Canoe Review: Northstar ADK

Northstar ADK.
Northstar ADK.

Northstar ADK

(L: 12’; W: TK”; 19 LBS., $1,595,

ADK is the acronym representing the Adirondacks—Nessmuk’s stomping grounds and the birthplace of the Wee Lassie. Northstar has created a boat that would fit right in where her archetype was born 135 years ago.

The ADK is another familiar Wee Lassie style. Our test boat came with gold-colored anodized aluminum gunwales, which complement the black and yellow grid pattern seen on all Kevlar Northstar canoes. Wood gunwales are also an option. The hull is well- constructed, and the inside of the canoe is smooth and comfortable to touch. Since the boat is so short, the gunwales bend dramatically, and the rivets can pucker the sides a little. No big deal.

It’s a full inch deeper than the Savage River, plus the outwales add another 3⁄4” of water deflection, so the ADK is a dry ride. Like the Fusion, it felt stable for a bigger paddler.

I like how it paddled. At about 13 feet long, none of these boats are particularly fast, but the efficiency is what we’re testing here. The ADK moved along as expected, a nice brisk walking speed was easily achieved and maintained.

The seat is contoured foam glued to the hull, and a backrest is fastened to the gunwales and straps around the single thwart. The foam seat is comfortable but on our test boat it was mounted in such a way that that it was impossible to sit on the seat and lean against the thwart. If I scooted back to lean on the backrest, I was halfway off the seat. That seemed very strange. After taking a tape measure to the ADK and a quick email to the factory, it was confirmed that indeed the thwart was a few inches farther back than it should have been. Sincere apologies were extended and the mistake was noted.

The ADK is a good boat and as the least expensive of the composite canoes in our test group, a good value as well. It’s not the lightest, but at just 19 lbs., it’s light enough.

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The article was originally published on Canoe & Kayak

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