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Submitted: 01-26-2005 by Birren
I'd agree with most of what others have said about the Wildfire, though in my view it's pretty slow, doesn't track well, and the stability of the Royalex version is pretty questionable. My friend can do pirouettes in his graphite model with the gunwale at water level, but the Royalex construction doesn't have enough flare for that. It is (or rather, was) also a bit sluggish in tight places. By installing 2-inch longer thwarts I added flare to the sides and about 1/2-inch of rocker to both ends. The boat is now much more stable and predictable, and it's more responsive in small spaces and rapids without losing much of the original tracking ability. With skid plates and float bags it was the perfect boat for a solo trip down Wisconsin's Flambeau River with Class I-II+ rapids. I would give the stock construction a 6 or 7, but with these mods I'd give it a 9. About the only other thing I could ask for would be a flip-down rudder.
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