"My husband and I have been canoeing for quite a few years, but found our 17-foot aluminum canoe just too heavy to load and unload, and my husband, being in his late 70s, decided canoeing wasn't for us anymore. In our travels, we found a Hellman 16-foot Quetico weighing 49 pounds. We found it fast, stable, and affordable. We are now hoping for many more years of canoeing."
"When I was planning the second leg of my cross-Canada canoe trip re-tracing the route taken by Alexander Mackenzie in 1973 (see: “Canoeing a Continent: On the Trail of Alexander Mackenzie”, by Max Finkelstein, Natural Heritage Books, Toronto, 2002), I needed to acquire a canoe big enough to carry two people and gear for several weeks, fast enough to cover long distances quickly, capable of running class three rapids, and light enough for my aging body to carry over long portages.
Lucky for me, I was introduced to Hellman canoes, and Bob Hellman, who assured me that the 17.5’ Hellman Prospector would fit my needs. He was 100% right!
The first river we paddle the Hellman Prospector on was the Blackwater in British Columbia, a river that drops over 50’/mile for much of its length. The Hellman handled the rapids superbly, doing everything that we asked it to do smoothly and quickly.
Its speed helped us ascend the Fraser, and travel 40-50 miles per day on the flatwater of vast Williston Lake and the Peace River. The Hellman Prospector is very maneuverable for a long, slim boat, which came in handy running up the Clearwater River and down the Churchill River in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Its next long trip was its most challenging – travelling across northern Quebec through some of the most rugged terrain in Canada. Once again, the Prospector was up to the challenge – rocky rapids, long portages, big lakes, loaded with more than 700 lbs of paddlers and cargo.
In the five years that I have owned this canoe, it has travelled more than 4,000 km on long trips, and on innumerable weekend and day excursions. The Duralight bull has held up very well to lots of abuse. The hull is still as rigid as when it was new.
I am so enamoured with the Prospector that I have just ordered an 18.5’ Hellman Cruiser, a canoe big enough for long family trips."
"We are really happy with our new canoe! To date, it has been on the back side of the Bowron Chain, from Takla Lake to Fort St. James, as well as down various portions of the Morice River – both in October and November!
Anyway, we are impressed with the canoe – and look forward to many more trips in it – starting next summer!"