Savage River Wee Lassie
(L: 11'6"; W: 27"; 13 LBS., $2,125, SavageRiver.com)
Everyone who paddled this boat liked the hull. It is meticulously built with integrated gunwales that keep the hull rigid and efficient, and also impart a minimalist aesthetic I found very pleasing. The quality of the construction is superb. It is slightly shorter and deeper than the other Wee Lassies reviewed. You think it would be slower at 11'6", but the long waterline made it quick. It accelerated to hull speed in just three satisfying paddle strokes.
The seat is a standard cane seat with a detachable seat back. The seat position is higher than the other Wee Lassies in our test fleet, causing the boat to feel slightly less stable than its counterparts. I'd order mine a little lower, but I'm probably taller than many of the people who would paddle this canoe.
For a canoe so beautifully built, the foot brace is an anomaly. It's an old-school piece of aluminum angle with hand-drilled holes and a crossbar held in place wing nuts. I could see Savage River creating a much better foot brace system that matches the rest of the boat. It just seems a little unfinished.
The Wee Lassie is very stiff and light: I was able to balance it on one hand, sticking straight up in the air. I'd like to say I am incredibly powerful, but in the carbon and kevlar construction, the dang thing only weighs 13 pounds! If you are looking for ultralight, this Wee Lassie is a contender.