Submitted: 10-16-2006 by JL
I just received a 10'6" solo canoe in carbon about a week and a half ago. It came in a huge cardboard tube with wood ends screwed in. The boat was compressed to fit in the tube. The thwarts were removed to accommodate the required compression. The canoe came out of the tube a little scratched up from vibrating in the tube - which is a real bummer, the rest of the canoe is beautiful. Assembly of the twarts was pretty easy. It is impressive how light it is.
I paddled the canoe around the local harbor on two occasions for an hour and a half each time. As anticipated, the boat is pretty unstable when entering, but while paddling it is very stable. I have paddled a kayak so paddling was intuitive. I expected the boat to yaw with each stroke, but was pleasantly surprised at how well it tracked. Due to the short length and my fat butt (at 190 pounds), the boat was not the fastest I have paddled, but again I was pleasantly surprised...it was faster than I expected it would be.
After getting used to the canoe, I took on the Pacific ocean on my third go. I had a 10 knot on shore crosswind and an angled 2 to three foot swell at 6 seconds with a 6 inch or so wind chop. Again, the boat did better than expected. It tracked very well despite the angled swell and winds. it stayed on course even in quartering seas. The boat flexes some in waves and chop and the cheek compresses inward as it custs through a wave. This is to be expected in a boat this light. I would suspect with more chop I would be taking some water over the side, but it was dry and stable in the 6 inch chop I was out in.
The best part was pulling up to the kayak launch dock where I put in. With two sea kayakers just pulling in an struggling to get their boats out; I just hopped out of the canoe, reached down with one hand and pulled the boat out of the water and shouldered it in one move. They were impressed. I was loaded up and rolling while they were just getting their wheels out of their cars and heading back to the dock.