The Sylva is a dedicated touring canoe. Noticeably narrower than the Lutra, with a maximum beam of 30",
it cleaves the water, tracking effortlessly. This is aided by some concavity at the bow and stern which sheds
water cleanly and allows for a clean exit.
Whilst some initial stability is necessarily sacrificed in the interests of cruising ease and speed, the mid-section
still provides excellent response in waves with sufficient buoyancy and secondary stability to handle demanding lake
Despite its excellent directional stability, this canoe becomes surprisingly manoeuvrable with a small amount of
heel - winding rivers present no obstacle to the Sylva.
As with the Lutra, the Sylva's characteristic recurve reduces the impact of wind, and the
tumblehome makes for an easy, natural, efficient paddling position.
The light weight allows effortless acceleration to cruising speed, and even the longest portages become bearable
(I hesitate to say "pleasurable"!) And although at the end of the trip it is easy to lift the Sylva
on to the car, you'll probably have difficulty resisting the urge to get back on the water and head off into the
This is the canoe (see photos here) which accompanied me on my successful through-paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe
Trail in 2013: large lakes, meandering streams, white-water both upstream and down .... and everything in between. The
canoe came through with flying colours.
Read more about this trip.
Sylva length can vary from 12' to 16' for solo and from 14' to 16' for tandem.