospector design
Esquif Sport prospector = Esquifs prospector design
Trailhead prospector 16+17 = Trailheads prospector design
Swift prospector 16+17 = Swift design, except when Tformex (then, Trailheads design).
NovaCraft prospector 16+17 = NovaCraft prospector design


You'd need to confirm this, as I read it 'somewhere' on the internet...
Souris River was once a partnership with Bob Hellman. When he moved to Nelson BC, he, by mutual agreement, brought his molds with him.

Hellman Prospector = Souris River Prospector 17 = Chesnut Cruiser
Hellman Slocan = Chesnut Prospector 18

I'm sorry if I'm always going on about Hellman, other than Clipper, and possibly Esquif, we don't have many options in composite, symmetrical canoes in BC. In my opinion he builds well-designed, functional, durable, well-priced, AND light canoes.


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2020, 4:51 pm 
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Souris River doesn't make a Prospector 17. They make a 17.5. Pretty sure it was designed for Souris River. While it's possible they are just measuring rocker differently the Souris River has 4" of symmetrical rocker compared to 2 1/2" for Hellman. The Souris River 17.5 is an awesome boat.

There were more than a dozen different Chestnut Cruisers. None of them were published as 17'6" .The Novacraft Cronje is based on a 17' Cruiser.


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2020, 5:05 pm 
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Hellman's Prospector is 17'6" and 34" beam, and the Slocan is 17'8" with a 36" beam and 4" of rocker. Hellman claims to have extended the design? Not sure if that helps or muddies things Martin...


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2020, 7:50 pm 
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Daniel Odd Job wrote:
tanaphar wrote:
ps,
SourisRiver prospector16 = Trailhead's prospector design
SourisRiver prospector17 = SourisRiver prospector design
Esquif Prospector16 + 17 = Trailhead's prospector design
Esquif Sport prospector = Esquifs prospector design
Trailhead prospector 16+17 = Trailheads prospector design
Swift prospector 16+17 = Swift design, except when Tformex (then, Trailheads design).
NovaCraft prospector 16+17 = NovaCraft prospector design


You'd need to confirm this, as I read it 'somewhere' on the internet...
Souris River was once a partnership with Bob Hellman. When he moved to Nelson BC, he, by mutual agreement, brought his molds with him.
.


It is already confirmed, which is why I said it. Confirmed with SR in last 2 weeks.
SR also confirmed that the pros17 (.5) is designed by owner Keith Robinson, as are other SR models.

@MartinG,
yes, the 17.5 is what I intended by 17. I just roughly identified them 'bigger vs. smaller, 17 vs. 16')
On that note, it may be worth specifying, the 18' Nova is also a Nova design (not just 17+16).

Also, for those interested,
-main pics for pros16 on SR pros16 page are not accurate as of Oct 23 2020)
(there is, truly, no thwart by seat + no sliding mechanism for seat)
-specs on the Pricing page, for the pros16, are not accurate specs either.
Again, confirmed with SR.


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PostPosted: October 23rd, 2020, 3:55 pm 
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Prospector16 wrote:
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.


But Novacraft had inroads into MEC as a major supplier...and I think there is a lot of feedback to be had there not to mention ambassador's like Kevin Callan.

I agree though. I'm a novacraft guy pretty thorough and through but I've paddled swifts and souris rivers in rentals. They are all great canoe's. Souris River was an awesome performer for me in paddling but I hated the ribs and found them to interfere with kneeling but that 16' model cut through water and portaged like nobodies business. I love our novacraft pals and have become accustomed to how these boats perform and now the pal has become My Pal. So in the end, I think that is how it shapes up and it is hard to throw out a recommendation for anything other than what you own and love. You develop a relationship with your canoe and how it handles and sometimes that union sticks and maybe for others it doesn't.

In the end, if the relationship goes bad, its probably not a failing only of the canoe and model...but maybe there wasn't the effort on your part to develop the understanding about what your boat was best suited to. Hell, when I was young and dumb, I thought my first girlfriend in the form of a 95 pound coleman orange pumpkin was sexy as hell. She took me to a lot of places that I wouldn't dream of trying in my 50's :) Like your first girlfriend and kiss, its hard for me to find unkind words for a coleman canoe...other than, you probably shouldn't buy one today :) [I doubt you can anymore]

I'd re-iterate that Swift, Souris River and NovaCraft are no brainers for premium canoe brands and it would require your own subjective experience to really make a decision.


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PostPosted: October 23rd, 2020, 4:15 pm 
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You develop a relationship with your canoe and how it handles and sometimes that union sticks and maybe for others it doesn't. In the end, if the relationship goes bad, its probably not a failing only of the canoe and model...but maybe there wasn't the effort on your part to develop the understanding about what your boat was best suited to.

nicely said, very true.

Hell, when I was young and dumb, I thought my first girlfriend in the form of a 95 pound coleman orange pumpkin was sexy as hell. She took me to a lot of places

lol that's hilarious. because it's so true.
even if that thing were a floating microwave you'd still look back in awe. lol.


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PostPosted: October 24th, 2020, 5:26 am 
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My sweetie and I sold our 16’ Nova Craft Prospector and replaced it with a Souris River Prospector. We found that the SR, with it’s narrower beam, lower bow and stern height and more rounded profile on the bottom works better for us. There is a significant difference in paddling characteristics. We have found the SR easier to paddle, less affected by the wind and more responsive, especially in large waves.

The Nova, on the other hand, was a great boat; roomier - easier to load and unload (36” beam vs SR’s 34” beam) and definitely a more solid build (Kevlar/spectra layup & ash trim).

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PostPosted: October 24th, 2020, 7:19 am 
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maddogbob wrote:
The Nova, on the other hand, was a great boat; roomier - easier to load and unload (36” beam vs SR’s 34” beam) and definitely a more solid build (Kevlar/spectra layup & ash trim).


curious why you feel it's a more solid build? in what way? and are you referring to this aramid lite when you say kevlar/spectra?
https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5041-406/ ... inum-Canoe

the SR pros16 is truly gorgeous.


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