Well the ruddered one would allow you to keep your cadence up and correct course with your feet for sit and switch. The one trouble with rudders is that you have to be comfortable fixing them in the field.
I have no clue about the Wabash Valley canoe. That the Prism is a foot shorter might have no bearing on speed. Brushing up on paddling technique to avoid any yaw will increase forward efficiency.
I know which one I would rather hike with! No small consideration there...
Paddle them! you won't know until you try them what you like. You liked the prism, but you may like the others better. Voyager is long, fast and skinny. I think some people have trouble fitting packs in them.
Isn't Wabash Valley somehow connected with Bell? Like Ted worked there before starting his own company or something like that?
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children
quote mwd1976: "Paddle them! you won't know until you try them what you like. You liked the prism, but you may like the others better. Voyager is long, fast and skinny. I think some people have trouble fitting packs in them.
Isn't Wabash Valley somehow connected with Bell? Like Ted worked there before starting his own company or something like that?"
I haven't paddled the Wabash, but between the two, Id go with the Voyager.. You sound like you want to keep up with the tandems and should be a little easier in the Voyager. I would also hugely prefer the ultralight layup as opposed to tuffweave.. that Prism is getting heavy for a solo.
Owner stated that he bought the canoe in the late 80's from a local company. That it was 16 pounds. He said he called Bell Canoe about it when he decided to sell and they gave him Ted Bell's cell number. He said that he talked to Bell who said this is one of the canoes he made prior to forming Bell Canoes. Pictures are attached. Anyone know anything about this boat?
I have the Voyager. Its a fast, fairly stable boat. Looks like its between the other two you are looking at. Great boat. You're not going to be able to put a ton of stuff in it, but its just a great design. I'd have to say Its the best boat I've ever paddled. I got mine used for about what you listed. Can you take the rudder off?
quote markaroberts: "Owner stated that he bought the canoe in the late 80's from a local company. That it was 16 pounds. He said he called Bell Canoe about it when he decided to sell and they gave him Ted Bell's cell number. He said that he talked to Bell who said this is one of the canoes he made prior to forming Bell Canoes. Pictures are attached. Anyone know anything about this boat? "
I know that if I had come across it, I would have snatched it up! And if you pass on it, please let us know your area so we can find it on Craigslist!
the Voyager was purchased to use in the Texas Safari Canoe Race. (no idea what that is). He outfitted it as shown in the attached pics. I have decided on either the Wabash or the Voyager. the Prism is the shortest of the group and is 12 pounds or more heavier then the others. Also a 10 hour drive round trip on the Prism. The blocks glued to the inside of the hull are for cupholder, paddle holder and deck lighting (ones in front and back). He said he had the rudder custom installed by an outfitter. Rudder comes out by just removing the pin.
Just my opinion, I'd go with the Voyager. That's a hot price, and something that you could use and resell if it wasn't the boat you really wanted. If I remember from some of your other posts you're a kayaker, and when I look at a Voyager, I see a kayak hull with an open top. As a kayaker you're used to a narrower hull and the feeling of a little less initial instability that might go with that. A rudder might not even be a bad thing on a boat like that, just set it to offset what the wind is doing and paddle as you regularly would. I bet that boat flies with a kayak paddle. It looks like it has a little bit more room for your gear, and probably a tougher lay-up for tripping than the Wabash. My $0.02, that's about all that's worth. Good Luck.
thanks everyone for your input. Picking up the Voyager next week.
You are right. . .I am primarily a kayaker. I have a 17 foot Current Designs Storm GT and 17 foot Necky Looksha IV kevlar. . .both sea/touring kayaks. I don't mind canoes, just prefer to paddle without another person in the boat so I can set my own pace. Really liked the Prism last year in the BWCA. Just thought it wasn't quite fast enough for me.
For those who are interested, the guy with the Prism still has it for sale and he is down to $600. Link below. It is $600 on his other listing.
quote Royce: "I sent an email thinking I'd maybe go pick it up, but I never heard back and assumed it had been sold "
Think he's had a couple sales fall through. I had left him messages also and he finally got back in touch saying I could come get it. I sent him a deposit and everything. Unfortunately, my girlfriend flipped when she realized I was dropping the money on a solo. He seems like a super nice guy and I know he'll be happy to find a buyer. I talked with him for a good 30 minutes while he looked the boat over answering all my questions. Seems it really is in pristine condition- been paddled less than 5 times, spent it's life up in some rafters. No soft spots in the foam core, wood in good shape, everything still well attached. Brass plate on stern reads "WVCO 01220382". And yes, confirmed by Ted to be one of his early boats, made by his own hands. Just hate that it won't be me who ends up with it. If you'd like me to get him in touch with you I can definitely help. Pass me your contact info and I'll help you out from my end! I feel bad for leaving him hanging, but figure another boat isn't worth the arguments that it may cause...
quote Royce: "Any concerns about using a canoe like that in the Boundary Waters?
Have you paddled the Voyager, how are you liking it?"
I came away from our conversation thinking that it would work well, but should be treated with care (meaning caution on shallow/rocky rivers and laying a pack in rather than tossing it haphazardly). It is lighter and thinner than today's popular Bdub boats. You'd fly across the lakes, that's for sure! Of course, in their heyday, Wabash Valleys were known to be the best money could buy. I'd sure feel proud to drive through Ely with a WV atop my car.
I talked to Ted Bell about the Wabash vs the voyager kevlar I was looking at. Basically, he said that the Wabash would be faster then the Voyager, but would not hold near as much gear. Also, The Voyager/kevlar would take a lot more abuse then the Wabash. Like I say, I spent a good deal of time looking over the Wabash. It is a VERY narrow boat. you won't put any type of traditional canoe pack in it. To take advantage of the very narrow bow and stern areas, probably small dry bags like in a kayak would be in order. Long and short of it is that the Wabash would hold about the same amount of gear as my Necky Loosha IV kayak. . .only advantage is it would be easier to get the gear out at the portages.
I went for the Voyager. I wanted the option to take additional gear if I wanted to. . .and I didn't want to be continually worried about every little bump in the Wabash.
Basically Ted said that the Wabash was designed as a racing/workout boat. Not really a tripping boat.
He sure didn't mention that blemish to me over the phone. I'm sure you can get some advice on the repair here- I've seen much worse damage be made like new on various threads! Did you drop it in the Ohio before heading home?