Northstar Northwind 16

I’m often asked the question, “if you could only own one watercraft, what would it be?”. That would be a terrible prospect to face but the tandem canoe would have to top the list. There is good reason why Bill Mason would say the canoe is one of the most versatile crafts ever invented. Not all boats can cover such a broad application of on-water uses like the tandem canoe: family paddling, paddling with the dog, solo paddling, camping, rivers, lakes, open bay, etc


Kneeling on kneeling thwart allows for a close eye on the younger paddler.
Hauling 3 of us and all the photo gear!



The Northwind 16 would top the list of best tandem canoes ever built. The ability to solo better than almost any tandem because of the tumblehome, lower profile and asymmetrical rocker. The shouldered tumblehome allows one from a center or back-of-center (see Kneeling Thwart pics below) to easily access the water for an efficient stroke. The constant flare of the shoulder easily “heels” over for traditional style paddling compared to many tandems that have a very hard transition from hull to sidewall.

There are other major attributes achieved with this shape:

1) Wind waves have less of a “smacking” effect on the side hull which makes for a smoother and quieter ride in rough open water.

2) Constant flare means that as you load the Northwind 16 it gains more width. This essentially gives you two performance feels of light and lively when unloaded and sturdy and stable when loaded.

3) Easier car topping. With the gunnels being narrower than the width of the Northwind 16, there are a few more inches to spare on the car rack which when loading multiple Canoes or other roof items (boxes/bikes). You can shimmy the outer gunnel to the end of the rack with them puts the shoulder a bit further out for more space. Just watch your head!

Here is a whitegold model with aluminum trim that offers excellent durability and stiffness on the water.