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Canadian Canoe Routes

Solo Canoe
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Author:  sampauls [ June 24th, 2015, 4:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Solo Canoe

I am looking for a Solo Canoe. I live in Winnipeg. I would like to use the canoe on lazy sleepy rivers, Seine and LaSalle, on moving rivers like the Assiniboine and the Red and on lakes. I would also like to play with the boat on the water. I am a small frame petite female, 5'2' 98 lbs. Broke my wrist and injured my shoulder 10 months ago so I decided to sell my DY Design Black Gold Merlin II and am now looking for a shorter boat with versatility. I would like to hear feedback from others about a boat that would meet my requirements. I tried out a Tranquility. I am still looking.


Author:  my_self_reliance [ June 24th, 2015, 8:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

I may be getting annoying talking about my Swift Keewaydin 14, but I love it. Small, light and agile (not me, the canoe) and even though I'm nowhere near your specs, I think it would suit you.

Author:  Charlie Wilson [ June 25th, 2015, 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

The Kee 14 is the latest in DY's "small solo tripper" series of Curtis Vagabond, Swift Loon, Placid RapidFire and now Swift's Keewaydin 14. Someone OP's size might skip down another series to Curtis's No Longer Sold MayFly, BlackHawk's NLS Shadow 12, Loonworks' Button 12, Solitaire 12.5, or commission a Placid boatworks' SpitFire rigged with a kneeling seat. Back in the day I hung solo seats from the rails of a couple Mad River Pearls too. Newman GRE's Peeper and Savage River's Wee Lassie, both 11'8" might also do, the latter is flared and might be problematical for petite folk.

Author:  chris randall [ June 25th, 2015, 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

Welcome to the solo boat desert!

You are welcome to try my Wildfire any time but as Charlie points out even that may be too large and the chance of one coming up for sale locally is pretty slim. You may be able to find something like a wenonah vagabond or new there would be Clipper 14ft prospector but that is a deep boat. If you were prepared to wait Doug Ingram could build you something otherwise get on the phone to Piragis in Ely, Mn. And see what they have.

Author:  jedi jeffi [ June 26th, 2015, 9:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

What ever boat you choose I would lean towards using a double blade.
You will find it easier on your shoulders once you get some km's in.
You will then find single blading much easier.
It will help to develop the supporting muscles much quicker, which will ease the discomfort.
I know the traditional single blades will balk at the thought but it does work.
And getting out and enjoying the water is what is important.
I still single blade in WW and when trying to sneak up on critters for pics
(double blade scares them)
But the double blade enabled me to get into very good paddling shape without the discomfort of trying to get some distance training with a single blade. It also strengthened the weaker shoulder.
In the end it is finding something that works that gets you on the water more and a solo specific boat is a great way to go.
If you can find one with a spry cover!

PS I speak of the shoulder "discomfort" from personal experience and picking up the double blade made it much more enjoyable.

Author:  frozentripper [ June 27th, 2015, 7:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe


...canoe on lazy sleepy rivers, Seine and LaSalle, on moving rivers like the Assiniboine and the Red and on lakes. I would also like to play with the boat on the water.

Northstar Phoenix may be available to rent and test-paddle in Minnesota... dealers at bottom of the page.!our-canoes


This canoe was designed with rivers in mind, yet it handles lakes comfortably. It excels at everything from backwaters to whitewater. Our only canoe with symmetrical rocker – the better to play on a river.

Bryan Hansel's comments on Northstar canoes... I have no idea what Wildfire/Rockstar means.

River Touring

Phoenix – 14’6″ (Wildfire/Rockstar Solo) ... ack-black/

Author:  chris randall [ June 27th, 2015, 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

Just remembered that Winnipeg canoe rentals have a Clipper Packer for sale. Certainly worth taking a look at.

Author:  Charlie Wilson [ June 28th, 2015, 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe


This is a very petite person. She needs 12-13 ft, 27-28 in wide in Carbon or Kevlar and with tumblehome. There are few boats made that will fit her, and NthStr Phoenix, 14.5 X 30+", a super sized WildFire, is surely not one of them.

Historically, there were the Curtis MayFly, ~ 25 built total, the BlackHawk Shadow 11'7", the rare MRC Pearl converted to cane Seat, the Loon Works Button a rare W&F boat and the Placid SpitFire pack canoe if converted to cane seat. All are NLS except Spitfire, but Colden has the MayFly mold. Experience with Confluence/WS suggests the Pearl mold was destroyed and the BlackHawk molds have been in limbo for two decades.

So we've a used boat project or a Placid order, except the OP wants a moving water boat. All of the above are more solo trippers with minimal rocker except the Button. The next size up with substantial rocker would include the FlashFire, and Shadow 13, and Loon Works Solitaire and Nakoma. The sole hull in class still available is FlashFire, available used built by Bell or Placid or new from Colden.

So it goes, this looks like a Craig's List project.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ June 29th, 2015, 8:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

FlashFire would even be big for her, but manageable. She is about Karen Knights size.
The trouble is Bell FlashFires are hard for anyone to find used and Colden Flash Fires currently made are rarely on the used market. New is quite pricey.

Curtis MayFly comes to mind...

I would check with Doug Ingram who makes wood canvas canoes and is in the Winnipeg area. Aha.. there is an Esprit.. but not cheap...more than the Colden's
Doug does nice work and is worth talking to. ... icing.html

Author:  sampauls [ July 7th, 2015, 1:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

Hi Everyone:

Thank you all for responding to my post. Prior to the post requesting your feedback I did contact Bear Paulson, at North Star canoes. We spoke 3 -4 times. We did
discuss the Phoenix. I came to the conclusion that the Phoenix was too big for me. We
discussed the ADK with a hung seat. I decided that the ADK was best left the way it
was designed. Earlier on I was pursuing a Wenonah Vagabond, past tense. A Black Hawk Shadow 11'7 and the Loon Works Button sound very interesting. I have a 30 pound, 10 foot Perception, Acadia Scout Kayak that is a blast to paddle. In August I will
be receiving a Bell White Gold Flashfire. I am looking forward to seeing what the Flash
can teach me. Thinking about restoring it in the winter or spring! Anyone have knowledge or experience restoring a canoe of this type?

Author:  littleredcanoe [ July 7th, 2015, 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

That would be Charlie. He was at Bell in the White Gold era. E mail him.

Author:  segosih [ July 25th, 2015, 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe

Sam...if you want to do any tandem short trips or paired solo, drop me a line as I am leaning towards more short routes now. If you want some company that is. I have a pretty good


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