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My search for a 'tough', family/dog boat ended last night.

I went down to Canadice Lake with the Kee for Hemlock Canoe Works' Demo night. My plan was to try to run into a guy who gives solo lessons (he wasn't there) and try out some Cricket paddles.

I had tried out most of the Hemlock fleet at the ADK outdoor symposium at Mendon Ponds a few weeks earlier but my wife had just come off a surgery and couldn't paddle, so we didn't try any tandems.

Dave instantly recognized the Swift Keewaydin as a former Curtis evolution - a Northstar I think he said? Either way a DY boat. He told me the Eagle would paddle very similar to the Kee seen as how the Eagle was an evolution of the Northstar but it would glide a bit better.

We took the Eagle out for a spin and I was instantly comfortable in it. What a great boat. It felt just like the Swift but sturdier and more comfortable.

I then went out and struggled with it Solo for about 20 min :p It was very windy out on Canadice and once I managed to get it off the shoreline and pointed the right way, I made some headway. I still need a lot of work Solo and the boat could have used a tad bit of weight up front.

My wife really liked the Eagle as well and I reminded her that I had seen a used one for sale on the Hemlock website. This boat:

http://www.hemlockcanoe.com/images/used_&_demo/EG92.jpg

It is a Deluxe model in a Fiberglass layup. I queried Mr. Curtis about the toughness and ease of repair. He told me everything I wanted to hear, and that not many were interested in Fiberglass boats anymore - too heavy.

The Eagle we tried had the Conk double contoured seats, possibly the most comfortable I had sat in, so I requested the cane seats be replaced with those.

So it just happened I went to try some paddles, and wound up buying a boat. I didn't know it when I first looked but it is exactly what we wanted for a second canoe. Now I have to figure out how I am going to store it...:confused:
 
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Glenn MacGrady

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Good choice.

I like the protruding bows and sterns that Dave added to the Hemlock boats. They look nice. Plus they help the canoe rise over waves, and add water line length as more gear load is added to the boat, increasing the lwl/bwl ratio.

The Conk Comfort Contour Curve seat is indeed the most comfortable and practical wood seat that I have ever used. I have a 10" one for my Bell Wildfire and an 8" one for my Hemlock SRT (as a backup for my Deal bucket seat).

How are you going to paddle it solo? You could sit backward on a Conk bow seat, I suppose, but it wouldn't be all that comfortable. You might consider having Dave add an 8" Conk seat behind center as a third, solo seat. You could have him install it with wing nuts so you can easily remove it when you need the space for tandem paddling gear.
 
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I paddled the demo solo from the kneeling thwart. I am actually not planning on using this one for anything solo at the moment, I am putting a kneeling thwart in my Kee... the Kee is a bit easier to manhandle by myself than the Eagle.

We plan on mostly using the Eagle for recreational paddling or where portage is short or non-existent. Also for use with dog/kid passengers as it is stiff enough for people to move around in. We have the lighter, flimsy kevlar fish for long portage trips but I wanted something tougher.

I really like Dave's regular Kevlar layup. It feels ridiculously tough and is pretty light. It isn't as brittle as the UL kevlar boats they are selling now. I'd love to just have one of those but right now it just made sense to buy this used Glass boat - the price was good, it is a great hull and it is like new. My wife agreed so it was a no brainer ;)
 
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l'oiseau,

That's a pretty boat! I have heard that they paddle nicely... Where will the two of you paddle it?
I see Hemlock has quite a few other used boats for sale. Must be great for them to build boats for a living!
I am surprised at the weight of some of the glass boats, that Sawyer and the Mad River tandems would crush me on a long carry!!

So, I'm expecting to see some photos of it in action.
 
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Thanks! Yeah it looks pretty good for my beater ;)

All over I suppose. We can only take one at a time to the ADKs so it will depend on the carries. I suppose I'll use a bit around here as well. Not sure we will use it for tripping - maybe for an overnight or something like that.
 
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My Hemlock Peregrine probably could use a facelift. She has been thrown up on me and been dropped down cliffs in Temagami, whacked barnacles in Florida and rocks everywhere over the last seven years. Yet no damage to the hull save some hideous scratches on the gel coat. Just did another week long trip in La Verendrye.. all manner of canoe unfriendly environments.. being dragged through blowdowns ( no canoers or maintenance yet this year!)

But I am ashamed to take her in to LDC..who might readopt her. She has taken me many many places from Florida to Canada.
 
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Picked it up last night (both from Dave and on my back). Yikes. Those yoke pads have to go! They were more like a medieval torture device than a pad.
 
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