-- Last Updated: Nov-07-12 3:39 PM EST --
I paddle a Rapidfire with the highest rail mounted seat I could get Joe to install for me. I wish it were even higher - sometimes I add a gel pad that raises me up even slightly more. There is a vast difference and improvement in performance with a single blade with the high seat compared to when it had the stock medium seat. I always much prefer using a single blade in any canoe, except under the most severe wind and weather conditions when a double is arguably better for many paddlers. But with the high seat I can easily heel it over far to make it break track to turn quite nicely. However without having also paddled a Vagabond I can't really make a fair comparison, which should only be made with comparable seat heights.
I have raced the Rapidfire in the Adirondack 90-miler for several years. Unfortunately (IMO) the class that was created for it requires use of a double blade paddle, not my favorite mode of travel, although granted it is a bit faster than with a single blade. Even so, I can repeatedly easily out maneuver most any other boat when it comes to cranking into fast sharp turns at speed, such as in Brown's Tract (my favorite section of the 90-miler). I owe a lot to the highest seat I can get.