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The snow is melting!
It is great that the snow is starting to melt and I too look forward to using a paddle again, but ... why wait ...

Heh Scott, since the River Trail is closed and the river ice is thinning and getting open leads ... maybe that spanking new kayak of yours is going to see a christening soon!?  Again, you could wait for perfectly clear water ... or ...


Yikes!  I might take my 'old' boat out in conditions similar to the second video (I feel less protective of it after doing an ugly patch job on the hull last year) but my new surf ski, which doesn't have a gel coat in order to save weight, would get messed up pretty quick. Come to think of it I actually have paddled on the Assiniboine as the ice was breaking and accidentally slid up onto an 'iceberg' with no ill effect.  I was more concerned about getting stuck underneath it. Are you still looking at a boat purchase this year Tom & Lori?

We had been debating about it recently and thought that we might wait until next year and just rent for now.

But, as it just so happens, the videos got us talking tonight about paddling and as Lori was heading out the door to an evening engagement, she looked at me and said ... "ah, let's just get our canoe now ... why wait!" ... to which I said ... "right on babe!" !!!

So it's Carpe Diem for us on the canoe front!

We're leaning towards a 16 or 17 foot tripping canoe with a little rocker, some keel and decent freeboard at a fairly light weight, yet solid enough to not get thrown around by waves/wind if the load is light.  The gunwales must be wood.

If we buy new it will probably be one like this 16 Ft Evergreen Prospector Kevlar/Ash Model at MEC or their 17 Ft Model.

I'm not completely sold on Kevlar, but the light weight is tempting!

Looks like a very good choice Tom. Dean and Kara got a very similar design from Wilderness Supply Company about a year ago - there's is a Souris River, something like this.  There's is done in a sexy Le Tigre layup - it's beautiful.  They're also available in carbon-tech, and of course in Kevlar.

Thanks for the link ... excellent website they have there and some tempting canoes!
Hey Tom & Lori,

For whatever it's worth I stumbled across this used boat listing from someone in Winnipeg, posted a few days ago on a message boad I was on earlier today when I was looking for some unrelated info:

Wenonah Sundowner Kevlar Canoe, 18': Good used condition, red, sturdy wood gunwales, 60 lbs., cross rib construction, sliding bow seat stern footbrace. $1350. mr_canoehead at hotmail.com
I'm sure there's plenty of used stuff out there if you decide to go that route, but figured I'd paste this here for the heck of it.
Thanks Scott
Hey Scott ... I'm seeing more open water on the Assiniboine ... time to break in (no pun intended) the new Think Kayak eh! ?  How long till this?
I came very close to getting the boat out (the old Evergreen, not the Think surf-ski) last week when I saw that there's a narrow stretch of open water along the side of the river from at least the Omand's Creek train bridge to east of us where the river turns slightly.  It's enough to do a few laps and get a decent little workout in.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe.

WRT the 24 hour paddle, yeah, I'm definately still thinking about it.  Deanna also wants to try paddling for 12 - 24 hours starting west of the city somewhere near Portage La Prairie and heading into the city along the Assiniboine.  We've looked at some maps and tried to figure out a place to camp over night (maybe doing two 12 hour days).  She wants to do the first day solo and then anyone who wanted to could meet up with her for camping and the next day's paddle into town.  Sounds like it might be a cool idea.  I think she's targetting early June (she's doing some travelling before that and a couple of other things get in they way earlier in the season).
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