September 15, 2018

Trust. I believe I gave my Guide 17 a good test this summer, 2018. I went 677 nautical miles (1255 km) in a 58 day circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. I found I could trust this boat to be a solid performer. It was stable in challenging waters, sleek in the calm waters, and fun in the surf. I could almost feel the boat get excited as the tail lifted with a wave; she loves to surf!

My Guide had a skeg and no rudder. I was used to a rockered boat and found she tracked quite well. But in the end I agreed that a rudder would improve the tracking, and I had one installed after the trip was over. Like any skeg, it did get jammed, with small rocks at times. I just checked the skeg before I left shore and easily cleared the rocks.

We paddled in some big seas - a 2-3 metre swell and 2 foot chop around Cape Scott. Even in that big following sea I was able to maintain a steady bearing and always felt under control.

In the fog off Brooks Peninsula, my Guide proved itself again. I was caught in a breaking wave, side surfed, but lost my edge and capsized. I easily rolled back up! I had found rolling this boat easy in a pool and was SO happy to have been able to roll a fully loaded boat in the ocean. And I am a small person (5'2").

My Guide is a low volume version but it still carries a large load. And it packs easily. The rear day hatch with bulkhead gave ready access for carrying the daily lunch and small items that usually get lost in big compartments. With everything inside, my deck was uncluttered..... I even had room for a ukulele!

I would gladly recommend the Guide 17, it is solid and fun to paddle. Ask me if you have any questions. The folks at Seaward worked hard to address my quirky desires for my boat! Thanks to them for building me a boat that fits me well, is comfortable for long paddles, and is playful while being stable.

Marg Rees


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