View topic - Keewaydin 18.6 experience (or other family tripping canoe)

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PostPosted: July 29th, 2020, 2:20 pm 
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Joined: March 6th, 2018, 5:37 pm
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Hi all,

A quick summary and update to an earlier post:

I have two boys ages 7 and 8. They've been in canoes their whole lives, but we have only recently started taking them on extended trips. And by we, I mean me. We are going on a longer family trip later in August that will involve two boats, but so far it has just been the boys and I for up to four days in the cedar strip Redbird that I built over 20 years ago. Until this year it was mostly just used for casual day trips, but my 16' prospector was destroyed during the winter when one of my outbuildings collapsed due to snow load. My plan had been to replace it this year but then Covid hit and plans changed.

Not buying a canoe early this year was probably a good idea as it turns out that most of the trips are just myself and the kids. All flat water so far, but I wouldn't avoid class I or (depending on the situation) II. We haven't avoided any long portages and so far so good. We are actually heading out again for a few days tomorrow.

I enjoy paddling my Redbird, although I also admit that a lot of that has to do with having made it myself. But, it isn't ideal for the three of us. Initially, I assumed we would be a two canoe family this year (and will be when my wife is able to get time off work), but because it has turned out to be primarily just myself and the kids, I'm going to look for a more appropriate boat for next year. Three seats would be ideal, with enough room for gear, and light enough that I can carry it along with my portage pack (my cedar boat weights 61lbs, and I manage it along with the pack - barely). I pack fairly light (same equipment used when backpacking), and can fit all of our gear and food for four nights into one large portage pack and one 60L barrel. We haven't taken the dog yet, but he has been canoe tripping for 11 years and I'd likely bring him if we had room.

Just to get an idea of the size of various boats, I sat in a Trailhead Prospector 17' (three seats) in the store today and was amazed at how big that boat felt. We put a 60L barrel as well as a pack behind the bow seat and my 7 year old still had room to lay down with his arms and legs spread out, without the third seat even being a problem. Quite clearly, that boat (or Swift - apparently the Trailhead boats are made by Swfit) would easily fit the bill. A Swift 17 Prospector with the carbon or aluminum trim would provide more than enough room, and would be light enough for the portages.

Another option would be the Keewaydin 18.6. Odds of being able to paddle this model before next spring are probably zero, so if I did buy it, I'd be doing so without having first taken it for a spin. If anyone is able to weigh in on their thoughts I would appreciate it. My guess is that I'd be happy with either purchase and it is somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison. The Keewaydin would be faster, but the narrower width might make it a bit harder to fit all the gear behind the bow paddler? Although the boys "help", I will still be basically paddling solo and I imagine the Keewaydin would be the clear winner in this regard. As I said earlier, my kids are well behaved in a canoe, as is my dog. However, sh*t happens, and I imagine the prospector wins out on a 'do not tip' contest. I also have years of experience with various 16' prospector models (my old man still has the original chestnut hanging in the carport that I learned to paddle in), so they are within my comfort zone considering the complexities of solo tripping with two kids.

Any and all thoughts are welcome!

Thanks,

Keith

P.s., If anyone has experience with other large family friendly tripping canoes, please share.


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PostPosted: July 29th, 2020, 3:01 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2009, 8:34 am
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I have a Northstar northwind 20, its amazing for family hauling. My runner up choice was a wenonah Minnesota 3 or 4 but good luck finding one. and behind that was the souris River quitico 18.5

All good Choices, I personally am not a fan of the lines on the swift. I'm really just not a swift guy.


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PostPosted: July 29th, 2020, 3:52 pm 
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Joined: March 6th, 2018, 5:37 pm
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The Northwind is maybe a bit bigger than I'd like. Ideally, when the boys are a bit older and we no longer need to all be in the same boat, it would be great if we could continue using the canoe as a tandem (I should have mentioned that in the original post). I forgot about the SR Quetico 18.5. I actually owned one for a year or so. An older fiberglass model. I should have paid better attention to how much room it had, but it was before I was thinking about tripping with young kids. I remember describing it to people as "slick" in the water, and enjoying paddling it on lakes while fishing, etc. I will look into it. Thanks.


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PostPosted: July 29th, 2020, 6:26 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2015, 2:14 pm
Posts: 69
Location: London, ON
We have a SR Quetico 18.5. Bought new in 2010. Three kids, born 2007, 2010 and 2012. About 20-30 nights in the backcountry every year, including one trip of 8-12 nights every year. We also have a dog.

Last year, the five of us cruised around Algonquin for 10 days. No problems whatsoever.

Things I like about the Quetico:
1. Very very durable. I do think the epoxy is better than gel coat.

2. Reasonabye light (50 lbs). We single-carry the portages, so I carry the canoe and pack, and then switch off with my wife who carries the canoe (and a pack) etc.

3. Spacious. It's wide enough to allow us to put two fully-loaded 115L MEC Sloggs across the canoe just ahead of the yoke, with a 60-L barrel between them. One small pack under the 3rd seat, one small pack behind the stern seat. This has been good for a 12-night trip with the 5 of us and a dog in 2018.

I've done 5-days solos with the 18-footer, it's not horrible to paddle from the 3rd seat, but it does catch the wind.

Last year the 12-year-old was able to paddle all day and portage the 16-foot carbon H2O canoe, so this this year we are splitting into two canoes.

Great canoe overall, really could not ask for something more durable and overall more useful for us.


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PostPosted: July 29th, 2020, 7:20 pm 
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Joined: March 6th, 2018, 5:37 pm
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[quote="MarkoMrko"]We have a SR Quetico 18.5. Bought new in 2010. Three kids, born 2007, 2010 and 2012. About 20-30 nights in the backcountry every year, including one trip of 8-12 nights every year. We also have a dog.


...Thanks. That's a solid review.


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PostPosted: July 30th, 2020, 4:00 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2009, 8:34 am
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That all makes sense to me. My kids are 2016 and 2018 so the huge boat will last me a really long time. I figure we are between8-12 years before we switch to 2 canoes.


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PostPosted: July 30th, 2020, 6:58 pm 
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Joined: May 5th, 2015, 2:14 pm
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Location: London, ON
Look at that width! Looks almost empty with 4 people hahahahaha

Image

Image


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