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maxxbhp  
distinguished member(4119)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/16/2011 08:29PM
 
I've been thinking about this for a while but I thought it would be a good winter post, when there's not much else goin' on, and I'm not in a hurry. I have a legitimate reason for asking, it's a long story, but here's the question. The canoe that you use most, tandem or solo, what characteristics do you like about it, and if you could change something what would it be? Feel free to comment on ANY boat you have seat time in


"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away." Elvis Presley
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kanoes  
distinguished member(23228)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
9 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/16/2011 08:38PM
 
bell magic. there is nothing i would change about this boat. for me its perfect. great glide, good turning. a true joy to paddle, packed or empty.


bigfoot is blurry...
Thwarted  
distinguished member(973)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
2 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
12/16/2011 08:42PM
 

Own the SR17 which I like for the stability/glide ratio. I love to fish so any boat I use must be stable when lightly loaded. If I could change anything on the boat I would move the thwart in front of the stern paddlers forward about three inches.


Also like the Champlain except smaller people I paddle with don't like the higher gunnels in the front. I am a bigger guy so I like it all.
mc2mens  
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Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
12/16/2011 08:43PM
 








Wenonah Boundary Waters canoe. Perfect canoe for me. Handles my load well. Good fishing boat. Light and responsive the way I like it to be.


"Big fish eat little fish."
Arkansas Man  
Moderator
6 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor
12/16/2011 08:45PM
 
Solo - Wenonah Wilderness - Love everything about it!!
Tandem - Souris River Quetico 18.5 - carries anything and everything!!


Bruce


Good Paddling, Great Fishing, and God Bless All...
yellowcanoe  
distinguished member(3363)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Past Donor
12/16/2011 08:55PM
 
I tend to gravitate toward David Yost designs.


I think there are a few reasons. All are very seaworthy and can be taken safely in big waves and waters. All are also seakindly, meaning that comfort and feeling stable is there. DY uses gentle turns and radii and bases his designs on an elliptical hull shape on the bottom. This tends to make boat behavior as I see it predictable.


Primary stability is not important to me. Secondary is. Speed is. Maneuverability is.


The reason I downplay primary stability is that with a tripping load even my Swift Heron (quite a round bottomed boat) is very stable. Also with adjusting seat height you can adjust primary stability.


Its OK to meddle with a boat off the rack.
OBX2Kayak  
distinguished member(4159)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
Current Donor
12/16/2011 10:01PM
 
The Necky Looksha IV 17 foot kayak.


Fast, stable, lots of room for gear. Loves heavy weather, especially when fully loaded.


A great choice for the big lakes with few portages.


"I go because it irons out the wrinkles in my soul" -- Sigurd Olson
mc2mens  
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Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
12/16/2011 11:05PM
 
quote yellowcanoe: "I tend to gravitate toward David Yost designs.

I think there are a few reasons. All are very seaworthy and can be taken safely in big waves and waters. All are also seakindly, meaning that comfort and feeling stable is there. DY uses gentle turns and radii and bases his designs on an elliptical hull shape on the bottom. This tends to make boat behavior as I see it predictable.

Primary stability is not important to me. Secondary is. Speed is. Maneuverability is.

The reason I downplay primary stability is that with a tripping load even my Swift Heron (quite a round bottomed boat) is very stable. Also with adjusting seat height you can adjust primary stability.

Its OK to meddle with a boat off the rack."

I take it you're not there to fish.



"Big fish eat little fish."
Bonvicken  
distinguished member (316)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
12/16/2011 11:09PM
 
I love my Old Town Tripper. It's a great all-around boat...roomy, hauls a ton, can be solo'd by sitting backwards in the front seat, can be used for whitewater or flatwater, is an excellent fishing platform, and will take a serious beating. Not particularly speedy and weighs a ton, but great for outings where you're in no particular hurry and don't have to portage much.
Wables  
distinguished member(549)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor
12/16/2011 11:20PM
 
My primary boat is a cedar strip Freedom 17'9" canoe.


Pro's:
1) It is very pretty.
2) It is a joy to paddle. Good glide, nice compromise between tracking and maneuverability. If you have never paddled a strip boat before, you need to. They are very quiet, and the rigidness is almost spooky. There is very little flex to the boat, and you can feel all of your partner's movements almost before they make it. It is hard to explain, but I would have a hard time going back to kevlar.
3) I made huge seats for it - 15" deep and the full width of the boat. They are very comfy.
4) I can repair it if needed. It is currently in my basement getting refinished and it looks almost like new again.
5) It is stable and predictable when loaded.
6) It has plenty of room and capacity for two adults until your vacation time runs out.
7) Did I mention that it is very pretty?


Con's:
1) At 62# I wish it was about 10# lighter on the portages.
2) I cringe when I hit rocks, but I don't avoid routes, etc. because of it.
3) I had to become a wet-footer.
4) It is not stable enough for my tastes when the boat is not loaded down, i.e. fishing.
5) It is pushing the envelope for paddling solo. It can be done, but only when it is calm.




(That's my cousin casting for brookies on Gogebic.)


"Hold on, I think I can get in without getting my feet wet."....SPLASH...
kanoes  
distinguished member(23228)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
9 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/16/2011 11:30PM
 
its VERY pretty.


bigfoot is blurry...
andym  
distinguished member(2044)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Past Donor
12/16/2011 11:38PM
 
SR Q17. I like that it handles well with good stability both loaded and unloaded. So it is good for trips when you move around and also do some day trips. I also like that I can take out the thwart behind the bow seat, turn around, and paddle solo.
jwartman59  
distinguished member(2052)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Gear Reviews
12/16/2011 11:42PM
 
this canoe weighs a ton (67 lbs, dry), but i was trained to realize that portages are supposed to be a painful experience. at 16 feet it is fairly small, also being canvas i have to be careful with it. yeah it has all sorts of points against it, but it handles like a dream, looks cool, and makes groovy creaking noises as the wood responds to the conditions.

it never touches rocks if i can help it. yet i have taken it on mild whitewater on the namakagon, st croix and flambeau rivers.
1stSatInMay  
distinguished member(535)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
12/16/2011 11:59PM
 
Solo - I've got a Kevlar Advantage and love it's weight, speed and responsiveness. It would be great if it carried a little more (or lost some excess tonage}


Tandem - Have 3, 2 of which I'm going to unload. One of those two is the best non-stripper I've ever seen. It is a Navarro Loon, 18' Kevlar with Cherry ribs. Flat out gorgeous. It does however weigh almost as much as a Royalex. For the BW, I'll take the SR Wilderness, all around great performer: light, fast, good fishing platform, easy to refinish.


The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945
Wables  
distinguished member(549)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor
12/17/2011 12:03AM
 
quote jwartman59: "this canoe weighs a ton (67 lbs, dry), but i was trained to realize that portages are supposed to be a painful experience. at 16 feet it is fairly small, also being canvas i have to be careful with it. yeah it has all sorts of points against it, but it handles like a dream, looks cool, and makes groovy creaking noises as the wood responds to the conditions.


it never touches rocks if i can help it. yet i have taken it on mild whitewater on the namakagon, st croix and flambeau rivers."



Beautiful boat!


"Hold on, I think I can get in without getting my feet wet."....SPLASH...
strom2127  
distinguished member(715)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/17/2011 01:33AM
 
quote Wables: "quote jwartman59: "this canoe weighs a ton (67 lbs, dry), but i was trained to realize that portages are supposed to be a painful experience. at 16 feet it is fairly small, also being canvas i have to be careful with it. yeah it has all sorts of points against it, but it handles like a dream, looks cool, and makes groovy creaking noises as the wood responds to the conditions.



it never touches rocks if i can help it. yet i have taken it on mild whitewater on the namakagon, st croix and flambeau rivers."




Beautiful boat!"



and a magazine worthy photo!


"Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more."
jwartman59  
distinguished member(2052)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Gear Reviews
12/17/2011 02:03AM
 
insomnia night, thanks for the comments on my boat. i have to admit that it is indeed beautiful. this is a peterborough champlain cruiser, high end model, 1941. i bought it on ebay for 140$. thunder bay, ontario.
amhacker22@hotmail.com  
distinguished member(825)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
12/17/2011 05:58AM
 
I've picked up a few along the way, but if I had to chooose I'd probably say my Northwoods is my favorite tandem for tripping. I have a young & growing family, and you just can't beat the mix of capacity, speed, and stability. Its an older Blackgold gel-coated model, so its a little heavy, but once you commit to the double portage its no big deal. Its fun to feel that thing fly when its loaded down and there are a couple of strong paddlers.


My favorite solo is the Magic. I've never felt so locked in so quickly. The first time I got in I felt completely in control of the boat, which is a lot to say for a solo! It was pretty beat up when I got it, but I refinished it and it looks pretty good. I don't think I'll ever get rid of it.


I went on a bit of a buying & selling spree over the last year. I have a few more boats I haven't really had time to give a fair shake to with a one year old at home. The list of favorites may change after they get a full season in. There's a Northstar hanging up that is just dying to take my dog and I out fishing for a long weekend.
bapabear  
distinguished member(2478)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
8 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
12/17/2011 06:02AM
 
I would not take this canoe to the BW because of the weight (I travel with friends that have the appropriate kevlar canoes) but for what I need a canoe this one is just right for me. I'm mostly fishing or traveling local lakes/rivers in the central WI area. More and more my grandkids are going with me so I love the size and stability. One pic shows my Sawyer Guide Special (light blue) after my BW paddle partner and I participated in an organized trip from Neenah to Appleton where we crossed Little Lake Butte des Morts into winds ranging from 30-40 mph. Two are from a trip I organized this last fall taken on the Fox River north of Portage, WI. Another is from a Rutabaga sponsored trip on the Wisconsin River on the Upper Dells in early Spring two years ago. I'd love a lighter boat - the cash flow isn't flowing in that direction for me. I am getting good use out of this one though.



Looks like cremation is my last hope for a hot, smoking body.
whiteh20  
distinguished member(2115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
12/17/2011 08:41AM
 
For solo tripping I paddle a Bell Rock Star in kevlar. Great boat that turns very fast and has adquate speed and tracking. My beef with all solo tripping boats is that I have a hard time getting by feet with boots on under the seat when paddling in the kneeling position. Raising the seat kinda defeats the purpose for kneeling. I like using thigh straps in my boats, even trippers. I have used a tilted thwart on whitewater boats before but they get very hard for long days of lake paddling. Give me about 2 more inches of depth in all trippers and I would be happy.


Tandem- My current tripping boat is a Bell Yellowstone II in ABS. Not in anyway an outstanding flatwater boat but it allows me to paddle from the center when in rapids or big waves. I leave my son in the front and move the packs to the rear and move to the center where I have a lowered thwart and thigh straps. I can actually paddle some pretty big stuff in this boat set up this way. Kinda like a tandem WW boat. As Canyon grows this boat will be used only for river float trips. Would be perfect ozark stream boat. This boat is a jack of all trades but a master of none.


I had a Wilderness in ABS prior to the Rockstar. What a great boat, just a little slower. Nice design, I would like to paddle one in kevlar. Might be the best solo tripper out there.


"With an ax, you can build a life. With a stove, you can boil water. That is if nothing breaks and you don't run out of fuel." -Samuel Hearne
Sierra1  
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Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/17/2011 10:07AM
 
I paddle a Bell Rockstar since I don't currently have a reliable paddling partner. That said the stability, manueverability and carrying capacity of this canoe make it a joy to be in. I can easily fish from it and get to virtually any area quickly and safely.


I really miss not being able to go out right now for a morning paddle...


Watch out for that rock!!!........ Oooo.... That's going to leave a mark...
butthead  
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4 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/17/2011 01:48PM
 
When I became a dedicated solo paddler I went with a Wenonah Moccasin. Is it a tripper that freestyles, or a freestyler that trips? I enjoyed it for 15+ years! My paddling habits have changed to more tripping style and I coveted a more efficient long distance canoe.
My Advantage is the result of a lot of canoe trials and comparisons. It's no freestyle canoe but is very maneuverable in my hands, a day long paddler 17+ miles first day of use in the BWCA.
More seaworthy than I thought it would be. I was comfortable in boat wakes on Moose and white-capped wind driven waves from most angles, quartering rear required most care, drier ride than a lot of solos I have used. It probably wouldn't suit most users but it's just what I like. My tripping, flyfishing, photography, platform, of choice.


butthead


"Decades, tempered by tedium and existential dread" quote from William Brumfield
Naguethey  
distinguished member (222)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal
12/17/2011 03:41PM
 
3 solo canoes.


The white one in the background was my fav. 15' long 19 1/2" wide 9 1/2" deep.. Slight rocker and flat bottom. I built it for canoeing my home area creeks when they get shallow. Turns easily but still easy to keep straight. Just the right amount of rocker in my mind. Think the ends were up off the ground about 2 1/2" when laid on flat surface.. Weighed in right at 45lbs. Cedar with oak ribs glass only on the outside and painted over the glass because of a few are bubbles i didn't have time to fix before the trip.


The One infront of it I still have is 100+ year old douglas fur taken out of an old corn crib. Cut to 3/16" thick then sanded smooth.(light would pass through the wood it was so thin =)
47lbs.. 16' long 9 1/2" deep and 30" wide. Love this boat it's almost no rocker. And a rounded bottom. It is a very fast hull and easy to keep pretty straight when paddling hard and fast..But being such a straight bottom. It was a bit sluggish on trying to make quick turns to avoid a rock or something. But still a great canoe.


The second photo the lighter colored canoe behind us is made out of poplar and is barely over an 1/8" thick. Glass inside and out with narrow cedar ribs only covering the water line. Weighed in at 37lbs.
15' long 10" deep and 30" across. All around great canoe. Slight rocker and just barely rounded bottom. Would float in super shallow water, turn easily and paddled well. (wish I hadn't sold that one)


Hoping I can put all the best measurements from my memory into the new one I'm building for this years trip. And make it even lighter (hoping for 25lbs. or less when finished. Ballistic nylon over cedar lashed frame this time around.


Still using the same bent shaft paddle for the past 13-14 years too. Mines the one with the scallop redwood pieces in the blade and the drawing on the blade. Reglassed it almost every year on the blade tip after lots of abuse. But still holding up great. My buddy Jim next too me builds a new paddle every year to go with each canoe =)




http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c384/wagouche/hunting%20stuff/scan0178.jpg


http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c384/wagouche/hunting%20stuff/scan0073.jpg


You only live once/enjoy it while it last.
yellowcanoe  
distinguished member(3363)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Past Donor
12/17/2011 04:06PM
 
I have some ten solo boats and most of them are derived from the Curtis Solo Tripper
here


I have had Merlin II and currently paddle a Heron, Nomad and a Hemlock Peregrine. The latter is the lightest being laminated with some carbon fiber. So far its been the toughest layup. It went over a small cliff in Temagami with no damamge. ( the portages there can be quite trying)


I also have a RapidFire but tend to not like touring and portaging sitting on the bottom. I have a slide in higher seat for it though. Its 23 lbs so is portage friendly. I spent a while fabricating a portage system since with infused gunwales clamp ons won't work.

Last year I got a Colden DragonFly. At 14.5 feet and 23.5 inches wide at the rails and some 26.5 max its a narrow downriver tripper that did surprisingly well on a thirty mile long two mile wide lake on a five day trip. My Swift Raven is my old river tripper but just too wide for me as is boat like the RockStar (which I have seen just one of here in the East). The Raven is my dogs favorite boat (but with the possibility of wolves I leave the dog home). Even the Merlin II is borderline wide.

I am a combination kneeler and sitter..about 60 40.
SunCatcher  
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7 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/17/2011 04:42PM
 
I have a Bell RockStar in the Kevlight layup. I like it a lot.
Wide, Deep, Good Rocker (Turns easy), Tracks o.k. (not like a Magic,Merlin, or Prism) but efficient enough for tripping. I like that it weighs 32 lb. I have had this boat on some pretty rough stuff loaded, and it is one great boat! Molly the lab like's it to!

I have a Bell NorthStar Tandem and it is a SWEEET small tripper (16')
SunCatcher




Dad Always said "We don't Always catch fish...but we ALWAYS have a good time"
JoeWilderness  
distinguished member(1303)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Current Donor
12/17/2011 08:04PM
 








My 1985 Mad River Monarch on the Manistee River in Michigan and on top of my wife's truck (both photo's taken this year). The late Verlen Kruger designed this boat. It is a second generation to the Loon which he also designed. His third generation was the Sea Wind. That boat is on my wish list.


Tandems: I own a Wenonah Odyssey and totally love this old boat. It is a white gel coat cross rib designed boat. A bit heavy compared to the newer ultra light boats out there. Though it has an ugly flare to the bow it is an awesome boat for big water. Got caught in some bad weather on Pickerel in the "Q" in 1988 and was happy to ride out that blow in this hull. It also has many Lake Michigan miles on it.


Wenonah MNII, I have rented this boat and would purchase one in a heart beat in the 42 pound range. I like fast boats and bucket seats.


Bell Northwoods, I rented this one just this past summer and would like to add this boat to my fleet as well. It is a huge canoe and with the added rocker turns more easily than either the Odyssey or MNII. The draw back is that it takes more effort to keep it on a straight track. I would remove the web seats and install buckets. I would also install a sliding seat in the bow for my wife could not reach the water with a full proper stroke as the seat was too far astern. Move the bow seat forward 6-10 inches and it would be an awesome canoe for us.


Out of these three, the Bell Northwoods would be my choice for an all around do everything canoe to carry huge loads, dogs, children, a third adult and as a fishing platform.


I would like to test paddle a Wenonah Itasca and a Savage River Blackhawk.



"You only have one chance at life, so make it an adventure!"
outdoors4me  
distinguished member (302)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Past Donor Gear Reviews
12/17/2011 08:14PM
 
For my tandem I've settled on the Wenonah Itasca. After owning a Penobscot 17, a MNII, a SR17, and renting a few other Bell and Wenonah models, the Itasca seemed to have the best blend of stability and speed. I also really like how the gunnels tuck in at the seats to allow for a comfortable paddle stroke.


For a solo, I purchased a Curtis Nomad near the end of this years paddling season and so far, I like it alot. I haven't had the opportunity to get it out in a variety of conditions yet so I'll have to see how next season goes but I think its going to be a keeper.
KevinL  
distinguished member(2210)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/18/2011 06:51AM
 
quote Arkansas Man:
Tandem - Souris River Quetico 18.5 - carries anything and everything!!

Bruce"

+1. The SRQ 18.5 is a very stable ride and it will carry everything. Sure there are faster boats out there but I enjoy how well it rides when all the gear is not loaded also. Makes fishing a lot more enjoyable when you don't have that feeling like you are going to "swamp" her.


KevinL
Woods Walker  
distinguished member(842)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
12/18/2011 07:04AM
 
I love the 38 special I built, it is straight tracking, light & the fastest canoe I've paddled, yet is still stable empty & hauls a load too big for a solo paddler on a trip.


What I would change, to have an even lighter version in Kevlar would be awesome. It is kind of hard to turn in tight spots, so maybe adding a little rocker to see how it effects other performance as I wouldn't want to sacrifice the speed & glide.


Favorite factory tandem I've tripped in is the SR 18.5, I wouldn't change much about that canoe. Its handled some impressive loads easily & is stable, its the safest I've felt in big rough water. Trade off I guess is it is a little slower than some others I've tripped in. But again I will take the trade off.


A road is a dagger placed in the heart of a wilderness. -William O. Douglas, in Ghost Grizzlies
blackdawg9  
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
Photo Journal
12/18/2011 08:29AM
 
iam using a 16 ft penobscot. not exactly the best for tandem tripping, if your both big people with a good sized load. [my wife like s to tip and can not sit still] but if your going solo it is great. i just wish it was about 20 lbs lighter. i think it is 67 lbs. if i was going to make it better i would put in a curved fitted seat instead of a straight factory. and maybe put in a new curved yoke from nova craft. if i am going to take my wife back out tripping with me. i will rent something quite a bit bigger with a stable flat bottom and hopefully lighter. maybe a wenonah boundary waters.
CharlieWilson  
distinguished member (160)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal
12/18/2011 09:00AM
 
I am 165lbs, 65 and a fairly skilled paddler, all coloring the following.


Solo I almost always find myself kneeling in an infused Placid/Colden FlashFire with synthetic rails. It's 13'X 28" @ 24 lbs. I have a Colden DragonFly, 14'X 28.5", ~28 lbs on order for longer trips/bigger water. Both have 2.5" rocket at both ends. Most solo paddlers will be happier with differential rocker.

Changes? I'll install Colden's slider pods for trim when available.

Tandem is a different animal, I'm usually trying to cover ground, so I plop self and partner in a Placid Ohneka. At 17'X 31" it's a sit down flyer that carries pretty easily @ 38#. Befitting a long fast hull, it has differential rocker; 3"/1.5".

Changes? I sometimes wonder if the tiger stripes are worth the weight

ducks  
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1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
12/18/2011 10:00AM
 
quote KevinL: "quote Arkansas Man:
Tandem - Souris River Quetico 18.5 - carries anything and everything!!

Bruce"

+1. The SRQ 18.5 is a very stable ride and it will carry everything. Sure there are faster boats out there but I enjoy how well it rides when all the gear is not loaded also. Makes fishing a lot more enjoyable when you don't have that feeling like you are going to "swamp" her."

Same here! We wanted something big enough to carry us, our two kids, and gear but also be small enough for us to use tandem. We've had it 2 years now and love it.




Pura Vida
Troutman  
distinguished member (134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Past Donor
12/18/2011 01:58PM
 
Solo - Prism
Tandem - Mad River Exploerer (Kevlar)


"If dogs don't go to heavan, then when I die I want to go where they are" Will Rogers
boonie  
distinguished member(5687)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
2 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor
12/18/2011 09:21PM
 
I have found the Bell Magic (as opposed to a SRQ 16) to work best for me, although I paddled a Bell Rockstar last fall and it was alright. I'd be interested in a comparison between the Bell Rockstar and a Wenonah Wilderness (in royalex) if anyone has paddled both. I haven't developed any real preference for a tandem.
nojobro  
distinguished member(6594)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
2 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
12/19/2011 08:34AM
 
The SR 18.5 with three seats. This boat was perfect for my family of four. Kids sat beside one another (ages 3 and 12). It always felt stable, which when you have a little one moving all around is a big deal. (I felt very unstable in the MNII with her in the boat.) All of our stuff fit, and my husband did not complain about portaging it. Great boat.
nojobro  
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2 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
12/19/2011 08:37AM
 
We have an Old Town Discovery 174. This boat is excellent for: river tripping, general tripping, beating the hell out of it. We used to fill it to the brim and go on trips on the Wisconsin River, sandbar camping...taking everything including the kitchen sink.


This boat is not good for: portaging. It's over 80lbs.
ozarkpaddler  
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1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor
12/19/2011 08:54AM
 
quote JoeWilderness: "
"






ENJOYABLE THREAD! Winter musings on canoes, what an enjoyable pastime! Joe, ironic that I sold MY OLD MONARCH to a GUY NAMED JOE, and I too own a Honda Element (LOL)!


I thought I'd paddled a lot of boats, but in this thread I see how many more I haven't, but want to. I'd love to try a Bell Rockstar and Wenonah Wilderness sometime. I've been on a life long quest to find the perfect boat. I've typically bought used or cheaper new boats I could AFFORD and tried to make them into the boat I've wanted. THAT DOESN'T WORK AS WELL AS BUYING THE RIGHT BOAT IN THE FIRST PLACE! I strongly urge people to not do as I have; try out the boats you think are best for you and save up for the RIGHT boat in the first place. That said, I've found a few "Good" boats, but the "Perfect" boat for me has eluded me.


Like Yellowcanoe, I've noticed that the boats that came closest to perfect for me have been designed by David Yost. Would love to meet him sometime, just to tell him I'm a fan. Two of my all time favorite boats are the Sawyer Autumn Mist, and Bell/Placid/Colden Starfire. So, first the two best boats I've paddled/owned.


AUTUMN MIST: My Autumn Mist was such a comfortable boat to take pictures from for me. Put the paddle down and take a drink or a picture and it would still be pointing in the right direction. Great secondary stability, but would move when I needed to catch up to my friends. Could throw enough in it for a trip, but still not to big for day trips (for a big guy). Smaller folks, like a friends wife, said it "Bobs like a cork" and she felt it was continually trying to turn turtle. Bigger folks and loaded, sunk the hull to where it was incredibly stable for a solo boat. Sold it because I just wanted something that turned a bit better on the river, something to catch eddies and "Play" with more.


STARFIRE: I haven't owned a Starfire, but have paddled them and wanted one for, it seems like, forever. Unfortunately, people who buy them, love them, keep them, cherish them, and must take them to the grave with them! Can't find 'em used and I couldn't afford one new. Colden is the latest builder and they made few and the price tag is too steep with all the medical bills I've had over the years, and it looks like that will continue into 2012. It is stable, but lively. It turns easily, but is well behaved and doesn't act "Squirrely." Has enough rocker to jump into an eddy, but will track on down through the flat water until you tell it you want to turn. I've never paddled another boat that feels so much like a part of my body; the Starfire just feels like my limbs, my brain, my soul are all entertwined within it! I know, sounds kinda "Sappy," but I LOVE THAT HULL!


Now, for the two in my barn.
ESQUIF MISTRAL: This is a river boat, not a flat water BWCAW boat. It can be used for that if you have a strong arm, strong skills, and strong psyche to make it "Behave." You put your paddle down, it's turning, you get a drink, it's turning, you're looking upstream, you'r turning, you fart, you're turning, you go through a sharp turn and the stern sometimes gets a little squirrelly. But, loaded with two people and/or a weeks long HEAVY load and it will behave much better, and turn into an eddy when asked to avoid that sweeper that sneaks up on you around that blind corner on the river. It's kinda of like an older horse that still has a "Playful" streak; it's steady and reliable most of the time, but you need to keep a steady reign on it lest it's "Wild" side comes out!


I Bought one barely used for 1/2 retail. After 2 years it began delaminating, but Esquif sent a new one a few months ago. I like the twintex because it is slick and has the paddling charachteristics of kevlar or 'glass with the abrasion resistance of polyethylene. But, I don't think it will ever see widespread use due to the recurrent issues with delamination and the fact that it's hard to make things stick to this hull. But IMHO it would be an excellent material for a BWCAW tripper.


MAD RIVER COURIER (Kevlar). Have had for a few years now. Haven't been made for years, difficult to find. Very well behaved boat. The Mad River "V" is a little deeper than other Mad Rivers I've owned or paddled, so the first time in it, you feel it "Dive" to one side or the other, where it then parks itself. INCREDIBLE secondary stability. I was on the Brule River (near Horseshoe Lake) this summer and we were racing a storm. Had a good tailwind and I had my back into it. Hit a rock just under the water and stopped DEAD! My buddy yells "Whiplash," I banged my arm on the thwart, and my body tried to surge overboard. With right gunnel on the water, the boat cradled me back to center, and I unbelievably stayed inside! Can't imagine that happening in another boat!
The Courier has enough rocker to turn easily on the river, but paddles BWCAW lakes and flatwater with equal zest. Turns when you lean it a tad and want to turn, and goes straight when you're making a crossing into the wind and need to go straight. I've had it in class II water, as has the friend who was the previous owner. I pull the camera out to take a picture and, unlike the Mistral, I'm still pointing toward my subject. But, if I need a quick turn to maneuver, it complies readily.


The old, bomb-proof, Mad River kevlar takes a beating, but has held up well. A few scrapes and cracks, but nothing more than "Cosmetic." and that warm, butterscotch color of old kevlar reminds me of a wood & canvas canoe. With the wood trim, it just has a warm "Glow," which is why I named the boat "Sunny." I've only named a handful of boats, but this boat is special! It's the second best boat I've paddled, second only to the Starfire.


Only a few things that I would change and one is the width at gunnels. I got spoiled paddling Bells, et al with the shouldered tumblehome. I miss the narrow paddling station. Also, Mad River has wide wood gunnels; Bells, Hemlocks, Coldens all have narrower, more rounded gunnels. I've thought about sanding them down quite a bit, but am afraid to. Also, it's a deep hull. 1-2" less depth would be nice. It's not that it gets blown around in the wind THAT much, but it just has more hull than it has to unless I'm hauling a huge load. Of course, it's NAMED a "Courier," so what do you expect? It is a solo freighter. Lastly, the shallow-V. Not the best design for rivers. I can park it on either side of the V in shallow spots, but shallow arch is just a little better on rivers. If I could change these 3 things, it would be the perfect solo for me.


Now for a few pics; I'll show Joe my old Monarch, a buddies Starfire, the Mistral, and the Courier: OOPs, almost forgot Starfire!




"Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." Mark Twain
canoe212  
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Photo Journal Gear Reviews
12/19/2011 08:58AM
 
Alumacratft Quetico.


I like the abuse-proof-ness of it. I also think it is quite stable (some would disagree). Its load capacity is incredible at 770lbs. I've put 4 full grown men plus minimal gear in it, over 800lbs.


Drawbacks would be the weight, speed and noise. Not real heavy at 56lbs, but lighter would be better. And anyone who has heard me set it down hard at the end of a portage knows it sounds kinda like a shotgun blast.


If you can earn it, why did He die?
HikingStick  
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1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Gear Reviews
12/20/2011 01:31PM
 
quote ducks: "quote KevinL: "quote Arkansas Man:
Tandem - Souris River Quetico 18.5 - carries anything and everything!!

Bruce"

+1. The SRQ 18.5 is a very stable ride and it will carry everything. Sure there are faster boats out there but I enjoy how well it rides when all the gear is not loaded also. Makes fishing a lot more enjoyable when you don't have that feeling like you are going to "swamp" her."

Same here! We wanted something big enough to carry us, our two kids, and gear but also be small enough for us to use tandem. We've had it 2 years now and love it.

"







I'll add another +1 for the SR Q18.5. It is an absolute barge as far as its capacity goes. I've been impressed by how well it handles in wind and waves, though you might have a tough time in the wind with a weak bow paddler if lightly loaded. I've even used it as a "big boy" solo on local lakes, sitting my 280# body on the middle seat. I might even try a real solo trip with it sometime.


“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ? J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
jwartman59  
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1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Gear Reviews
12/20/2011 03:04PM
 
old photos of our 1979 (+/-) illustrious wenonah whitewater II. we still use this canoe on those occasions when we have a need for an extra canoe. during it's day this was the sportiest of northwoods canoes. we actually ran whitewater in it, often, it was a terrible whitewater boat. it was all we had.
fitgers1  
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3 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/20/2011 03:29PM
 
Alumacraft. It's bombproof. I'll take it anywhere, anytime. Not afraid of rocks and boulders. No wussy-footing around with this one. If I need to do an amphibious assault on a shallow rock ledge, I can do it. Scratched my boat? Big deal. The bottom is full of those badges of honor. I don't need to be constantly worried about scratches and punctures. The keel keeps her true and in the direction I want to go. I like the amount of freeboard on it. For me, I find it easy to manuever. Maybe because I have been using it for quite some time. The downer part is of course she is as heavy as a battleship and really starts to wear me down over a 125 rods. She can take a load across the biggest of lakes and I feel safe in it. False security perhaps? But still security. I feel a lot safer in it than I do in those paperthin models. I can pack an iron ore ships worth of cargo in it and that only seems to make it work better. It's also more visible to motored craft when on a lake with motors.


Mad River Independence. Kevlar. Oh my god it is so light! For those solo trips around the lakes, I wouldn't use anything but. Used one a lot back in the 90's in Virginia and North Carolina, was lucky enough to recently purchase a beautiful used one. A very comfortable and peaceful boat to me. The name says it all. I have not paddled this one yet. I'll get to do that next year.



“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson...and...“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
billconner  
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3 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
12/20/2011 04:10PM
 
SR Q 17. Priorities are stability from beginning to end, light weight, and robustness. Speed (what's your hurry?) and maneuverability on Quetico lakes don't mean much to me. You can treat it like an alumacraft but it weighs much less.
Jackfish  
Moderator
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
12/20/2011 04:41PM
 
My canoe is a Mad River Lamoille 184 in kevlar. Weighs about 50#. My son and I are both tall - 6'5" and 6'3", respectively, and we fish a lot when we're in it. Therefore, the canoe must be comfortable and be a good fishing platform. It's both.

With my son in the bow, he needs room for his long legs and the Lamoille offers both leg room and width for him to be comfortable. The bow seat also slides to offer the ability to trim the canoe as needed and change the positioning for whatever reason.

At 18'4", it takes a lot of room to turn, but it has great glide and is an excellent tripping canoe for us.

The only thing I don't like about my canoe is the detail work. I think Mad River could have used better varnish on the thwarts and the way the seats are hung in the canoe could be better. Otherwise, I'm very happy with it. If I ever had to replace it, I think I'd have a hard time choosing one that I like as much. Mad River doesn't make the lightweight Lamoille anymore.


It's only a spot on the map... until you go there.
Sierra1  
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Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
12/20/2011 05:15PM
 
quote canoe212: "Alumacratft Quetico.



I like the abuse-proof-ness of it. I also think it is quite stable (some would disagree). Its load capacity is incredible at 770lbs. I've put 4 full grown men plus minimal gear in it, over 800lbs.



Drawbacks would be the weight, speed and noise. Not real heavy at 56lbs, but lighter would be better. And anyone who has heard me set it down hard at the end of a portage knows it sounds kinda like a shotgun blast."




I use one of these as my tandem boat because I've had it for over 40 years and I know it inside and out. It track's like a ruler (It should. It has a V-keel that sticks into the water a good inch and a half). It has been everywhere in the BWCA from big lakes to small streams with a bunch of bow fishing on the St. Croix thrown in for good measure. I know what it can do and what it can't do. Very stable on flat water. Not the most manueverable. Not the quietest. Not the lightest but is nearly bullet proof and it's what I learned in. I wouldn't give it up for the world. Well maybe a Bell Northwind in Blackgold would be considered... :)


Watch out for that rock!!!........ Oooo.... That's going to leave a mark...
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