Swift Keewaydin 15 vs Hemlock

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icedragonmx's post about the first paddle of the year - and pictures of the Swift Keewaydin reminds me that there have been some comments about that boat in comparison to Hemlock boats, I believe the Peregrine and Kestral. Would anyone (YC, perhaps?) care to comment on the handling characteristics of each?

Thanks.
 
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Don't harsh my vibe man! I'm already in love with his boat. Let me dream just a little longer.
 
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Best one to comment on that might be DY... of course he might be a bit biased.

From what I'm told the Kee is a much higher volume boat. I think it is made to fit a wider variety of people and sitting paddlers vs. the falcons, which were designed to be kneeling solo trippers.

Much of my information is biased because it comes from the Hemlock boys and girls. When I was looking for a solo I wanted the smallest boat that could handle me and my load. I found out that I can dunk the bow a kestrel pretty easily (if I lean forward) and I can't do that with a peregrine. Once I'm in and kneeling a kestrel is like a kart - if I were a bit lighter or more agile at getting in and out, I'd have one. Anyway I knew a peregrine would handle my weight, and it already felt wide-ish to me for kneeling, so I wasn't going to go any larger. The kee is bigger. Fine if you are sitting or taller.

I'm 5'-10" BTW, 31" inseam.

I'm sure the handling of the boat is fine. I found the handling of the peregrine fine compared to the kestrel I just had to use my weight more. I'm not strong enough to wheel it around hard just by brute force paddling, the kestrel I can.

Seems the spinny guys like the short, narrow boat too. Probably not because they could muscle it if they wanted, but because it will respond all that much more to weight shift and paddle position. They are quite eloquent in the hands of a skilled spinner.

Some spinners like those wide boats too... I assume because the can just ride them with the stems out of the water all heeled over. With those fat bubble sides on the kee I'd assume it would roll right over like an Eaglet and spin like a top if you wanted it to.

I'm not a spinner though. I prefer to go straight and only whip 180's if I'm approaching a water fall.
 
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Falcons are flatbottomedish. With sticky stems Kee is looser and bigger DY basically designed the base from which the Falcons came from. Kee is a more modern design. You might surmise DY has gotten smarter over the years.

Try all of them. I'm out off of the forum babble to go canoeing for some time and will not likely engage further.
 
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Best one to comment on that might be DY... of course he might be a bit biased.

From what I'm told the Kee is a much higher volume boat. I think it is made to fit a wider variety of people and sitting paddlers vs. the falcons, which were designed to be kneeling solo trippers.

OK, that's enough for me, since I have a Peregrine and I'm a kneeler.

Much of my information is biased because it comes from the Hemlock boys and girls. When I was looking for a solo I wanted the smallest boat that could handle me and my load. I found out that I can dunk the bow a kestrel pretty easily (if I lean forward) and I can't do that with a peregrine. Once I'm in and kneeling a kestrel is like a kart - if I were a bit lighter or more agile at getting in and out, I'd have one. Anyway I knew a peregrine would handle my weight, and it already felt wide-ish to me for kneeling, so I wasn't going to go any larger. The kee is bigger. Fine if you are sitting or taller.

I'm 5'-10" BTW, 31" inseam.

I'm the same size as you. The Peregrine is about the same width as the WildFire, which I find fits me to a T.

I prefer to go straight and only whip 180's if I'm approaching a water fall.

No no no! Don't spin around - backferry! You can have a good backferry going before you can get your boat turned around to face upstream. It's a much safer maneuver. IMO, it's the single most important tool in the river paddler's toolbox.
 
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I'm not sure how much translates over in the keewaydin series except for quoted numbers on paper but my kee 16 is flat bottomed. It doesn't really have any rocker to speak of, except in the sales brochure.

On the water it surely can be felt compared to an Eagle, which is a very similar boat IMO except of the some slight details... my observations between my two boats:

- stern is slightly looser on an Eagle. Kee likes to be steered from the front. This can be a nuisance in wind because what I've found is the bow catches more wind than the stern due to the asym sheer and causes it to wander. It requires an attentive bow paddler who can make slight corrections. Correcting this phenomena from the stern in the Kee is very tiring - same side paddling is a workaround as well. The symmetry of the Eagle and looser stern makes this easier to work with. An Eagle will still handle horribly if the trim is off in a windy situation... it's not immune, it's just easier.

- the Eagle IS a faster boat. Argue all you want. It's just a tick faster in all cases.

Also if you want to prove yourself the rocker/camber in a falcon. Set it in calm water unloaded. You'll see plenty of light under the bow and stern.

It is sticky, I won't argue that. I find when railing around a corner and trying to keep speed I can feel the 'stick' point when heeling a bit. After that it skids. It's a strange feeling. The smaller kestrel probably does it too but with a heavy load like me in there my guess is it doesn't dip out as abruptly when heeled. I'm also guessing I wouldn't lean a smaller boat the same as the larger and it feels to me I can muscle it more with my paddle. With a light paddler it may in fact feel the same as the peregrine does to a larger paddler.
 
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Hull widths;

Mr Yost's Nomad, DragonFly and FlashFire, and the Peregrine that was taken from Nomad are all 28.5" wide. Bell's Merlin II was 29" and Swift's Kee 15 is 29.5. I find these facts difficult to resolve with the opinions above. The increasing width of Mr Yost's solo trippers reflects the success of McDonald's "Super Size" campaign. Solo paddlers are getting heavier. Further, there is some difference in waterline width's; shouldered tumblehome results in tighter waterline widths than bubble sides of the same overall/max width.

Tracking is mostly a function of block coefficient, and calculating/measuring minor differences between these hulls would take time. It i useful to remember the second factor in tracking is paddling technique. Carrying the blade aft of the body always yields a fine view of all four corners of the lake.

If one is wide enough in the shoulder to stack hands across the rail, more recent subtle changes in design probably allow his more recent hulls to track as well as the older ones. If one is long enough in the leg to plant knees in the chines, the more recent, wider hulls will spin more easily because heeling the wider hull lifts the stems higher. For moderate heels the newer stepped bow rocker, intended to increase speed, will clear more readily, enhancing skidded turns.

Discussion of comparative handling, speed and dimensions of Yost's Curtis NorthStar/Hemlock Eagle and Swift Kee 16 seem to have little basis in fact. Certainly the Kee 16 has differential rocker, despite claims to the obverse. Rocker can be evaluated with a string and two friends; two folks stretch the string, the third takes a cell phone image from the side. Eagle has 2" symmetrical rocker, Kee 2.5 in the bow, 1.5 in the stern. I personally prefer significant and symmetrical rocker, but most stern paddlers have the counter productive tendency to carry the blade aft of their body. This results in yaw towards the bow paddler's side which the stern's J then corrects. Modern design thought features less stern rocker than bow to counteract that induced yaw.

Stick skills of unknown tandem teams, and their analysis of handling are best viewed with a health dose of skepticism. We can't determine if compared boats are properly trimmed, which has a huge effect on handling and speed. We can't evaluate skin condition, a huge factor in slower speeds. Multiple time trials over measured distance would provide real data, but " I think it's faster" isn't very helpful. A slower hull could make more noise and seem faster. Even swaping boats won't counter human tendencies. If we want one boat to be faster it generally happens that way.

Stating that DY's 1985 16'X35" river tandem is faster than his 2012 16'X35" touring tandem kinda begs credibility. If the waterlines are identical, we'd expect the "two wave wash", or theoretical hull speeds, to be the same, following the formula; Sq. rt. of wl Length in feet X 1.55 = mph. The suggestion that Mr Yost has not learned anything about hull design in twenty seven years is kinda funny in an absurd sort of way.

Confirmation bias occurs naturally, we all want the hull we love to be faster, tighter turning, whatever, than other canoes. We've all owned the best dog in the world. As "campfire talk" it's harmless. Typed out on the internet, it becomes an example of Dunning-Kruger Effect and proceeds to mis-inform a generally innocent public for years.
 
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Confirmation bias occurs naturally, we all want the hull we love to be faster, tighter turning, whatever than other canoes. As "campfire talk" it's harmless. Typed out on the internet, it proceeds to mis-inform the generally innocent public for years.

Funny, but my mis-information is based on a direct comparison of two boats that I own. A Keewaydin 16, and a Hemlock Eagle.

Oddly enough some people may prefer certain tradeoffs that come about in the canoe geometry. Perfection is a myth. Any engineer knows that.
 
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Discussion of comparative handling, speed and dimensions of Yost's Curtis NorthStar/Hemlock Eagle and Swift Kee 16 seem to have little basis in fact. Stick skills of unknown tandem teams, and their analysis of handling are best viewed with a health dose of skepticism. We can't determine if compared boats are properly trimmed, which has a huge effect on handling and speed. We can't evaluate skin condition, a huge factor in slower speeds. To state that DY's 1985 16'X35" river tandem is faster than his 2012 16'X35" touring tandem kinda begs credibility. If the waterlines are identical, we'd expect the two wave wash speeds to be the same.

Seems to me if some dumb schmuck that owns the boats can't figure out how they handle, then the whole apparent advantage of a prospective paddler buying either is a moot point. Who's to say the average person buying a Swift from a large dealer isn't a little less of an educated paddler than one seeking out an elusive Hemlock.

I think one is simply adding conjecture to protect the retirement fund.

Also, in terms of speed. My simple, and decidedly unscientific test was to paddle the same boats, on the same water and switch teams. One boat was always ahead. It surely convinced me on my stable.

If one has other findings, then I'd say there is enough variation in the boats for it not to matter, in which case, buy the one that you think looks the best.

I will point out that I can proudly say my opinions are my own, and I receive no compensation from either builder, designer, etc... I'd challenge anyone to be skeptical of any information, or mis-information coming from those that can claim otherwise.
 
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A "two wave wash" refers to theoretical hull speed. As displacement watercraft speed up they generate transverse waves. As speed continues to increase the transverse waves along the hull spread apart until there are just two somewhat inboard of bow and stern supporting the hull. This is theoretical hull speed or a two wave wash when the waves have spread apart as far as they can and still support the stems. It takes quite a bit of power to increase speed past that clearly visible point.

It should be noted that many USCA marathon racers and all ICF sprint hulls exceed the theoretical maximum hull speed. The formula, given an an earlier post, is based on the square root of waterline length. Longer hulls are thereby potentially faster, about a third of a MPH per foot if the paddler have the technique and strength to overcome the increased drag/skin friction of the longer hull. Winters' Shape of the Canoe is the best resource for further understanding.

Torso rotation certainly improves reach, particularly forward to the catch, but compact folks have a hard time paddling over-wide canoes unless they employ a standing heel, which includes its own compromises. Seminal FreeStylers Galt and Moore agreed that canoes should come in sized series, Galt advocating a Froude based equal percentage reduction; Moore insisting the smaller hulls needed increased narrowness to fit the smaller amongst us.
 
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Just got back from picking up my Kee 14 in the ADKs and took it on a camp trip there ( E.branch st Regis vereton Falls up and back). I currently own a Kestrel . the Kee needs little heal to unstick the ends which is great on a trip. It handled my 175# + camping gear fine. It is at least as easy to maintain a good speed with as my Kestral-which is very good. I'm happy with it so far-besides-that emerald green sure is a pretty color!
Turtle
 
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Turtle- I sure hope you will be posting pictures soon on that fine 14'er. I have found mine to be wickedly great but as a larger 230# +camping gear set up I think the extra size of the 15' is a huge advantage. The secondary stability has saved me twice now from going for a swim. It is too bad we are all not a little closer together so we could have a day on the lake trading rides. I would love to try some of the smaller canoes too!
 
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