Tripping in Wildfire and Yellowstone Sol
Posted by: cliffjacobson on Oct-31-12 12:30 PM (EST)
I've put thousands of miles on composite Bell Wildfires and Yellowstone solo's. I just love these boats. Anyone who says they're not up to long river trips with technical rapids (up to high Class II) either doesn't know how to pack or needs to learn how to paddle. These boats track well, turn instantly and run dry in waves up to two feet high. Add a spray cover and polished whitewater technique and they'll surprise you in bigger stuff. Both canoes are very similar; paddle one then the other and you'll forget which boat you're in. The YS does seem to run drier in chop and it carries a bit more weight more gracefully--but the differences are not significant. The Royalex version of the YS is a wonderful canoe also. It's quite fast for an RX solo; it turns instantly and it runs dry. You won't be disappointed to own one. It is, however, heavy--about 45 pounds if I recall; the 29-34 pounds of a composite WF or YS is a better plan where there are portages. Here's a short list of rivers I've paddled with the composite versions: Steel and Kopka(Ontario); Little Missouri (N.Dakota); Green(Utah); Rio Grande(TX); Buffalo (Arkansas); BWCA/Quetico. These were all minimum 7 day trips with full gear. No problems!