This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Know How [ CANOE TREE ] Keewaydin 16 DREAMTIME FOR SOLO AND TANDEM LAKEWATER PADDLERS


Even before I paddled Swift’s Keewaydin, I heard what a lovely ride it is. Organizing a pickup date by phone, longtime Swift enthu- siast-turned-employee Brian Duplante con- fided, “That’s my favorite canoe to paddle.” It wasn’t a hard sell, but genuine passion for the design. A few days later, tying down the canoe on


site at Swift’s Oxtongue Lake location on the edge of Algonquin Provincial Park, owner Bill Swift Jr. added wistfully, “It’s a honey of a canoe.” Complete in Swift’s two-tone white and


silver Barracuda finish, I couldn’t help but agree—the Keewaydin is a thing of beauty.


At 16 feet and just 36 pounds with dynamic lines, the Keewaydin looks as energetic as the north wind it takes its name from. I couldn’t wait to get it on the water. First, however, I peeked into what was


formerly Swift’s manufacturing facility, now their repair shop. Just big enough to work on a few canoes at a time, the simple space high- lights the humble beginnings of this family- owned business. Now surrounded by a rental fleet a thou-


sand Swift boats strong, the buildings erect- ed by Bill Swift Sr. in 1961—the original Algonquin Outfitters location—look like they haven’t changed much. In 1984, boat


manufacturing began onsite to meet AO’s rental demands. Back then it was a franchise, making Sawyer designs. By 1989, the Swift family was looking


to branch out. To design lighter and more efficient canoes for their own operation they called in prolific designer John Win- ters, who dreamed up the Kipawa model and the Swift brand was born. In the 20,000-square-foot South River


factory where Swift now manufactures, they make 29 canoe, kayak and pack boat models and take pride in melding tradi- tional design with high tech processes. Unique to Swift canoes is its Carbon


Kevlar Trim (CKT), where gunwales and hull are fused together as a single piece, adding stiffness and structural integrity, as well as a pretty finish. “By volume, canoe gunwales are the


heaviest part of the canoe. By using CKT we can reduce the weight by four to six pounds,” explains Swift Jr. Released in 2012 and designed by Da-


vid Yost, the Keewaydin 16 is now Swift’s most popular retail model. Swift Jr. at- tributes this to its versatility—great for daytrips as well as lightweight tripping. On the water, the keyword for the


Keewaydin is efficiency. The Keewaydin cuts through the water and chop rolls underneath the hull with little effect. Its asymmetrical hull tracks nicely


in open water, yet our bow paddler was able to pull the boat around tight corners, ideal in winding and twisting streams. Swift Jr. says this is thanks to its differential rocker—two inches in the bow and half that in the stern. On an evening solo paddle on Lake


Ontario, I found it responsive and more manageable than many other boats of its length in wind and waves. A kneeling thwart and significant


tumblehome allows for comfortable cruising, without needing to reach out far over the gunwales. Thanks to Swift’s distinctive curved


“I HEARD THE NORTH WIND


CALL YOUR NAME.”—Cher PHOTO: GEOFF WHITLOCK


32 | Canoeroots


Swift Keewaydin 16 Specs Length ..........................................................16’ Material ................................Kevlar Fusion Weight ...................................................36 lbs Width at gunwales...............................32” Optimum load ....................300–575 lbs Capacity.............................................950 lbs MSRP .........................$3,095 base model ..................$3,180 with kneeling thwart www.swiftcanoe.com


and angled cherry seats, “You should feel as comfortable a few hours into the paddle as you did when you first got in,” says Swift Jr. The bow’s sliding seat also allows for on-the-fly trim adjustments. While the Kevlar Fusion lay-up we


borrowed offers the highest strength- to-weight ratio of Swift’s materials, the Keewaydin comes in a variety of lay-ups, ranging from 33 pounds in Carbon Fu- sion to 58 pounds in Gold Fusion with aluminum trim. Swift also manufactures 14- and 15-foot solo versions, as well as the Keewaydin 17, which Swift Jr. con- fesses is his personal favorite. —KP


jDIGITAL EXTRA: Click here to watch the Keewaydin in action.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64