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Over a century ago, New Brunswick’s Chestnut Canoe Company took attributes of local Indigenous canoes to form the basis of its initial models—including the Cruiser. These sleek and swift canoes speak to the ingenuity and performance of Indigenous canoes, with rounder hull profiles, narrower widths and smaller capacity than Prospectors. 



Headwaters 16- and 17-foot Cruisers are a joy to paddle for experienced canoeists and paddlers comfortable in a more tender craft: they are fast and incredibly responsive, perfect for day paddling or shorter wilderness trips. Guide Specials are 16- or 17-foot Cruisers built with half-inch rib spacing for additional durability. The Cruiser-inspired 14-foot Muskrat is also available for solo paddlers.

14' Muskrat

The Muskrat is a lightweight 14-foot Cruiser that’s a great choice for a solo canoe. This wood-canvas canoe’s compact length, narrow width and shallow depth also make it a good for tandem paddling for kids or smaller adults. We build the Muskrat with narrower and thinner ribs; overall weight is often around 50 pounds, making it a dream to carry.  Like all Cruisers, the Muskrat may feel tippy for less experienced paddlers. Consider the Bobs Special if you’re looking for a short, lightweight canoe with greater stability.

Width:  30.5"      Depth:  13"      Length: 14'     

Weight:  50 - 60lbs  (depending on options)

16' Cruiser

We make the 16-foot Cruiser on the original Chestnut building form. This century-old design is sleek and narrow, with fine entry lines that allow it to cut through the water with efficiency that rivals modern “go-fast” touring canoes. Just as impressive is the 16-foot Cruiser’s responsiveness to pivot strokes and sideslips, making it versatile and agile on the water. If you’re an experienced paddler the 16-foot Cruiser is might be a better choice for solo paddling (including weeklong wilderness trips) than the classic 16-foot Prospector, since it’s less susceptible to wind and easier to portage. It also makes a fast canoe for tandem paddling with light loads.

Width:  33"      Depth:  13.25"      Length: 16'     

Weight:  57 - 70lbs  (depending on options)

16' Guide Special

The 16-foot Guide Special is built on the same original Chestnut form as the 16-foot Cruiser, with half-inch rib spacing to make for a more durable canoe for heavy use. This custom-built wood-canvas canoe has slender dimensions for great speed and responsiveness for experienced paddlers, with unique aesthetics due to the additional ribs. It makes for a great tandem weekend tripping canoe and is capable of solo journeys of a week or more.

Width:  33"      Depth:  13.25"      Length: 16'     

Weight:  62 - 75lbs  (depending on options)