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More Boundary Waters Canoe Area outfitters are switching to Souris River Canoes faster than any other canoe made today! They're lightweight, affordable, stable-paddling and most importantly durable! Go ahead and ask a Boundary Waters Outfitter! Souris River is the up-and-coming canoe for wilderness travel because Souris River Canoes hold up…and they hold up well. They are also MUCH more user-friendly on the water.
For more in-depth differences between Kevlar, Duralite and all the other cloth canoes, CLICK HERE!Unlike other canoe manufacturers who use polyester-based resin (the glue that makes the cloth hold the shape of a canoe), Souris River uses a premium epoxy resin in all of their canoes. Epoxy resin easily outlasts vinylester resin and is much, much stronger. Vinylester cracks and delaminates where epoxy flexes and resists delaminating when you hit a rock or if you accidentally drop your canoe. In wilderness travel and for general, less critical usage, DURABILITY is very important and NEVER overated! For a more technical comparison between epoxy resin and the vinylester or polyester resins used by the majority of other canoe builders click HERE.
Most other lightweight canoes use a foam mat in the bottom of their canoes to provide a stiff floor. True, foam sandwiched between two layers of Kevlar is stiff, but it is also much easier to puncture.
When you put all of your weight in a floating canoe and it settles down on a rock, the foam core doesn't flex. You can't see the problem because it's directly beneath you under the canoe. At this point, one of two things will most-likely happen: A. Our planet Earth will shift off of its axis to accommodate your canoe more gently. B. The rock below you may puncture, cut, or tear the kevlar cloth layer of your vinylester-resin, kevlar canoe. Most Boundary Waters paddlers choose "B" for the answer and the net result is a required repair with duct tape in the field and then with a Kevlar patch when you get home. Now, you just spent $2000+ on that canoe, and after just one rock-laden Boundary Waters trip, you need to fix it. Does that sound right to you? ...............I didn't think so!
You can stand at any BWCA entry
point and easily count the repaired/patched, other-brand, Kevlar
canoes as they go by. Some of the patch-work is rather artistic;
some of it not so neat. For paddlers who enjoy the challenge of
performing Kevlar repairs, we highly recommend ANY of the vinylester-resin
kevlar canoes. They are all pretty much the same. For everybody
else there are Souris River Canoes...
Instead of relying on the weaker, old-tech, crushable foam-core system with cheaper vinylester-resin, Souris River uses a highly innovative Flexible Rib System which keeps your canoe floor rigid when paddling but allows the floor to flex under duress or impact. When you step into a Souris River Canoe and see the bottom actually flex up because there's a rock underneath it, simply remove your foot, move the canoe to a rockless area, and re-enter. You might have scratched it, but you didn't poke a hole in it. To be able to flex out of the way of a rock minimizes potential damage when you're 20 miles out in the middle of the woods. This kind of flexing of the hull can only be achieved through a winning combination of premium epoxy resin plus hi-tech innovation in design which is only available from Souris River Canoes.
And of course, there will be racing folks, other canoe sales staff and/or those who mimic the sales-pitch that a "flexible hull is a bad thing". You might hear references to those excessively floppy-bottomed, camping-stove-company's canoes that you can buy at any farm supply store for under $400. You may even hear that a flexible hull is inefficient and makes the canoe plow through the water when it's rough out, etc. Well, give 'em all an understanding nod and come see a Souris River Canoe for yourself. Put it on the water, paddle it normally under normal Boundary Waters conditions (calm water to raging 3 foot whitecaps) and then tell us how much oil-canning and flopping of the bottom YOU saw. Then, lets take a Souris River in kevlar and one of those foam-core, vinylester kevlar canoes made by those expert detractors and paddle each canoe, powered by the same two, 200 lb. paddlers over the top of the same rock just below the water's surface. At this point, you can imagine what happens to their stryofoam core (foam-core) canoe as all that weight crunches down over the top of that rock. How strong is a foam beer cooler when you step on it? Essentially the same stuff is in all of those racing canoes. Now, imagine when a specially designed canoe like a Souris River can simply flex over the rock, just getting a scratch less than 1/2 a millimeter deep. The ability to flex without damage is what makes Souris River Canoes so different and better than those old-school kevlar canoes that all the other builders are pumping out.
Then there's the "handling-on-water" issue. Do you really want to own a super-light, delicate racing canoe that is darn-near impossible to turn in even a light crosswind? Or, would you rather have a canoe that travels at good speed, is super light, extremely durable and very forgiving (easy to handle) on the water? Everybody's always so concerned with carrying weight that they overlook three HUGE points of importance when considering which canoe to buy: Point 1. Nobody ever drowns on dry land while carrying a canoe. Point 2. A canoe that fights you when you need to turn into the wind is a dangerous canoe for everybody except racers and experts. Point 3. A tippy, unstable, narrow canoe is just no fun at all - you need to be on full alert all the time because if you don't you're going to get wet and lose all your gear. Here's just one review of a Souris River Quetico 17 by Canoe & Kayak Magazine way back in 1999 and some others by private owners at paddling.net CLICK HERE
Some other points to consider - comfort: If you sit in the front seat of racing/performance kevlar canoe you'll find that you cannot rest your feet in front of you side by side but instead will need to stack them on top of each other because the bow is ridiculously narrow. (Remember: It was built originally for canoe racers then marketed to wilderness paddlers based on hype regarding speed and light carrying weight.) You're going to be really uncomfortable in about an hour unless you are used to sitting with stacked feet. Think I'm full of bull? Go check out the biggest, well-known racing/performance kevlar canoe company out there today and sit in the front seat of their 3 most popular models. You'll see what I mean in about 1 second if you're a slow learner like me. Heck, you don't even need to sit in it. Just look at the air-tank. If it's about the size of a narrow size 10 shoe's footprint, you'll know without sitting in the canoe. To further illustrate, consider fishing to the side when your butt is locked into a deep bucket (tractor-style) seat straight ahead and your right foot is stacked on your left foot's toes in front of you. Or, pull your feet up and rest them normally in front of you as you would in a chair. If your knees are close to your ears, you'll get the picture. You can sit cross-legged but I'm an aging 6'2 male and can only stand that position for a while before my knees start to scream. How long can your knees be all scrunched up?
By all means, you are entitled to buy whichever canoe you want. Some folks buy a certain type simply because they recognize the name and conclude that that canoe is the way to go. Others choose a certain canoe because it was recommended to them by a friend or acquaintance. Some people buy canoes because they like the way look on the showroom floor.
Our advice to you (for what it's worth) is to buy a canoe that will do what you want it to do on the water based upon your paddling skill level. Regarding your paddling skill level and what you intend to do with the canoe, "to thine own self be true". If you've been happy with the way the old family aluminum canoe handled on water for the last 25 years, but now you just can't lift the weight on land, should you really be looking at canoes built by racing canoe companies? Do speed paddling records and water hydration systems really matter to you - or do you just want to go fishing and have a great time on the water in a dry canoe that you can paddle and carry easily? If this sounds like your style, you won't go wrong with a Souris River Canoe. Call us and we'll help you determine which model would be best for your needs. 1-800-280-1078
|Quetico 16||Prices & Specs||How to Properly Lift a Canoe|
|Quetico 17||Souris River FAQ||Get in a Canoe with Dry Feet|
|Quetico 18.5||Factory Website||How to Properly Load a Canoe|
|Wilderness 18||The Folks @ SRC||How to Install Skid Plates|
|Tranquility Solo||Under the Kevlar||SRC Owner Comments|