Souris River Trailhead Prospector 16
The Prospector is a traditional design and also a technical one as well. This canoe has a round bottom and about 4 inches of rocker. It is capable handling very rough water and significant rapids. A very experienced paddler can also lay it on its side in the water at a 35 degree angle and not take on water. The 4" of rocker allows this hull to turn very quickly and also take off quickly as well. Due to the rocker pushing water forward, it will not maintain the higher lake cruising speeds that you'll get with a Quetico 17 which has only about 1.5" of rocker. If you don't really understand what "rocker" is and how it affects the canoe's ability to track and turn, you may not like this model. See what "rocker' looks like HERE
Dubbed the ultimate wilderness tripping canoe by Bill Mason, author of Path of the Paddle the famous old book, many folks feel that this canoe will be magically fantastic for them. Much like owning a huge 4 wheel drive SUV to drive around on freeways. Oh, sure, there's that one time that you might need the 4X4 traction, but for the other 364 days, 23 hours and 50 minutes, a minivan would have served you much better. Plus, with so little practise in four wheel drive - do you really know how to use it or will you make a bigger mess for yourself? Same thing with the Prospector. For that one time that you'll need to be in Class IV whitewater with the rest of the year on flat lakes and ponds, do you really need to put up with those added design features/capabilities that could get you in a whole lot of trouble if you don't know what they are and how to properly use them? Also, are you really qualified to go down anything above Class II whitewater. How's your life insurance? Better pay up those premiums. Rule of thumb: If you don't know your abilities, carry the nice light canoe over the portage. That's why there is a portage, there.
To sum up this albeit "unusual" sales pitch, the Prospector requires a stern paddler who is proficient with a J-Stroke, Draw Stroke, and a Sweep Stroke. If you are not good with a J-Stroke or are wondering what that is - this is not the canoe for you. You will end up zig-zagging down the lake and ultimately (and inaccurately) blaming the bow paddler (usually the wife) for the canoe's lack of control. Next, you'll conclude that all Souris Rivers are tippy and squirrely on the water, and eventually that all kevlar canoes are tippy and squirrely, and finally that canoeing is bad, very bad. You really need a Souris River Quetico 17.
For the three people on Earth who actually understand what I've described regarding the way a Prospector handles, you will find Souris River's Trailhead Prospector to be an absolute blast to paddle! Personally, I love Prospectors. They are fun to paddle, accelerate like a rocket, and will spin on a dime. I can also hold them in a perfectly staight line right down the lake with no problems, whatsoever. After all these years, I still don't understand the point of the Bill Mason "style" of paddling and really have not yet met anyone who could truly tell me why anyone would ever want to paddle in that ridiculous fashion. I sit on the seat the way God intended - it's right in there in the Canoeing Bible - Chapter 6, paragraph 5, Verse 2 - "Thou shalt sit on the canoe seat because when thou kneeleth in the chine of the canoe, thou looks dumb and whateth is the point?", so sayeth the Big Cahuna of Canoeing.
Prospector Prices and Spec's Here