I have enjoyed it for the time I have owned it. I am almost 60 now n m gonna give It away. The thing that makes this canoe nice is if u r going for an expedition trip an u have some ballast for gear loaded in the bottom of the canoe. It will ride over really big waves. I liked it. It is like a mad horse. It will dump u so fast u will not know what happened. But if u don't tip, u will say wow!
Submitted by: meeced
Rating: 9 of 10I have had my Guide about 6 years, bought it used and have paddled on weeklong canoe camping trips and day trips on small whitewater, swamps, narrow creeks, and wide rivers. I love it as it turns on a dime and gives you 9 cent change. It holds enough gear for a week, including water, cooler and all camping gear and food. The Royalex is almost indestructible and have the Kevlar pads on both bow and stern. Love the boat.
Rating: 6 of 10I used this boat for thru-paddling the NFCT and as my go to pond fishing boat while I served as an Allagash Ranger. (For lake inspection I used a MR Traveler). The Guide is perhaps the signature boat for the 750-mile route (in Royalex). While this boat drove me nuts on flatwater for its sluggishness, it was reassuringly agile in tight whitewater. The thing I loved about it was that I showed the boat zero respect and nothing happened to it. I dragged it across slash piles, dragged it down carries and rock embankments, and on occasion dragged it over guard rails and across highways. Still, very little wear and tear. It is ugly in vinyl trim, but you don't have to babysit it as you would have to do with wood.
In general I feel that life is too short to look at vinyl gunwales, but there are times when you have to make compromises. Again, I can't stress enough that this boat is a little bathtub on the flats..keep the trip short and you may not feel it that much, but a ten mile lake paddle? Torture.
Submitted by: canoevt
Rating: 10 of 10I love this boat! I have paddled it on whitewater up to class III with ease and find that after the first few strokes to get it moving I can zip right along on large open water. I paddle this boat every day. I would love a faster boat on the lakes but I know I would sacrifice the maneuverability of my guide for the rivers. The key word is versatile! From calm ocean (Acadia, Maine) to class III this boat does it all!
Submitted by: meeced The 14'6" Guide model is perfect for weekend and week-long canoe camping trips. It is agile and easy to turn and hold my weight (220) plus camping gear, cooler, tent, food, water for week long trip with ease. Love it.
Rating: 4 of 10I'm sorry but I do not feel that this canoe is safe for family use! I have owned the 14' for two summers now and have used it on small lakes more times than I can count. I have found it to be too "Tippy" to trust it with family members especially your younger children!! IT IS TOO NARROW FOR GOOD STABILITY! Please consider you purchase carefully before you invest in this canoe - your family's lives will depend on it!
Rating: 8 of 10This review is for a 2004 model Guide or "Freedom Solo" as it has been renamed, w/ vinyl trim. A little about me: I'm 30 years old 6'3" tall and 210lbs. I paddle Ozark streams and carry between 30 and 80 lbs. of gear on overnighters and week long river trips.
I've paddled the boat on two, three day trips on class I and II rivers and through a class III rock garden w/ an 80 lb. load. I love the way this boat eddy turns and spins on and off the eddy line. The hull feels so loose on the water compared to my Dagger Legend 15 Solo. The Guide can catch the smallest eddies too. It's a little shakey initially but not bad. Turning completely around while seated took a little getting use too. But standing is no problem. Underway it responds to leans nicely and firms up at the gunwales. I did take on a little more water than expected. It has a sharp entry and punches through standing waves and haystacks with speed but you get a little wet, not a big deal. On flats I feel like it accelerated quickly but hits it's top speed quickly as well, which isn't very fast. It has OK glide but it can get away from you if your not used to it. On my first day in it, it started to carve a turn on it's own and it was suprisingly difficult to convince it to do otherwise. I learned quickly to use this to my advantage and carve beuatiful smooth turns paddleing on the inside. Which is totally my style. I like to cruz in and out of the vegatation on the flats and this boat is perfect for that.
With that said, as far as build quality goes; I had the boat shipped freight to me. When I got it home the first thing I noticed was the seat was 2 inches off to one side. The seat holes and the holes in the gunwales didn't match up(I like the seat right at the gunwales(no hangers)). I had a new uncut seat so it was a quick fix. The second thing I noticed was the decks are ugly and I kind of wished for the all wood set up. The hull is beautiful. The rivets, gunwales and thwarts look good too.
I will say it does oilcan a little with a 300 lbs. total load and a little bouncing. But, the trade off is the nice, light weight. Overall I could only wish for more speed but I would have to pay in playablility.