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Thread: Venture Prospector 16

  1. #1
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    Default Venture Prospector 16

    Makers Spec




    Length: 16' 488cm
    Width: 35” 88cm
    Weight: 79lbs 36kg
    Depth: ?
    Capacity: 937lbs 425kg

    Makers Write Up

    The prospector is probably the most famous of canoe designs which is renowned for all round performance. Mobile Adventure have adapted their popular Prospector design in Royalex to now make available a prospector in ultra durable and more affordable rotomoulded 3 core polyethylene. The Prospector PE has moderate rocker built into it's broad arch hull and has the ability to carry a load without loosing performance. There is slight tumblehome that aides paddling close to the hull, strengthens it's shape and looks beautiful together with the recurved bow and stern. The prospector PE is supplied as standard with 2 wood webbing seats, PU gunwales, molded end decks incorporating handles, wooden centre thwart, and wooden carrying yoke. The Prospector is a natural choice for many people especially those looking for a performance canoe at an affordable price.
    • Great value all round canoe
    • Excellent canoe for a variety of water
    Last edited by Canoe Guru; 3rd-March-2007 at 12:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    Folks,
    I am at the research stage of acquiring my first Canadian Canoe. Anyone out there with experience of the Venture Canoes Prospector 16? Do they do this in the new lighter weight layup? Tried accessing the web site but no joy.

  3. #3

    Default Venture prospector

    I have a roylex one i can lift it on and off the car ok and has for paddling i find it prety good .It does alright on flat and moving water may not be as dry as a nova craft prospector in lumpy stuff or a we- no na because they are high sided but dont catch as much wind as the above.There are more experianced paddlers on this site who will advise you.
    ps. the nova craft realy does look the part

  4. #4
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    Question

    i have been looking for a venture prospector PE, but have been told by a few dealers that they are only made to order now and would take about 6 weeks, if anyone knows where to get one quicker like the same day, as i cant get one until i sell my boats, but don't want to be boat less for a few weeks.
    MARK (suffolk_mac)

  5. #5
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    Novacraft are nice. The best bet for me would probably be a Prospector SP3 Outfitter as used and reviewed by "Why Aye Man".
    The Venture seemed worth considering as a lot of the out-doors pursuits people up here use and speak well of them. Seemed likely that there might be a few post centre second hand ones around.
    Buying new, there's supposedly a new lighter weight but still robust layup version in production . Being made in the UK I thought they might be readily available and cheaper than imports but from the comments in the thread that does not seem to be the case?.

  6. #6
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    Default Venture Prospector 16

    I have one of these. I have the corelite layup with three seats, and a yolk.
    This canoe takes A LOT of gear. Please see my canoeing Thames blog for further details of this attribute. It "cans" somewhat, but for a plastic large canoe is to be expected. For a while this was my only canoe, and therefore was used for a number of solo sea trips. It proved up for the task and coped admirably. I can handle it on my own when afloat with few problems.
    It is has a quite deep freeboard, so can be susceptable to strong wind, but the plus side of this is its dryness. The mass (quite heavy) also negates some of the effect of wind.
    It is VERY stable. It does not lose any stability with increased load. It was easy to outfit apart from glueing in "D" rings, see my relevant post for the advice given for sorting this particular problem out.
    It is quite fast, though not nearly as quick as my fibreglass sixteen footer.
    I enjoy this using this canoe, but find I am using it less as my "canoe collection" has slightly expanded. I find that when I take friends and aquaintances out who are beginers this canoe builds their confidence and also responds to paddle strokes, giving a sense of being in control to those in command.
    This canoe is almost impossible to portage solo. I find that I move it resting on my thighs for very short distances. When putting it on my "sports racing estate" I lift one end with the other on the ground, place that end between the bars so it is resting on the rails, slide it on and "pivot" it into position. You would almost have to throw yourself out of this canoe to end up swimming.
    Hope this is of use. If any want a go in mine I will try to arrange it.
    Richard.
    What a long strange trip its been.......

  7. #7
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    Folks especially NKONDO70,
    Thanks for the information. That's much appreciated. This sounds like a prime contender.

  8. #8

    Red face nova craft SP3 or venture prospecter. 16' or 15'

    just sold my mad river explorer 16tt as it had no freeboard and want something with bit of tumblehome/ week trips but only rarely. lokking for either novacraft or venture prospector. not sure if 15' or 16' is best. I'm pretty heavy at over 18 stone so need a bit of freeboard.

    i do mainly days on rivers but some rapids and looking to do more rough stuff -grade 2/3. also need room for camping kit/ bbq sometimes.

    can anyone advise me? not bothered by the weight as i can get the plastic ones on the roof no problem. definitely going for plastic.

    so quality of build/toughness, size, and versatility with option of whitewater ar my criteria. please help!!

    cheers ed

  9. #9
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    Here's a few images of the canoe. Much freeboard obvious even when loaded. I am enjoying it, as are the people to whom I lend it.
    Richard.










    What a long strange trip its been.......

  10. #10

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    thanks for the pics - looks great. is that a 15' or a 16' you've got there. not sure which to get.

    cheers, ed

  11. #11
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    Looks like a 16' to me. I've got a 15', which is good for solo use & tandem, though obviously has a bit less capacity for long trips.

    Its very stable, & seems to handle well. Its neither the fastest or most manoeuvreable, but its a great all rounder, & seemed to me to offer the best value at the price. So far I've only used it on canals, the Thames & small rivers with modest flow. But its already done 6 trips & I've only had it 2 1/2 weeks!

  12. #12
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    Photo's are of the 16". This was and is my first proper canoe, and after four years of being dropped, misshandled, and run up and down beaches and gravelly car parks, seems to want to carry on. The hull has become somewhat floppy, but I just ignore this as I have ceased to be bothered by it. It will transport an enormous amount of kit. We intend to see how many people we can get in it soon, so will try to post pictures.
    Richard.
    What a long strange trip its been.......

  13. #13
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks all for the above. "I have only gone and done it", bought a Venture Prospector 15. My canoe experience is close to none but have spent years at sea with various types of kayaks, so understand basics of hull design motion throught the water etc. I am very happy with this canoe and as a complete inland water beginner feel safe and relaxed (more importantly so did my wife who is a complete newbie) on our early trips including a Scottish loch, the Ripon canal and the river Wye (incuding upstream through some rapids, though at third attempt and me using a double bladed paddle and needing my wife to paddle hard). I wanted a boat that can handle a bit of chop as I will be using her on Scotish lochs and at sea, looking at the front I think the hull has an ability to cut through and ride over the waves. I tried to find a second hand cheap boat of this design and failed but during my search found "endless river" who had a second's new boat at a good price better than second hand. Thanks Dave and Mrs dave (sorry) what a nice couple, they even offered us tea, Dave put the boat on my high top campervan so quickly I didn't even see it. My wife saw how it was done and does her best not to laugh when I attempt to replicate the manouver. A good all round boat for a good price, we also had a couple of paddles one made to measure at no extra cost.

  14. #14
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    Default Prospector 16.

    We've had our Venture Prospector 16 for about 4 months and here are a few of our thoughts. It's a very robust boat with massive internal volume. This boat will carry a lot of gear without any worries. For it's size it's not too heavy due to the Coralite construction whilst a lot harder wearing and much cheaper than Royalex. I can easily get it on the car roof single handed but it's easier if there are 2 of you. It's long waterline length makes it a relatively fast boat to paddle whilst the rocker makes it pretty easy to turn quickly, even solo. With a large flatish bottom it has fantastic stability, both primary and secondary. It cans a little as you might expect in a boat of this size but nothing dramatic. Like most Prospectors it can be a bit of a handfull in strong winds when empty but getting some weight into her improves things dramatically. Also as a strong believer in the "If it looks right it probably is." school of thought there are few canoes that beat the Venture. The price is very good in my opinion. Me? I'm well satisfied.


  15. #15
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    I paddled one of these Prospectors (replete with Kneeling thwart and airbags) over the Pyranhafest weekend (courtesy of Venture's Demo fleet), and took it down the upper Tryweryn.


    Near Cafe Wave, and suddenly realising that I'm soloing and in someone else's canoe.

    I have to say that I was distinctly underwhelmed by it's moving water performance, predominantly it's poor turning ability, no matter how hard I heeled the boat over, or how hard I pulled on my bow draws, telemarks and colarado hooks, it simply refused to turn any faster, a trait which really didn't suit my style of paddling. It was however very dry running, and I found it easy to keep the nose up (I'm sure it would be almost "boofable" with a suitably grippy kneepadding). That brings me to another sticking point, it's excellent stability all but evaporated when swamped with even an inch of water, something which to my mind simply wouldn't do.
    Last edited by TheKrikkitWars; 22nd-October-2010 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Fixed [img] tags
    Joshua Kelly - cboats.net

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKrikkitWars View Post
    I paddled one of these Prospectors (replete with Kneeling thwart and airbags) over the Pyranhafest weekend (courtesy of Venture's Demo fleet), and took it down the upper Tryweryn.


    Near Cafe Wave, and suddenly realising that I'm soloing and in someone else's canoe.

    I have to say that I was distinctly underwhelmed by it's moving water performance, predominantly it's poor turning ability, no matter how hard I heeled the boat over, or how hard I pulled on my bow draws, telemarks and colarado hooks, it simply refused to turn any faster, a trait which really didn't suit my style of paddling. It was however very dry running, and I found it easy to keep the nose up (I'm sure it would be almost "boofable" with a suitably grippy kneepadding). That brings me to another sticking point, it's excellent stability all but evaporated when swamped with even an inch of water, something which to my mind simply wouldn't do.
    Very strange, I have to say my experience was the total opposite. Also the people who have tried my boat were very impressed with it. The high volume hull floats very high when not well loaded so when edging the ends are well clear of the water and it spins like a top. Your picture above looks like a 15' model rather than the much deeper 16'er. Regards, Mike.
    Last edited by MickyFinn; 23rd-October-2010 at 05:04 PM.

  17. #17
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    Joshua

    Perhaps you are more used to paddling pure white water boats?

    Surely thousands of Prospector owners can't all be wrong can they?

    I've paddled them with many weeks worth of kit in them in the northern forests and tundra of Canada and found them imminently more manoeuverable - even when loaded - than most of the canoes I've paddled in here. (Including my longest serving canoe!!).
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    Joshua

    Perhaps you are more used to paddling pure white water boats?

    Surely thousands of Prospector owners can't all be wrong can they?
    Depending on how you view "wrong" they could be, but on something as subjective as "which canoe is best" it's not really objectively verifiable.

    There probably is an element of me being used to WW canoes, but I feel I'm justified in calling it underwheliming; I've definately paddled more nimble trad boats of a similar length. I wouldn't call it bad (anything that can take me gunning it down graveyard and stay dry, has to be alright) but I wasn't really impressed either.

    My bottom line is: Obviously great for bimbly whitewater and tripping, well made boat, IMHO too wide and insufficiently nimble for paddling steeper, narrower rivers.
    Joshua Kelly - cboats.net

  19. #19
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    I'd be interested to here what other 'more nimble trad boats you've paddled of the same length.

    But then its horses for courses. The prospector model wasn't really designed to cope with steep narrow rivers. I'm not too sure any trad boats were either.

    Like many paddlers on here, I have paddled a fully laden prospector down rivers in canada with multiple grade II/III rapids of much greater size than you've probably experienced in the UK and on very long, remote multi day trips. I'm not too sure I consider it only suitable for 'bimbly whitewater'.

    I assume these other trad boats you've paddled handle grade IV & V ?
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    But then its horses for courses. The prospector model wasn't really designed to cope with steep narrow rivers. I'm not too sure any trad boats were either.
    True, it doesn't stop me from wanting to paddle them down them though.

    Like many paddlers on here, I have paddled a fully laden prospector down rivers in canada with multiple grade II/III rapids of much greater size than you've probably experienced in the UK and on very long, remote multi day trips. I'm not too sure I consider it only suitable for 'bimbly whitewater'.
    I can assure you I'm aware how small rapids in the UK are, (compared to house sized waves and holes that could literally swallow busses)... but I'm not sure how relevant that is to the debate... certainly paddling massive rivers isn't comparable to paddling the immature whitewater rivers of england and wales... The space you have (or don't have) to make moves and line yourself up completely changes the demands on both the boat design and the paddler.

    I assume these other trad boats you've paddled handle grade IV & V ?
    Now you're just being facetious, I've paddled boats I'd be happy to run some grade IV in, but it would depend entirely on the rapid and how continuous at the grade the river was...

    The boats I felt handled significantly better than this are the Mad River Legend, Novacraft Bob Special (not as dry as this) and Esquif's Presage and Canyon, with the latter being my overall preference. Whilst I'm making comparisons, Esquif's prospector seemed more refined than the venture one, and both are mercifully narrower than Nova-craft's interpretation of the Prospector.

    I do have a question for you, this Prospector you paddle/paddled, was it the Venture Prospector 16, or merely one of the wildly variant and historically related designs which evolved from the original Prospector?
    Joshua Kelly - cboats.net

  21. #21
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    I might think twice about using any 16" canoe down grade 2/3, especially if I had the option of a more specific canoe, and would probably plump for a 14" or 15" canoe given the choice. I will be doing the upper Wye tandem with a beginner soon, and consider that this canoe is about perfect for the job. I find that this canoe turns well considering the overall length and volume. If one could only afford one canoe, and was financially limited, (most people), I think this mosel ticks many boxes.
    It is interesting how individuals experiences of the same canoe differ so.
    Richard.
    What a long strange trip its been.......

  22. #22
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    Joshua
    My comments regarding the size of rivers is in response to your comments that the Prospector model is only suitable for 'bimbly' rivers.

    If you paddle rivers above grade III in trad boats then I guess you'll class anything III or below as bimbly.

    But:-

    If you compare the range of white water paddling most open canoeists paddle in 'trad' boats then I'd suggest that the Prospector is more than capable of handling grade III - and fully laden.

    I doubt Venture canoes are sold in Canada. So the canoe in question was a Nova Craft.

    And here we are on a grade III section of the Missinaibi

    And fully loaded with around 150lbs of kit.

    But then perhaps you'd consider this a bimbly river - in which case you are probably correct. I'm not sure others would agree.

    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    Joshua
    My comments regarding the size of rivers is in response to your comments that the Prospector model is only suitable for 'bimbly' rivers.

    If you paddle rivers above grade III in trad boats then I guess you'll class anything III or below as bimbly.
    Not exactly, some Grade II and III can have teeth, after all it only means that "the paddler will have to follow a recognisable route to avoid obstacles and hazards" (there is a classic example of how that doesn't translate to easy in Norway, where the last rapid of the "playrun" contains a massive, person holding hole... It's just blatantly obvious to go round the side of it), Bimbly refers more to friendly whitewater which isn't too demanding, it's possible to have Bimbly grade IV, and I'm sure if I was good enough there would be examples of V which would seem "Bimbly" compared to others which are "Stout", If you get what I mean.

    But:-

    If you compare the range of white water paddling most open canoeists paddle in 'trad' boats then I'd suggest that the Prospector is more than capable of handling grade III - and fully laden.
    Having paddled it I'm quite sure it is, but it's not the best (the Canyon which was designed with just that in mind, whups it... I know of Canadian Pairs who paddle them outfitted as OC2 spec boats).

    I doubt Venture canoes are sold in Canada. So the canoe in question was a Nova Craft.

    And here we are on a grade III section of the Missinaibi
    But then perhaps you'd consider this a bimbly river - in which case you are probably correct. I'm not sure others would agree.
    I'd have to paddle the river to judge it, though I'm not a massive fan of the novacraft prospector, it's a bit wide for my liking but I tend to use offside strokes rather than switching which gives me that bias...
    Joshua Kelly - cboats.net

  24. #24
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    I see Joshua!!

    Now I know what 'bimbly' means!!.

    So for me, all rivers below grade IV are 'Bimbly' when I paddle them in my ancient Magic Bat or the older plastic thing I started paddling with 30 years ago (Mirage I think) . It's the KK that makes most rivers easy and bimbly really!

    So there we have it folks! Us open boaters just love paddling bimbly rivers.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  25. #25
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    Ive just becom3 the proud owner of one of these. I cant wait to christen her, unforunaley im waiting for paddles. lol

  26. #26
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    Having returned to canoeing recently I spent some time in a Prospector 16 (as a supervisor on a Duke of Ed practise) and found the prospector to be very easy to handle and comfortably laid out boat.
    The trip inspired me so much that I purchased one off the guy that headed up the expedition, and have now had it for a few weeks. We have had several "family outtings" introducing firstly my 4 year old daughter and my wife to canoeing.
    I have been trying to get out for a paddle at every opportunity since I got it as I feel the canoe is very easy to manage both on and off the water, and I have no problems loading or unloading it from me car solo, as this was a main factor on me getting this canoe.

    I would highly recommend this canoe to anyone who is keen on a getting onto the water in a easy to handle comfortable touring canoe. I also find portage very easy with the prospector (having managed several loch gates recently)

    Spent some time locally at the Antrim Lough and have spotted litterally dozens of prospectors being loaded and unloaded .....can only imagine someone is doing a good deal on them

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by m4hood View Post
    Having returned to canoeing recently I spent some time in a Prospector 16 (as a supervisor on a Duke of Ed practise) and found the prospector to be very easy to handle and comfortably laid out boat.
    The trip inspired me so much that I purchased one off the guy that headed up the expedition, and have now had it for a few weeks. We have had several "family outtings" introducing firstly my 4 year old daughter and my wife to canoeing.
    I have been trying to get out for a paddle at every opportunity since I got it as I feel the canoe is very easy to manage both on and off the water, and I have no problems loading or unloading it from me car solo, as this was a main factor on me getting this canoe.

    I would highly recommend this canoe to anyone who is keen on a getting onto the water in a easy to handle comfortable touring canoe. I also find portage very easy with the prospector (having managed several loch gates recently)

    Spent some time locally at the Antrim Lough and have spotted litterally dozens of prospectors being loaded and unloaded .....can only imagine someone is doing a good deal on them
    Hi I'm from Belfast and I am looking for a Prospector 16. Do you have any idea where they can be bought over here? Does the guy you got one from supply them?

    Many Thanks

  28. #28
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  29. #29
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    Thanks for the lighting quick response. I'll send him an email.

    Hopefully see you in the water soon.
    Cheers

  30. #30
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    Check out our club www.ccka.co.uk some cracking trips planned for this season and great coaching available to all club members

  31. #31
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    We're going up to Antrim tomorrow to collect our new prospector 16. Can't wait.
    Hopefully this weather calms down for the weekend.

    I checked out the CCKA site. Great site
    I'll let you know how we get on after our first paddle.

    Many Thanks

  32. #32
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    I assume you got Richard ok.... We normally paddle loads round about antrim so give me a shout if you fancy a voyage

  33. #33
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    Will do. I look forward to it.
    Yes mate I was on the phone to Richard.

  34. #34
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    I got my Venture Prospector 16 tonight. It's maybe a bit more bashed than I would have liked but nothing to worry about.
    Just need some calm weather to get out on the water for the first time.

    Happy Days

  35. #35

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    Just completed a weeks intro to open canoe at Glenmore Lodge in our Venture Prospector 16 (we've called it Stinky Pete) lochs, swamping, recovery, capsize, the Spey rapids and an epic, heid- first dook in the river beside Kingussie and only a couple of scratches. We are chuffed with ours and about to embark on an overnight with as much stuff as possible!
    The instructor paddled a prospector 15, so it must be ok!
    Morag

  36. #36

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    Venture canoes Prospector is going to be my first proper canoe, just ordered a 15 footer

  37. #37

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    I just bought my first Canoe and I opted for a Venture Prospector 16. Took it on the wye into Hereford and I gotta say it handled really well (there were two of us in it). No idea what it would be like solo on a windy day but, so far, i'm really pleased. Btw it's blue :-)

  38. #38

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    On a windy day, solo or not trimmed correctly they're a pain in the butt if not loaded. They'll swing broadside on to the wind at the slightest provocation. On a river, where you have more shelter from the wind, with a bit of a load- they handle much better. They are a reasonably large boat so you may have trouble with rapids that require tight turns- but they are very dry.

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