Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sneak Preview Part IV- The Creation of the New Swift Prospector Series

A new canoe is born.

The Swift team took a well deserved break for the holidays, but that doesn't mean we sat around sipping egg nog all day. We've got a lot of things in store for 2011 and beyond, so we've been focused this off-season on designing and implementing several new designs. In part 5 of the Sneak Preview Series, Swift Canoe & Kayak is excited to bring you another behind-the-scenes look at 2 new canoe models we've got in store for 2011.

Back in Part I of the "Sneak Preview" series we showed you the building of a Swift prototype. Well, that wasn't the only prototype being built at the time. Forever mischievous, we wanted to save a few surprises until later (and we still can't tell you the name of that first prototype. Not just yet.). David Yost and the Factory Team have designed and tooled 3 new canoe moulds for the 2011 season, and now is the time to unveil them. So without further ado, we present to you 2 new additions to the Swift Prospector Canoe Series, the Prospector 15 and 17.

The plug is made from hand-laid pine wood strips by our principal designer David Yost. From here, the plug will go to our factory where a final mould will be created for large-scale production. You can see DY in action in Part 1 of the Sneak Preview series here: http://swiftoutdoors.blogspot.com/2010/11/behind-scenes-new-swift-prototype-is.html

The completed Prospector 15 plug the day it arrived at the shop. Once the plug is completed, it is test paddled by the Swift staff so we can finalize mould specifications, seat placements, yoke placement, and so on.

The Prospector canoe design has been a figurehead of Canadian canoeing since the beginning, but it's design has been stagnant for the last several decades. And that's not a bad thing; the Prospector design has maintained itself because of its strong performance and versatility. People always say, "if it ain't broke, don't fit it," but at Swift we believe that just because it isn't broken doesn't mean we can't improve it. So that's what we did.

After consulting with the Swift manufacturing team and our designer David Yost, we went about re-shaping the Prospector design and expanding the capabilities of classic Canadian canoe designs. These new models offer more versatility than the traditional Prospector and give paddlers a better mix of options when searching for the "classic" canoe to suit their needs.

The Prospector 15 is our way of showing that we were listening to our devoted followers when they asked us for a smaller symmetrical tandem canoe. Designed with the solo paddler in mind, but considerate of the tandem tripper, the Prospector 15 is equal parts fast and smooth. It's quick and maneuverable in a solo position, and smooth and stable as a tandem. It offers paddlers a better multi-purpose canoe for solo and/or tandem adventure tripping.

The Prospector 15 waiting to go out on its first test paddle.

The Prospector 17, meanwhile, has all the classic features of the Prospector design but with a higher weight capacity. For paddlers who need space for gear, kids, or pets, it's got a high-volume hull design that offers great stability. It's also surprisingly responsive for its size, making it a great fit for young families or for those who like to pack everything including the kitchen sink when they go tripping.

The Prospector 17 plug in it's very first photo shoot at Swift Headquarters in Gravenhurst, Ontario.

The completed Prospector 17 mould, ready for production at the Swift Factory in South River, Ontario.

The Prospector 15 and 17 will be available for order at the Toronto International Boat Show, going on at the Direct Energy Center from January 8th to the 16th. And to top it off, we'll be showcasing the very FIRST Prospector 17 during the 2nd week of the show. So if you want to come see them first hand, come down for the second week of TBS and you can see the Prospector 17 in the flesh. And as we've hinted before, we will be unveiling more new stuff leading up to the Toronto Boat Show. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to speed on all the latest news!