Northstar Canoes (Minnesota, USA)

RiverCoast is bringing Northstar Solo and Tandem Canoes into our lineup of quality paddlecraft.  Guided by renowned canoe builder Ted Bell, Northstar is focused on crafting exceptional canoes for experienced paddlers. But even a novice can paddle one – they’re designed to make you a better canoeist. And before too long, you’ll be discoursing about your appreciation of the elliptical cross-section, soft chines and constant flare.

The links below provide detail on Northstar canoes.  For a summary PDF with dimensions and prices (excluding tax, shipping, and some customizations), please click this link for 2023 Northstar Canoe Summary.

Solo Canoes

  • Magic.  There’s something mystical about the seamless connection between an experienced paddler and the Magic. Quiet, fast and seaworthy, the Magic flows across open lakes, riding effortlessly through wind and waves.  Dream about where you want to go on the water and the Magic will take you there.
  • Northwind Solo.  A solo canoe is good for the soul. Lakes, rivers or rapids, the NW Solo will lift your spirits every trip on the water. Renowned for its versatility, the Solo excels at both lakes and moderate rapids. A high volume design, combined with a low sheer line makes it a joy to paddle in varied water conditions. Known as our most friendly solo, canine companions are frequent crewmates.  Also offered as a Northwind Solo pack canoe.
  • Trillium.  A do everything canoe with a performance oriented hull for those who want to paddle everywhere from lakes to rivers. It glides across open water and sneaks through wave trains with equal aplomb. The Trillium is a smaller sibling to our very popular Northwind Solo.  Also offered as a Trillium pack canoe.
  • Phoenix.  Rivers flow exhilaratingly fast and soulfully slow. Paddlers often encounter both experiences on the same river a few hours apart. One of two Northstar solo canoes with symmetrical rocker, the Phoenix offers an uncompromising hull design to deftly handle any water conditions, flat or fast.  Also offered as a Phoenix pack canoe.
  • Firebird.  The myth of the Firebird, like the Phoenix, is one of reincarnation and rising from the ashes, much like Northstar did from a previous entity. The Firebird offers the versatility of the Phoenix in a smaller package. Those who want to play on flatwater or in whitewater will be drawn to the Firebird.  Also offered as a Firebird pack canoe.
  • ADK.  Where do you want to go? If your sense of curiosity takes you up narrow streams or under low-hanging trees to explore hidden coves, the ADK is the canoe for you. Extremely lightweight for impulsive paddles, never a struggle to load this boat on the car. Sitting low in the water, feel free to use your kayak paddle. Your heavy kayaks will collect dust in the garage.  Also offer as ADK LT (light).
  • Rob Roy.  The best of both worlds - a decked canoe and a kayak with an open cockpit. The large cockpit allows easy entry and loading while decreasing windage. With the hull shape of the Magic you’ll be able to cruise big water. A historic design based on John MacGregor’s 1866 book, A Thousand Miles in a Rob Roy Canoe. The Rob Roy excels everywhere from coastal areas to moving rivers.
  • Ocoee (whitewater).  The legendary hull returns. Originally produced by Dagger, then Bell Canoe, now Northstar. We’ve converted the mold from Royalex to composite. Now whitewater paddlers can experience the highest performing Ocoee ever built. The flat bottomed hull and drastic rocker surf and spin with ease. The hard edges carve crisp eddy turns and lend an element of liveliness to the hull.

Tandem Canoes

  • Northwind
    • Northwind 20 - The Northwind 20 is designed to create life-long memories. Expertly rigged with three or four seats, this canoe will carry a family and their gear on an epic wilderness adventure. No one will forget how fast and agile the Northwind 20 handles.
    • Northwind 18 - As sometimes more can be better, the Northwind 18 offers the same stability as our flagship Northwind 17, but the additional space provides a little more comfort for a third member of the group or the family dog. There’s no need to debate bringing the Dutch oven and camp chairs. The Northwind 18 is ready to haul your gear.
    • Northwind 17 - The Northwind 17 is Northstar's most popular tandem tripper. Remarkably maneuverable, yet reassuringly stable. Known to be the most seaworthy, yet fast, canoe available. When other canoes are wind-bound you’ll enjoy the thrill of playing in the waves.
    • Northwind 16 - The Northwind 16 offers a wide variety of paddling possibilities. This is the canoe for you: if you love day trips, but might load it up for a week; love fishing but might need to maneuver through light rapids; love to paddle with a partner but might want to go solo. The Northwind 16 turns on a dime, yet tracks as straight as a true north compass bearing.
  • Polaris. The Polaris accelerates quickly and offers a lively paddling experience. Skilled paddlers raved about the performance of its predecessor and we named our company after it. The Polaris is the narrowest of our tandems, making it an ideal canoe to paddle solo from a center seat.  Please see detail and dimensions.
  • B series
    • B 19 - The B 19 can carry a family, three adult males with gear, or two NFL lineman and a moose. It’s a big canoe with a ton of capacity (actually a half-ton) that handles like a smaller boat. Trust it to take your family across a big wind swept lake and then down a meandering creek, it’ll handle both with ease. The B 19 has the versatility you expect from a Prospector and the performance you trust from a Northstar.
    • B 17 - Is the B17 ... a Bomber? A Ted Bell 17? A Bear 17? Could be any or all of them. We couldn’t follow the lead of every other canoe company and call this model a Prospector, even though it is our most versatile design. The B 17 will handle a month in the wilderness or carry the whole family for floats on the local river. You can load it with four barrels and enjoy its moving water performance on an expedition. Or you can enjoy its safe, stable reassurance while day-paddling when the two kids and Lassie are all hanging over one side of the canoe watching Mom land a walleye.
    • B 16 - As sixteen feet is all you need for a week or a day, the B 16 will handle a wilderness trip or nightly family cruise. We couldn’t follow the lead of every other canoe company and call this model a Prospector, even though it is our most versatile design. It’s a full hull with plenty of capacity in a short and maneuverable package. Like its sibling, the B 17, you can expect a dry boat with predictable behavior in moving water thanks to the symmetrical rocker. Or on day trips with a pair of Labradors you’ll love the rock solid secondary stability when they both jump to one side to notify a turtle that it’s out of the water. And the B 16 lends itself to solo paddling since there’s no bow thwart.
  • Seliga.  Joe Seliga built his famed wood canvas canoes in Ely, Minnesota for over 60 years. Seligas have been cherished by generations thanks to their meticulous construction, classic hull shape, and beautiful recurved stems. When Joe was ready to pass on his legacy he sought out Bell and now Northstar to request that his time honored design continue in lightweight materials.
  • Pearl.  A classic but updated. The Chestnut Pal has been known as a great general-purpose canoe for both flat and moving water for half a century. Our design retains all the performance characteristics of the Pal. We’ve eliminated the recurved stems, which offered no performance benefit, but increased the weight. Paddlers seek out the Pearl as a low volume tandem for day paddles and short overnights, and when paddled backwards from the bow seat, a high-volume solo for larger loads or paddlers.

Northstar offers the paddler several options.  Below are brief descriptions.  Contact RiverCoast for more detail and suggestions. Please note that not all canoes offer every lamination.  For example, a whitewater Ocoee should not be built with Stealth aramids.


  • BlackLite:  Carbon outer with Aramid reinforcements. Combines the stiffness of carbon fiber with the excellent tensile strength of Aramid. Our full wet vacuum bag allows us to artfully balance strength and weight. For those that want significantly greater durability than StarLite, yet value a lightweight canoe. Color: black carbon weave.
  • StarLite:  All Aramid. Our proprietary yellow and black makes a stunning moiré pattern. Full wet vacuum bag minimizes resin and weight, maximizes strength. Foam core, ribs and internal reinforcements create a light weight canoe. The choice of flat-water paddlers and outfitters everywhere. Color: Northstar proprietary Aramid weave.
  • IXP:  Substantial Innegra with inner blanket of Aramid. Innegra has excellent impact absorption, great flex and good abrasion resistance. No foam core or ribs means a lamination capable of extended river tripping and expedition whitewater. An extremely durable lamination with far better performance than Royalex. Exterior resin coated because gel coat chips and cracks when subjected to substantial impacts. Color: gray Innegra weave.
  • Stealth:  Carbon and Black Innegra co-woven outer with inner blanket of proprietary yellow and black aramid. Our lightest lamination at the expense of some durability, a dream for wet footed portaging. Only available with E6 trim and E6 parts. Stealth is lighter than StarLite and has lower impact resistance. Weight savings and wet footed portaging go hand in hand. Color: black carbon and black Innegra weave.
  • WhiteGold:  Polyester cloth outer, Innegra middle, and with Aramid interior and reinforcements. Only available in our ADK series. Color: ruby or emerald.

Trim options (depending on canoe and lamination)

  • Aluminum trim with standard ash components (AL)
  • Aluminum trim with upgraded walnut components (DLX)
  • Wood trim with standard walnut components (WD)
  • E6 Carbon trim with standard walnut components (E6)
  • E6 Carbon trim with upgraded E6 components (E6/E6)
  • Aluminum trim only (Ocoee - only option for whitewater canoe)


Please check out a variety of Northstar accessories.  RiverCoast can get them for you!