Prospector 16





Offer Details

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Product Description

A classic and widely-imitated canoe shape, the Chestnut Prospector 16 is a deep and beamy canoe that can carry a large volume of gear for extended paddling trips.

Often referred to as the ‘workhorse of the North’, the Prospector was originally built by the Chestnut Canoe Company as the ideal wilderness canoe for prospectors. It combines a substantial load-carrying capacity with the manoeuvrability needed to navigate whitewater.

This rendition of the Prospector, by Bear Mountain Boats, is constructed using the strip-planking method and sheathed in fibreglass for a light and strong hull without internal ribs.

Its flattened, shallow-arch hull profile provides stability and the rocker of the keel line makes it very manoeuvrable in white water. The high freeboard and full bow and stern help to keep the paddlers and their gear dry.

It isn't hard to see why this enduring design is still the preferred canoe for wilderness travel on rivers and lakes.

The Chestnut Prospector was the favourite canoe of the late Bill Mason, Canada's premier paddler: ‘It is amazing that such a large-volume tripping canoe can also be so beautiful to paddle solo in the leaned position – canoe ballet, as I call it. It is the ideal all-round canoe’.

Ted Moores of Bear Mountain Boats is the author of Canoecraft, the standard reference book for wood-strip canoe building. The book is recommended to accompany the kit or plans. It is packed with tips and techniques and has inspired countless first-time canoe builders around the world.

4.88 m (16′)
Maximum beam
890 mm (35″)
Beam waterline
845 mm (33¼″)
Bow height
490 mm (19¼″)
Centre depth
335 mm (13¼″)
190 kg (420 lb)
Optimum capacity
160-245 kg (350-540 lb)
100 mm (4″)
Wetted surface
2.53 m² (27.2 sq ft)
Weight to immerse
120 lb/in
Prismatic coefficient
25-27 kg (55-60 lb)
Keel-less or shoe keel

Watch us build a Bear Mountain canoe in this one-minute overview video:


We manufacture our kits to the highest standard using European-grown Paulownia for the planking strips. Uniquely, the strips in our Bear Mountain Boats kits have not only a bead-and-cove profile but also a pre-cut finger joint at each end, making the neat joining of strips even easier for builders at home.

The kit includes:

Please note that the kit does not include the box beam strongback for mounting the building forms on. You can either use a straight length of suitable timber or order the box-beam strongback we supply.

What else do I need?


This strongback is made up of CNC-cut MDF panels that fit together to form a strong and stiff box beam measuring 200 mm × 200 mm and long enough to build the boat.

Plans and Instructions (not required by kit purchasers)

The plans contain sufficient information to make it possible to build the boat from scratch rather than a kit. The plans are printed in colour and include scale plans and full size drawings for all the forms.