Call for a price. In my humble opinion this is the best of the best. This is the one I use most and I have been in some dicey situations but this canoe inspires confidence. I figure mine has about 6000 miles on it and it is 10 years old now and still in good shape. I made a full spray skirt for mine and it has been an awesome addition in windy, choppy and rainy weather. All my long distance solo trips are made in this canoe. (Ask about discounts on the other lay-ups) Although not quite our longest solo, the Encounter's width and depth added to its length make it our highest-volume one. As such this hull is superb for trips, especially if taken by large people and this canoe can handle rough water very well, even with a heavy load.
Designed by Dave Kruger, this model is optimized to track straight and travel well. Its length is one reason, plus the Encounter has fine ends, an arched cross-section, and a straight keel-line.
Since it also has the most buoyancy of our solos, the Encounter retains its long glide better when loaded, and it carries weight safely over rougher water.
To maximize this seaworthiness, the bow is quite full to rise on waves, and is flared outward to deflect spray.
While its main purpose is trips, you can also use the Encounter to paddle light. It performs well for day outings and weekends. It's stable yet is fairly easy to turn for its length. Gunwales that pull in near the seat let you use the paddle with comfort and strength. If you'll never use its full transport capacity, however, you may prefer one of our smaller solos.
Since the Encounter is primarily for trips, we recommend our premier, Kevlar Ultra-light construction. Its lightness is of obvious benefit to portage, but it also improves the hull's performance. When applied to this excellent design, Kevlar Ultra-light construction creates a superb canoe for lakes or open rivers.
Among our solo canoes, the Encounter compares most closely to the Voyager. Both are excellent expedition designs, but the Voyager has more speed, while the Encounter has more volume.
Roomy enough for large people, buoyant enough for heavy loads, and rapid enough for long distances, the Encounter serves a specialized niche and does so with safety, security, and style.
Canoes are available in several kinds of materials and with different construction methods:
Royalex is a very tough and durable but still a reasonably light weight plastic laminate. A 17 foot Royalex canoe will weigh about 64 pounds compared to 75-85 pounds for other plastic or aluminum.
Composite materials include Tufweave, a fiberglass and polyester hybrid that outperforms ordinary fiberglass types S or E. Kevlar is a an extremely tough material that is also very light weight. Graphite is even lighter than kevlar but not as abrasion resistant.
Flexcore construction uses several layers of either Tufweave or Kevlar with a specially designed hull reinforcement in the bottom of the canoe. This reinforcement is designed to be quite stiff to retain the design shape but able to flex rather than break on obstacles. This is a very tough construction method but not as tough as Royalex. It's advantages are lighter weight and better performance. It is easily repaired if you manage to damage it.
Ultra light construction uses fewer layers of specially reinforced Tufweave, kevlar and or graphite to build the lightest canoe that is still practical for everyday use in reasonably demanding conditions. It usually does not have a color applied to the hull unless you ask for it. The gel coat (color) adds about 5 pounds to the canoe. This is the stiffest construction method, resulting in the best performance. It is not a good choice for a steady diet of hitting rocks and gravel unless light weight is a very high priority for you. It is especially good for lake and large river trips where carrying the canoe is over portage routes is necessary. Some smaller people and those with less upper body strength appreciate the light weight in all circumstances. It is reasonably easy to repair in most cases.