Page 6 - Issue5-final
P. 6

REVIEWS

Hou Canoes Prospector £919

Very exciting times just now with the release of a new boat by Hou Canoes. It’s not that this is a new
design but definitely a new take on an old classic and for most a favorite. With the end of Royalex
the release of this boat is of great significance. As with all the Hou Canoes line up they are not
only using their new three layer
material A.R.N.I.3 but also Hou
upgraded seat bolts together
with ‘chunked up’ seats adding
significantly to the overall
robust and quality feel to their
range of boats.

This design is based on the
classic ‘Chestnut Prospector’
which was made famous by the
great legend himself Bill Mason.
She definitely looks like that
classic Prospector design but
somehow a little different. Quite a high bow with a touch of flare, together with a good freeboard
make this boat look like it’s going to mean business on open water and a drier design than some
previous prospectors on moving water.

As soon as you kneel in the Prospector she feels well built, you notice the solid feel of the material
together with the upgraded seats and bolts which all aid the overall stiffness. Primary stability is
good and allows the paddler to move around with out the risk of any wobbles or loss of stability.
Secondary stability is also good being able to drop the gunwale right down to water level with still
no loss of stability, plus it really feels like she’s happy to sit there on edge without having to try and
force her to balance.

Next came forward paddling and boy does she paddle well. Good all round hull speed and the ability
to accelerate up to a good cruising speed was a big winner for me. In the past I have not paddled
prospector designs much as I found them a little skittish, and unpredictable. The Hou Prospector
however did everything I could ask for and more. The boat tracks really well and allows you to
accelerate with ease, but when I needed to turn a quick change of edge easily released the hull
showing she was capable of some lovely tight carving turns that seemed to flow without any loss of
stability. Not only that but by really putting a good edge on when static you are able to create some
very tight spins. The stiffness of the boat is also really noticeable and she feels smooth as she cuts
through the water. Overall a great design that allows good hull speed combined with good tracking
but that will also dance and spin when needed, and great stability. All wrapped up in lovely looking
classic design with great lines.

The performance I experienced on open water together with a deep freeboard, I think she will prove
to be really dry boat.

                                                                                                                  Jules Burnard
                                                                                                           Voyager Coaching
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