hōu 16 ft Prospector Open Canoe

Availability: In stock (4)
Delivery time: 1- 5 days from build


The Chestnut Prospector is a design legend and the hōu Canoes take on an all time classic retains all the best characteristics of this all round boat. This canoe was originally designed as a trading vessel so had to paddle well on both open water such as lakes, and also to paddle well on moving/white water rivers. It had to paddle well unloaded but also had to be able to carry a good load on the return journey. Today we still want the same from our canoes, all be it for different reasons. This boat is a joy on lakes and rivers, and will give you a dry, predictable ride whether you are solo or loaded up for a multi day trip.

This classic design is all things to all paddlers, the ultimate all rounder.

With the boat being pitched at just over 15 and 1/2 feet in length it is considered as the ultimate do everything boat. The 15 is what you may want to consider for solo paddling, and the 16 will be better for tandem and tripping days.  If you are looking for a single all in one boat, the hōu Canoes Prospector is going to be the perfect choice.

We offer this boat in the follow four specifications:

Standard Spec.  All the hōu standard features, our most popular in range.

Low Cut Spec.  After listening to feedback from our ambassadors and the staff at Glenmore Lodge, we have produced the Prospector with a low cut.  In simple terms we have lowered the sides of the boat by about an inch.  Why? By doing this we have lowered the centre of gravity making the boat more stable.

Lodge Spec.  We do all the hard work for you on this one as this boat comes fully loaded and ready to go.  This is the standard spec boat but fitted out with Peak end airbags, sailing seat, kneeling thwart and end grabs so all you have to do is grab your paddle and you are straight on the water.

Wood Trim.  There is something special about a wood finish on a classic design such as the Prospector, it reflects the heritage of the design as well as looking amazing.  If you are investing in one boat, this finish will be a must. Check out the video clip of the Word Trim spec;

Sibbald Solo Spec. We first built this unique spec for Tom Sibbald. He wanted the boat to be as light as possible and spends most of his time on the water paddling solo. So, carry yoke, and carry handles, then we fitted a skinny seat where the kneeling thwart would be and then a kneeling thwart in the bow complete with a hole drilled in it for sailing. This means that on the odd occasion the boat is needed as tandem, Tom can use the boat 'backwards' by using Kneeling Thwart for himself and he can put his temporary paddling partner on the skinny seat. A very clever way of making a boat lighter by minimalistic outfitting, just like a rally car for the water!

Custom Spec. Should you wish to have your Prospector set up in a way not covered above we can do that for you, no problem. Just drop us a line or give us a call and we will make it happen!

Weight: From 32 Kg
Carrying Capacity: 460Kgs
Length: 15 Ft 8"
Width: 36"
Depth: 14"
| Andy Trafford 12-07-2021 19:53

I’ve canoed for many years on rivers and lochs, paddling, poling, sailing, lining and tracking. I’ve just got myself the Prospector and so far I really like it. I’ve been out in it a few times on easy stuff and it performed well and I expect it to do just as well when I push it.
I’ve been in touch with Hou Canoes a few times with questions and I’ve found them really really helpful, you can actually speak to the people who make the boats! Great service, great boat.

| Bob Tayler 25-07-2017 11:25

Bought this boat just over a month a go. In the time of owning it I have paddled the Loch Nevis/Moria loop (with an extension to Arisaig), paddled a 4 day expedition on the Tay, Paddled the length of Loch Awe, the river Awe and the Lower Etive. The boat is light and fast to accelerate when needed. The Hull shape sheds water well giving a dry ride even in big water. the boat can take a huge amount of gear as well (two people plus kit for a exped was fine). the outfitting of a seat and kneeling thwart/sailing thwart is brilliant giving great versatility.
The best thing about this boat is its playful!! The feel and responsiveness are amazing, In short paddling it is better than sex! It also last longer!

| Jules Burnard 21-07-2017 16:56

The Hou Prospector is my goto boat which I use on a daily basis for coaching, guiding and my own personal paddling. I was lucky enough to paddle the first Prospector out of the mold, and it instantly made me smile as until that point I wasn't really fan of Prospector designs. Personally I found them quite skittish and not as predictable as I would have liked. Seeing it come out the oven was an exciting moment and then watching it get outfitted before it was loaded onto a van and off for a test drive. The boat looks quite big next to alot of other boats but once your in it and paddling its far from the case and you soon forget its 15' 6". The boat is very stable with a good primary stability and a very stable secondary stability. The shallow v hull at the bow and stern has been extended slightly giving the boat a more predictable and responsible feel to me . The boat tracks really well and accelerates with ease providing a good cruising speed. On White Water the boat is a very dry ride and performs really well. Its hull speed, rocker and secondary stability combine to allow the paddler to almost dance on the river, carving turns and spinning as it goes. I have paddled boat in grade 3-4 and it handle it no problem eating up the miles. In fact Ive commented a number of times that I am now paddling things bigger and more regularly than a would have in previous boats. One of the reasons for this to me' is the tough plastic and outfitting that Hou has used throughout its range. I have used the boat both solo and tandem and it really does handle both well. As it is my goto boat I have used it lots on multi day trips and quite heavily laden and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I use traditional skills quite often durin g my trips and Im glad to say as a platform to pole from the Prospector is both stable and maneuverable. It sails really well and when used with lines for tracking etc it wont let you down. One addition Ive made to mine is the addition of a deep dish yoke which definitely makes a difference when carrying on long portages. A great all round boat and definitely my favourite. See you on the water...

| Nick Goodall 26-04-2017 15:54

First impressions of my Hou Prospector.
I brought this boat having only seen one at Black Snow Saddles, Due to a bit of a knee issue its taken till now to be able to kneel down.
The boat looks a feels very well built, seats and hangers are wooden and every thing is finished very nicely. On the water this boat feels great, it turns with ease accelerates really well and tracks superbly. It has great initial stability and the height would suggest its a super dry boat. Now this was the first paddle since December so it was only grade 1 on the Severn, but I think this boat feels and looks as if it will handle white water superbly.
So would I recommend this boat, oh yes! If you want a canoe that is very well built, sensibly priced, will handle long days out with or without kit and will handle lumpy moving water, this is definitely an boat to consider.
I think its super cool and I'm massively impressed. I cant wait to get it out as a tandem, I think it will zip around the river with ease.

5 stars based on 4 reviews