Posted by: nycmhandy on Nov-08-12 8:26 PM (EST)
I also paddle a RapidFire with a bench seat mounted as high as possible. I usually kneel or "half-kneel" (one leg forward, foot on the footbrace). I like the boat, though it is not as nimble as my WildFire and the freeboard in the middle is a little low for me on the windblown Hudson.
Turtle, I paddled the boat up and down the Oswegatchie a couple of years ago, with a backpacking-style pack and a few odds and ends. I made good time in the turns, especially on the way back down! I heeled the boat to the outside of every turn, but not nearly to the rail. It is true that I needed to secure my pack to prevent it from shifting during a heel and surprising me.
Yanoer, when you say you paddled a RapidFire with a high seat, do you mean the highest kayak-style seat, or a bench, canoe-style seat? I don't find the RapidFire a particularly lively boat on the rare occasions I use it as a deckless kayak, but it heels nicely when I can use my knees to make my intentions clear.
If I had my dream canoe, it would have the nimbleness of the WildFire (hence fuller and less asymmetrical than the RF), at least the forward speed of the RapidFire, and a deck. A 16-foot, 26-inch, symmetrically rockered, asymmetrically flared, decked WildFire -- that would attract my interest! For now, I settle for a RapidFire with float bags, but I continue to hope.