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PostPosted: April 12th, 2022, 8:56 am 
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I am similar size and have a Northstar Trillium in Blacklite. It is an amazing solo canoe and the third iteration of the Merlin. It is noticeably better canoe then a Merlin II. To my taste the Northwind solo looks a little fat and slow. With my Trillium I once hung with a C1's Au Sable marathon finisher for miles paddling up stream but I think down stream their increased water line length would have probably left me in their wake.


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PostPosted: April 12th, 2022, 10:00 am 
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
You could check out http://www.h2ocanoe.com/ I've never paddled one but I haven't heard a bad thing about them either.

I don't think you can go wrong with either the Northstar Northwind or something solo and light from Swift.

I kept kicking the gunnels on a Northwind solo and Phoenix Solo last year, but ended up with a Clipper Solitude just by happenstance. I think I will be back in a few years once I can offload this canoe to one of my kids and claim I outgrew it.


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PostPosted: April 12th, 2022, 4:17 pm 
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If you want light Swift is the way to go. I have a Carbon Osprey but if I was buying new would buy a 15 foot Carbon Kee.


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PostPosted: April 12th, 2022, 5:04 pm 
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The ultralight Osprey would be my go-to in a heartbeat, if I could find one. I’m hearing very mixed reviews on the Kee in a solo version (twitchy, prone to bow drift in any sort of wind, also “highly responsive”).
I’m hearing that the solo Swift Prospector is solid and stable, but “like a tank” when compared to the Swift Shearwater.
I’m struggling to find anyone who has padded the Northwind (Bueller… Bueller…. Bueller)

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PostPosted: April 12th, 2022, 5:19 pm 
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Sent you a PM.

GG

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PostPosted: April 14th, 2022, 9:51 pm 
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I have had a Northwind Solo for a year. 6'0", 215 lbs. Fast enough to keep up with friends in sea kayaks, more stable than I thought it would be and still quite maneuverable. Carries a very good load. Maybe bigger than you need/want at 15'6". Starlight layup is 27 lbs and I chuckle every time I pick it up.

Northstar Trillium at 14'6" has had very good reviews - Complete Paddler in Etobicoke can bring in any Northstar boat dependent upon production and delivery schedule.

Hemlock Canoe Works has their Kestrel at 14'9", a very appealing boat too. Not sure about delivery to Canada but owners likely have some ideas. They also have used and blemished boats for sale.

As others recommend - try before you buy if you can, rental or demo available at a range of suppliers.


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PostPosted: April 14th, 2022, 10:09 pm 
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Check out Charlie Wilson's "History of David Yost's Solo Tripping Canoes" for a discussion of some of the designs - many of the boats listed above share some DNA.

Your Keewaydin may still be too long but worth installing a centre solo seat? Relatively easy to swap in or out seats/thwarts if you don't mind the holes.


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PostPosted: April 14th, 2022, 10:22 pm 
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You've received some good recommendations. I keep getting older - somehow...that was not the plan - and am willing to spend some dough to paddle a light boat.

These are 13.5-15 foot range - suits many, though I prefer a little longer:

I would second the Northstar Trillium and their Northwind Solo. In the E6 Carbon Fiber trim ($) these are 21-24 pound canoes. I have owned both boats, and they are excellent and can haul you & two packs.

I'd also look at Placid Boatworks' Rapidfire or Oseetah (21-22 pounds), and Savage River's Harmony and Illusion (as light as 16-20 pounds). My current favorite solo is a Savage River Blackwater.

And of course, Swift's Pack 13.6 and their Cruiser 14.8 are both 24 pounds in the CF trim.

Good luck. Recommend ceasing to age, as it has not served my body well. :-)


Last edited by sns on April 15th, 2022, 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: April 15th, 2022, 12:36 pm 
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Location: Manitoba
Carpenter, is this what you referenced?
https://www.canoetripping.net/threads/a ... on.126997/

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PostPosted: April 15th, 2022, 5:24 pm 
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Quote:
Your Keewaydin may still be too long but worth installing a centre solo seat? Relatively easy to swap in or out seats/thwarts if you don't mind the holes.


Unfortunately, it isn't an easy fix. My Keewaydin tandem was in the shop over the winter for skid plates. I had requested a quote on adding a kneeling thwart or centre seat. Neither can be added without the new Swift "pods". And when I asked Swift this week they told me that I would have a wait until Fall for the pods to be installed. :-(

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PostPosted: April 19th, 2022, 8:32 am 
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I looked at images of the Kee 16 with Carbon/Kevlar gunnels - they have bolted in the centre yoke so would appear that bolted seat or kneeling thwart would be possible. Better paddling station for this asymmetrical boat but still longer than you may want...any seat I put in would have the arched supports like Northstar rather than the single dowels of others.

Carrying yoke another challenge of dedicated solos (15' prospectors I have seen are set up with traditional paddling stations, so have centre yoke) - I use strapped in paddles, others have various versions of clamp in yokes or even straps or tumplines.

Pack canoes confuse me - they are designed to be used for double blade paddling seated on the floor. Can they not be paddled like a canoe, from a seat, or a kneeling thwart? Too shallow? I suppose you get something more like the NC Fox, so twitchier as you go higher in the boat...more efficient stroke and more responsive. Racing K1 paddlers raise seat as comfort in boat increases to achieve a more vertical stroke at the expense of stability. Canoes achieve the same results - sitting versus kneeling seat position.

Curious to hear what results you might get if you go ahead and convert your pack boat.

Yes, article from canoetripping for summary of David Yost canoes.


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2022, 4:02 pm 
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for what its worth, I have a 15' Bell Merlin !! - pretty much the same boat as the Northwind solo, but 6" shorter.

As far as I remember, the spec weight on my skin coated kevlar boat (aluminum trim) was 29 lbs -

It is my solo tripping boat for two week trips in Quetico - I weigh about 150lbs and carry 40 to 50 lbs of food and gear. It is a great boat and I cruise at 3.5 to 4 mph depending on wind.

two points to consider with this boat or any similar boat. 1) seat height - I chose to sit, so had to order the boat with the sitting drops, and with the lower seat I can barely get my feet under the seat if I do want to kneel. - when I test paddled the boat, a different one with the higher seat (kneeling seat drops?) the boat felt really twitchy abd=d unstable when sitting, tested without a load. 2) empty, in strong winds, this boat get blown around a lot - you need ballast or a tripping load to settle it down.


it is a joy to carry on the portages.


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2022, 4:50 pm 
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Carpenter wrote:
Pack canoes confuse me - they are designed to be used for double blade paddling seated on the floor. Can they not be paddled like a canoe, from a seat, or a kneeling thwart? Too shallow? I suppose you get something more like the NC Fox, so twitchier as you go higher in the boat...more efficient stroke and more responsive. Racing K1 paddlers raise seat as comfort in boat increases to achieve a more vertical stroke at the expense of stability. Canoes achieve the same results - sitting versus kneeling seat position.

.


Pack canoes CAN be paddled with hung seats IF they have a reinforcing belly band. Often they are built ultralight and lack the side stiffener needed to not pull the whole hull in and completely change the boat. Some works will add a belly band during contstruction. Other pack canoes like my RapidFire can be paddled with a short bent shaft single blade. That achieves the vertical stroke but the RF has significant shouldered tumblehome. Most pack canoes are too flared to achieve this paddle nirvana single blade


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2022, 9:53 am 
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I used a 16-6 H2O solo canoe for 5 or 6 years, I loved it. Excellent flat water boat, fairly fast, good volume, always felt comfortable in it. Switched to a H2O 14-10 prospector solo because I wanted to do more rivers and needed the better turning. Taken it on some 3 week trips and has enough volume for my rather large frame and gear. I really like it too.

My 14-10 weighs 33lbs but could be lighter without the gel coat bottom. I find it very stable, so of course slower but I'm seldom in a hurry. Easy to portage, the shorter length does help on tight trails. The 16-6 can be made in the low 30 lbs range as well.

Just my 2 cents.


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PostPosted: May 10th, 2022, 10:27 pm 
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Jeff at H2O is fully booked for the rest of the year and is not taking any more orders. Deliveries for the current orders are slated for the Fall at the earliest!
His website has been revamped and prices have gone up another $100.00 per canoe.
14'-6" solo in carbon is 28 lbs.

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