Took it out on the Shenango River today. Held up very well. They're not kidding about the 980lb capacity. It held four adults with buoyancy to spare.
It is, however, one of the tippier canoes I've paddled. They're correct when they say it combines the best of a canoe and kayak. It seems designed for skilled canoeists with good, flexible balance to navigate rivers and dodge obstacles. Couldn't really use it to its potential with four college aged adults who had varying degrees of balance and maturity. But it certainly has promise. We managed to avoid tipping by a very thin margin.
The sales clerks at Dick's said this is the heaviest canoe they carry. Seems to be worth it in rigidity. Its shape made it much more steady on the top of my truck than my deceased fiberglass canoe.
I'm thinking of upgrading a few things about it. Its hull is made of a lighter-than-water system of layered polymer, so it has no built in floatation. I thought filling the bow, stern, and moulded gunnels with polyeurethane foam might aid in floatation in case it got swamped. Also maybe epoxy a layer on the bow and stern to aid in impact resistance and possibly even help it cut the water better. Might also carve the rear seat out a bit, after filling the inside with polyeurethane foam. It squeezed me pretty hard. Yes I was cramped, but I'm not a huge guy and it really clamped my rear end in there. Might build up a padding system instead. Also want to add provisions for a painter rope, and possibly some storage compartments. Sure it will add weight, but it could use some more weight on the bottom to stabilize it out.
Any thoughts on this?