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First solo canoe and solo safety

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Thanks for that post Mike - good advice but more importantly, given that it’s now minus 10 Celsius outside with light snow, a good reminder of better things to come.
 
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I just came across a Wenonah Rendesvouz on Craigslist nearby. Asking $600, with whitewater rigging (floatbags, kneeling pads, d-rings). A quick search reveals that this is a pretty polarizing boat. It's definitely geared more towards whitewater/river touring than what I was originally thinking, but I think I'll take a look (and hopefully do a test paddle) nonetheless.
I'm not familiar with that boat but if the price is right and it is better than what you currently have it probably will be worthwhile.
 
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Do you know layup/weight? Could be a good first solo, and you shouldn't loose much or anything if you sell it in a year.
 
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Do you know layup/weight? Could be a good first solo, and you shouldn't loose much or anything if you sell it in a year.
Already sold. I did not learn the layup, but I did learn that people seem to much prefer the composite Rendesvouz to the Royalex version. Interesting.
 
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Agree that it would be a good idea to stop and see Dave at Hemlock canoe. We bought a used Eagle tandem from him and he allowed us to paddle it on a lake nearby first. I have one beloved solo, a Curtis Nomad, that I bought from his previous company back in the 90’s. The craftsmanship is very high quality. The Rendezvous has more rocker so a better river boat I would think. I owned one for about 3 minutes until I went to put it on the roof rack after I paid for it and found that it had rocker in the gunnels as well due to a build issue... The dealer took it back and I moved on. IMO Wenonahs lend themselves to a different style of paddling which isn’t as appealing to me. Rob
 
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A lot of good advice here. Mike eloquently speaks my mind.

I would just add to have a small ditch bag attached to your body that you never take off. It should have in it the very basics in case you lose your canoe and gear or lose yourself. It should include a compass, bic lighter, tinder, a large heavy duty garbage bag, whistle and tea bag. And of course, always carry a knife.

When solo especially, I pay attention to where I am relative to the river or lake. Look back often when collecting firewood or exploring for a sheltered tent site. Tell yourself a story about what you see as you are walking so you know where you have been.
 
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IMO Wenonahs lend themselves to a different style of paddling which isn’t as appealing to me. Rob
I've been trying to like Wenonahs but they just don't sit well with me. I think you nailed the reason.
 
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Agree that it would be a good idea to stop and see Dave at Hemlock canoe. We bought a used Eagle tandem from him and he allowed us to paddle it on a lake nearby first. I have one beloved solo, a Curtis Nomad, that I bought from his previous company back in the 90’s. The craftsmanship is very high quality. The Rendezvous has more rocker so a better river boat I would think. I owned one for about 3 minutes until I went to put it on the roof rack after I paid for it and found that it had rocker in the gunnels as well due to a build issue... The dealer took it back and I moved on. IMO Wenonahs lend themselves to a different style of paddling which isn’t as appealing to me. Rob
I talked to someone at Hemlock Canoes on the phone - I don't remember the name, but it might have been Dave. He had a few used solos in stock, but, alas, all were $2,700+. He also informed me that they would have to increase prices soon because of the increased price of petroleum and the fact that most resins are petroleum based. He did not seem happy to have to increase princes..
 

Zac

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I've always watched craigslist but in the last few years facebook marketplace has become quite popular in the states. I was recently introduced to a facebook group called North American Canoe Trader that has a surprising amount of listings posted.

IMO Wenonahs lend themselves to a different style of paddling which isn’t as appealing to me. Rob
Originally from the sit and switch camp here. I grew up paddling mostly on lakes in 36"+ wide flat bottomed tandems that performed more like your Penobscot and had no idea how squirrelly a sub-30" wide solo would feel the first few times sitting down in one, or how low the gunnels would be. Glad I test paddled before I bought something I wouldn't have enjoyed! Since then I've paddled a much larger variety of canoes, spent more time paddling solo, spent more time on moving water and taken to kneeling and heeling. Nowadays I want to add a long, somewhat narrower solo with a round bottom and some rocker to the collection, but it would have been the wrong boat for me when I was a dyed-in-the-wool tandem Wenonah paddler with only one other canoe. I still like to sit up higher whether kneeling or sitting and I still use a single bladed paddle so that rules the "pack" canoes out, for me.

Recent thread about solo open water self rescue
I have practiced this and it is not easy! I'm with the Pitts on this one, avoid those open water crossings and you'll never have to do this in deep water.
 
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Does anyone know what layup this is (based on seller's description, they're not super knowledgeable about it)? Weight expectations? 2001 Swift Osprey for sale near me.. Thoughts on the boat more generally?

The carpenter in me is a fan of the all wood sliding seat.

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I love bits of advice like this that, at least to me, are non-obvious but highly practical.

Another bit of advice that came from an elderly and experienced mycologist with whom I trained many, many years ago is the following:

If you find yourself lost, set your basket on the ground. Start walking ever widening circles around your basket, keeping it in sight. Within a few circles, you will see something you recognize.

(Mushroom hunters, who frequently carry baskets for their harvests, frequently wander quite a bit in the woods.) Lacking mushroom baskets, canoeists could always set down a pack, or tie a bright bandana to a limb, or...you get the picture.
 
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Another bit of advice that came from an elderly and experienced mycologist with whom I trained many, many years ago is the following:

If you find yourself lost, set your basket on the ground. Start walking ever widening circles around your basket, keeping it in sight. Within a few circles, you will see something you recognize.

(Mushroom hunters, who frequently carry baskets for their harvests, frequently wander quite a bit in the woods.) Lacking mushroom baskets, canoeists could always set down a pack, or tie a bright bandana to a limb, or...you get the picture.
Sounds like a good way for me to lose my basket!
 
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Does anyone know what layup this is (based on seller's description, they're not super knowledgeable about it)? Weight expectations? 2001 Swift Osprey for sale near me.. Thoughts on the boat more generally?

The carpenter in me is a fan of the all wood sliding seat.
Gets pretty good reviews.

 

Glenn MacGrady

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Does anyone know what layup this is (based on seller's description, they're not super knowledgeable about it)? Weight expectations? 2001 Swift Osprey for sale near me.. Thoughts on the boat more generally?

The Swift Osprey was a very popular solo canoe, maneuverable but also fairly fast. Naval architect John Winters, who was once Swift's primary designer, designed the Osprey to be his personal canoe. The Swiftech layup was the heaviest and strongest of Swift's three layups in 1998, but the Osprey in that layup still only weighed 50 lbs.

You can read about the Osprey and the Swift layups in this 1998 Swift catalogue:


This could be a very good canoe for someone who wants it.
 
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I have an older swift osprey that might be made out of the same material. Anyway, I like it a lot for lakes and rivers. Mine weighs mid-40's I'd guess, though it has aluminum and not wood gunwales.
 
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Just wanted to reiterate my thanks to everyone and let you all know that I purchased an Esquif Adirondack. I know it’s viewed by many as a reincarnation of the Old Town Pack not suited for 'serious' paddling. But after test paddling one, considering the cost of alternatives, and trying to be honest with myself about the kind of paddling I’m going to be doing 80+% of the time, I decided that it was a good choice for me.

I like that I can comfrotably alternate between sitting and kneeling, and the boat doesn’t track half bad, especially when heeled. I also have some Royalex loyalty - probably irrational for the kind of paddling I do - and Esquif’s T-Formex material checks that box.

Finally, the folks at Oak Orchard Canoes set me up with an ottertail paddle a bit longer than my tandem paddle that makes corrections a good bit easier when soloing. I also tested out a double-blade paddle, and man is that tempting, but I decided to hold off to give myself an incentive to improve my single-blade skills.

Happy paddling!
 
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