View topic - What's your solo boat(s)?

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2013, 8:56 pm 
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
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Location: Oshawa
Figured it would be fun to see what folk are paddling on their solo trips and why?

Pocket Canyon - I've removed the stern seat, got Mike Yee flotation cages bow, stern, and center, each being quick release so I can store barrels/packs underneath the bags. This is my go to whitewater boat for when its me and my dog Tallula. We have run up to class 4 together. Its got great rocker to be responsive in rapids but being 14'6" it tracks fairly well on the flats.

Mad River Outrage X - I use this boat for when its just me looking to play around. It also has plenty of room to store gear for extended tripping although the longest I've done is 4 days and that was solo paddling with Recped.

Dagger Genesis - I will be adding this boat to my fleet this weekend. I'm hoping to use this for solo paddling on extended trips with a group. Its slightly longer/wider then the Outrage X. I'm hoping it is a bit more stable but we shall see. It has a pedestal seat that I plan to sit on when on the flats.

Sam

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2013, 11:45 pm 
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Joined: February 19th, 2004, 9:53 pm
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Location: Atlanta
I use my 15' Mad River Synergy. Unlike the Outrage X, the Synergy is swedeform asymmetrical. Drier, more carrying capacity, but not as nimble. For a high rocker boat, it has decent cruising speed. I also have a Mad River Guide Solo that I could use for tripping on easier whitewater, but I'm so accustomed to cruising in the Synergy that I wouldn't switch to the Guide unless I faced lakes and a lot of flatwater.

The triple saddle in the Synergy does get in the way of central loading to a degree, but I have four tapered waterproof inflating gear bags where I tie the narrow ends under the float bags, and tie the fat ends down at the ends of the triple saddle. When I did Slickrock Canyon on the Dolores, I had to carry three days of water, but I got everything stuffed in without much headscratching.

People are less likely to see MR Synergies than they are Dagger Captions. My opinion is that the Caption is a better tandem boat, but the Synergy is a better solo cruiser.


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 6:21 am 
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Joined: January 27th, 2009, 7:44 am
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Location: Ontario
I can only own one tripping canoe, coz I live in a high-rise condo in Toronto, and even if I could afford to rent space to store more boats, there just aren't spaces available downtown.

So, everything is forced to be a compromise...I have a Scott Elite 14 in clear-coat kevlar (see avatar). It is rigged for tandem, because a couple of times a year my OH wants to come trippin', so the boat needs to accomodate that, as well as have the capacity for the extra gear etc.. But, at around 17 kg, even this ol' retiree has absolutely NO problem carrying it even over pretty nasty terrain. And, on the water, it is surprisingly fast given its relatively broad beam for a small boat, and incredibly stable in heavy weather.

Ideal for soloing? Probably not. Ideal for the number of things I ask of it? Absolutely! :D

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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 6:31 am 
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Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I got the plans for J. Winter's Raven from Martin Step at Greenvalley Boatworks. It's been my solo for about five years now. I really like it, it's big, holds lots of stuff. I might rebuild it in the future with an eye to making it lighter, as this one was in white pine, and probably comes in around 55 pounds or so.
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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 7:44 am 
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Joined: July 22nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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My fw Shearwater has seen a lot of miles and still going strong. It's been a great solo boat for my weight and silly amounts of gear.
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My Swift Raven is my ww solo. A bit big and not overly nimble but it keeps me upright and holds enough gear for a couple of weeks of tripping.
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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 7:51 am 
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Joined: July 24th, 2010, 10:40 am
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i am a flatwater tripper. on trips involving long carrys or real twisty channels, i use my 25# colden flashfire. on lakes,long straight runs i use my hemlock kestrel. if there is some boney work i use my roylite mohawk solo 13.
turtle


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 11:27 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
I've got a quiver of solos. I use the Bell Flashfire in my avatar for technical flatwater paddling as well as small rivers, a Mad River Guide was my go-to whitewater canoe, a Blackhawk Ariel is my flatwater tripper, and a Pak-canoe 140 for wilderness trips where getting a hardshell to the river is an issue, and a old Dagger Ovation for occasional playboating.

In addition, I have a second Bell Flashfire, a royalex Bell Wildfire, a Bell Rob-roy, and Pak-canoe Puffin converted to a small decked canoe that I have access to, but I'm not the primary paddler.

PK


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 2:04 pm 
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Joined: September 28th, 2008, 8:46 pm
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Wenona Voyager . For about 10 years now. Take a while to get use to but wen you get it It is perfect on lake traveling. Very good facing strong wind.


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 2:14 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2011, 4:44 pm
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Location: Waterloo, ON
My solo boat is a Nova Craft PAL. I had the seats lowered by 1", and the stern seat is installed using wing nuts for easy removal. The PAL is symmetrical, so when solo I paddle from the bow seat, making it a great long-haul solo. A great boat. It also doubles as a second tandem when I need one, in addition to my prospector.

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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 3:10 pm 
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Joined: August 18th, 2011, 4:37 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Shelburne, Ontario
Used an old Coleman canoe last year for my solo trip, but planning to get a new boat this spring! Probably a kayak since I've always wanted one, a Delta 16

Matt


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 3:43 pm 
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Joined: November 2nd, 2008, 11:15 pm
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Location: Collingwood Ontario
My first solo trip was in my Lanford Nahani, a tandem boat but with a kneeling thwart installed just aft of the yoke. It worked well but the 36" beam makes a long stretch to get my hands stacked and it is a large beast to paddle solo. I had such a great time on that trip that I got myself a true solo, a Swift Shearwater kevlar with integrated gunnels. It fits me well, is great to carry (40 lbs), carries lots of gear without sinking to low in the water and has proved to be a very rugged hull. However they made the seat to light and it snapped on a trip. I built myself a new one that hangs from wood rails bolted to the inside of the gunnels. The seat hangs on brass rods bent into an "S" shape so it just lifts out to portage. That allows me to carry both the boat and a larger pack that sticks up above my shoulder blades.

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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 5:08 pm 
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Joined: October 9th, 2012, 7:53 pm
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H20 Solo 16 - Extend the season with daytrips. I kayak most of the year but this boat is light weight and easy to get in and out of at slippery banks. Compared to my sea kayak it is simple to stay warm and dry in this canoe.


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 5:36 pm 
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Joined: August 16th, 2011, 8:02 pm
Posts: 210
Location: Edmonton area
Bluewater Freedom Tripper 17 in kevlar/nylon layup at 50lbs.

A kneeling thwart and DIY saddle combo work well for me when solo. Very fast boat.

Very narrow too which is good and bad but never ugly.

Someday I would like to get both a wider, deeper, Royalex tripper, and a shorter more agile dedicated solo in kevlar.

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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 6:00 pm 
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Joined: October 27th, 2003, 1:41 pm
Posts: 136
Location: Fairbanks AK
I began with a C1 and wound up cursing the slowness and wind sensitivity. I went to the other extreme with a Sawyer Loon in Kevlar. The rudder enables continuous paddling on one side without time wasting steering moves, as well as easing paddling in cross winds. I am allergic to white water, prefer lakes and big rivers, so the lack of maneuverability is no problem. Flabby me can easily paddle 25 miles per day in calm water. I can carry 80 lb of food.

There was a foam core between the Kevlar. The layup was far too tender and I added glass fiber layers inside and out until the hull gained collision resistance. The rudder mount required rebuilding. Last summer for the first time since 1985 I paddled a more conventional canoe, a Pakcanoe. It went about 1/2 as fast as the Loon with equivalent effort.

Douglas


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2013, 6:06 pm 
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Joined: February 24th, 2005, 1:15 pm
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My first solo canoe (definition=paddled it solo) in the early 1970's was a Grumman 17 footer (thin skin lightweight model). With lots of camping gear at the time for ballast and level trim (hey - I was learning), I covered plenty of miles traveling solo in that beast. Learned a lot too about canoe handling, especially in windy conditions from that stern seat.

Then for several years I paddled a Pat Brown 15.5 foot woodstrip solo. It is a tandem design, but is easily paddled solo backwards from the bow seat with gear or other ballast, or from kneeling midships. A third center seat mounted high works for solo with a double blade and is surprisingly stable in rough water. It is a very responsive boat in any mode. I learned a lot more and advanced my skills considerably in that canoe.

Next came a 10.5 foot hybrid carbon/kevlar Hornbeck. I bought it specifically for my passion of bushwhack portaging to remote Adirondack ponds. Even though it has very low freeboard, I have no trouble on big lakes bobbing over waves and have crossed the Adirondacks from one end to the other, big lakes and all. Made a spray cover for it that sheds waves and splash. With a bottom mounted seat it unfortunately requires a double blade paddle, no way around that. Didn't learn much about paddling from it, but sure still do like the remote long distance overland lightweight portage freedom it gives me.

Desiring something a little more sleek, my next solo is a 15.5 foot Placid Boatworks RapidFire. I can trip in it with gear, I can backwoods portage it (but the rough and distant stuff is still reserved for the Hornbeck) and I can race wit it. I've raced it several years in the Adirondack 90Miler, including the 90-in-a-day-cannonball. I also use it for training solo when my voyageur or tandem race crew is unable to train together. Although the PB basic model with low seat is designed for using a double blade paddle, a modified custom installed high seat makes it handle wonderfully with a single blade, my much preferred mode by far.

Edit: I almost forgot about what was truly my first solo "boat" as a young kid. I had a 55 gallon drum cut in half lengthwise, with one half being my boat. Tuned my balance skills on my knees in that tippy thing. I used it in the spring, when the large river near me flooded hundreds of acres in the 'flats", a broad flat low farmland. I paddled it with a board for a paddle and trapped muskrats. Never went out farther than the shallows in trees near the flooded road, but I remember breaking skim ice with the board a few times to get to my traps. When my weight approached 100 pounds, that was the end of the usability of that craft. Never tipped catastrophically, but took on a little water from time to time if my balance wasn't perfect.


Last edited by nessmuk on March 20th, 2013, 6:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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