Read reviews for the Quetico 17 by Souris River Canoes as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
I paddled quetico 17’s and 18.5’s, along with aluminum and other branded kevlars for 3 Years (24 x 7-10 day canoe trips) working as a canoe guide with a company in Ontario and immediately bought one after I was done.
One time a group ahead of me down the turtle river wrapped their canoe around a rock in a rapid and had to abandon it. It was my task to rescue the bags they had to abandon to fit their crew into one less canoe to make it to an evac site off the river at the next lake. When I found the site, a kayaker had popped it out of the rapid and stomped it back into shape and left a note for us. We literally paddled it back out, at least 4 or 5 days worth of trip. I believe it was repiared by souris river and added back to the fleet. There was no leaking, just some cracking along the top, and it paddled just fine. Some good-natured ribbing followed towards the group that abandoned ship. I believe the rest of us had aluminum canoes that trip and the speed and ease of paddling the souris river may have resulted in some early morning races to pick first canoe.
What I personally noticed in terms of slight disadvantages over 3 years of paddling is that they can be challenging to portage in the wind, because they do not sit heavily on your shoulders like a heavier canoe. As a 120 lb woman, it can take some substantial arm stength to keep the wind from taking it. Granted, the longer, forested and wind-protected part of your portage is going to be much easier. This can sometimes happen on very very uncommonly windy lakes, more of the canoe sits out of the water, so there is more canoe to catch the wind, coupled with the lack of keel. So you might get the opportunity to practice your steering. But, you are also moving much faster and dragging less canoe weight. When we had groups of very large people, we would use these canoes because they have a substantially higher weight capacity compared to an aluminum canoe.
This is a canoe to inspire envy from your peers and elicit unsolicited compliments and comments on the superior engineering of souris river canoes from those in the know.
This is a versatile fast and stable boat! Got my red LeTigre layup in May and it’s beautiful. I weigh 250+ lbs and have had it loaded for a week, in the rain across saganaga waves and it was solid and steady. Probably not the fastest thing out there but if you are looking for a family friendly boat that can handle dogs, kids, fishing and Quetico/bwca trip this is your boat!
It's a very good looking boat. mine is NOT the le tigre colour but the weave of the kevlar is still interesting and the red really glows when it's in the light. the aluminum black trim is nice looking, the seats look good and the yoke is very handsome. Big, carved wood.
As the website says, it weighs in the low 40 pound range. I can't believe how portable it is. It's my first kevlar boat and even at 17 feet I still have no problem moving it around on my own. I've got a bad knee and can still roll it up onto my shoulders and back down with ease.
It feels very sturdy when it's on the water. The manufacturer's website does mention that the kevlar is supposedly extra strong due to their process.
While taking it on it's first paddle this weekend we did run over a pretty large boulder that the bow paddler didn't see until the last second. the bottom flexed over it and we were fine. On that trip we were able to test all sorts of scenarios:
we got caught in some heavy wind and the boat cruises through 20" waves with ease. still moving at a good speed. we also ended up in some dead calm water with only a couple of inches of water and it moves through that with no problems. it's got a ton of storage, tons of leg room. the seats are nice and low which adds to the stability.
I'm a heavy guy and have never met a canoe I felt comfortable in. this is the only boat I've been able to sit on the seat and not tip. while I do prefer to kneel or sit on a lifejacket on the bottom if it's very windy I spent half the day sitting on the seat fishing and paddling with lots of power. on that note, when you get a nice paddle going this boat tracks very well at a very good speed.
The reviews are true. it's not the fastest boat out there but it's a joy to paddle, tracks well, still moves quite quick, is ultra light and utterly stable. I cannot imagine a better canoe for tripping. I can't wait to get my wife and dog in it with me in the spring!
I purchased a Quetico 17 in 2014 and all the Reviews paid off. My Son and I recently had the canoe on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Nat. Park. We paddled down wind for an hour and the canoe tracked beautifully in the following whitecaps. The wind and waves really started to build, so we crossed the lake for flatter water/less headwind for the paddle back to camp. Started to cross the lake knowing we'd never been in water that rough in a canoe. Again, the tracking and stability were amazing. We really put the canoe to the test when my son spun in the bow seat to take a photo, putting our combined weight on the wrong side of the canoe, on the wrong side of a wave. We went up and over another wave in beam seas before getting control of the canoe. We were amazed, impressed, and thankful that we didn't capsize. Paddling back to our camp included a shorter crossing, quartering into the waves. Looking at the shoreline pass from out on the lake made you realize we were making good time without trying too.
This is a testimonial for the design of this wonderful canoe, not us as paddlers! While marveling at it's stability and speed, you realize it would do even better with a load on board. Souris River Canoes seem to make a canoe for every option when a canoe makes the most sense, without going over the top on the # of models and making your choices confusing. If you can find a better canoe for a purpose other than racing, buy it without question!
If you are on the fence as to getting one of these canoes, don't hesitate; they are no doubt the best and the safest canoe money can buy!
Another structural treat that this beast has I don't think anyone has noticed or mentioned. Souris River says it's a straight sided canoe. But there is actually tumblehome sides where you sit, as the sides come to the center thwart, they straighten out. This is genius because you get the comfortable reach you would in a tumblehome as well as the splash protection from a straight sided canoe.
The flat bottom does cut the speed down, but the stability and maneuverability is a great compromise. It tracks decent, and if you are a fishermen I'd say this is a must. Keep in mind there is not perfect canoe, every design has its cons. This canoe seem to have a little bit of everything in it! They do say mutts make the best dogs...
My first true canoe was a Winona Sundowner, which was faster but much less stable. I do miss the speed at times, but when considering the sea-worthiness of the Q17 it's worth my peace of mind for not being quite as fast. I am very content with my purchase.
The Quetico 17 is stable and tracks well, allowing me to use my time & energy to fish and explore. I am always getting compliments about the looks of this fine piece of craftsmanship. But the best part is that it performs as well as it looks!
I bought 2 used Souris River Quetico 17s over the year second hand from outfitters and those retiring from canoeing (You can usually get used ones for around 1000...WELL WORTH IT!). Old or new, this is a solid buy, and with TLC, you can make these canoes last decades. If you want a canoe that will reliable for years to come...go Souris.
Just before my last trip to Isle Royale I installed a shoot-through-hull transducer that I attached to a portable, battery-powered Hummingbird fish finder. I caught so many lake trout that I lost count! (I also became so transfixed by bottom contours that I forgot to look for moose!) Any serious fisherman should consider doing this. I had a blast.
In the process of demoing canoes, I came very close to purchasing a Wenonah Minnesota II. While empty, the Minnesota II has an absolutely beautiful glide. (I suspect that the canoe actually planes when paddled hard.) Tracking is superb, and much like a train on a track, you point the canoe in the right direction and seem to head directly there.
Ultimately, I decided upon the Quetico 17, and for the following reasons. First, I am a traditional paddler, and I like to feel my canoe respond to my corrective strokes. The Quetico turns on a dime, whereas the MN II is somewhat resistant to the j-stroke. Traditional paddlers will probably prefer the Quetico, whereas NATT-style jocks will probably like the MN II. (As a purely sociological matter, I'll bet that people in MN II's tend to wear fleece, whereas people in Queticos wear checkered wool.)
Second, the Quetico 17 is a more stable platform than the MN II. (I had no problem standing up in the Quetico in a slight breeze, but I didn’t dare do so in the MN II.) Stability is important to me because I’m an unstoppable fisherman. I simply cannot afford to capsize in 35-degree water while bringing a lake trout or a gator pike into my boat.
Third (and related to the last), the Quetico has more freeboard than the MN II, which sits very low in the water even with a minimal load. Waves in the Canadian Boundary waters can become quite large, and I’m inclined to think that the MN II would easily take on water. (I’ve read that the Quetico 17’s load capacity exceeds the MN II by over 200 lbs, and I don’t doubt it.)
Fourth, I’m inclined to believe that epoxy really is stronger than polyvinyl resin. (Wenonahs are made out of the latter.) I do not EVER want to puncture my canoe when I am in the tundra a week from the nearest town. (I almost punctured my royalex canoe during a 28-degree overnighter, so I know that the danger exists.)
Fifth, I love the aesthetics of green Kevlar—especially when sunlight is pouring through it. Last week, a 10 or 11 year old girl came up to me as I was launching my Tranquility (made of the same green Kevlar as my Quetico) and told me that “it is really, really pretty.” I agree.
I love my Quetico. Maybe one day I will buy a Minnesota II for its marginal additional speed. But before I do that, it might make sense to have Verlan Kruger build me a custom kevlar job with a sail...
In researching this purchase, I had read that the Souris River build quality was supposed to be very good but I would describe mine as merely average. It had several minor cosmetic defects such as runs in the varnish on the seats, internal skidplates not quite centered, and black coating peeled off of many of the rivets. Nothing that would effect performance, but a little disappointing considering the price.
For comparison, I owned a MNII for a few years before the Q17. The Q17 seems to be a good all around canoe for tripping. It handles well both empty and with a load and steers easily even in a wind. It is very stable and comfortable to fish out of. In the MNII, my back often tired as I felt the need to make adjustments based my paddling partners movements. The Q17 portages very easily - seems to almost want to balance itself when shouldering it. The only area it really seems to fall short is in speed. It is not slow, but has nowhere near the glide of the MNII.
Overall, I'm happy with the purchase. Canoe design requires compromising in some areas to get gains in others and I think that the Q17 offers a good balance of stability, manuverability, capacity, and speed that will please most paddlers.
I use this boat for work and play. I do portage and trail clearing in the BWCAW and these trips can involve hauling some pretty good loads around. I chose to use the 'Antler' style yoke from gearforportaging.com as it makes the canoe easier to shoulder when there are tools strapped into it. I don't baby this canoe and it holds up none the less. I did have a Wilderness 18 first and liked it for its speed but the Quetico better suits its purpose and the one foot shorter canoe IS a little easier to portage.
I have had a little difficulty holding this canoe on course and it loses a point because of that. Otherwise I consider an 8 a high rating if a 10 is perfect.