View topic - Can 1 boat do both tripping and WW play?

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PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 9:26 am 
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I just recopied my response from the thread on solotripping:

So while I agree that longer river tripping canoes that can swallow 30 mile flatwater days as well as run Class III drops, not all canoes have the same ability to play.

The Yellowstone solo is a great boat.... and it's hull design is pretty good given it's depth for running moderate whitewater... But as Kim says, the stern drag for eddyturns and peel-outs really detracts from it's playability, another issue is that it's really not that good of a surfing boat.... and surfing is a major part of whitewater play. The Yellowstone is great at attaining waves, but once there it doesn't stick in many. The Raven is the same way... Who wants to have to paddle forward strokes to stay on a green wave?

Now take a Mad River Guide/Freedom Solo, or a Mohawk Odyssey. Neither have the speed of a Yellowstone or a Raven, but both will sit on a wave carving from one side to the other for an eternity, plus the Guide with it's somewhat edgier transition from the vertical side to the plane of the shallow-vee creates an awesome surface to sidesurf. If I ever find a beat up MRC Guide for a song, I'd love to cut 2.5 feet out of the middle and fiberglass it together ala Mark Scriver and Paul Mason. I think it would make a very unique (but wet) whitewater playboat.

I'm an avid Flashfire fan. I paddle one more than any other boat and it's alot of fun, but even with floatation it's super wet in stuff approaching Class II, and really has too sharp of a bow to run full Class III. In addition, it really isn't the best boat for the other end of things... tripping due to it's small volume. I can't see doing a weeklong trip by anyone over 140 pounds with full tripping gear in anything above a very simple Class II.

PK


To me there is a continuum of canoe designs from pure flatwater boats to pure whitewater boats. We could make up a list starting with the Wenonah Voyageur on one end and maybe something like a Blackfly on the other end. As you approach the middle things get funky. To me there really aren't any boats with more flatwater pedigree than the Yellowstone that you can actually "play" in. One could argue that the Wildfire has more flatwater pedigree but it has more stern rocker, than the Yellowstone, and I agree with Kim, paddles better in whitewater. The YS seems to be the boat that has just barely has enough maneuverability to consider playing. For it's design it's remarkably dry, but that stern drag crossing big eddy lines, especially peeling out really detracts you from wanting to "catch every eddy" in a stretch of rapids. But then again the boats that are generally considered solo playboats... let's say less than 14 (Yeah, I know there are those folks that paddled 15 footers in the long slalom class for 20 years, but those really are tandems. The longer playboats, like all the short class slalom solos, the Genesis, the Outrage, the Viper12/Probe 12, Vertige, can carry a weekends gear, but are really too short for much flatwater. One mile across a lake is fine, but really, most wilderness tripping (especially in Canada) has 10 mile lakes, or 20 miles of flatwater river between rapids that would monumentally suck in a boat less than 14 feet with more than 3 inches of rocker.

That really limits things to just a handful of canoes that can really effectively trip (and tripping to me really is not a weekend on a whitewater river) and play (and playing isn't eddy hopping, and must include surfing as a minimum component). Your choice of the boat that best suits you will both determine what rivers you do, but it will also determine what skills you develop too.

PK


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PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 11:16 am 
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My specialty when I raced was K1 down river....
and we used to play in those to develope our skills in keeping the boat under control.. probably not a teaching aid too many canoe instructors would use
:roll:
so all the boats I paddle now are a lot more responsive turing...
I took up C1 slalom to challenge my skills the kayak thing was getting too easy.
Jeff

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PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 11:53 am 
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I think my Pocket Canyon does pretty good at both. It is 14'6" in length and has 4" rocker. As long as your not in a rush it does fine on flatwater. It does not pivot as well as my Outrage but it is super fun in rapids. So far it is the best compromise I have found for a boat that can handle whitewater and flatwater. Plus it can carry enough gear for a very long trip.

If there was another solo whitewater tripper that I'd want to try it would be Mohawks XL 14.

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PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 12:03 pm 
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Quote:
Curtis DragonFly; an 80's combined class, slalom and downriver, racer built by Curtis Canoe. 14.5' by 28", high sided with 2.5" rocker at both ends. It's round bottom terrified intermediate paddlers, but what a boat!


Its back as the Colden DragonFly. Its a deep boat for a solo ..14 inches. Really quick on the flats too.


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PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 1:10 pm 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
Quote:
Curtis DragonFly; an 80's combined class, slalom and downriver, racer built by Curtis Canoe. 14.5' by 28", high sided with 2.5" rocker at both ends. It's round bottom terrified intermediate paddlers, but what a boat!


Its back as the Colden DragonFly. Its a deep boat for a solo ..14 inches. Really quick on the flats too.


It's not that difficult a canoe to paddle!!! I've been in an original Curtis. Nice boat, but the ends are still too fine for much vertical whitewater. While sportier, there are better Class III whitewater tripping boats available. But would make a nice flatwater tripping boat for tight twisty rivers or light class II stuff. Just shows how much whitewater canoes have evolved in 30 years.

PK


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PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 3:38 pm 
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Combi boats for whitewater play and tripping have to make some compromises. Any class 3 play is going to be hard with a tripping boat unless you travel extremely light.

Anyway here is a pic of Harold Deal and the old Curtis DragonFly
Image

We had quite a few DragonFlies at the recent solo canoe event. Nobody said anything about the boat being suited to any particular paddler.. Novices did fine.All did kneel.

Exactly why I got it is for class 2 stuff and two week trips involving twisty streams and big lakes. I am not into thigh straps etc..nor hair boating. Too old for that.

BTW the tumblehome carries extremely far forward for wave shedding. Its not often you see such an extended shoulder.


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PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 10:51 pm 
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I had a MR Guide and really liked it. It did everything I wanted of it, and was really versatile.

I didn't like the YS at all, though I didn't put a cover on mine. I found it too small all around.

Does anyone have opinions on the Wenonah Rendezvous. It looks like it wouldn't be very fun, but that it would be fast on the flats and still dry in big water. I've heard it isn't very turny. Thoughts?


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PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 11:04 pm 
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Sure everyone has opinions!

I do not like the hullshape..no flare and low down width encourages water to ride up the side into your lap..

Its kind of dry ..my Swift Heron ( a flatwater boat if there ever was one) swamped one wave in the three foot tall wavetrains on the Buffalo before both Rendezvous in our party swamped.

Rendezvous still has a too fine bow. Like the Argosy..that I intend to make longer thwarts for to try and keep some wettage out.


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2011, 6:49 am 
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Off topic for just a moment... Thanks JJ for posting those pics of Moore Falls portage, it took me back to my first ever trip. Plunked my old Scott Tripper into the river in Minden and paddled down to Balsam Lake with my little brother about 30 years ago. We used that roller system to haul the boat past the rapids.

Thanks

Karin


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2011, 10:05 am 
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No votes for a Super Nova?


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2011, 11:04 am 
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oldntired wrote:
No votes for a Super Nova?



Sure, The Supernova is surely more capable in whitewater than boats like the Yellowstone Solo, the Wildfire and others. It's dryer than the Guide/Freedom Solo. But it's pretty slow, especially when the wind blows. I know of a couple people who have pulled it in a little to narrow the paddling station as well as straighten the keel to get it to track a little better for windy flat lakes. I've never had the opportunity to drop it onto a 3 foot green wave anywhere, and I doubt those super rounded chines will carve, but I wouldn't be surprised that it wouldn't bow surf!

PK


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2011, 1:44 pm 
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I've been playing around with the idea of a drop skeg that could be attached with a V or Y yoke to the gunwales at the rear of our 15' MR Synergy. I don't need such a skeg at all for solo paddling (though maybe it would be a little help on lakes), but the Synergy has become our random wandering traveler boat, and when my wife joins me on an easy river or chain of small lakes, the typical tracking crankiness of a tandem whitewater boat distracts from the enterprise. A skeg that could pivot down at the stern, ride near the surface, and bang up out of the way when hitting obstacles, would seem to have promise. But I have many other projects, and I'm getting old.


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2011, 3:27 pm 
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We're not getting old... :roll:
We are adapting to what we can still do... :wink:
But it is nice to see alot of options for someone wanting to try this solo thing out.
Because you may not get a good answer at a store.
I hadn't seen any threads that dealt with this problem and us wiser (read that as mature or older if you prefer :oops: )
And we all know that someone new is not going to pick up the modern play skills in a short period of time and they just want something that can do a little bit of both.
And any way we can encourage more people to particapate the better.
:thumbup:
Jeff

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2011, 3:43 pm 
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Really the only way to get a feel for these boats is at on-water symposia. Aside from a Packer I have had all my demo time at events like the WPASoloCanoe Rendezvous, the Ozark Rendezvous and various FreeStyle symposia..and the WCHA Assembly.

No store is able to give you a very good range of solo choices. I think the last time I went to a store for a solo was some 17 years ago.


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2011, 8:40 pm 
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Yes, littleredcanoe, that's why I roll my eyes when people say, "demo demo demo." :roll: The stores don't stock everything, and truth to tell, one can't wring out a canoe like the Rendezvous if it isn't outfitted for whitewater, and if you can't try it on whitewater. It is different enough from flatwater boats, and from whitewater boats, that many paddlers can't demo it intelligently. I tried one briefly on lake water, and it was clear immediately that the Rendezvous lacks rocker. It would not spin will enough.

Later, I saw Rendezvous pulling up to the bank on the Nanty rather full of water. The boat's speed had gotten it pushing too hard through wave trains and holes, and the sharp bow didn't ride over that stuff well enough to stay dry. I could have told you it would do that, just from years of whitewater boat experience. But Wenonah can't quite figure out the whitewater issue.

Eric Nyre is the most experienced dealer and paddler I know of with the Rendezvous, and if one were to insist on having one, a drive to Colorado to see Eric would be worth it. He would not only see that it was set up properly, he would see that the new owner knew how to work with the boat in rapids. As with whitewater downriver racing boats, it is ESSENTIAL that Rendezvous paddlers run to one side or the other of big wave trains, and skirt ledge/holes at the edge. If forced through such river features, the paddler needs to slow down to current speed and adjust course when the boat is perched on the top of haystacks, where adjustment is possible.


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