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Introduction from upstate/Adirondacks NY

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Hello; new to this site and have already gotten alot of good info from members by reading pots. Looks like a great community.
I'm relative new to paddling; five years on the water after retiring and stumbling into pack canoes. Use a double paddle but am trying to learn single with a 48" wooden Foxworx. With family in Lake George, I use that as my starting point for alot of day paddles in the southern Adirondacks plus any water around the Albany area. Pretty much solo since it gives me flexibility and I value the solitude.
When I started it wasn't difficult to find reasonably priced used pack canoes if you paid attention. Owned/paddled following canoes for a season each: Slipstream Wee Lassie, Slipstream Impulse 13, Placid Shadow, Placid Rapidfire. The Shadow was like landing on another planet, challenged the hell out of me and sure opened my eyes to what hull designs were all about (not that I claim a full understanding). Loved that Shadow but since I didn't see a 90 Miler anytime in my future I was able to sell it this spring and score a demo Rapidfire, which is better suited to me. This spring I ordered my first new boat, a Adirondack Canoe Boreas, 14' carbon/kevlar w cherry gunnels; builder worked for Hornbeck for years and is a one man shop. Not the fit/finish of a Placid or Swift, but still a nice boat and a great switch up with the Rapidfire.
I love spending all the time I can on the water even if it's just running up to the local state park to take an hour stretch. Bought a semi dry suit so I was able to get on the water mid March this year and plan to stretch the season as long as I can.
So now I'd like to impose with a question. I am seriously thinking about a Northstar Firebird pack style. I've seen a few Nstars around and am really impressed with the quality, design philosophy and all the info they put out on their videos. Unfortunately, it is completely impossible to find one to demo. I'd be using it strictly on rivers and streams. I was wondering if anyone here has ever paddled this setup and can comment.
Thanks; I'm sure I'll be spending alot of time here.
 
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I second Bill's comment. Contocook Canoe in NH is a dealer as well as the several Mountainmans and Lake George Canoe and Kayak. Contocook isn't that horrid a drive from you.
Welcome but did you kill Larry?
 
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Welcome fellow Adirondacker..... I wsh I knew you had a Shadow for sale earlier. I've demo paddled one and liked it. I firmly beleive that Joe created the Shadow for one main purpose. That is to beat his previous solo-rec class fast boat in 90 mile race, the RapidFire. I have an earlier RF, and was dismayed more than one race year to see him lead a drafting chaiin of as many as 5 Shadows , all being paddled by his shop staff. Withthin the first mile from the start, they blew away everyone who previosly had bought a RapidFire from him. I asked him about a new Shadow last month. Unfortunately, he is taking orders now that won't be filled until next September, too late to train for the race that month.
 
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I second Bill's comment. Contocook Canoe in NH is a dealer as well as the several Mountainmans and Lake George Canoe and Kayak. Contocook isn't that horrid a drive from you.
Welcome but did you kill Larry?
Unfortunately none of the dealers I've spoken to (Lk George, Mountainman, Raquette Lake) have this on order - Firebird as a pack is an oddball item that none of them would normally stock. At this point they can't add anything to their spring or summer orders or even change layups on their Nov orders. Not surprising given the tight market, I guess. One dealer told me that Nstar warned them not to sell their rental canoes because they couldn't replace them. So I'd have to order off the spring allocations pretty soon or even those will disappear. I might call Contocook just to see what they say anyway.
So it's looking as though it could come down to a leap of faith or just wait for something else to pop up.
 
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Welcome fellow Adirondacker..... I wsh I knew you had a Shadow for sale earlier. I've demo paddled one and liked it. I firmly beleive that Joe created the Shadow for one main purpose. That is to beat his previous solo-rec class fast boat in 90 mile race, the RapidFire. I have an earlier RF, and was dismayed more than race year to see him lead a drafting chaiin of as many as 5 Shadows , all being paddled by his shop staff. Withthin the first mile from the start, they blew away everyone who previosly had bought a RapidFire from him. I asked him about a new Shadow last month. Unfortunately, he is taking orders now that won't be filled until next September, too late to train for the race that month.
Well the Shadow is a great boat alright. I had it on Craigs this spring and it just sat there for a month. Then all of a sudden three people wanted it; could probably have started a bidding war but I would never do that. I had originally bought it from an employee who paddled in the 90 - I wonder if he was one of the five. It was way out of my comfort zone - in a good way. When I was there in March for a minor repair Joe was backed up til Sept, not surprised it's a year now.
 
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Hello; new to this site and have already gotten alot of good info from members by reading pots. Looks like a great community.
I'm relative new to paddling; five years on the water after retiring and stumbling into pack canoes. Use a double paddle but am trying to learn single with a 48" wooden Foxworx. With family in Lake George, I use that as my starting point for alot of day paddles in the southern Adirondacks plus any water around the Albany area. Pretty much solo since it gives me flexibility and I value the solitude.
When I started it wasn't difficult to find reasonably priced used pack canoes if you paid attention. Owned/paddled following canoes for a season each: Slipstream Wee Lassie, Slipstream Impulse 13, Placid Shadow, Placid Rapidfire. The Shadow was like landing on another planet, challenged the hell out of me and sure opened my eyes to what hull designs were all about (not that I claim a full understanding). Loved that Shadow but since I didn't see a 90 Miler anytime in my future I was able to sell it this spring and score a demo Rapidfire, which is better suited to me. This spring I ordered my first new boat, a Adirondack Canoe Boreas, 14' carbon/kevlar w cherry gunnels; builder worked for Hornbeck for years and is a one man shop. Not the fit/finish of a Placid or Swift, but still a nice boat and a great switch up with the Rapidfire.
I love spending all the time I can on the water even if it's just running up to the local state park to take an hour stretch. Bought a semi dry suit so I was able to get on the water mid March this year and plan to stretch the season as long as I can.
So now I'd like to impose with a question. I am seriously thinking about a Northstar Firebird pack style. I've seen a few Nstars around and am really impressed with the quality, design philosophy and all the info they put out on their videos. Unfortunately, it is completely impossible to find one to demo. I'd be using it strictly on rivers and streams. I was wondering if anyone here has ever paddled this setup and can comment.
Thanks; I'm sure I'll be spending alot of time here.
Greetings CurlyMoe-
I see you have a Boreas. I recently ordered one… it will hopefully be ready this May. Are you still content with the boat? Anything you can tell me about your overall experience and take on the canoe? It would be much appreciated… I hope to do some solo trips with mine in the Dacks.

Thank you
DT
 
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Hey. Yes, very satisfied. Having owned a Slipstream Impulse 13 in the past I appreciate the added stiffness in the Boreas due to the foam in the bottom. I don't use it for camping but have heard good things from people who use it for that. It doesn't have the sophisticated hull design of my Rapidfire, but I find myself using the two boats equally. The only niggling issue I would mention is the wood treatment. My understanding is that the gunnels were treated with two coats linseed oil/turpentine; black mold appeared very quickly (maybe just a random problem?). I cleaned them up best I could and used several coats of 100% tung oil/mineral spirits in various ratios. The tung oil needs a few weeks to cure properly, but I had the other boat to use in the mean time. Haven't had mold problems since but I wish I'd done it earlier to keep the wood a little prettier.
I understand Chad has recently relocated his production to the respected Essex Industries in Mineville; is that where you are picking it up? I've been wanting to drive up and see the operation; very cool move on Chad's part.
Very happy with the Boreas and have been out for a couple of brief stretches this spring. Good luck!
 

Glenn MacGrady

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The only niggling issue I would mention is the wood treatment. My understanding is that the gunnels were treated with two coats linseed oil/turpentine; black mold appeared very quickly (maybe just a random problem?). I cleaned them up best I could and used several coats of 100% tung oil/mineral spirits in various ratios. The tung oil needs a few weeks to cure properly, but I had the other boat to use in the mean time. Haven't had mold problems since but I wish I'd done it earlier to keep the wood a little prettier.

Woodworkers do not recommend BLO for the outdoors specifically because it attracts mold quickly and is not particularly waterproof. Tung oil is preferable because it doesn't attract mold, is more rot resistant, and is much more waterproof. Good decision to go with tung on gunwales if you don't varnish them.

Despite this, lots of paddlers and paddle makers use BLO on wood paddles. That's not so bad because a paddle can be wiped off after every use and be stored dry. It's not really possible to dry off wood gunwales and the spaces in between them and the hull where mold can hide and grow.
 
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Woodworkers do not recommend BLO for the outdoors specifically because it attracts mold quickly and is not particularly waterproof. Tung oil is preferable because it doesn't attract mold, is more rot resistant, and is much more waterproof. Good decision to go with tung on gunwales if you don't varnish them.

Despite this, lots of paddlers and paddle makers use BLO on wood paddles. That's not so bad because a paddle can be wiped off after every use and be stored dry. It's not really possible to dry off wood gunwales and the spaces in between them and the hull where mold can hide and grow.
When I inherited my grandpa's hand tools and hardware collection it included several cans of BLO which he apparently used on everything around the homestead in VT. It wasn't until I dug into it that I realized it wasn't the greatest thing for gunnels even though alot of people have longstanding recipes using it. If I had a whole bunch (gaggle?) of canoes I might opt for varnish, but I do like the feel and look of oil.
 
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Hey. Yes, very satisfied. Having owned a Slipstream Impulse 13 in the past I appreciate the added stiffness in the Boreas due to the foam in the bottom. I don't use it for camping but have heard good things from people who use it for that. It doesn't have the sophisticated hull design of my Rapidfire, but I find myself using the two boats equally. The only niggling issue I would mention is the wood treatment. My understanding is that the gunnels were treated with two coats linseed oil/turpentine; black mold appeared very quickly (maybe just a random problem?). I cleaned them up best I could and used several coats of 100% tung oil/mineral spirits in various ratios. The tung oil needs a few weeks to cure properly, but I had the other boat to use in the mean time. Haven't had mold problems since but I wish I'd done it earlier to keep the wood a little prettier.
I understand Chad has recently relocated his production to the respected Essex Industries in Mineville; is that where you are picking it up? I've been wanting to drive up and see the operation; very cool move on Chad's part.
Very happy with the Boreas and have been out for a couple of brief stretches this spring. Good luck!
Thank you very much… that is good to know. Especially since I just sanded the varnish off the paddle I just received and rubbed many coats of flax seed oil into the bare areas. I will then likely treat the gunwales with tung oil when I pick up the canoe. As to your question about where I will be picking up the boat, I believe it will be at the new facility. My hope is that the canoe will be ready mid May. Chad mentioned they had several orders ahead when I placed it in the first week of March. I choose the upper boreas with the traditional seat. I agree wholeheartedly about their decision to combine efforts with Essex Industries. I think it is a great concept.

Appreciate everyone’s warm welcome to the forum and the useful information!
 
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Unfortunately none of the dealers I've spoken to (Lk George, Mountainman, Raquette Lake) have this on order - Firebird as a pack is an oddball item that none of them would normally stock. At this point they can't add anything to their spring or summer orders or even change layups on their Nov orders. Not surprising given the tight market, I guess. One dealer told me that Nstar warned them not to sell their rental canoes because they couldn't replace them. So I'd have to order off the spring allocations pretty soon or even those will disappear. I might call Contocook just to see what they say anyway.
So it's looking as though it could come down to a leap of faith or just wait for something else to pop up.
Contoocook Canoe is literally down the road from my house, I pass it daily. Looking at their website the Firebird isn't listed:

http://www.contoocookcanoe.com/northstarcanoe

But it might be worth a call to them to see if it's something they could order. 603-753-9804. Although I don't go to that shop for personal reasons they do a lot of business.

dougd
 
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Contoocook Canoe is literally down the road from my house, I pass it daily. Looking at their website the Firebird isn't listed:

http://www.contoocookcanoe.com/northstarcanoe

But it might be worth a call to them to see if it's something they could order. 603-753-9804. Although I don't go to that shop for personal reasons they do a lot of business.

dougd
After talking to the folks at Nstar in Nov, I decided to take a leap of faith and order the Firebird pack. Raquette River had one in their spring allocation and were able to revise the configuration for me. Hopefully will be seeing it mid-May.
 
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After talking to the folks at Nstar in Nov, I decided to take a leap of faith and order the Firebird pack. Raquette River had one in their spring allocation and were able to revise the configuration for me. Hopefully will be seeing it mid-May.
Good luck!
 
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Hello! My family has taken many summer vacations to Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George. My Great Aunt Laura was the first to do so, when she was 18 in 1905. My grandparents’ ashes are spread in the garden at the chapel there on campus.

It’s a bit of a trip for my family, living in Florida. You are lucky to live in the area, there are numerous excellent makers up that way! Can’t wait to hear how you police the Firebird. I should be receiving a Phoenix in November. 🤞
 
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Yes, stayed at Silver Bay a couple of times years ago. One of my favorite places to noodle around and fish for an afternoon is up the mountain at Jabe Pond. The Firebird will probably first get wet on the Schroon River. Was looking at the Phoenix also, but decided that with this boat I'd make it my mission to search out as many small rivers and creeks as I can. Getting the Boreas out tomorrow to stretch my limbs and looking forward to a nice season. Hope your Phoenix shows up early!
 
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Yes, stayed at Silver Bay a couple of times years ago. One of my favorite places to noodle around and fish for an afternoon is up the mountain at Jabe Pond. The Firebird will probably first get wet on the Schroon River. Was looking at the Phoenix also, but decided that with this boat I'd make it my mission to search out as many small rivers and creeks as I can. Getting the Boreas out tomorrow to stretch my limbs and looking forward to a nice season. Hope your Phoenix shows up early!
Jabe is gorgeous. Many fond memories hiking up to it from SB as a kid. Rode a mountain bike on some of those fire roads around to the west side of Tongue Mtn one year in college too. Some of my earliest memories canoeing were in the SB aluminum canoes on Lake George. Learned to sail there on a cat yak no. 13 and later learned to sail sunfish and lasers. I missed the bell they used to ring for meals and etc. I was last there summer of 2019 with my kids.

I was really on the fence about boats, wanting a smaller boat for little twisty Florida streams and spring runs. But I’m 225 or so and that seems to really push me into the larger boats.
 
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Curlymoe,
I'm late to the party, apparently...welcome to the forum.
From the sounds of it, you're somewhere near me, my address says Schenectady but my tax bill says Colonie.
Any specific ADK paddling plans for this season?
Silver Bay? I volunteered to chaperone a class trip there when my son was, uhmm, 13?(he's 32 now) Spent a week there...that was my first ever exposure as an adult to massive numbers of tweens, what an eye opener!!
And Jabe Pond, man, I haven't paddled there in a long time, I guess it's time for a return.
I just looked back on my photos, last time at Jabe was 2008!! I guess I definitely need to go back.

Here's a link to some pics with MDB and I (My Darling Bride):


And a teaser photo...apologies for the kayak, she's since switched to a Swift pack boat

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