I was reminded this last weekend that the "perfect" boat is both nonexistent and unnecessary. A couple who accompanied me on a long class 2+ river were in what I have always assumed to be a big-water cruiser - an Easy Rider TSL-1 decked tandem canoe. That long, wide, and flat bottomed craft does not look like a whitewater boat. Not only that, but the bow paddler was using a bent shaft single blade - not what most people would call a whitewater paddle. These two are very experienced big whitewater paddlers. I'm sure that is a factor, but I also know they could choose another boat. Anyway, they went through long stretches of class 2+ rock gardens with no difficulty, and looked smooth doing it - even with a significant amount of rock-dodging. No, they didn't catch every eddy or surf every wave, but they got down the river in fine style with plenty of room for gear and dog (yes, the dog - who is also an experienced river runner - was riding in the center station). While it is nice to have "the right boat" for each situation, skill and gear selection can broaden a given craft's usefulness. As an example, that same decked canoe, with changes in configuration, has been used as a whitewater boat, a coastal cruiser, and a sailboat. Not all canoes can make that claim, but most can have a wide range of uses - beyond what might be assumed.