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

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2013, 6:31 pm 
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Joined: July 29th, 2009, 9:29 am
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Location: Lower Saranac Lake, NY
Paul Meyer's Colden hulls are more rugged than Bell's Black/Gold, and I'm sure He would lay another 5 oz Kev blanket in the boat for a fair up-charge to anyone interested and willing to order the thing.

Depending on paddler size, especially height, one might find the WIldFire a more stable whitewater hull.

I know Paul Knoerr, well over 6 ft paddles a Flash often, but for we mere mortals...maybe a little bigger hull for frothy stuff??


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2013, 9:13 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2009, 8:34 am
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I sold my supernova and replaced it with a wilderness. And I have to say the boat seems to be exactly what I was looking for. I didn't need a river boat as I have an impulse for the white stuff.


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PostPosted: June 7th, 2013, 7:34 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Charlie, I'm surely a mortal. If I were tripping in whitewater, I'd paddle something other than a Wildfire or a Flashfire. They are great boats, but neither is really a whitewater canoe. But for play, the Flashfire is SOOOOO much more maneuverable than Wildfire in whitewater (this is the name of the game when playing in whitewater), and it attains in whitewater better than any playboat. So the cool thing with a Flashfire is you can climb features that would wash you out in playboat. A 13 foot whitewater canoe isn't that small these days. Whitewater paddlers are generally paddling boats much shorter than the Flashfire. My playboat is 11 feet and it's longer than most today. So that all said, The Flashfire is an excellent handling canoe in whitewater, so long as you can keep the water out. Wave blocking only works so well in a shallow canoe, but floatation helps. Additional depth and bow flare would help.

So this mere mortal loves paddling easy whitewater in his Flashfire. It's no uncommon for my Flashfire to end up with the best surf on the river with a bunch of playboaters.

PK


Last edited by pknoerr on June 7th, 2013, 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 7th, 2013, 2:34 pm 
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Joined: July 24th, 2010, 10:40 am
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I once had an older Bel Flashfire in real heavy thick layup. It weighed a ton,but seemed real tough. I used to paddle it in moving(not big stuff) water and really liked it. I sold it when I bought my ultralite Colden flash. I wish I had kept it for a beater.
Turtle


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PostPosted: September 21st, 2013, 9:19 pm 
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Joined: November 6th, 2009, 9:37 am
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Location: Kingston, ON
Reflecting back on this thread I think a boat has been missed. At the beginning I expressed that I loved my Hemlock Kestrel. I am very comfortable in it. Although, I am a probably near the top end of the size spectrum for that boat. If I could ask for something more it would be a boat that was more fun to turn and could handle mild white-water. I also like the idea of a boat that could take some abuse. I beach my canoes (gently), drag them over beaver dams fully loaded, line/wade through rocks, run c1 rapids and hit the odd rock or dead head. The suggestions that resonate with me are the Bell/Colden Wildfire/ Yellowstone Solo. I would love to get my hands on one of these in Royalex. They just don’t show up in Southern Ontario. Next would be a Wenonah Argosy, a very polarizing boat that may be a bit big for me.

What about the Esquif Echo? It is a 14' solo in Royalex. Does anyone have any experience with this boat? The marketing positioning on the Esquif website is weird. In one sentance they say, "the Echo is a canoe I can dance with on flat water or take down class II rivers or on overnight trips". Later they call it," one of the smoothest and most reliable companions you can have on calm solo paddling adventures." Seems contradictory. Why only calm solo paddling adventures? If that's the case why make it in Royalex? I take my Kestrel out in winds and waves that keep many tandems on shore. It has a similar low profile. So why couldn't I do this in an Echo. I would love to hear from anyone with personal experience with this boat.


Last edited by MartinG on September 22nd, 2013, 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 21st, 2013, 10:03 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
It is shallower than your usual solo boat. And it is a little wide. If you think the Argosy is too big ( do you mean wide?)for you, you will wallow in the Echo. ( Not sure why you feel the Argosy would be too big. I know a couple of 120 lb women who are fine in it though they are taller). As you know height and leg length matters more than weight.

One of our members here does have an Echo and likes it.

Echo has symmetrical rocker. Yes it is useful if you want to do FreeStyle as it spins quick. It has the room for week long expeditions. What I find a bit disconcerting is its shallow depth. Echo is much more like WildFire than Yellowstone Solo(which is an entirely different boat than Wild Fire).

For me Echo is simply too wide too. That inch or two over WildFire really does matter.


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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2013, 5:05 am 
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Joined: July 24th, 2010, 10:40 am
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I used to have an Echo. It was a pretty green boat made of royalex. Is handled and turned wonderfully and was a hoot to paddle,the workmanship was 1st class. I took it on a wildernesstrip up the lower Osgood in the ADKs and it was great in the tight turns.I sold it because it was so heavy-48#,and with it's low freeboard,it would ship water in very mild moving water. I still miss not being able to go out and play in it,but for me,it was just too limited for my use.
Turtle


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