River Tripping boat choice?
Posted by: Wanderer on May-23-14 11:25 AM (EST)
I paddle mostly in Texas and Arrkansas. We also paddle a yearly long trip. Our rivers are alomost always low water shallow rock gardens with drops up to 4 feet.
I have been paddling a Mad River Legend 15 for years that I sometimes solo. It has worked for me but it is a pig in the flats and doesn't have enough capacity as a solo boat. I LOVE the way it turns though.
I want a big boat Royalex boat that can turn and carry two people and gear for a week. I'd prefer it wasn't too bad in the flats and can still take a drop.
I know it needs to be a durable jack of all trades. I'm looking at an Equif Cayone 16.5 or a Bell Alaskan.
Does anyone have experience with these boats or can they make a recommendation?
Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:
- River Tripping boat choice? - Wanderer - May-23-14 11:25 AM
Nova Craft Prospector|
Posted by: cycle003 on May-23-14 4:08 PM (EST)
I just got a Nova Craft Prospector 17 in Royalex, and I think it would fit the bill for you. It's maneuverable, rugged and roomy.
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nova craft Prospecter |
Posted by: redrocket on May-23-14 5:56 PM (EST)
I second that. Hear Hear!
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Maybe there's an Old Town Tripper still |
Posted by: ezwater on May-24-14 2:56 PM (EST)
available, even though the Royalex supply is drying up.
We had a Tripper for several years, and it was a wonderful river tripper. Heavy, yes, but for the gravel bars, just drag it. And the Tripper can handle whitewater about as well as near any tandem.
I wouldn't put much emphasis on speed for river tripping, unless you are traveling huge rivers like the McKensie. As long as you get some help from the current, give away speed for handling.
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Posted by: kayamedic on May-24-14 9:55 PM (EST)
is the choice for many Maine paddlers solo or tandem.
Of course many Maine paddlers also are polers. The Tripper handles that quite well.
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Nova Craft Moisie|
Posted by: pblanc on May-26-14 1:43 PM (EST)
I am a bit confused by your comment that the 15' Legend (which is quite full in the ends) does not have enough capacity as a solo boat.
I assume you are looking for a boat minimally 16' long. Certainly a 16' or 17' Prospector is worthy of consideration and I like Nova Craft's Royalex Prospector the best.
Esquif also makes, or made, a 16' (well 15' 11") and a 17' Royalex Prospecteur that turns even better than a Nova Craft Prospecteur. I have not paddled the longer one but have paddled the shorter one which has 4 1/2" of rocker bow and stern. The longer version still has a healthy 3 1/2" of rocker front and back.
The Old Town Tripper is certainly a good option if you can find one. Good luck with that.
Another consideration would be the Nova Craft Moisie (16' 6") which is the reincarnation of the old Blue Hole Starburst. The Blue Hole Starburst and the Dagger Dimension (long out of production) were two of the most acclaimed whitewater tandem Royalex tripping boats ever.
Another boat which I have only seen but not paddled, but which I believe would have real potential is the Two Brothers Arkota.
But you might not be able to find a Royalex river tripper new or used within a reasonable time frame. Royalex production ceased for good at the beginning of last month and manufacturers who did not preorder sheet for this year may not have been able to produce any boats at all. Makers who did are probably selling out their inventory as we speak.
Esquif canoe (which makes the Prospecteurs) is working on an alternative material to Royalex (T-Formex) which they may get into production for 2015. If you can't find a Royalex boat you might consider an Esquif Mistral (16') in Twin-Tex. The problem with Twin-Tex is that it is not easily repairable if cracked and generally requires factory repair or replacement.
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Strictly a solo boat|
Posted by: kayamedic on May-26-14 2:47 PM (EST)
I've used my Swift Raven for long distance river hauling. It's a big tough solo. It has been used (not) by me on multi month expeditions. I've been on two week long trips. It's quite dry even in big big wave trains
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Posted by: fatelmo on Jun-11-14 12:30 PM (EST)
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I think you're right about most Royalex|
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-09-14 9:07 AM (EST)
being a bit piggy.
But be careful what you say about rocker. A lotta rocker is bad for that kind of trip. Some carefully planned rocker can leave a river canoe both fast and pleasantly agile. John Winters has offered a recent 18.5 fast cruiser that has considerable rocker. And there's the Wenonah Itasca.
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