View topic - Mixed use canoes - ww & large lakes

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2004, 2:58 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, WI USA
Canoes have been discussed a lot on the forum.
But here we go again.
I left my 17' Penobscot in Baker Lake last August. Now I am looking at possible replacement boats. The Penobscot just plain wore out after 4 major northern trips and many local trips. A lot of ww and a lot of weight carried and a lot of rugged usage.
I am interested in the Nova Craft Prospectors in royalex and I am still considering wood/canvas.
But now I am thinking about a new royalex boat by Bell Canoe.
The Alaskan is 17', 36" beam, 3" bow rocker and 2" stern rocker. 1100lbs rated capacity with 6" of freeboard.
The boat is designed by David Yost with consultations with Cliff Jacobson. Yost designed my Bell Merlin and most of the canoes in Bell's fleet.
A guy told me he thought the Alaskan has a "curved" bottom which should prevent oil canning. This same guy hates the 17' Penobscot because he says they oil can. But, the only time I noticed oil canning on mine was when I removed the bow seat thwart for easier soloing. And then the last year I had the Penobscot I must admit it was oil canning but the bottom was worn thin.
Anyway, I think Bell may make the best composite canoes out there today. And this boat looks like it meets all my criteria and I will paddle it in April to confirm that.
At $1195, US it's a little high but not outrageously so.
Join the never ending "which canoe is best" discussion. This time focusing on ww, long distance and large, windy northern lakes.


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2004, 3:38 pm 
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Location: roseville, Minnesota usa
The Alaskan must be a new model. I couldn't find it on Bells website. How much does it weigh?
I don't know, it seems to me that most tandem royalex trippers paddle like dogs once you get two people and a pile of gear in them. Maybe there's one out there that doesn't but I haven't seen it yet. A dry boat with lots of flare in the hull is usually anything but effecient on the long flats, same goes for a heavily rocker boat ... manueverable but slooooww. Then there's the weight. Sooner or later you're gonna have to carry them and I hate carrying a canoe thats over 70 lbs...well, to tell the truth I start grumbling when they get much over 60. Then after a few years you add kevlar skid plates and they get even heavier.
So whats the answer. I haven't a clue. I've become pretty much convinced that there isn't one. (Maybe kevlar and a patch kit??) So my criteria is: Plastic (slides over rocks well), not so heavy that'll crush me on the portages, holds the two of us and our gear and not unreasonably more expensive than the competition.
Also I think its pretty near impossible to make a plastic boat with "zero" oil canning and still keep the weight reasonable.


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2004, 3:49 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, WI USA
RIght you are. It's not on the website except under prices. There is a price listed. Carl's Paddlin' in Madison does have one as a friend saw it a couple of weeks ago.
hell, you could probably be in Zimmerman in a short while if you left now and see it this afternoon.
Vic at Chicago Land Canoe Base sent me a stat sheet on it this week. I tend to agree with you on everything you say about 17' plus length royalex. I'm hoping Vic is correct when he says the bottom is curved to prevent oil canning. And I hope the stat sheet is correct when it says, "Excellent speed, acceleration and glide". "Increased rocker offers effortless turning in moving water".
I plan on taking 4 heavily packed bags with me in April and another paddler for our test drive.


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2004, 3:58 pm 
Like rob suggests, that boat has a lot of rocker. I'm familiar with the Wenonah Cascade, with 2" of rocker, and that boat is a little sluggish on flatwater. I'd be surprised if the Alaskan was a great multi-purpose canoe.

What large lakes even exist in Alaska?


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2004, 4:07 pm 
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Location: roseville, Minnesota usa
I hate rocker stats! They never tell you where the rocker begins. From the center of the canoe, one foot from the ends, half way between the center and the ends??? Without that what does 3" or 2" of rocker really tell me. Let us know what you think of the canoe after you paddle it. Taking your packs of gear along is a great idea.
rob


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2004, 4:22 pm 
Fair enough. I need to paddle more boats, I have no good advice on the Alaskan, other than there are no big lakes in Alaska. :)

I really don't know how you even test a canoe. I only realize what a boat can handle once things get rough. You can judge a boat's speed, and maybe maneuverability, and stability on calm water. But how can you really get a feel for how dry and stable a boat is in rough water, where these things actually matter?


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2004, 4:24 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, WI USA
I am optimistic. If there is a canoe builder who can overcome the shortfalls of rocker - speed - manuverbility - wind, it would be Bell.
But, I am also taking the test ride with an open mind and am ready to walk away from this boat if it doesn't do it.


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2004, 9:44 pm 
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Are Old Town Trippers no longer the great work horses of remote tandem tripping? Jacobson raves about them in his book, "Expedition Canoeing".

...Though he, I, and Old Town are all American, so there is probably some degree of bias toward the convenience of a domestic product.

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PostPosted: March 20th, 2004, 4:26 am 
rob w wrote:

>I hate rocker stats! They never tell you where the rocker begins.
>From the center of the canoe, one foot from the ends, half way
>between the center and the ends??? Without that what does 3" or 2"
>of rocker really tell me. Let us know what you think of the canoe
>after you paddle it. Taking your packs of gear along is a great
>idea.

Agreed very much, also because many people think rocker
will make a canoe slower, which is an oversimplified view
of the (complicated) matter.
Even one canoe manufacturer has gone so far to consistently make the
statement that an all-around canoe with more than about two inches
of rocker isn't a good design. I wonder very much what they have to
say about this now, since they also have started to sell Prospector
designs lately...

Dirk Barends


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2004, 8:28 am 
re: big lakes in alaska?.
on the kenai river between seward and soldotna,the river goes through a gorge class2-3,then out into a fantastic lake, skilak lake. the winds and cold water make it a challenge. it's big and beautiful. hiked around part of it but i really needed my canoe. don't miss a chance if you are up there.


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2004, 8:31 am 
re: big lakes in alaska?.
on the kenai river between seward and soldotna,the river goes through a gorge class2-3,then out into a fantastic lake, skilak lake. the winds and cold water make it a challenge. it's big and beautiful. hiked around part of it but i really needed my canoe. don't miss a chance if you are up there.


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2004, 9:19 am 
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Location: Pefferlaw, Ontario & Melissa Ontario, Canada
A couple of thoughts.

Why not get another 17' Penobscot if you liked it? You know how it will paddle already.

Nova Craft makes very nice sea worthy canoes. There prospector is a good design. Just as good construction as Bell in my opinion.

Nothing paddles nicer then a wood / canvas canoe as far as I'm concerned.

You should'nt have to worry about oil canning effecting performance as your canoe will almost always be loaded with gear when in use. In my experiance the only time oil canning is a problem is in an empty canoe.

If you are looking for the best ride in high volume ww, and large windy lakes, I might suggest you look at a larger canoe. Sure they get heavy when their 18 or 20 feet long but your not going portaging, your going paddling.

My dream boat of this type would be a Swift Yukon (John Winters design) custom made in wood / canvas, red paint. The only reason I pick the Yukon is that I have paddled a Royalite version extensively on Georgian Bay and love the design. Their could be better big trippers out their but I have'nt paddled them. Not that I've paddle many big canoes. I have'nt.

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PostPosted: March 21st, 2004, 12:33 pm 
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Location: Ontario Canada
I like my Wenonah Spirit II in Royalex. It is not a WW canoe, but it should be better in WW than a Penobscot, which is a strictly flat-water design. On flat water, the Spirit II paddles more efficiently than more WW-oriented designs. And it has a larger capacity that the typically 16' Royalex canoes most companies offer.

Be sure to have a look at the 16' OT Appalachian.


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PostPosted: March 21st, 2004, 5:05 pm 
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Quote:
I left my 17' Penobscot in Baker Lake last August


how do you mean? like, to the bottom?

and to add my very brief two cents, i am very happy with my "all round canoe" the kevlar Swift Dumoine. Shaped from it's ww cousin the Dumoine royalex, this boat has some rocker to it, high bow, good capacity, keelless... check out Swift's website...


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PostPosted: March 21st, 2004, 9:57 pm 
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Location: Ft. McMurray
Jon L wrote:
I like my Wenonah Spirit II in Royalex.

I second Jon's vote. Also, Paddlenorth can vouch for this canoe, too.
I have found it very versitile even in whitewater.
For example.
Image
Image
Image

If you like I can complete this table and make a POLL so people can vote for the one they think is best for ww and flatwater.
Bell Canoe Works = Northwind www.bellcanoe.com
Bluewater = Prospector www.bluewatercanoes.com
Dagger = Legend 16.0 www.dagger.com
Esquif = Canyon www.esquif.com
Evergreen Canoe Co. = Prospector 16.0 www.evergreencanoe.com
Hellman Canoes = Prospector www.hellmancanoes.com
Mad River Canoe = Freedom 17.0 www.madrivercanoe.com
Massive = Mambo www.massivekayak.com
North Bay Canoe Co. = Prospector www.nbcanoe.com
North Woods Canoe Co. = Nahanni www.northwoodscanoe.com
Northern Lights Canoe = Prospector 16.0 www.northern-lights.on.ca
Nova Craft Canoe = Prospector www.novacraft.com
Old Town = Appalachian www.oldtowncanoe.com
Raven Works = Nemesis www.raveworksinc.com
Scansport Inc./Pakboats = PakCanoe 17.0 www.pakboats.com
Scott Canoe = Legacy 16.0 www.scottcanoe.com
Swift = Dumoine www.swiftcanoe.com
Trailhead = Prospector 17.0 www.trailhead.ca
Voyageur Canoe Co. = Nor’Wester www.voyageurcanoe.com
We no nah = Prospector www.wenonah.com
West Coast Canoe Co. = Prospector www.islandnet.com
Western Canoeing (Clipper)Prospector 17.0 www.clippercanoes.com

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Last edited by D.R.Zandee on March 22nd, 2004, 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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