looking for a used solo canoe
Posted by: mattg on Feb-24-14 10:36 PM (EST) Category: Canoes
Hello all. I am where so many of you have been, and I'm looking for a bit of guidance. After a long summer of paddling a Penobscot 16 Rx, usually by myself, I accepted that I should be in a solo canoe. The Penobscot is destined to be that "first canoe" that I'll likely blather about in the future, so it will stay with me. But I'm 5'6", about 145 lbs, and a narrowish solo just sounds so much more appropriate than paddling a tandem heeled over all day every day, especially when I rarely even get out on the water over night.
For now, I've found that I really enjoy getting in any water I can find, often a little river near my home in Vermont. I will often get out for a few hours, paddling upstream until I can't because of time or skill or strength of riffles (really like messing around in the riffles and seeing how far I can navigate up them - hours can be spent on this), then paddling back down. Ponds and reservoirs aren't uncommon for me either, and the lake is nearby... I'm sure it will go much further than this - weekends, longer trips... faster water for sure.
I would definitely describe myself as a beginner, but a fast learner with a penchant for obsessing over my pastimes, and pretty athletic and adventurous. I'm getting to be OK with what I consider to be J and C strokes, but I'm sure that when I take lessons I'll realize otherwise. I like to kneel mostly, with a rest for my knees from time to time. Sit and switch is fine sometimes, but other paddling styles seem more interesting to me. Heeled over is fun...
So, after poking around and around in circles on the internet, I think I could be very happy with a 13-15' canoe, beam under 30", I'm guessing 1.5+" rocker, acceleration and nimbleness trumping top speed and initial stability... I could go on, but I'll stop. Oh, no rock bashing yet, and I'm handy and like to work on the things I us, and I like to go on the light side, so maybe a stronger kevlar layup? I dream of a wildfire or something of that sort, but many do, and I'm sure that there are other more reasonable options. And if my barn full of skis is any indication, there will be more than one solo canoe - I just need a reasonable starting point, not perfection.
Suggestions? Advice on where to look for a used boat? I don't see a lot advertised locally. Thanks for reading my life story.
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right now I did a search |
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-24-14 10:51 PM (EST)
on www.searchtempest.com and did not find anything currenly for sale with your parameters. That is not to say that your request is invalid.. just watch that website. Its a a composite of several search engines.
Posted by: mattg on Feb-25-14 10:32 AM (EST)
I didn't know about that site. I will watch it closely.
used intermediate sized solo|
Posted by: CEWilson on Feb-25-14 10:15 AM (EST)
I have a comprehensive listing of solo boat dimensions, in production and "heritage", that may help on the search. email firstname.lastname@example.org for an electronic copy.
In the classifieds right here|
Posted by: TommyC1 on Feb-25-14 11:00 AM (EST)
there is a Wenonah Rendezvous kevlar in Vermont.
Rendezvous likes to be|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-25-14 11:03 AM (EST)
upright. Heeled over its a bit ......iffy. The hull shape is widest low. However its a boat to consider.
Posted by: rblturtle on Feb-25-14 11:38 AM (EST)
I agree with those who recomend a narrower canoe. I would add shorter also. A Flashfire ,if you could find one would probibly be the ultimate. I think most solo paddlers paddle too big a boat.I have perswaded many solo paddlers to try smaller boats and they like them. At your size/weight you could go even smaller than a Flash,but that's slim pikkin's in that size range. also almost all the solo padlers I know started with a hard tracking boat before they knew how to make it go straight,and then later wish for a boat that will manover easier.
different for composite|
Posted by: c2g on Feb-25-14 4:46 PM (EST)
Your description is correct for the Royalex version. The composite version has the bubble significantly higher up the side and is a much more responsive boat. I would never own another royalex version, but would be happy to get my hands on a composite one.
I was actually thinking of|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-25-14 5:16 PM (EST)
a FreeStyle student who wanted to heel his composite Rendezvous to the rail.
might wanna check out where Dave|
Posted by: bigspencer on Feb-26-14 9:03 AM (EST)
LDC has been|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-26-14 9:32 AM (EST)
at all the Western PA Solo Canoe Rendezvous in the past so I expect he will be there again, along with others in the industry like Charlie Wilson and Dave Yost
Posted by: mattg on Feb-26-14 10:46 PM (EST)
This is great! Thank you to all who have replied. It's refreshing to see my interest mirrored back and amplified so sincerely.
Yep, Flashfire would match your desires|
Posted by: Yanoer on Feb-27-14 12:39 AM (EST)
for nimble, sporty and a vehicle for skills development.
Posted by: rblturtle on Feb-27-14 6:54 AM (EST)
I also have a Mohawk solo 13. They are more common and cheaper than Flashfires. A little wider,slower,and less responsive and refined than a Flash,but a good,fun paddle.I use mine a lot for creeks and such. They were only made in Royalex/Royalite. My Royalite one is app 38#. I beleve they have been used for freestyle student loaners.
An answer and a lament|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Feb-28-14 3:38 PM (EST)
Posted by: c2g on Feb-28-14 7:24 PM (EST)
You might want to take a look at the Millbrook boats website and see if anything catches your eye. I was thinking their 13' solo might be a possibility for you. It would be a new boat, not a used one, but the prices are a lot better than the competition.
Sub 30" and maybe 13-14'ish|
Posted by: mattg on Feb-28-14 11:42 PM (EST)
...sounds right to me the more I look around and read comments. Like I said, kneeling, 5'6" with particularly short legs. Mohawk sure does have the price down to a pretty amazing level, but at this point waiting for something a bit narrower makes sense to me. And I would like to try composite.
"The Fade" Not True|
Posted by: CEWilson on Mar-01-14 2:51 PM (EST)
Not entirely clear on your point|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Mar-01-14 4:00 PM (EST)
The Placid Spitfire and Rapidfire are undecked kayaks designed to be double bladed from a bottom seat. They are not the kind of solo kneeling canoes for use with a single blade about which the OP is asking. Yeah, I know, some advanced paddlers CAN kneel and single blade a Placid boat, but let's be serious about the primary design intent of those "pack" hulls, which is not that.
Posted by: CEWilson on Mar-01-14 4:36 PM (EST)
Posted by: yknpdlr on Mar-01-14 5:11 PM (EST)
Posted by: snowgoose.skipper on Mar-03-14 4:06 AM (EST)
Posted by: rblturtle on Mar-03-14 12:26 PM (EST)
This reminds me of kayak people that come to my annual solo Canoeapoluza to get introduced to solo canoes,and say they will switch to a dubble blade pack type canoe so they will now be paddling a canoe?
Posted by: CEWilson on Mar-03-14 1:03 PM (EST)
Posted by: rblturtle on Mar-03-14 4:19 PM (EST)
Actually, I was seriously considering a Rapidfire set up for kneeling when I bought my Kestrel as they seemed extremly similar. I have never seen or paddled a kneeling Rapid,but would like to. I was refering to sit on the bottom boats being considered the same as kneeling canoes. To me there is a world of difference. Around here we have a continous,frendly light side/dark side interchange in which I encourage people to try single bladekneeling solo paddling-hence my annual event. Different strokes.
Turtle you aren't making the distinction|
Posted by: kayamedic on Mar-03-14 5:01 PM (EST)
between hull shape and outfitting.
Posted by: rblturtle on Mar-04-14 6:51 AM (EST)
With different outfitting the same boat can suit different paddling position preferences.I sold my high seat Savage River Wee Lassie to a gentelmen who couldn't get comfortable with the high seat and I switched it to a Kayak seat for him. I was atempting to respond to the original poster who wanted a boat with a high seat. This would limit his choices to boats built that way unless he wanted to modify it. I think the prefered paddling position should be the first factor in chosing a solo boat. For me, it's a very different experience. Also ,for me, when I paddled a Placid Spitfire(a great boat),I could close my eyes and be in a kayak. the definition of a "canoe" or "kayak" can be fuzzy,but one could consider pack type canoes funtionally,open kayaks.I try to encourage newbes to explore all the different positions.
Just to be clear...|
Posted by: mattg on Mar-04-14 11:03 AM (EST)
...I didn't intend to imply that I want a high seat. I always imagine that a sloped seat would be ideal for kneeling. Maybe fitting size 9.5 feet under makes it a high seat? I'm not sure what qualifies.
"high" is relative|
Posted by: pblanc on Mar-04-14 12:06 PM (EST)
Placid high seats|
Posted by: yknpdlr on Mar-04-14 4:34 PM (EST)
Yes, the term "high seat" is very relative. Placidboats offers 3 different bottom mounted molded seats, low, medium and "high". The medium and high will fit over the permanently mounted low seat. I have all three of those. But I wanted something higher for single blade paddling. Joe removed the glued-in low floor mounted seat for me, and installed the highest rail mounted seat he had, which is minimally higher than the "high" floor mounted seat. But it also has a forward pitch tilt, which is more optimum for racing. With that my back does not touch the backrest at all, which is fine with me. I do wish I had an even "higher" seat for even better maneuverability with a single blade. I am tempted to go back to see Joe with my request for a new boat with reinforcement to support a gunwale hung "high" seat.
Posted by: windwalker on Mar-04-14 7:13 AM (EST)
a really nice Curtis Nomad in the classifieds. ;-) I know, shameless plug...
Fitting a Canoe|
Posted by: CEWilson on Mar-04-14 12:36 PM (EST)
"Fitting" into a kneeling canoe should include the sitz bones comfortably on the seat and the knees comfortably spread into the chines. Folks with shorter legs need narrower boats, but seat height and kneepad thickness can be adjusted to improve fit. This can be overdone; a smallish paddler packed into a boat too wide to allow a vertical paddleshaft. Folk with longer thighs can raise the seat in an overly narrow boat to the pint their CG is too high for stability allowed with a relatively narrow knee stance. Either way, the feet need clear the seat pretty easily.
solo canoe thoughts|
Posted by: jessesouza on Mar-04-14 2:54 PM (EST)
I am not an expert, I am puny, just ask CE Wilson. My Placid Rapidfire is an amazing boat. I single blade with it on a sliding seat, there is enough room for me to kneel as well, I double paddle it too. This boat has handled rougher waters than I should have been in. It is stable but will turn easily with a slight lean. Think about a new one. Mine was "used" after one season in my rough rocky mountain area waters. It's a well built, tough boat...jesse