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Starting From Scratch: My Solo Canoe Shortlist

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    #61
    Originally posted by Jd4436 View Post
    Any thoughts on the Mad River 13' Serenade ?
    I had not seen this canoe while shopping. But if I had, I probably would have felt it was a bit shorter than I'd like. After having test paddled the Adirondack 13.6 and the Keewaydin 14, I do believe I prefer a longer canoe as others in this topic have suggested. But as with all boats, they are compromises and the best choice depends on many factors. Thus far, I am absolutely ecstatic with the performance of my Keewaydin 15.

    FWIW

    Jim

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      #62
      Alright - some amazing options here and as most folk indicate, get them in the water...thought I would jump in and see if I could take a new tack.

      I am looking to pick up a solo boat - American boats not really an option with exchange and little desire to do a cross border run.

      How about some comparisons? Nova Craft Fox 14'; Nova Craft Super Nova; Swift Keewaydin 15''; H2O 16/6; Souris River Solitude; Clipper Caribou S - differences between the shorter and broader Nova Crafts and narrower 16' boats? Some previous discussions above about hull speed, tracking and efficiency with respect to length and surface area got me thinking that maybe not as important when not racing at optimal speeds...

      Super Nova is an outlier here as more WW but any experience with it as a flatwater tripper as well? Similar to Pal or Bob's Special or strikingly different? How much does one lose in compromise with the smaller tandems? Width and stem height do appear to be a limiting factor.

      I am 215 lbs, 53, 30+ years paddling mostly tripping on flatwater in tandems, some solo WW courses, C1 flatwater training, comfortable on and in the water, kneeling, Canadian style paddler, not hit and switch or double blade, looking for challenge, efficiency and responsiveness rather than stable fishing platform and now looking to do solo fitness and tripping (2-7 days) - narrow flatwater, Canadian Shield - if buying used will likely look into a used solo WW boat too...seems one can never have too many boats.

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        #63
        You might want to start a new thread carpenter. I'll just say that given your desires for a responsive challenging boat I'd personally tell you to forget about tandems...I have two tandems that are much better than average for solo use but they don't touch true solos for efficiency and responsiveness. I'll also say that the Keewaydin 15 is a fine boat that I could be happy with as my only solo but at the same time I'd call it boring...stable, comfy and friendly for beginners and efficient for cruising but not even close to an Osprey for responsiveness. I haven't paddled most of the boats on your list but I would say that you should paddle an Osprey if you can...and it might be getting near the end of when you could still get one from Swift since they don't list it any more and they have shifted to tame boats that won't frighten beginners.

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          #64
          Originally posted by carpenter View Post
          Super Nova is an outlier here as more WW but any experience with it as a flatwater tripper as well? Similar to Pal or Bob's Special or strikingly different? How much does one lose in compromise with the smaller tandems? Width and stem height do appear to be a limiting factor.
          I didnt see it, but what type of paddling are you primarily looking to do? I have a pal, and i have paddled novacraft bobs, pal and supernova all on the same day, but with no weight in them. None of these boats are ideal as a lake to lake solo portage style boat in my opinion. I would love to own a supernova for solo river tripping up to class 3, but it is a deep round rockered hull that could be a bear to handle in the wind on a lake. The seat position is a little strange, again good for river travel but not quite right for paddling flat water in my opinion. The pal is ok as a solo, but quite nice as a tandem tripper with moderately light gear. I built a pal because I thought it might be the ideal compromise solo/tandem (if I could own just one canoe). The NC bobs is similar to the pal just a foot shorter, and seemed like maybe a better solo than the pal, but not quite as good as a tandem tripping canoe. The pal and bobs are wide canoes, so they are best paddled kneeling and leaned to one side. That's about all I know on these.

          Mark


          Last edited by dogbrain; 12-31-2019, 10:23 PM.

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            #65
            I have to ask....am I missing something here with the obsession with light boats? I am 61 now with a bad heart and I regularly portage 60 pound boats. I dont find it any great hardship. Yes we have a 40 pound Swift Mattawa but its my least favourite canoe to paddle, and that is what I spend most of my time doing...paddling.

            I dont tackle the larger royalex tandem stuff in the 70-80 pound range but 60 seems pretty reasonable. A 50 pound would be nice as I get older probably, and I am looking at building one.

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              #66
              Originally posted by Iskweo View Post
              I have to ask....am I missing something here with the obsession with light boats? I am 61 now with a bad heart and I regularly portage 60 pound boats. I dont find it any great hardship. Yes we have a 40 pound Swift Mattawa but its my least favourite canoe to paddle, and that is what I spend most of my time doing...paddling.

              I dont tackle the larger royalex tandem stuff in the 70-80 pound range but 60 seems pretty reasonable. A 50 pound would be nice as I get older probably, and I am looking at building one.
              We are wusses or spoiled. Your choice? Lightweight solos have been around a long time and my first solo boat from 1993 is heavy by todays solo boat standards. Its 38 lbs. I do like to single portage and I was so glad I had my 23 lb solo on the Moose RIver Bow trip locally. A 2.5 km hike over a mountain saddle. ( some 100 m elevation gain). For those who have done this trip it was done with the normal portage and its bog bridging flooded so I took the snowmobile trail.

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                #67
                Size of the paddler and normal load has a lot to do with paddling efficiency. I got a big boat that is better suited for someone weighing more than me. My thinking was the dog would add 50 lbs to my weight. However, as packs decrease in weight, it becomes tedious to keep trimmed, and any wind at all is amplified. I get much better results with a canoe a foot shorter and a smaller payload rating.

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