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Submitted: 08-29-2005 by conk
I have spent 30 years paddling a 15ft. Grumman believing that I was pretty good at it. My leap to a solo canoe was rooted in a strong desire to do some Adirondack tripping and needing a boat light enough for those 2 and 3 mile portages I envisioned. I did not do extensive research on solos but I was aware of this guy in Hemlock, NY that built canoes. Meeting Dave Curtis I found a man who possessed strong opinions on design, construction methods, and materials. Being a woodworker myself this pleased me, (one should have conviction to their craft). After a 4 hour test paddle on Canadice Lake I told Dave to build my premium hull peregrine.
That was one year and hundreds of paddled miles ago. In that time I have learned that I really am good at this and lament not having jumped to a dedicated solo years ago. Mine is about 34lbs. and performs as advertised, (a great lake tripper). I am 5'-8" 162lbs. and prefer kneeling with a single blade straight shaft paddle. On a recent lake trip carrying 65lbs. of gear I was surprised to have covered 13 miles in 4 hours of casual paddling. This included a portage around a dam and several stops because fellow paddlers wanted to admire my canoe. The same trip had miles of wilderness river with hairpin turns, log jams, and beaver dams all negotiated without difficulty. This canoe has performed beyond my expectations, secretively fast, maneuverable enough, and light. I would give it a 10 if I believed perfection by humans was possible.