So we have a short paddle in PEACE OF THE PUZZLE under our belts now. I spent a couple months building it (a few have asked me for hours – I have no idea, but it was a good many) – aftre all that work, what is this boat like? Obviously I’ll need much more time to assess, but some initial thoughts:
- Appearance – The Peace Canoe is a pretty boat, no question about it, particularly in the water. We got compliments on and off the water, including things like “unusual,” in a very complimentary sense. I expect we’ll get noticed in this boat for the right reasons.
- Stability – This boat will be a good family boat. I am fairly confident that one could have half the Rockettes do a kick-line on the starboard rail and she wouldn’t go over. In more practical terms, this means a good boat for a family with young children (check) and a good boat for fishing (seems like a good idea).
- Tracking – Of course being long and not very rockered, the boat seems to track pretty well.
- Weight – The boat is a lot heavier than I expected it would be. It is basically unmanageable alone, and even my wife and I, two reasonably strong adults, had to work a bit to put it on the car.
- Beam – The stability is a plus, but it comes from being quite beamy. With the sides flared as they are, the boat actually does not fit upside down on our standard car roof-rack. It rode OK right-side up, but I wasn’t wildly comfortable with it like that. I will need to get some additional attachments, and it will be fine, but it isn’t as car-topable as it might seem.
- Freeboard – Maybe it is a function of the weight, but with four of us in the boat – and two of us are small children – the boat sat deeper in the water than I expected, leaving less freeboard than I might like for more open water. I had been planning on trips in the Bay and such, but I will be a bit more cautious for those ventures. This may be more of a true flatwater boat.
More as I learn more… In particular, I haven’t gotten much of a feel for core paddling ability. The weight seems like a slowing factor, but we’ll see.