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Canadian Canoe Routes

Solo Canoe Considerations
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Author:  Charlie Wilson [ March 14th, 2015, 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

Those are not solo canoes, they are tandems that can be paddled solo, kinda, preferably at a standing heel with paddler kneeling in center, less satisfactorily from kneeling against the back bar of the bow seat, the hull being driven backwards. It's easy to tell if the canoe has two seats and is over 32" wide. Contrastingly, solo canoes have one seat and are all under 32" max beam.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ March 14th, 2015, 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

Charlie Wilson wrote:
Those are not solo canoes, they are tandems that can be paddles solo, kinda.


Just paddling a tandem solo ala steering shopping cart pushed backwards.

Author:  frozentripper [ March 14th, 2015, 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations


Author:  segosih [ March 15th, 2015, 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

You know, while I do solo my tandem, I can definitely see what the others are talking about with regard to the dedicated solo being better. That might be more suitable to their advanced skill set than yours, but they have a good point.

I would NOT get a prospector to use as a solo unless it was the last choice or you get it free. If you are buying a general purpose boat then the PAL is a much better choice. Again not ideal but better for your purposes.

I am in Warren so I know what you mean about Winnipeg being short on good second hand canoes. My friend uses a 14 foot chestnut fox for her solo and that is not too bad but hard to find. No good as a tandem either.

If you go on the Crown Assets auction site, the military is selling off some old plastic boats that may go cheap, and three Grumman aluminums. It's worth a shot. I only have wood canvas boats out here but should have a 15 foot Tremblay ready around the end of May, @ $1000.

Wilderness Supply on Ferry Rd has a good selection and I believe they have a test paddle day at Fort Whyte every spring. MEC has some boats also. You can try kijiji but it is rather haphazard to find a good one at a fair price.


Author:  chris randall [ March 15th, 2015, 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

You just missed a Bell Merlin on Kijiji for sale in Winnipeg. I'll have a Wenonah Rendezvous for sale in the next month. It's in Tuff Weave so a little heavier than kevlar but in very good condition.

Author:  Playboater [ March 16th, 2015, 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

If I knew how to post images I'd throw one up for this one but anyways....

I have a 1970's vintage cadorette "Rawdon" 14' fiberglass canoe. Asymmetric and strictly a flat water boat, it has a shallow draft that makes it tippy with two people in it but as a solo canoe (paddling in reverse on the front seat), it's the cat's @ss. I have no problem keeping up with two-man teams in 16' kevlars and I portage it balanced on my shoulders, I only have to hold it with my hands on hills....

....The reason I mention this is because I got this thing for free (required patching and a new yoke) and I'm sure you could find 100 comparable canoes wasting away in peoples back yards or on Kijiji for almost free. Get a small cheap canoe and use it for a few trips till you figure out the specific characteristics you're looking for, then go spend the money (in my opinion).


Author:  Mattt [ March 18th, 2015, 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

"I am looking for something decent and affordable."

that could mean dirt cheap and just barely usable, or it could mean spending more money on a better option - I suspect you were looking for cheap - but if you want a good option, for tandem and solo, you can buy a Pakcanoe and the appropriate conversion kit to go from solo/tandem or vice versa - definitely not cheap, but in my opinion, better than paddling a tandem purposed hull solo - I bought one with that in mind, not having a tandem river tripper, but also wanting to have a boat in a bag for fly in trips

I'd recommend that Rendezvous that was mentioned - buy it, and then buy the cheapest used tandem you can find on the market

Author:  segosih [ May 10th, 2015, 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

Chris's rendezvous would be a good deal. I would call him if I were you.


Author:  Ghost [ May 13th, 2015, 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

I think a 16 foot prospector is easy enough to solo, and if you ever do want to take two, you can do that easily too.

If you're sure to be alone most of the time, then a 15 footer is a better choice. I have an antique 15 foot bluewater that works great. (seen here on the right; Lake Freighter on the left is a bit more difficult solo - and a pain to portage)

Author:  Scott.Wickham [ April 6th, 2018, 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

There are a lot of options, but my preference for a 5-20 day trip is the Wenonah Spirit II because:
1. I can take my dog
2. It has a 2-inch rocker which makes it decent for class I-II rivers and decent for flatwater...but not great for either.
3. It will hold all your gear for longer trips. Although the Prism is the same length, my packs won't fit in it.
4. I can move around in the canoe. Many small solo canoes like the 14-ft Blackhawk Zephyr don't allow for much leg movement during those long open-water paddles.
5. It is forgiving when caught in 3-4 ft rollers.

Author:  Rolf Kraiker [ April 8th, 2018, 6:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

That web site is gone, but the canoe with the image of the moose with my son in front was an original Chestnut Bob Special. I did a three week trip on the Thelon where my youngest son was a bow paddler at age 5, we used a Discovery 169 and the canoe was paddled "backwards". It helps because the stern seat is place closer to the end making it narrower and much easier for a child to reach the water, also aids in adjusting the trim of the canoe. I expect the original poster has long since bought something suitable but based on what I read there I expect his needs will change over time, mine certainly did which might explain why I wound up with a collection of canoes that numbered about 25.

frozentripper wrote:
From Rolf Kraiker's website, photo from his book Cradle to Canoe.... IIRC during the early days Rolf's method was to paddle a symmetrical Prospector (or Pal?) reversed with one small child sitting on the stern seat. With two kids and later on with one larger child up front, Rolf sat in the stern.[/img

Author:  larry_mc [ April 11th, 2018, 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

I would take a look at the Wenonah Rendezvous Chris said he'll be selling. You could do a lot worse for your first solo.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ April 11th, 2018, 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

larry_mc wrote:
I would take a look at the Wenonah Rendezvous Chris said he'll be selling. You could do a lot worse for your first solo.

Its not a river runner in high haystacks.. Otherwise its a fine starting point.. Had two companions in two Rendezvous wipe out on the Buffalo in Class 2 but with significant wave trains.. Pointy bow.

Author:  Mattt [ May 10th, 2018, 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

It helps a lot in the Rendezvous if you backpaddle to slow the boat in bigger waves - gives the bow a better chance to rise up rather than cut thru the waves - I never have any trouble in mine in CII, though I do pick up occasional water in bigger waves - helps to have the boat bagged also, which deflects some of the water

Author:  Gogosplata [ May 15th, 2018, 8:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Considerations

Picked up a Old Town Next a few weeks back. I'm a bigger guy at 5'10 and 235lbs. I was a little concerned with the seat reviews and wondered how it would handle loaded. Glad I made the leap of faith !

I've had it on bellwood lake to start, bumped it up to honey harbour and ran the main channel to see how it would handle chop with high boat traffic. Last week I hit up smoke lake and tea lake in algonquin. I'm in love.

Paddles like a kayak, tracks nicely. All my trips have been in high wind and rough water and I never felt tippy. Yet to load it up to capacity and try, I'd assume it would get a bit trippy like a canoe but your center of gravity is lower with the seat I'm guessing that would help a bit. It handled going head on 60km winds on Georgian bay, was a real battle obviously but I felt very sturdy and safe. The creek between Smoke and tea lake was very high, loads of submerged trees and a fairly fast flow with the high water. Navigation and control of a kayak was great here. Bellwood was an 8hr hang and the comfort stayed the whole trip.

The seat reviews are misleading, you will read a lot about how it brakes. Again like I said I'm 235 lbs, not small and I paddled hard in the wind purposely trying to push it. On the way home in bellwood lake when I was getting after it I to the wind my seat dropped. Thought for sure I broke it, I was able to pump it back into its tracks on the water( little sketchy). Once I got to shore I investigated.... the seat pops into a track. When it arrives and you drop the seat in there are gaps on either side in the bracket allowing for sway and your seat can drop. Then I noticed the strap running across the canoe under the track system. Tightened that up to reduce the seat gap and have had 0 issues since.

Was a bit of work to keep it straight going with the flow and wind at my back. That and having to come up with a yoke solution are my only gripes.

I will be taking it on a few week long trips this year, I pack extreamly light and doubt I will hit the 450 limit. Will check back in and let you guys know how it faired.

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