Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
 





GRUMMAN CANOES
FREE SHIPPING on all canoes until May 14
See Paddling.net for great reviews
www.canoeinglife.com
 
Advice, Suggestions and General Help New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Wildfire big enough?
  Posted by: melenas on Jul-11-13 1:08 PM (EST)
   Category: Canoes 

I've been looking for a solo canoe to use for 2-4 day camping trips on the local rivers as well as day playing and fishing on the local impoundments. I've had great fun soloing my tandem but would like something more manageable to improve my river paddling skills. I am 5'8'' and 200 pounds, 15 pound dog, my pack weighed about 40# last time, I like to take a small cooler, so that would bring me close to the max weight for the Wildfire for camping, but not for day trips. I like to kneel when I solo with some occasional sitting for relief.

I was wondering if a Wildfire would be a good fit.


 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Fishing PFD's

Dry Tops

Deck Rigging Gear

Kayak Seats

Table of Contents




Messages in this Topic

 

  probably
  Posted by: pblanc on Jul-11-13 1:13 PM (EST)
I think the Wildfire would be big enough for you for day trips with or without your dog.

You would probably be pushing it for overnighters with a load and the dog. I find I can get a 60 L barrel in my Wildfire in front of the front thwart and there is room for a soft cooler and additional moderate sized pack behind. But the Wildfire is not real deep and with a big load it won't have a lot of free board amidships, which could be a factor on flat water if the wind comes up, or on rivers with any kind of standing waves.
 
 
  Wildfire
  Posted by: thebob.com on Jul-11-13 1:40 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jul-11-13 4:51 PM EST --

Wildfire is great for a day trip, or even an overnight.
But, if you weigh 200 lbs, and want to carry a cooler, 40 pounds of gear, a 15 pound dog, and stay out on the river for 3 or 4 days; you're going to start feeling cramped for space pretty quick.

Two boats I would suggest you take a look at, and test paddle if possible; the Mohawk Odyssey, and the Mad River Freedom Solo. Gear packing will be easier, you'll have more freeboard on class II rivers, and either will be roomier for you, your gear, and the dog. If you encounter ledge drops, or fair sized standing waves; both boats I suggested will be drier than the Wildfire, particularly if you are heavily loaded.
Strong winds will affect the Freedom Solo more than it will the Wildfire; especially if you are not carrying a load.
All 3 boats are suitable for sitting, or kneeling.
The Freedom Solo is capable of carrying everything you could possibly need, and the kitchen sink to boot.
The Odyssey is in my opinion, a middle of the roader(somewhere between the Wildfire & the Freedom Solo).
Two boats I bought, tested, and found lacking for your usage were the Wenonah Vagabond, and the Wenonah Argosy.
I am a 210 pounder, currently own, or have owned all 5 boats mentioned, and have lots of experience paddling the type of rivers you mention.
Buy used if you can find a boat in decent condition, at a reasonable price; save yourself some bucks.

BOB

 
 
  Yeah, good suggestions. I'd find
  Posted by: g2d on Jul-11-13 5:02 PM (EST)
packing a Wildfire might push me into ultralight realm.
 
 
  I was afraid of that
  Posted by: melenas on Jul-11-13 5:31 PM (EST)
I really need to lose some weight! One size up, there was a Starfire on the classifieds here, but maybe that's more of a solo/tandem hybrid. I could lose the cooler and drink hot water all days and nights (not just the last).

Higher-end solo canoes can be a little rare here in TX. Interesting comment about the unsuitability of the Argosy (for the specified load, at least). I saw an Argosy on the classifieds before and was tempted, but some of the comments here on this forum made me hesitate. It sounds like it would be what I need, but probably isn't. Then I saw a Wildfire.


 
 
  Freedom Solo
  Posted by: Boyscout on Jul-14-13 5:48 AM (EST)
I am around 5.8 & around 240 and could get enough gear for a decent multi overnighter in a widfire. that being said the Freedom solo would seem a better choice. i currently paddle a freedom solo. can get more gear in the FS and it still turns and handle as good as the wildefire did for me. plus I can kneel or sit in many more positions in the FS than the could the Wildefire. the FS is going to catch more wind though.
 
 
  You had Rx Wildfire/Yellowstone Solo,
  Posted by: Yanoer on Jul-14-13 10:11 AM (EST)
not a composite Wildfire, correct.
 
 
  Yes
  Posted by: pblanc on Jul-14-13 5:06 PM (EST)
Mike had a Royalex Yellowstone Solo/Wildfire.
 
 
  Rent , taking canoe to a river or two.
  Posted by: bigspencer on Jul-11-13 5:55 PM (EST)
Find someplace that'll let you take it off their compound...to a river. You need to try it out for yourself....and practice learned strokes for moving water(via DVD, books...etc).

$.01
SteveD
 
 
  Wildfire or Yellowstone?
  Posted by: eckilson on Jul-11-13 8:12 PM (EST)
I'm bigger than you (220 pounds), and I paddled my Yellowstone for a week in the Adirondacks. It held everything I needed - two big dry bags, a cooler and my portage cart. Not sure how much room your dog will need, but weight shouldn't be an issue. Can't speak about a composite Wildfire.

Here's a picture of Jeff (about my size) loaded up in his Yellowstone. It does look a little low, but he never had problem, nor did I. TommyC1 in the background in his Magic.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eckilson/8010812547/in/set-72157631592257478
 
 
  Wildfire FG
  Posted by: melenas on Jul-11-13 8:57 PM (EST)
and the dog often meditates on top of packs or underneath my seat. But I can appreciate the concerns about freeboard in situations with waves.







 
 
  FG? I have a black/gold Wildfire.
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jul-11-13 9:35 PM (EST)
Maybe only Charlie Wilson on this board would know if anyone ever made a true Wildfire out of fiberglass (only).

In any event, a composite Wilfire could do all that you mention, but it wouldn't be my first choice for canoe tripping for four days with 260+ pounds and a dog. At that load level, as others have stated, the 14' hull with modest depth would be fairly bogged down with little freeboard.

I'd prefer a 15' solo canoe with more depth for that kind of load, but sure you could do it. BOB has suggested two more capacious river tripping canoes. A more sophisticated hull, and my favorite, would be a Hemlock SRT. Not sure I'd want a dog in an SRT, however, unless it was dead.
 
 
  Hemlock SRT...................
  Posted by: thebob.com on Jul-11-13 10:36 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jul-11-13 10:51 PM EST --

One of my all time favorite canoes.
Regretably I sold mine. Thinking it might not take the abuse of shallow, rocky, Ozark rivers for many years; I decided to stick with royalex canoes for that venue.

The problem with the SRT for the original poster may be price & availability.
I'm betting there aren't too many used SRTs for sale in central Texas?
Other options: pay shipping cost for new one from Hemlock Canoes in New York to Texas, or drive to New York & pick up a new one.
Whether you ship it or pick it up; you'd better have deep pockets. New cost for the cheapest version of the SRT, the kevlar hybrid is $2,779.00; plus shipping, or travel costs.

A new Mohawk Odyssey is $998.00.
Shipping from Tennessee to Texas; probably less than $300.00?

Freedom Solo? Cost would likely be similiar to the Odyssey.

Buying used & taking a long, one day road trip to pick it up could be quite inexpensive; if you got lucky.

BOB

 
 
  Riverstrider's SRT with a load
  Posted by: eckilson on Jul-12-13 7:11 AM (EST)
..rides much higher in the water.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eckilson/8010812673/in/set-72157631592257478/
 
 
  Mohawk plant
  Posted by: Boyscout on Jul-14-13 6:15 AM (EST)
Have a solo 14 from the TN factory. I picked mine up on the way home from vacation. so cant say how much shipping would cost you. but the service was great. its worth asking if any blemish hulls are in stock. could save some on the cost of the Canoe. downside is you would have little if any choice in color. But at the same time they would start as soon as your order was placed. when looking to order a Freedom Solo I was told by two difirent places(close to HOME) that I may have to wait a while due to how Mad river prefers to make and ship several canoes at a time.(Had to drive 200 miles to get one that was in stock)
 
 
  so I've been told
  Posted by: melenas on Jul-11-13 10:55 PM (EST)
I don't think the person really knew, but there are flotation tanks. Maybe Fiberlar (was that the name?)
 
 
  The WF should work just fine
  Posted by: kayamedic on Jul-11-13 11:20 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jul-11-13 11:23 PM EST --

Plenty of 200 lbers have paddled it and it has eight inches of freeboard. Add another sixty and Archimedes dictates it wont sink much. Above 300 and you would feel you were paddling a log.

We have a whole bunch of Wilds here in the Adirondacks.. just leave the furniture behind and jettison the cooler.

What I find in fifteen footers on two week trips ( the boats are sometimes narrower than the Wild) is that there is at least two feet of unused space.

We're finishing up a weeklong canoe event . I suspect a few Wilds are off for short trips of 2-3 days in the Adirondacks. BTW Dan Cooke uses a WildFire for camping and he is not Cliff Jacobson sized. He is more normal six foot tall size.

 
 
  Tripping in a Wildfire
  Posted by: dancookeccs on Jul-15-13 5:58 PM (EST)
I have tripped in the BWCAW in a wildfire with all my gear plus a steel woodstove and hot tent. 230 me and 70 lbs. No problem. I often trip in my Flashfire. The Wildfire can hold more than you want to paddle. Everyone has different expectations so what I like you may find disagreeable.
 
 
  A few more Wildfire/Yellowstone pics
  Posted by: TommyC1 on Jul-12-13 6:15 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jul-12-13 6:17 AM EST --

From a 4 night Machias trip a few years back.

http://picasaweb.google.com/TommyC1Taylor/Machias20103rdLakeToWhitneyville#5468897084064199938

http://picasaweb.google.com/TommyC1Taylor/Machias20103rdLakeToWhitneyville#5468897628214680178

Before this trip I would NOT have recommended the Wildfire for what the OP is asking. Jeff and Erik have convinced me otherwise.

No the composite Wildfire is not the exact same boat as the royalex Wildfire/Yellowstone. It's a bit more lively and might require a tiny bit more skill to paddle effectively. Size and load bearing is pretty much the same between them.
I expect I'd be pretty happy using either as the OP describes.

 
 
  tandem prospector maybe?
  Posted by: franknc on Jul-12-13 8:18 AM (EST)
I think a prospector paddles really well solo with a big load and even then is great on rivers. Not the bst in the wind on lakes, but nothing beats a guideboat for that anyway.
 
 
  WF sold
  Posted by: melenas on Jul-12-13 10:07 AM (EST)
I knew it wouldn't last more than a day at less than $200 but I had an afternoon doctor's appointment yesterday and didn't want to make the drive the same day.
I'll know better next time. Maybe I should move to a northern state where there's more of a market for canoes!

 
 
  Less than $200!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jul-12-13 11:49 AM (EST)
For a Wildfire?

Never heard of such a price for a Wildfire -- the real composite ones or the later-named Yellowstone Royalex ones -- unless it was virtually trashed.

 
 
  sounds incredible, doesn't it
  Posted by: melenas on Jul-12-13 1:54 PM (EST)
but it's true.

The boat was stored outside and had UV chalking. The seat had been moved down into a sitting/kayak position to be paddled with a double blade. It was sitting on a
box epoxied to the bottom and was also epoxied to the sides.
 
 
  Some years ago a Flash hit craigslist
  Posted by: clarion on Jul-12-13 6:38 PM (EST)
in NY for $200. Anyone know who snagged it? I spoke with the seller minutes after it was gone. She had no idea what it was till it was sold.
 
 
  No.
  Posted by: mr_canoehead on Jul-16-13 1:30 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jul-16-13 1:33 PM EST --

I'm about your size and owned a Wildfire Rx for about 2 weeks. I sold it because while it held the weight, it was very unresponsive with that load. Bigger canoes are both faster and easier to turn, as the Wildfire pretty much holds her stems in the water with a good load.

I'd look at a larger canoe.

Oh, and someone mentioned the Mad River Freedom Solo. I had one of those (guide) and it was a fantastic all-purpose solo. Very responsive, if not fast, and very comfortable/predictable. Highly recommended.

 
 
  The question was about a WildFire
  Posted by: kayamedic on Jul-16-13 1:34 PM (EST)
The Rx version is NOT a WildFire. The former does have a skegged stern. The latter has symmetric rocker.

The name confusion comes from licensing agreements, but the bottom line is the ABS version is quite unlike the composite. Its less turny (skegged stern) and slower for sure.
 

Google
 
Web Paddling.net


Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.
Paddling.net Sweepstakes Shirt Sale