The Quest for the Perfect Canoe: My Journey to “Serenity”

Imagine spending years renting canoes for backcountry trips, only to realize that it’s time to take the plunge and get your own. That’s exactly what happened to me, and thus began my quest for the ultimate canoe. Researching and defining the parameters that would best meet my needs became a top priority. Hours spent on the Swift YouTube channel became a regular part of my routine.

I desired a canoe that would be versatile enough for both solo and tandem backcountry trips. It was essential to have a removable 3rd seat, allowing me to bring my two boys along for the adventure. However, I wasn’t keen on dealing with the removable yoke typically found in combi models. Managing another loose part was not what I had in mind. Additionally, I sought a lightweight and low-maintenance canoe that could withstand the test of time.

Alas, finding all these qualities in a single canoe seemed like a tall order. Yet, I was determined not to compromise on my requirements. Seeking expert advice, I reached out to the renowned Bill Swift. Collaborating with Bill and his team was an absolute pleasure. We carefully considered different configurations until we stumbled upon the perfect design:

The “Serenity” Canoe: A Dream Come True

  • Prospector 16: A versatile and reliable choice.
  • Carbon Innegra Textreme with Champagne Bottom: A color that conceals any scratches, keeping the canoe looking pristine.
  • Carbon Tech Package: Ensuring durability and low maintenance.
  • Reversible “Versa” Bow Seat: A groundbreaking carbon innovation.
  • Detachable Center Seat in the “Kid’s Position”: No need for a removable yoke.
  • 1 Carbon Footbar with 2 Sets of Rails: Allowing for effortless maneuverability in both stern and reversed solo positions.
Further reading:  Solo Canoeing: Finding the Perfect Balance

With such an outstanding specification, this canoe deserved a special name. For me, being on the water or in the forest is a way to escape the hectic pace of life and find serenity. Thus, “Serenity” it was. As an added touch, the team at Swift customized the bottom of the canoe with a graphic inspired by the “Serenity” spaceship from the beloved TV show Firefly.

Love at First Sight

Picking up “Serenity” at the end of May was a magical moment. The canoe’s beauty was undeniable. And the moment I took her for a paddle, I was blown away. The smoothness and speed with which she glided through the water were astonishing. After years of renting canoes that had seen better days, I had forgotten the difference a new, high-performance canoe could make. Weighing in at 39.2 lbs with this configuration, “Serenity” felt even lighter, thanks to the incredibly comfortable padded yoke.

Since that unforgettable day in May, “Serenity” has graced the water four times, each outing a delight. The number of heads turning to admire her has not gone unnoticed.

The Adventure Continues

Next weekend, we embark on our first backcountry trip with “Serenity.” The lakes, rivers, and portages await, ready to put her through her paces. I can hardly contain my excitement. Thank you, Bill, Carmen, and everyone at Swift who played a part in bringing my dream canoe to life!


For more information on high-performance canoes, visit UpStreamPaddle.

Now I’m off to seek new adventures, paddling with “Serenity” by my side, knowing that every stroke will take me closer to the tranquility and serenity I crave.

Further reading:  The Art of Canoe Storage: Tips and Tricks