Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Gear Forum
      Northstar B16 report?     

Author

Text

argv
member (9)member
 
02/05/2020 06:45PM
Can someone share his/her paddling experience on the B16? The only thing I could find online was:
https://paddlingmag.com/boats/canoes/northstar-canoes-b16-touring-canoe-review/

I'm considering it for a general-purpose/versatile boat - causal lake paddling/fishing with my kid (80 lbs now but grows fast) where we don't need to go fast/far and can stay inside calm bays, some solo lake paddling/fishing when I have a half day free and the kid is at school, some easy river and possibly more whitewater as our skills grow (but definitely nothing crazy). Another boat I looked at was Nova Craft Prospector 16, but it had too much capacity than what we'd need. And to keep the wife from going mad I can't put anything longer than 16' in the garage.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
andym
distinguished member(4837)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/06/2020 12:49AM
I’m no help with your question but am wondering if your user name is a C reference?
 
mrballast
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
02/06/2020 06:26AM
No paddling experience, but spoke to Northstar folks at Copia last year. The B's are prospectors. They brought them in as most of their designs are asymmetrical.

Paddle first, but I wouldnt hesitate to take one on bigger water with proper care. My wife and I plan to make the B17 our next canoe, but it may be a while.
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(531)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/06/2020 07:11AM
argv: "Can someone share his/her paddling experience on the B16? The only thing I could find online was:
https://paddlingmag.com/boats/canoes/northstar-canoes-b16-touring-canoe-review/

I'm considering it for a general-purpose/versatile boat "

I picked mine up in November so I have not paddled it yet, but paddled a Wenonah Prospector 16 tandem and solo for years. The B 16 is 4-5 inches lower in the bow and stern which should make it much easier to paddle solo. It is also 1.5 inches narrower. If you live near the twin cities you are welcome to take mine out in the Spring. That having been said I would not hesitate to pick this canoe up as Prospector canoes do everything well. They may not be the fastest, but I have always kept up or beat those in my group paddling Wenonah Boundary Waters or Northstar Northwinds tandems.
 
argv
member (9)member
 
02/06/2020 03:39PM
andym: "I’m no help with your question but am wondering if your user name is a C reference?"

Y, that's my main thing to make a living.
 
argv
member (9)member
 
02/06/2020 03:46PM
Thanks MidwestFirecraft (appreciate your generous offer but unfortunately I live in CO) and mrballast. I'll surely try to do a test paddle - some indoor pools here are occasionally open for paddlers in the winter, though most lakes/ponds will stay frozen for a while.
 
argv
member (9)member
 
02/08/2020 08:37PM
No more question!
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(531)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/08/2020 09:51PM
Congratulations! I'm confident it will be a great all around canoe for you.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(509)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/09/2020 04:32AM
Congratulations!
Nice boat!
 
kmzurn
 
04/23/2020 11:54AM
MidwestFirecraft or argv, have either of you had the chance to try out your Northstar B16s this spring yet? I am particularly interested in how they perform with a solo paddler. I haven't canoed in years, so I'm probably at a beginner/advanced beginner level right now, but my skill would hopefully pick up pretty quickly. This canoe is at the top of my list for a solo canoe with the option to go tandem.

Primarily planning to go solo and occasionally tandem on local lakes around central MN. If I would ever go to BWCA, I would probably rent a different canoe. Let me know your thoughts on your B16s!
 
argv
member (9)member
 
04/23/2020 12:25PM
I only managed to paddle it once in an indoor pool, with my 10-year-old bowman, for about 2 hours. Just 2 observations:

1. I found it easy to paddle straight with J stroke, when my bowman was taking a break. I'm not anywhere near an experienced paddler at all.

2. Good secondary stability. Since it was a warm indoor pool, we practiced flipping and getting back into it. When we did the right thing, i.e. rocking it hard but keeping the hips loose, we were unable to flip it at all. We only flipped it when I got so tired rocking it and decided to do the very wrong move (reaching upper body far out of the gunwales).

Then the lockdown came, and no paddling at all!
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(531)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/24/2020 07:29AM
kmzurn: "MidwestFirecraft or argv, have either of you had the chance to try out your Northstar B16s this spring yet? I am particularly interested in how they perform with a solo paddler. I haven't canoed in years, so I'm probably at a beginner/advanced beginner level right now, but my skill would hopefully pick up pretty quickly. This canoe is at the top of my list for a solo canoe with the option to go tandem.

Primarily planning to go solo and occasionally tandem on local lakes around central MN. If I would ever go to BWCA, I would probably rent a different canoe. Let me know your thoughts on your B16s!"


I will be getting her out of storage May 2nd or 3rd. Hope to get her in the water shortly after.
 
MuskyMike
member (33)member
 
04/24/2020 10:27AM
Just picked up a used custom B17 IXP myself. It's gorgeous with birdseye maple seats, handles, and thwarts. She went down the San Juan on the Northstar Experience last year. Haven't paddled it yet but will post a detailed review come Memorial day after I get back from Crooked. It'll be tripping along side a MN II through Mudro and up the Horse River. Should be a great canoe for that particular route. Added a spring creek yoke and leveled the seat drops as it was set up as a WW rig with kneeling drops and pads. I'm pretty impressed with it out of the water, we'll see how she does come ice out.....

Here's a link to a video they shot of the canoes they used on the trip. Mine's the second one shown paddled by Dan from CCS. My first post so hopefully the link works hahaha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I8hokOFH40
 
Bradv
member (36)member
 
04/28/2020 07:39PM
I recently purchased a Northwind 17. I can’t comment on the B16 but I can comment on the craftsmanship and amazing service from Northstar. You can never go wrong with a prospector shape, especially in CO where I assume you’ll be river running more than tripping. I have the blacklite and wood trim, but for bombing down rivers I’d consider IXP for maximum durability. However, the blacklite is strong and stiff too, I’ve taken it over logs and through some terrible portages, no rock hits yet... minor scuffs only.

 
MuskyMike
member (33)member
 
05/26/2020 03:02PM
Just got out of the woods yesterday after the maiden voyage with my used but new to me Northstar B17 IXP. Spent a week going in through Mudro, Sandpit, Tin Can Mike, Horse & River, LBF, up to Friday Bay, and back. First impression, I LOVE THIS BOAT!!!

Tripped it along side a MN II. We double portage and base camp so both canoes were loaded to capacity with 700-800 lbs of guys and gear. Water was fairly high so we had no extra portages on the Horse river but hit countless rocks, dry foot portages, and drug it through the rapids in a few spots. The hull has dozens of new scratches but nothing through even the first layer of material.

It tracks straight, handles rough water like a dream, and was as fast as if not faster than my buddy's MN II. The three inches of bow and stern rocker were a bit concerning to me when I purchased it, but didn't make it hard to stay straight even in heavy cross winds. It proved to be quite the blessing on the curvy Horse river and through the narrower stretches of Crooked. Paddling it from the stern was a joy. Subtle J & C strokes turn it on a dime. My partner said the bow was one of the roomiest and most comfortable he's ever sat in. It handles just as well fishing and paddling empty. It doesn't have the initial stability of a flat bottom boat but the secondary stability is absolutely amazing. You'd probably fall out of this boat before it tipped over.

My only complaints are the cheap laminated "birds eye maple" plywood thwarts, and the weight. The front thwart broke when unloading it the first time so thankfully I was able to replace them both before taking it out. The weight isn't a huge deal, but at 64 pounds before adding seats and strapping in rods and spare paddle, it sure made "Heart Attack Hill" live up to it's name on the way out yesterday. It's a trade off though. My buddies MN II took far more damage than mine did and we were the Guinea Pig boat through all the tricky stretches. So they had the advantage of knowing where not to go when we hung up.

In summation, I'd highly recommend this boat and layup to anyone looking for a WW boat or something they don't have to worry about beating up a little. It certainly wasn't the boat I started out looking for. However, after finding a screaming deal on a barely used 2019 model, I did some research on the design. Everyone says a prospector is the "best do it all canoe" and after spending a week in it I can confidently say that this by far the best canoe I've paddled. I can't imagine an inshore situation that it couldn't handle save class IV & V WW.
 
Bradv
member (36)member
 
05/26/2020 04:35PM
Sweet boat report! Thanks for sharing.
 
Brock63
member (18)member
 
08/31/2020 07:10AM
I just got my Northstar B16 with IXP layup. Previously I owned a Bell Northwind in Royalex by Dave Yost. I loved that boat to paddle...tandem and solo on long hunting trips along rivers here in southeast. It did everything for me...

When searching for another canoe after selling that in weak moment 4 years ago...I looked at all the typical players...Wenonah, Nova Craft, Merrimack, Old Towne, etc. If I lived up north and only paddle pristine clear water deep lakes would have been easier...but in southeast we have dark water in lakes and rivers, tidal rivers and creeks that have various obstructions depending on height of tide, time of year, and effects from storms (logs, debris, oyster beds, gravel bars, etc). So I needed a tough layup with Royalex no longer being available.

I kept coming back to Ted Bells shop over and over...whether it was the durability and strength of layups...workmanship....or design.

So I called and talked to one of the guys at Northstar...cant remember if Bear or one of the others. Told them of my experience canoeing....my most recent boat being Northwind 16...my likes and dislikes and what I intended for new boat...which was much of same. Tandem trips overnight or during day, solo trips loaded for hunting (longbow hunter) and camping for 4+ days, accessing abandoned rice fields to chase redfish, flounder, trout with fly rod in tidal flats, recreation, and taking dog out and maybe chasing some woodies in flooded timber. My biggest complaints with the Northwind 16 in Royalex was the weight....and while the tumblehome was great for paddling it made loading a chore with it narrowing so much compared to flare at water line.

Northstar recommended I get the B16 for its secondary stability, increased load capability, and said it was more versatile for what I intended. It is a spin off of the Prospector but with different rocker (B16 has 2.5 inches bow and stern) with lower bow and stern rises and a lower height on sides to lessen effects of wind.

My first paddle out was on local lake....little bit of wind but lake surface was mix of glass in coves and chop in middle...even though only a 70 acre lake. First thing I noticed is it was a little more tippy on initial stability than I remembered my Northwind....also could be from not being in a canoe in 4 years so I lost my balance and comfort. Most of it was caused by my body overreacting to every twitch or rock in the hull as we paddled....and lessened over the first hour test paddle.

First, when the water was smooth this boat just glided effortlessly over the glass surface...was quiet and smooth....and when in sync with our paddling was like magic. When it got choppy a little it still moved well...we stayed dry and did not notice hull slap as it continued to cut through water. Out in open and around two large turns the wind caught us from different sides. It was manageable and did not want to spin on us but could feel effects of large gusts but some technical paddling to reposition bow into wind or at an angle and shooting for opposite banks to stay shielded made it fun...and I thought it handled the wind as good as my Northwind..maybe better actually.

I bought mine with the burshed aluminum gunwhales, bracing, handles. My yoke and seats are wood but they are very well made, comfortable and am not disappointed in quality of material or workmanship. I love the aluminum trimp....appealing, durable and the gunwhales are a two piece design and allow for my rigidity....very solid boat. It is also noticeably lighter than my Royalex. Not as light as a Blacklight but its 57-60# is far lighter than my 73# Northwind. Also, the B16 in IXP does not require a foam core in hull for stiffness like other layups....which was a bonus for me.

Also the Innegra layup that you see through the resin is a pretty attractive look in my opinion...

I am very pleased with the new canoe especially how much I loved my Northwind....but this improved-prospector model is truly a versatile and capable design.
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(531)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/31/2020 09:57AM
Great review. I think you will really like using it solo as well. I don't even need weight in the front when sitting in the bow facing stern. The beauty of IXP to me is that you can repair it as it wears, where royalex was very difficult to repair. There is also no oil canning with IXP. Enjoy your new ride!
 
MuskyMike
member (33)member
 
08/31/2020 04:29PM
Not just you. My B17 is a little tippier than a Northwind as well. Constant flare in the B series vs a basically flat bottom in a Northwind. They make up for it in secondary stability. You’ll love it more as you use it. Congrats.
 
Brock63
member (18)member
 
08/31/2020 05:28PM
MuskyMike: "Not just you. My B17 is a little tippier than a Northwind as well. Constant flare in the B series vs a basically flat bottom in a Northwind. They make up for it in secondary stability. You’ll love it more as you use it. Congrats. "

Yeah that was my thought as well...more rounded hull in B series...flatter in Northwind at least in Royalex...I just need to go out and try to tip her over and feel where that secondary stability kicks in a few times and then let my hips get loose and take the movement and keep torso steady. Thanks for words....
 
RNasr
 
09/08/2020 12:51AM
Some of the best write ups I’ve seen on a boat
Thank You All

@MidwestFirecraft what layup are you running
In that pic?
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(531)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2020 06:11AM
Blacklite layup. Runs around 43 pounds with wood trim.
 
RNasr
 
09/08/2020 04:51PM
MidwestFirecraft: "Blacklite layup. Runs around 43 pounds with wood trim. "

The Dream.Please update us on performance, wear and durability
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(531)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2020 05:18PM
RNasr: "MidwestFirecraft: "Blacklite layup. Runs around 43 pounds with wood trim. "


The Dream.Please update us on performance, wear and durability
"


Canoe performance is subjective, but I love prospectors and being narrower at the gunwales as well lower bow and stern than the Wenonah make it a spectacular solo canoe. It serves very well as a tandem for me and my kids as well. As far as durability I can't comment. This is my dream canoe and I only baby it on lakes and gentle rivers. Tuscarora Borealis has had a blacklite canoe for over a decade, and takes it to the BWCA so he would be much more suited to answer that question. Black Pearl
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next