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member (17)member
11/14/2020 08:01AM  
How would you rate these canoes?
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11/14/2020 08:21AM  
My tripping partner has one, Quetico 18?, that is my envy. Light weight for it's length, a real cargo hauler, handles rough water well, and fast. Only drawback is the difficulty handing a cup of coffee from the rear to the front because it's so long. Great canoe and workmanship.
11/14/2020 09:49AM  
I took a trip to the BW with my buddy, Jon, in late August and we took his canoe, a Souris River Quetico 17. I am normally the stern paddler in my canoe, but since we were in his, I took the bow. Paddled and fished from the bow for five days and was very impressed by the stability and roominess. I'm 6'3" and 250# and was comfortable being up front.

SR always promotes the fact that they build stable canoes, but they're also good on the water. Maybe not as much glide as some canoes, but they're not even close to being a barge. And at 43#, they're nice on the portages, too.

There are other nice canoes out there, but you asked about SR. My experience with being in one was good.
member (17)member
11/14/2020 11:58AM  
How would they compare to a Wenonah Champlain?
distinguished member(4987)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
11/14/2020 03:12PM  
We have two SR Q17 canoes. One for us and one to lend to people who come on trips with us. We bought them after a 10 day trip so we had a good bit of experience with them when we made the decision. What we particularly like is that they are stable both loaded and unloaded. We take unloaded day trips both when at our cabin and when in the BW where we will go in for a few days and then take a non-moving day but with a day trip. So both types of use are critical to us. We don’t care about high end speed. We are more about slow and steady and taking lots of pictures. We are very happy with them and bought both used from an outfitter.
distinguished member(569)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/14/2020 03:31PM  
On my last Quetico Trip, I stopped by the shop unannounced and was given a tour of the entire process. Nice people, small shop, good quality. One thing I liked was, at least on some models, there is a layer of fiberglass over the Kevlar. This would make sanding and refinishing the bottom a bit easier since sanding Kevlar can make it fuzzy. Also adds durability.
I was impressed enough that I would consider them if shopping for a new canoe.
I have never paddled one though.
member (16)member
11/14/2020 05:03PM  
I have a Souris River Tranquility solo canoe that I have had for a while. It is stable both loaded and unloaded, seems to have a bit more freeboard than some other solo canoes that I have paddled, as a nice balance of tracking and manuverablity (but leaning to the side of tracking) and is light enough to amaze the folks down here in the land of aluminum and plastic boats. I think it is probably the only Tranquility in South Carolina!
I did a refinishing on the hull when I got it and the fiberglass outside layer did make sanding MUCH less stressful.
On this year's solo "isolation" trip to the Boundary Waters, it handled me (180 lbs.) my Portage pack (52 lbs. at the start) and daypack (12 lbs. including drinking water) with ease throughout the trip.
I give a thumbs up to Souris River canoes.
distinguished member (107)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/14/2020 05:41PM  
I have a Souris River Q17. I like it a lot. It is their all round tripping canoe. It is big enough for two people and their gear for a couple of week trip. It is stable, moderately fast but not a speed demon, and moderately maneuverable. A good all a rounder and tripping canoe. I also use it for a lot of day trips where it is unloaded. With my wife in the bow who weights 50 lbs. less than me, it is trimmed bow high and it can be hard paddling into a stiff breeze. Nevertheless it has been good for day trips too.
If you are looking for a tandem tripper but value speed and are willing to give up a bit of maneuverability you might consider their Wilderness 18 model.
11/14/2020 07:41PM  
I have an SRQ17 and have paddled the Wenonah Champlain. Both canoes will haul a ton of gear, but the SRQ is not nearly the barge that is the Champlain. The SRQ17 is an excellent stable platform for fishing with good primary and secondary stability and it also has good traveling speed, although it's not the fastest canoe out there. I'm not so concerned about speed though, and I love the 43 pound weight for portaging. I would highly recommend the Souris River Quetico 17.
distinguished member(7691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
11/15/2020 06:19AM  
I have a Q17 and a Tranq. Very pleased with both if them. Very rugged.
distinguished member (112)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/15/2020 06:56AM  
I bought a brand new SR Q17 in June of 2017. I like to fish and wanted a stable, sea worthy platform. I also wanted durability. So far I have zero complaints, and I don’t hesitate to recommend it.

My friend bought a used 18 ft SR Q18 from an outfitter. It has two cracked ribs in the floor, a bent gunwale you can spot from a distance of 20 yards (it fell off his truck), and its finish has lost its shine. One windy day last June we took it fishing on Fall Lake near Ely, MN. It served us fine, however the oil canning where the ribs had cracked was pronounced.
distinguished member(2310)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/15/2020 07:10AM  
SR boats are generally stable and commodious- lots of room for people and gear with decently light mass for their capacity. They tend to be slow and inefficient (the Tranquility an exception to this generalization) and their design lacks stiffness from bow to stern. Older hulls I've worked on are subject to deformation and oil-caning due to this lack of stiffness. They market their layup (epoxy resin) as tougher than other manufacturers- this is hyperbole- epoxy resin is "harder" than the resin used by Northstar or Wenonah but the difference in hardness is insignificant in comparison to the rocks the vessel is likely to come into contact with.

The Champlain would handle very similarly to a SR 18. These are big, safe comfortable boats. I prefer the design and layup of the Champlain mainly due to the greater stiffness of the hull.
distinguished member (252)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/15/2020 09:09AM  
jimbocr1167: " How would they compare to a Wenonah Champlain?"
For stability with two big guys, I wouldn’t part with my Champlain. I’ve paddled both. SR is a great canoe, I’m just partial to the Champlain
member (5)member
11/15/2020 10:19AM  
I have not paddled any Souris River boats.. so FWIW.. it never made any sense to me to have it’s main design feature be a flexible hull. Not sure how that can be a good attribute under “normal” use.

I have a Champlain. Wenonah states in its description of the Champlain that if you meet 2 of these 3 conditions the hull can be a good choice.. Big people, Big loads, Big waves. I think that is accurate when considering the Champlain.
11/15/2020 10:41AM  
As a long time participant in Wabakimi Project trips I paddled Uncle Phil’s SR canoes every year for 13 years in NW Ontario. My brother and I both have had Wenonah canoes for over 15 years. I find the SR canoes to be much tougher than Wenonah canoes. I did note that on SR canoes the internal ribs did seem prone to cracking. A few years before the WP ended in 2018 Phil had SR pickup and repair 2 of his boats. As I recall they were both refinished, had broken ribs replaced, flotation resealed and at least one thwart replaced. He was charged $1100 which included pickup/delivery at his house in Thunder Bay. And the last two SR canoes he had bought used from a summer camp in about 2010 and they were already 10 years old at that time.
distinguished member(1100)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/15/2020 11:24AM  
Stability and durability are excellent in my opinion, but they’re not known for their speed. I’ve been paddling SR for about 20 years
distinguished member (107)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/15/2020 11:34AM  
Souris River makes two boats in the 18 foot range. (Three if you count the Prospector 17.5). They are the Wilderness 18 and the Quetico 18.5. These are quite different boats. The Quetico 18.5 is designed to be a large boat with lots and lots of capacity for gear or a third person. It is meant to be the extra large version of the all-round boats in the Quetico line. The Wilderness 18, while also a reasonably large boat, is designed to be a faster version of a tripping canoe. I am not always completely sure which boat some of the posts refer to.

For comparison to the Wenonah line of canoes, I’d say Souris River tries to take a more balanced approach and always tends to keep their canoes designed with tripping in mind. For example, the Wilderness 18 is probably not as fast as a MN II. However it's probably a little more sea worthy and maneuverable. Comparing the Q18.5 and the Champlain, I think Wenonah went all out for capacity and had to give up a lot of speed. In the Q18.5, Souris River gave up some of the speed you could get in a boat that long but didn’t make the boat as wide as a Champlain.

So often you have to give up one thing to get something else in canoe design.
member (32)member
11/15/2020 01:55PM  
I owned a Wilderness 18 for many years, sold it around 2011. Can haul a ton, fairly fast, and super stable in the rough stuff when loaded down. When unloaded, twitchy as hell - like riding a beach ball. Loved it when travelling, hated it when fishing. If I where to buy another SR, would get a Quetico for sure.
distinguished member(7691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
11/15/2020 06:04PM  
My canoes are tools, like a hammer to a carpenter. The less stiff, more flex, and harder attributes seem to make much tougher, as i experienced when Mitch and I went over the west dam out of Little Gabbro and it folded a little. Sprung back instantly. I put two coats of Epifanes on it every 4 or 5 years, and plan on it being my only tandem ever. Different boats for different folks.
11/16/2020 08:34AM  
jimbocr1167: " How would they compare to a Wenonah Champlain?"

Both great canoes. The Quetico 18.5 would be the closest comparison to the Champlain. My opinion is the SR glides better stability felt similar but I have more experience in the SR so I am sure I am biased :) I bet someone whe paddled a Champlain most of the time would like there regular canoe better too. I think that says they are both good.

distinguished member (107)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/16/2020 09:57AM  
This may be obvious, but this thread has covered lots of models in the Souris River line of canoes. Getting the right model for your needs will ultimately be more important than the brand.

A SR Q18.5 or Wenonah Champlain would both work well for taking two people and a large dog on a 10 day BWCA trip. A SR Tranquility or Wenonah Prism would both work well for a solo BWCA trip. I am sure there would be small differences within each group and one person might prefer one over the other.
However, if you tried to solo either the Q18.5 or the Champlain, you’d be one unhappy camper. Loading two people, a dog and gear for a trip in either of the solo boats would be a disaster.

Souris River makes good canoes. I like my Q17 a lot. If you get a Souris River or another brand, make sure you investigate the specific models and try them out if you can.
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