Submitted: 07-06-2011 by acebrown
I purchased a Rockstar in Blackgold with full wood trim about 7 months ago. I like a narrow paddling station so cut the thwarts down to narrow beam by about 2" (25" at gunnel). This made initial stability a bit tippy but secondary was still very good. I also lowered the seat about 2" which increased overall stability. Boat handled beautifully in all conditions on flatwater, I am not into whitewater anymore but expect it would do fine up to class III with experienced paddler and added flotation. Because I paddle most of the time with a 60# golden retriever who gets real excited seeing fish/game I decided to make another big change to the boat. I relocated seat aft about 18" from stock, retd width to normal and added a portage yoke at center. Now I have an even narrower paddling station, better balance with dog more forward, carrying yoke and because dog is in a narrower section of boat less effect when dog gets excited. I also like the big deck space now open to fishing gear and other stuff. Only negative to this change is when heading into the wind there is less leverage from the aft paddling location. I can overcome this by switching to a kayak paddle. I call this my "after-burner".
I love the look of the all-wood trim but have already found maintenance to be a bit of a chore. Besides oiling the wood I have had to re-tighten screws several times.
I have owned several Bell and Wenonah solo canoes over the years and truly believe the Rockstar is the best one.