Responsive and seaworthy in grade II and III whitewater.
This solo 14′, designed by James van Nostrand, is one of a series of traditional-type Prospector canoes offered by Western Canoeing & Kayaking. All three Clipper Prospector models share the same characteristics of classic design, grace on the water, and maneuverability.
The Prospector 14′ is a solo canoe that is responsive and seaworthy in grade II and III whitewater. The classic Prospector design is symmetrical with a shallow arch hull. It has 1 ½” of rocker and the high chine provides a smooth and dry ride through rough water. A Duraflex layup is a must for whitewater use. An expedition spray skirt is available for this model.
The 14 Prospector is available in four layups. The standard fiberglass layup is ideal for entry level paddlers, while the Ultralight version provides one of the lightest solo canoes available for wilderness tripping. An optional removable yoke makes it ideal for portages of any length. D-rings mounted on the chine or gunnel will secure gear or float bags. For white water use, the Duraflex laminates are available with bow and stern bags (in place of floatation tanks) and a solo foam half saddle.
“I am really enjoying my Kevlar/Duraflex 14′ Prospector. I have taken it down rivers, paddled flat water with it, and even took some freestyle classes in it last summer. The boat heels nicely without getting tender near the gunwales. I also enjoy the responsive nature of the boat. It stays dry in rougher water and it is a fun boat to paddle. I am enjoying its versatility.”
I have had a 14’ Prospector canoe for five years and used it extensively. This boat has the kevlar duraflex layup, no ribs or foam core. The layup was flawless! Aluminum gunnels and thwarts, the seat is a wood curved webbing seat and is angled to allow kneeling or sitting, it is comfortable and very functional. I took this boat on a one month trip on the Coppermine River. The load carrying capacity is impressive. I also had no trouble keeping up with the tandem canoe as the boat is fast for a Prospector type. It also fits nestled inside most tandem boats, saving the air fare. The truly amazing thing is that it handles very well loaded. It is very maneuverable on the river allowing back ferries and eddy turns with little effort. It tracks well on the lakes and handles wind and weaves.
This layup is extremely tough. I lost control of it when I had it on a cart loaded w/ 100# of gear. It took off down hill like a race house, got a lot of speed and smacked a large tree, taking a chunk of bark off. The damage to the canoe, a 6” scratch on the bow, merely cosmetic.
I use this boat for teaching flatwater canoe courses where we paddle a tight timed course that requires turns in both directions, side slips, backwards paddling and sideways maneuvers. Once my students get in it they don’t want to paddle anything else, It really carves nice weight turns.
In short it is light, durable, comfortable, maneuverable, with a large carrying capacity. It handles exceptionally when loaded and that is a rare performance in a tripping solo canoe. In my opinion ideal for river and lake paddling