Submitted: 10-03-2011 by canadienne
I have an old used solo plus. It is marked "kevlar 49" and i found launch passes from as old as 96. Anyway I'm not sure how the weight compares to the various options now available but it is light enough to carry with gunnel over one shoulder for a few hundred yards.
I'm 200lbs and carry minimum of 20lbs up to 100lbs depending on trip length. Boat is FAST solo and i can cover alot of distance. It tracks really well with minimal correction stroke (just jstroke at moderate speed and switch if I'm in a hurry). The trade off is the stern sticks, the bow seems to blow around in the wind alo t and is very hard to turn into the wind. I don't like to take this boat out if it is over 10-15 mph wind. Also in tight tidal creeks i was having trouble side-sliding around corners. I could get the bow around the corner but the boat just keeps sliding sideways and i need to draw on the off side to keep off the bank.
Other issues are i switch between sitting and kneeling to minimize joint pain and the seat is to low to kneel under with sandals (I'm only size 10.5) and barefoot is tight which probably is not safe in the event of a capsizing.
Tandem it is VERY FAST and paddles up to cruising speed with very little effort. But i see no advantage in any other aspect vs my old town canadienne. But its nice for it to double as a serviceable tandem i suppose especially when its your only boat.
Speed 10 - Tracking 10 - Build quality 8 - Turning/maneuvering 5 - Solo 9 - Tandem 5