Submitted: 02-27-2002 by plaidpaddler
My Kevlar flex-core mocassin is the third solo canoe on the family rack, following a center-rib glass Wenonah Solitude and Old Town Pack. I like to solo on my knees and wanted a canoe i could feel comfortable in fishing on the Finger Lakes of Upstate N.Y. Auditioned this boat over a LaborDay weekend vs. a Bell Merlin and Wenonah Rondevous. The Merlin wins the speed points and glide points, but the Mocassin just fit me like a glove after the first hour on Canandaigua Lake. With glued in knee cups to hold the old bones in place, the Mocassin and i took on the 90mile Adirondack Classic the next weekend and both survived a day on Long Lake that blew over dozens of USCA cruisers and racing kayaks. Managed to do a kayak over canoe emptying of a downriver kayak that dumped in front of me and help get the kayaker back into his boat. Took on bigger waves than i thought the boat would ever stay upright in, and only took in water over the gunwales at the cockpit. The Mocassin does not turn as well as the shorter Bell Solos, but strikes a good balance between the freestyle oriented short solos and the marathon oriented longer sit and switch solos. Would take a Merlin or Magic or Prism on a long flatwater trip, but for getting out on any type of fishable water this boat has served me well for 7 years now. I paddle mostly with a carbon fiber bent shaft paddle, but have used an otter tale, willow blade, other traditional wooden paddles to play around in tight streams or for just fun on the local pond. It responds well to many different paddling styles, from single sided northwoods to marathon kneel and switch.