Submitted: 08-20-2004 by peace
Thought I would update my review of the Solitude as I now have three years of use in all kinds of water; lakes, rivers and streams. I have spent over 100 days paddling this canoe. I have come to really appreciate the versatility of this canoe. It is fast enough that I use it to go upstream in a large river and maneuverable enough that I can catch eddies. Initially the secondary stability felt tender to me, but as I get more experienced that is no longer a concern. In fact I now paddle most of the time with the seat at the highest level, which is 11 inches off the bottom. In fact my butt is almost level with the gunwhale. The solitude I have is the ultralight kevlar version and is starting to show some wear on the hull but that is to be expected as I have maneuvered through some very rocky rivers. Not what I would recommend for the boat, but so far only the outer S glass has been scraped with nothing coming through to the kevlar.
I still would prefer a slightly narrower distance at the gunwhales for more efficient paddling. I am almost 100% bent shaft user and sit and switch. Also use a two bladed paddle (220cm) when going upriver. The boat will fly. The seat also slides and this is a great feature when handling wind and wave action. I do find the seat slides much too easily, maybe because I use a lot of leg push when I paddle. I have purchased clamps that I put on the slide rail, they are easy to adjust and prevent the seat from moving back further than I want while paddling.
All in all a real good canoe. Great for day trips and playing around, Great for fishing as it is very stable and I find that since I have become a much better paddler that I have no problem keeping up with my friends in 14-15 foot kayaks.