Cliff Jacobson is the Author of ‘Canoeing Wild Rivers’ … a guide to expedition canoeing in North America in addition to many other books about the outdoors. Cliff is also the recipient of the American Canoe Association ‘Legends of Paddling’ award.
Cliff was asked about a canoe comparison from a prospective buyer and replied as follows …
Yep, I love my one remaining Dagger V17. Quite honestly, I’ve never found another 17 footer that is quite as forgiving and runs as dry in big water as that old Dagger. Problem is, there’s not much of a market for these kind of canoes anymore. Folding canoes have largely taken over the fly-in Canadian and U.S. market. The 17 foot Pakboat (I have a yellow one) is now pretty much the go-to canoe for these rivers. They run as dry (actually, drier) than the big Daggers and Old Town Trippers and they turn as well. They are also about 25 pounds lighter and MUCH tougher than people think. We’ve run them in extremely big rapids and through miles of shallow rock fields. They are tough! And, quickly and easily repaired if you do get a hole. I can’t say I’m in love with my Pakboat—as good as it is it’s still not a hard boat—but it’s close: it is the one I’d choose for fly-in trips. Indeed, a couple of fly-in’s and you’ve saved the price of the canoe! With Royalex long gone now, your choice in hard boats is Kevlar composite or Innegra. Northstar makes the big B17 which is a nice boat—likely ideal for about 95 percent of folks who do reasonably tough rivers. Still, it’s not as dry, and it doesn’t turn as well as either the V17 or the 17 Pakboat. Alternatively, there are a number of 17 foot Prospector designs from Canada (Nova Craft, Swift etc.). The world (and flying rules) have changed since I began doing trips in the Arctic. If the far north is still in your blood, I think you’ll be happiest with a 17 Pakboat. Good luck, and thanks for writing.
Cliff sent along a couple photos as well …
For more information about Cliff Jacobson, you can visit his web site … CliffCanoe.com