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Anyone Have a Esquif Prospecteur Sport?

Glenn MacGrady

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I don't have one and have never seen one, but I'll make some observations based on specs and plan view.

But, first, I'll use this link as another example of the "unfurling URL" feature, which will operate automatically when you just paste the link to an unfurl-able page in the reply box:


This canoe is a medium-short, wide, deep, high internal volume, highly rockered tandem canoespecs which would optimize its usage for cargo carriage on rivers and whitewater. It's ends are also fuller than traditional Prospectors, which concave-taper in at the ends. It would be relatively slow and wind-prone as a lake canoe, in my opinion.

esquif_pocket_prospecteur_sport_.jpg
  • Length : 4.85 m (15’ 11”)
  • Width : 88.9 cm (35”)
  • Depth : 39.4 cm (15 ½”)
  • Rocker : 8.9 cm (3 ½”) bow and stern
 
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But, first, I'll use this link as another example of the "unfurling URL" feature, which will operate automatically when you just paste the link to an unfurl-able page in the reply box:




View attachment 127528
  • Length : 4.85 m (15’ 11”)
  • Width : 88.9 cm (35”)
  • Depth : 39.4 cm (15 ½”)
  • Rocker : 8.9 cm (3 ½”) bow and stern
So, why did it not unfurl for me when I copied and pasted the link??
 

Glenn MacGrady

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So, why did it not unfurl for me when I copied and pasted the link??

Good question. I've been experimenting in your post and mine.

First, I will paste the link right after the period of this sentence, as you seem to have done. https://esquif.com/en/canoe/prospecteur-sport/

Second, I will paste the link on a new line after I hit enter to create a paragraph break after the period at the end of this sentence.


The answer appears to be that you have to do it the second way. I'll edit my feature thread to point this out.
 
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I have an Esquif prospector. same thing as the sport, with the difference being the sport has a bit more rocker.
T-formex seems to be a fine substitute for Royalex. Good canoe for the money. I use it as a guest/loaner canoe (symmetrical design allows for paddling stern-first solo) or for the (very few) times I paddle tandem.
Bounces off rocks in Northern Maine rivers as good as any of my (now retired) old town trippers with a lot less weight.
15' prospector in T-formex weighs the same (60 lbs) as my Nova Craft prospector in Tuff Stuff Expedition.
Handles portage packs, barrels, etc with ease. Paddles as good as can be expected given the material used.
I consider it a great canoe to round out my latest (and last) three-canoe quiver.
 
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One more thing, unless you are focused on, or paddle exclusively in moving water, I'd go for the regular prospecteur, not the sport.
As a matter of fact this would be a boat to be used exclusive in whitewater. Trying to decide between it and the Esquif Pocket Canyon. It would also primarily be a boat used solo.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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As a matter of fact this would be a boat to be used exclusive in whitewater. Trying to decide between it and the Esquif Pocket Canyon. It would also primarily be a boat used solo.

Never paddled either of those canoes in whitewater, but spent 20 years in various open canoes of those approximate sizes in all classes of whitewater up through solid 4, mostly solo but also tandem.

You can solo a 16' long, 35" wide open canoe such as a Esquif Prospecteur Sport. I did in my first canoe, a Royalex Mad River Explorer. In the 70's and 80's, even the 17'-2" Old Town Tripper was soloed in serious whitewater. But they are somewhat of a "beast". Solo whitewater boaters gradually became more attracted to shorter, narrower and much more maneuverable open canoes -- such that, now, 10-12 footers are very common. Personally, I don't like these short canoes, instead preferring a more "old fashioned" 13.5-15 foot solo.

Hence, my preference would easily be the Pocket Canyon over the Prospecteur Sport for solo whitewater. It's shorter, narrower (but still pretty wide and hence probably stable), deeper, lighter, and with more rocker. This will definitely make it a more maneuverable and playful solo than the Prospecteur Sport in any class of rapids. It could also be a hot tandem canoe for whitewater day trips with two medium sized paddlers. The Prospecteur Sport would be a better overnight tripping and gear carrying tandem due to its higher volume.

For solo use, I would outfit a Pocket Canyon with a centralized seat. A saddle or pedestal would be much better for safety than a hung seat. Bow strokes are crucial for even elementary whitewater moves, such as eddy turns and peel-outs, which require bow-planted Duffek and cross-Duffek strokes, and can be much better effectuated from a central solo seat.

Actually, alsg, I recall you saying you recently paddled a Blue Hold Sunburst ll. That was, and still would be, a very good solo whitewater hull. If you can buy that, it would be much less expensive than a new Esquif and might be quite satisfactory for occasional whitewater trips.
 
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I have a new Prospecteur Sport, but it has only been on the river once. I can't comment much due to limited experience with the boat. Glenn's description of a high volume whitewater tripper is right on the money.

Alsg, I agree that the Prospecteur Sport would be a handful to paddle solo. I considered the Pocket Canyon, but instead chose the Prospecteur 15 as a solo canoe. I wanted more of an all-around traditional canoe rather than a strictly whitewater boat. Last weekend I found out that the Prospecteur 15 is plenty maneuverable in Class II rapids, and I would not hesitate to run Class III with it. It is a very dry boat, and I shipped no water at all in 2-3 foot waves.
 
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I have a Prospecteur Sport since April 2020 and paddle it daily (I live on the water). It is a fantastic 'swiss army knife' boat. It paddles great solo and tandem. Paddles decent on flat water and loves moving water. I am a paddling instructor and it paddles fantastic. I can paddle it solo loaded at about 5.5 km/h comfortably on flat water. Given it's rocker and abilities in moving water, I would consider that great. It is the same design as Esquifs old 16 ft 'Prospecteur', they just renamed it when they introduced the 'Prospecteur 16' which is a little more balanced on the flatwater vs whitewater scale.

I've outfitted mine with a kneeling thwart, and it solos great!

20190815_173214.jpg
 
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I have a Prospecteur Sport since April 2020 and paddle it daily (I live on the water). It is a fantastic 'swiss army knife' boat. It paddles great solo and tandem. Paddles decent on flat water and loves moving water. I am a paddling instructor and it paddles fantastic. I can paddle it solo loaded at about 5.5 km/h comfortably on flat water. Given it's rocker and abilities in moving water, I would consider that great. It is the same design as Esquifs old 16 ft 'Prospecteur', they just renamed it when they introduced the 'Prospecteur 16' which is a little more balanced on the flatwater vs whitewater scale.

I've outfitted mine with a kneeling thwart, and it solos great!

View attachment 128924

Hey Jordan,

I feel like we are very similar paddlers with similar interests. I chose the new Prospecteur 16 instead of the Sport because I didn't want to sacrifice Flatwater performance and solo flatwater performance. As you said, I was looking for something "more balanced". I'm definitely looking for that "one canoe to rule them all" or "quiver of one" boat. That being said, I also plan to take it on rivers with whitewater up to class III. So again, this leaves me wondering...as a skilled paddler, does my skill push the new Prospecteur 16 into working more ideally across the board (whitewater and flatwater) or does it push the sport into being the better choice?

-Andrew
 
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posting my above reply to Jordan here as well:

Hey Jordan,

I feel like we are very similar paddlers with similar interests. I chose the new Prospecteur 16 instead of the Sport because I didn't want to sacrifice Flatwater performance and solo flatwater performance. As you said, I was looking for something "more balanced". I'm definitely looking for that "one canoe to rule them all" or "quiver of one" boat. That being said, I also plan to take it on rivers with whitewater up to class III. So again, this leaves me wondering...as a skilled paddler, does my skill push the new Prospecteur 16 into working more ideally across the board (whitewater and flatwater) or does it push the sport into being the better choice?

-Andrew
 
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I'm in the market for either the Prospecteur or Prospecteur Sport and the only thing making it a difficult decision is the potential consequence of the additional rocker and larger bulks on the sport. @Jordan Doner, are the consequences really that noticeable? Is it really that much slower and/or more sensitive to wind on flatwater? Or is that mostly on paper?
 
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I'm in the market for either the Prospecteur or Prospecteur Sport and the only thing making it a difficult decision is the potential consequence of the additional rocker and larger bulks on the sport. @Jordan Doner, are the consequences really that noticeable? Is it really that much slower and/or more sensitive to wind on flatwater? Or is that mostly on paper?
This is a better way of asking my question. Thanks! :)
 
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I will amend what I said above about solo paddling my Prospecteur Sport after a little more experience with it. I did not have difficulty on a lake with 8-12 mph winds a couple weeks ago. I did find it helpful to paddle on the lee side when quartering into the stronger gusts, but that was only for a few minutes. The only payload was myself and a 50 lb dog, no gear. More weight in the canoe would probably make it less sensitive to wind.

The canoe paddled easily and accelerated well for me solo, yet still had good maneuverability. I concur with Jordan's assessment above that it is an excellent all around canoe. I am a river paddler, so the increased rocker is beneficial.

The only downside has to do with my setup for carrying the canoe and not the boat itself. There is a strong curve in the sheer, and the racks on my truck are not high enough. The canoe will hit the top of the cab; padding with a foam block helps but does not entirely eliminate this problem. It's an old truck with 197,000 miles, and already had canoe-shaped dents in the cab roof anyway, so I'm not too worried.
 
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