View topic - Looking for the ultimate solo canoe (for me)

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PostPosted: May 12th, 2013, 3:41 pm 
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Location: Caledon
Supernova? Bit of a truck with mixed reviews but I like mine and it will swallow gear.


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PostPosted: May 12th, 2013, 6:10 pm 
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Is your's in royalex or one of the light weight layups?


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PostPosted: May 12th, 2013, 8:21 pm 
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Location: Caledon
Royalex. Not light. But, they list Aramid, Blue Steel and Spectra Layups....havent seen one in the wild though.


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PostPosted: May 13th, 2013, 8:47 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Wenonah's Encounter is their highest-volume solo, to carry large loads on extended trips... it seems to be designed more for flatwater, although they do say it has a flared bow to help deflect spray. The UL weights are 35 and 38 pounds in graphite and kevlar.

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PostPosted: May 13th, 2013, 9:11 am 
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Location: Lower Saranac Lake, NY
Kestrel is 27.5 in wide, same as Placid's RapidFire and the Curtis Vagabond and Swift Loon. All DY designs, the Kestrel benefiting? from Bondo.

The next boats up are similarly DY designs at 28.5"-29" width. Curtis LadyBug, Nomad, DragonFly, Bell FlashFire, Merlin II and Hemlock Peregrine, SRT. Nomad, Merlin II and Peregrine are basically the same DY solo tripping design, again the latter with some Bondo, and will paddle like your Vagabond/Kestrel; a little more stable due to extra width, a little faster due to extra length.

DragonFly and FlashFire have a fair amount of rocker symmetrically located; SRT has differential rocker. DragonFly and SRT are deep enough for sustained class 2, Flash isn't.

There are a bunch of 30 inch wide boats, Mad River's Guide and Bell/Placid/Colden's WildFire the most useful of the batch. The Guide is now only available in rubber, a material best used in molding outhouses but generally an unacceptable for building portable canoes.

I have a list of currently built solo canoes. Email charliewilson77@gmail.com for an electronic copy.

Paddling a hull with stern rocker isn't really a problem with enough stick skill. If the paddler carries the blade behind their body, the poor soul will see all sides of the lake. if the forward stroke is isolated before the knee ith a high cadence, all will be well.


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PostPosted: May 13th, 2013, 1:58 pm 
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
RHaslam wrote:
I'm still re-thinking this solo canoe thing. I'm going to go light weight in the next five years, but I'm still going to need a big canoe. Total weight is often around 320. I'm packing chainsaws and stuff, and gaining weight like a force fed goose.

I like everything about the Raven that I built except for the weight and the sticky stern that PK describes. I've also been pretty happy in an osprey, but i need a bigger canoe than that. Other than the Shearwater, are there any other bigger solo options out there, short of going back to a small tandem?

I think I'd like a symmetrical hull this time too.



There is a StarFire going up for sale on P net. Some bigger paddlers like it for FreeStyle and some shorter paddlers needing more volume do use it as a solo though its too wide for a truly vertical stroke when heeled. In Black Gold it is a reasonable weight.

The truly vertical stroke in some situations is not an absolute necessity..especially if your stroke ends well forward of your hip.


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PostPosted: May 13th, 2013, 5:49 pm 
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Location: St. Lazare, Quebec
I did a two week solo in Woodland Caribou Park last year using a Wenonah Wilderness in Kevlar. It was the perfect boat for that style of lake to lake trip. I used a double blade and the boat was just flying along. I did manage to do some ferries at the top of portages and it handled well for a boat with 1.25" of rocker.

If I was buying one for mixed WW/FW use I would get it in Royalex

Maybe look at the Argosy for a bit more WW performance.

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PostPosted: May 13th, 2013, 9:21 pm 
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Brian Wraight wrote:
I did a two week solo in Woodland Caribou Park last year using a Wenonah Wilderness in Kevlar. It was the perfect boat for that style of lake to lake trip. I used a double blade and the boat was just flying along. I did manage to do some ferries at the top of portages and it handled well for a boat with 1.25" of rocker.

If I was buying one for mixed WW/FW use I would get it in Royalex

Maybe look at the Argosy for a bit more WW performance.



Argosy is a wet ride.. I ran some ledges in the Ozarks during the last two weeks.. And one eight foot drop series of three ledges resulted in a boat half full of water!

I brought the Raven too. Another ledge day and a drier ride. The stern is not as sticky for me as the Argosy and the fuller bow makes waveshedding in wave trains easier. (In Argosy you have to backpaddle and lean back to encourage the bow to ride over).


To me the Argosy is a confused boat. Its trying to be a river runner with most of the attributes of a lake cruiser.


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PostPosted: May 16th, 2013, 4:50 am 
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A buddy of mine has a kevlar Mad River Guide. So at least one was made. As you might expect the ends are a bit finer than the royalex boat and it seems to overcome the flatwater sluggishness that is my only complaint about the Guide.


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PostPosted: June 4th, 2013, 8:07 am 
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I am in the very same boat,,, total weight of say 280 - 320lbs, looking for a flatwater boat with occasional CI or CII.

I see an Argosy online for sale, but have never paddled it nor do I know if it;ll tkae the weight.


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PostPosted: June 5th, 2013, 6:37 am 
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Location: Lower Saranac Lake, NY
Performance ranges. This is not the first learning paddler desiring a flatwater cruiser that will handle class three whitewater. I don't think the bottom exists.

A lake cruiser needs to be relatively long for speed, with length to width ratio above 6, with differential rocker to ease tracking and relatively lower sides to reduce windage.

A class three hull needs be shorter for maneuverability with a L/W ratio under 6, significant and symmetrical rocker for control in the frothy and high sides to keep that stuff out of the boat.

I've thumped down Nantahalla Falls in a WildFire and know it has been done in DragonFlys, but neither are entry level lake trippers and neither really wants supersized paddlers aboard. The MRC Guide/Freedon Solo extends paddler sizing to 220 or so, but beyond that the paddler might best be looking at converting a small tandem like Colden's StarFire or calling Kaz. The resultant class three hull will not be efficient across large lakes in wind.

Most of us need to put the stemware away and accept that a lake country tripper that can handle moving water and some riffles is a possible acquisition, but a lake country tripper that is at home down Nanny Falls is a figment of chemically altered imagination.

Extreme size narrows the performance window, extreme stick skills can widen it, but all in all, one hull will not do it all anymore than one kitchen knife will.


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PostPosted: June 5th, 2013, 10:07 am 
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Some great replys here. The only thing I would add is the conflict of freeboard hight between a higher freeboard canoe good for some moving water waves, and a low freeboard lake canoe that won't get blown all over the lake. I really wanted a Dragonfly after a calm day paddle untill I paddled one on a windy day. No perfect allround canoe. For me? A 14" narrower Osprey or a lower freeboard Dragonfly-both which are the stuff of dreams.
Turtle


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2013, 10:47 am 
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The Flashfire has me intrigued. Was it ever made in Royalex or with a heavy duty layup. Are there similar boats in Royalex. Perhaps a touch longer with some more freeboard.


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2013, 11:13 am 
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MartinG wrote:
The Flashfire has me intrigued. Was it ever made in Royalex or with a heavy duty layup. Are there similar boats in Royalex. Perhaps a touch longer with some more freeboard.



Nope.

as for question two..all I can think of is Mohawk Odyssey. DragonFly is not made in RX but is deeper and a touch longer. Paul Meyer put quite a bit of fabric in it and I don't hesitate to do class 2 and a touch of 3 with it. If there are any fatal errors, they are mine..not the boats.


Last edited by littleredcanoe on June 6th, 2013, 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2013, 3:11 pm 
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MartinG wrote:
The Flashfire has me intrigued. Was it ever made in Royalex or with a heavy duty layup. Are there similar boats in Royalex. Perhaps a touch longer with some more freeboard.


Martin, I have an old White Gold Flashfire. It's not a pretty boat. Been wrapped by the previous owner over 10 years ago. I've run this thing down some ugly stretches of water for a composite flatwater canoe. It paddles awesome. The only problem is that it ships water when I paddle it agressive.

PK


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