First Look: Esquif Huron 17 (Video)

The introduction of T-Formex Lite brings impressive weight savings to the brand's touring series

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If you’re going to roll out some new boat-building tech, there is no more fitting way to do so than slapping it on a completely new boat. This is exactly what Esquif Canoes has done with the new Huron 17, the first of their canoes to be made with their T-Formex Lite material.

The Huron series has included the existing 15 and 16—both inspired by Esquif’s Prospector series. For the Hurons, Esquif has kept most of the Prospector design, but reduced the freeboard. With the lower profile on the sides, the Huron is easier to paddle in wind and is significantly lighter.

A first look at the Esquif Huron 17

Now the Huron 17 provides a longer 17-foot boat in the series, but there’s a catch; with the introduction of T-Formex Lite, the canoe is the lightest yet. In fact, the Huron 17 is a foot longer but a pound less than the 16.

Esquif accomplished this through a new version of T-Formex and some thoughtful tweaks to the Huron’s outfitting.

“What [Jacques Chasse] decided was T-Formex is really an evolution,” David Hadden, Esquif’s director of business development and U.S. sales shared with us at Canoecopia 2024. “It’s always changing because he’s always thinking about how he can make it better. And the big thing we’re focused on now is how can we make it lighter.”

The Esquif Huron 17.
Our first look at the Esquif Huron 17. | Feature Image: Paddling Magazine Staff

Introducing T-Formex Lite

The new T-Formex Lite material helps make T-Formex lighter by varying the thickness throughout the canoe’s hull. This allows less material in less essential areas while also allowing reinforcement in other places on the boat.

The Huron’s weight savings don’t end there, however. Esquif has also looked over the canoe’s outfitting to see what could be trimmed. They reduced the thickness of wooden items such as the seat bracket and thwarts. Esquif even reduced the number of rivets joining the gunwales to the hull by changing the spacing between each. Hadden calls it an optimization that has brought the Huron 17 down to a weight of 59 pounds. One pound less than the shorter Huron 16 still using their traditional build.

This is all to say, the Huron 17 in T-Formex Lite isn’t intended for every paddler. The Lite while still tough will have more flex and less strength than the traditional T-Formex build. Hadden says, if you’re a river runner or expedition paddler hundreds of miles from the launch you’ll want to look toward the traditional T-Formex. But for canoers seeking a lighter option for portaging, cartopping or the cottage, the T-Formex Lite holds the answer you’ve been looking for.

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