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      New canoe Savage River vs Souris River     
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senior member (51)senior membersenior member
11/27/2020 09:42AM  
Hi all,

I just sold my MN2 and am in the market for a larger stable tandem. I want something for big water and heavy gear that can still be fished from empty and be relatively stable. My typical load is 700to 800 lbs as my buddy and I run 265 each and we like carrying real food like steaks and pork chops so the food pack averages about 80 lbs. With that being said I want something with room in the bow to fish from but lighter than the Royalex Wenonah Champlain we usually take. This is most likely my last tandem purchase as I’m 50 so I want something light but tough as hell. The boat will be stored indoors.

I’ve read everything I can on the Souris River and have paddled a Kevlar Q18 multiple times but I’ve never paddled a Savage River. I feel like the Deep Creek would be overloaded with us or I’d buy that so I’m leaning towards the Savage River Voyager in the Textreme with the dual Kevlar layup, foot brace, and carbon thwarts or the Q17 in the carbon layup with a foot brace. The two boats are basically identical in weight. Any feedback on either boat would be greatly appreciated. If anybody has a boat with the Textreme layup how has it held up? Any gripes about it?

Thanks for your time.
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member (48)member
11/27/2020 11:59AM  
WIlliams and Hall has a few Savage Rivers in their rental fleet. Give them a call and I'm sure they'll give you their $0.02
distinguished member(2310)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/27/2020 12:26PM  
What about a Champlain in Kevlar or carbon? It is a big, stable seaworthy hull with decent glide for its mass.

Savage River is among the best in reducing weight. Really good lay ups. I've only paddled the Deep Creek and the Blackwater so I can't address your specific model. Souris River's designs suffer from a lack of bow to stern stiffness- this might be a concern considering the mass of the paddlers and gear. The carbon fiber is more resistant to abrasion but more prone to fracture (like from sharp blows- i.e dropped on a rock) than kevlar. The Tex-treme is pretty to look at.
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
11/27/2020 01:30PM  
Thanks for the feedback. I’ve considered the Champlain in Kevlar that’s third on the list creeping towards second. To be honest I wish Wenonah used colored Kevlar like SR does I’m not a huge fan of the raw banana look after all these years. Functional but not pretty like a Chevy truck. I’ve read the reviews on the Williams and Hall boats they are all positive. I’ve also read Charlie Wilsons reviews on Textreme in general and Dan Cookes reviews on his Deep Creek. I’ve just never seen any hands on owner reviews on a Textreme boat in real world use. I was hoping somebody tells me they can run light rapids and beaver dams with it and it holds up. I know the Q17 can do that no problem.
distinguished member (107)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/27/2020 04:18PM  
In this thread and some other recent threads people keep talking about the Souris River Q18. Maybe they made a Q18 in the past, but there is no Q18 in their lineup now. There is a Q18.5 and a Wilderness 18. They are quite different boats. The Wilderness 18 would compete with a Wenonah MN II (maybe not quite as fast but a little more sea worthy). The Q18.5 would compete with the Champlain. Was there a Q18 at some time?
distinguished member(4987)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
11/27/2020 04:47PM  
To the best of my knowledge there has never been a SR Q18. People just drop the .5. And yes, the SR Wilderness 18 is a very different hull and so it is important to keep them straight. We’ve done a 3 person trip with a Q18.5 which would put our paddler weight around yours but maybe less gear. It did fine even on some tough, windy, wavy days.
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
11/27/2020 08:23PM  
Sorry I just left off the .5 for simplicity. I’ve never paddled the Wilderness but the 18.5 took some big rollers on Vermillion last fall no problem.
member (48)member
11/29/2020 10:17AM  
I got a B17 in IXP this spring and beat the hell out of it this summer, it barely took anything more than a deep scratch. I absolutely love that boat and layup, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Northstar's IXP is a great layup, but if you're thinking Savage or Souris River, you've probably got your heart set on an UL epoxy boat. I'm probably not going to sell you on the advantages of a B19 in IXP as its a little hefty at 76 lbs.... It'll be extremely seaworthy and bombproof though, mine sure is.

They offer it in their blacklite and starlite layups as well at 55 & 49 lbs respectively. Might be worth considering...
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
12/02/2020 02:17PM  
Thanks for the input everybody. I ordered a Savage River Voyageur in Textreme and the dual kevlar layup. John seems great to work with and is mounting the rails for the ram mounts for my rod holders at the factory. I'll post up a full review next fall after I get a chance to put some miles on it.

senior member (86)senior membersenior member
12/03/2020 12:27PM  
That will be a gorgeous canoe! Definitely the next level canoe!
12/03/2020 01:29PM  
Hey Bam... what are the specs on your canoe? I looked at their website and I saw 30-something pounds, and in another area, it said 40-something pounds. I'm sure it had to do with layup, etc.

Looks like a dandy canoe at 18'6" long. Pretty pricey, too.
distinguished member (107)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/03/2020 03:47PM  
I find the Savage River canoes very interesting. The first things I noticed is that they are very, very light and also very, very expensive. The company website doesn’t give as much information on construction as I’d like to see. What type of resin do they use? How do the various layups compare in terms of durability? What is TeXtreme? How durable are the various layups compared to say Souris River’s or Wenonah’s layups? Can anyone who has owned one of these canoes answer the durability questions? What do outfitters say about durability? If these canoes are as tough as other ultra lights but substantially lighter that could justify the price.
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
12/03/2020 04:58PM  
Hi all
First off, light weight wasn’t my primary goal, durability was, so I blame Banksiana’s comment for tipping the scale this direction.

Second, fortunately I’m in a position where my buddies all use 80k fishing boats so my wife didn’t go nuts when I told her I was dropping big bucks on a canoe since one of them just spent 6K on a trolling motor and talons. To me I’m going to run this baby hard for twenty years so the price is more palatable.

As far as the specs go, I upgraded to the carbon yoke, thwarts, float tanks, and foot braces with the built in paddle holders for the ZRE power surge paddles, and the Textreme inner and outer layers, but still opted for the dual layer of Kevlar so basically four layers. The Textreme inner was just aesthetic as I think it looks better than yellow. It was a $200 upgrade, but saves about a pound. This is meant to be a rugged go-anywhere boat for fishing some of the big lakes and maintaining stability. He is also mounting some of my Ram track for the rod holders. I’m very aware it won’t be a Ferrari more like a souped up F350.

We are doing the Crane Lake to Fowl trip this fall and I like the thought of a big boat that is still light. In talking to John, he said it should come in at 41 lbs because of the two layers of Textreme and carbon upgrades. If I would have opted for one layer of Kevlar instead of two, it would have dropped 4 to 5 lbs, but I wasn’t really looking for that. I wanted the piece of mind to run a few rapids and not stress about it. John said it would handle whitewater and rocks no problem with a moose in the middle. I’m not quite as big as a moose, but what the heck.

I also really respect Dan Cooke and Rob K and they both run Savage Rivers so I figured that speaks well of the company.

My options were slightly custom, but that’s the great thing about John, you’re dealing with a custom guy. I honestly think that all the builders - Souris River, Northstar, Swift, and Wenonah are great and each bring their own unique angle to the industry.

This is the link: Savage River Voyager
12/03/2020 07:15PM  
I am salivating after that last post. Congratulations looks like a fine canoe!

distinguished member (233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/03/2020 08:36PM  
Congrats on a dream canoe. I expect you will be quite satisfied. Please share a report once you've had some time with the boat. A friend has a savage river flatware racing OC1. The fit and finish is incredible.

The favorite bent shaft paddles of my lot are Savage River, a matched pair from an earlier era when he would do such a thing. These paddles are incredibly stiff, light, and a pleasure to use. Thinking you might be interested, I've attached a photo.

distinguished member(4987)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
12/03/2020 09:52PM  
I'm salivating too. The ability to customize so much is wonderful.

And you are right about price. It is a lot compared to a used canoe but nothing compared to what some people spend on motor boats.
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