Illusion

Overview

Solo / Symmetrical

 

Touring / Freestyle / Class 2-3 whitewater / Pack Canoe

 

The Illusion is at home on small creeks and rivers as well as small ponds and lakes. It was originally designed as a Freestyle canoe and has won four National championships. Its rounded bottom and chines make it very easy to heal over and do a 180 deg. turn. In addition, this canoe has good tracking characteristics for its size. At less than 20 lbs. for the standard layup, it responds very well to every paddle stroke in the water and is effortless to carry out of the water. It works well for kneeling with a straight shaft paddle as well as sitting with a canoe or kayak paddle.

This canoe is a joy to paddle and ideal on small, winding creeks like the ones found in the Pine Barrens and the Adirondacks. It also is great on portages from lake to lake in the Boundary Waters and Algonquin parks. With a heavier layup, it can be a fun play boat on class 2 and 3 whitewater.

If you’re looking for a shorter light weight solo canoe that handles well and can haul some extra gear, the Illusion would be a great choice.        

This canoe is also available with a deck, see the “Loon”

 

Designed by Mark Ornstien

Marc Ornstein has been paddling canoes for most of his adult life. His experiences include whitewater play-boating and tripping, touring, and Freestyle. He is an ACA instructor with River canoeing, level II certification, solo/tandem and level III Freestyle canoeing certification, solo/tandem. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Freestyle Committee of the American Canoe Association.

 

He owns and operates Dogpaddle Canoe Works, where he designs and builds custom canoes and canoe paddles. He is a four time national gold medalist in Freestyle Canoeing. All four of those medals were won paddling a Dogpaddle Illusion which he designed. 

Technical Specs

Length

Weight

Max. Width

Max. Gunwale Width

Height

13'6"

19* lb.

29.25"

26"

16.5"/13"/14.5"

Gallery

Layup and Package Options

Layup Options

Kevlar Layups
 
  • Layups
  • Standard Package
  • Kevlar
    More Info

    Fiberglass skin backed up with 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    This Package Includes:
    • Carbon Gunwales
    • Web Seat
    • Aluminum Thwarts
  • $2650 21* lb.
  • Expedition
    More Info

    Tough S-glass skin backed up with 2 full layers of Kevlar and an extra layer of Kevlar under the core. 3/8” foam core with 4” ribs and another layer of Kevlar over the core. This is one tough boat. Great for rocky rivers and long expeditions.

    This Package Includes:
    • Carbon Gunwales
    • Web Seat
    • Aluminum Thwarts
  • $2900
  • Kevlar
    More Info

    Fiberglass skin backed up with 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    • Standard Package - $2650 21lb.*
      This Package Includes:
      • Carbon Gunwales
      • Web Seats
      • Aluminum Thwarts
  • Expedition
    More Info

    Tough S-glass skin backed up with 2 full layers of Kevlar and an extra layer of Kevlar under the core. 3/8” foam core with 4” ribs and another layer of Kevlar over the core. This is one tough boat. Great for rocky rivers and long expeditions.

    • Standard Package - $2900
      This Package Includes:
      • Carbon Gunwales
      • Web Seats
      • Aluminum Thwarts
Carbon Layups
 
  • Layups
  • Standard Package
  • Carbon / Kevlar
    More Info

    5.7 oz. Carbon skin backed up with 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core. Light weight, stiff and good for lakes and milder rivers. For rocky rivers and whitewater, add an extra layer of Kevlar in bottom.

    This Package Includes:
    • Carbon Gunwales
    • Web Seat
    • Aluminum Thwarts
  • $2850 19* lb.
  • Carbon / Duel Kevlar
    More Info

    5.7 oz. Carbon skin backed up with 2 layers of 5 oz. Kevlar and a foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    This Package Includes:
    • Carbon Gunwales
    • Web Seat
    • Aluminum Thwarts
  • $3050 23* lb.
  • Carbon / Kevlar
    More Info

    5.7 oz. Carbon skin backed up with 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core. Light weight, stiff and good for lakes and milder rivers. For rocky rivers and whitewater, add an extra layer of Kevlar in bottom.

    • Standard Package - $2850 19lb.*
      This Package Includes:
      • Carbon Gunwales
      • Web Seats
      • Aluminum Thwarts
  • Carbon / Duel Kevlar
    More Info

    5.7 oz. Carbon skin backed up with 2 layers of 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    • Standard Package - $3050 23lb.*
      This Package Includes:
      • Carbon Gunwales
      • Web Seats
      • Aluminum Thwarts
TeXtreme Layups
 
  • Layups
  • Standard Package
  • TeXtreme
    More Info

    TeXtreme skin backed up with 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    This Package Includes:
    • Carbon Gunwales
    • Web Seat
    • Aluminum Thwarts
  • $3100 19* lb.
  • TeXtreme / Duel Kevlar
    More Info

    TeXtreme skin backed up with 2 layers of 5 oz. Kevlar and a foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    This Package Includes:
    • Carbon Gunwales
    • Web Seat
    • Aluminum Thwarts
  • $3300 23* lb.
  • TeXtreme
    More Info

    TeXtreme skin backed up with 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    • Standard Package - $3100 19lb.*
      This Package Includes:
      • Carbon Gunwales
      • Web Seats
      • Aluminum Thwarts
  • TeXtreme / Duel Kevlar
    More Info

    TeXtreme skin backed up with 2 layers of 5 oz. Kevlar and a foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    • Standard Package - $3300 23lb.*
      This Package Includes:
      • Carbon Gunwales
      • Web Seats
      • Aluminum Thwarts
Uni-Biaxial Carbon Layups
 
  • Layups
  • Standard Package
  • Uni-Biaxial Carbon
    More Info

    Uni-Biaxial Carbon skin backed up with 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    This Package Includes:
    • Carbon Gunwales
    • Web Seat
    • Aluminum Thwarts
  • $3000 19* lb.
  • Uni-Biaxial Carbon / Duel Kevlar
    More Info

    Uni-Biaxial Carbon skin backed up with 2 layers of 5 oz. Kevlar and a foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    This Package Includes:
    • Carbon Gunwales
    • Web Seat
    • Aluminum Thwarts
  • $3200 23* lb.
  • Uni-Biaxial Carbon
    More Info

    Uni-Biaxial Carbon skin backed up with 5 oz. Kevlar and foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    • Standard Package - $3000 19lb.*
      This Package Includes:
      • Carbon Gunwales
      • Web Seats
      • Aluminum Thwarts
  • Uni-Biaxial Carbon / Duel Kevlar
    More Info

    Uni-Biaxial Carbon skin backed up with 2 layers of 5 oz. Kevlar and a foam core then another layer of 5 oz. Kevlar over the core.

    • Standard Package - $3200 23lb.*
      This Package Includes:
      • Carbon Gunwales
      • Web Seats
      • Aluminum Thwarts

*Weights are approximate and can vary

Seat and Outfitting Options

Options

Seat Options
Web Seat
Can choose between:
20" long by 8" wide or 20" long by 10" wide
Bucket Seat $100
This seat comes standard in all of our canoes with sliding seats.
11" long by 13" wide
High Back Bucket Seat $100
This is the standard bucket seat tilted forward.
11" long by 13" wide
Triebold Seat $100
Designed by Andy Triebold
12.5" long by 13.5" wide
Big Seat $100
Great for larger paddlers
12" long by 16" wide
Height Adjustable Seat $375
Easliy change the height of the seat.
Can be made with the Bucket Seat, Triebold Seat, and Big Seat.
Deck and Thwart
Flat Carbon Deck
Small Deck- $30
Bow up to 16" / Stern up to 11"
Large Deck - $60
Bow up to 32" / Stern up to 28"
Molded Carbon Deck $80
Up to 32"
Carbon Thwarts $150
Increases stiffness and aesthetic appeal
Outfitting Options
Accessory Options
Paddle Clip $5
Pressure clip that holds the shaft of a paddle.
Works better if used with Deck Bungee or Paddle Blade Holder
Paddle Blade Holder $15
Holds the blade of a paddle that is clipped into a paddle clip.
(Need Paddle Clip to Work)
Foot Straps $15
Foot Plate $90
Great for people looking for more foot support than just a bar.
Comes with Foot Straps.

Testimonials

"The illusion is my new favorite boat. After a 30 year love affair with my sawyer starlight, I think it is my "other people boat" now.  sorry Ralph. The illusion is odviously light, and has equally great primary and secondary stability.  it is fast, but takes a minute to figure out how to make it go straight. I had to modify the j-stroke to more resemble the c-stroke and found if you maintain a slight lean to the side you are paddling on it will track nicely.  it will also go straight using hit and switch when up to speed. It goes without saying that it turns on a dime. This is exactly what i was looking for as all of my other boats tended to be go straight boats.

 

The crew at Savage River built up the boat to my exact specifications with the tribold seat and foot brace.  I come from a racing and tripping background and wanted a boat that turned more but have no interest in kneeling.  The boat was picked up at the factory and I immediatly road tripped up to the rifle river in northern Michigan to put it to the test.  We got luck with some high water and it was on.

 

Solid class II with lots of surf spots and places to pull eddies. The illusion does dynamic ferries, front surfs like a dream, and I was blown away when I got multiple side surfs in holes that would have blown out the starlight downstream, or sent me into the drink

 

The staff at savage river were friendly, and patient with me, and Ben spent a lot of time with me in the design process.  They returned calls, emails, and such in a timely manner. I believe the illusion is marketed as a freestyle boat so I will be learning more moves in the future.  Some good friends and I plan to paddle the entire huron river in Michigan over 5 days in July and will have gear for 1 in the boat.  Will be interested to see how it preforms in that situation.  Savage River boats are pricey but as soon as you paddle one you'll know you made the right decision on flopping down that kind of money.  They are clearly at the top of their game at designing boats.  I've had one of their solo race boat for many years and am very pleased with it as well.  The michigan canoe symposium is where I discovered that savage river makes something other than race boats so I had to try one.  If you do as well you won't be disappointed."

 

- Michael