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Thoughts on small tandems for solo use / Brand Preference

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I’m revisiting the idea of getting a small tandem canoe to take my 7-year-old son out on day paddles with me, and to use by myself when I need some “me time”. I did have a NC P15 in SP3 years ago - all I remember is it was heavy, paddled ok, but was a BEAR in the wind. i’ll mostly being doing the small lakes and reservoirs in AZ, with maybe some slow rivers thrown in from time to time. Any suggestions? Probably not doing any extending tripping; a 2-3 night trip is a possibility. I’d prefer composite; it such a better paddling experience over plastic.
 
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Don't know if you can find one but Mad River had a model called the "Malecite." While it was essentially a tandem, they did make a center seat for the canoe. A friend of mine had one years ago that he used quite a bit with his family. It's now semi-retired at their cabin in Algonquin up in Canada.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
 
If money wasn't an object and my son was 7, I would consider a Swift Keewaydin or Prospecter 16 Combi in some wild custom bass boat color ...
 
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I don't imagine there are many canoe stores or used canoes for sale in the neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona, so you won't have access to a lot of the models that proliferate elsewhere.

Some small composite tandems that have been popular as solos include the Hemlock Eaglet


Bell Morningstar

Bell Morningstar.jpeg

Nova Craft Pal

 
I don't imagine there are many canoe stores or used canoes for sale in the neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona, so you won't have access to a lot of the models that proliferate elsewhere.

Some small composite tandems that have been popular as solos include the Hemlock Eaglet


Bell Morningstar

View attachment 139118

Nova Craft Pal

This is very helpful. You are correct - not a lot of inventory in AZ, so may need to make a run up to Colorado or have it delivered.
 
I second the Nova Craft Pal, as well as the Eaglet. I paddle tandems solo exclusively. I paddle day trips or wilderness trips in them with my 70 pound dog and gear, solos just do not cut it for me. The Pal is more maneuverable than the Eaglet, but Eaglet is a bit less tender. Both are very good empty or loaded, paddle well in the wind and are efficient enough to paddle all day. Nova Craft Bob Special or a 15 Prospector would work as well.

Good luck to you 😉
 
I’m revisiting the idea of getting a small tandem canoe to take my 7-year-old son out on day paddles with me, and to use by myself when I need some “me time”. I did have a NC P15 in SP3 years ago - all I remember is it was heavy, paddled ok, but was a BEAR in the wind. i’ll mostly being doing the small lakes and reservoirs in AZ, with maybe some slow rivers thrown in from time to time. Any suggestions? Probably not doing any extending tripping; a 2-3 night trip is a possibility. I’d prefer composite; it such a better paddling experience over plastic
The tough part for me would be deciding between sizes. The Eaglet looks like a great solo for occasional use with a kid, big dog, or smaller adults. I've not paddled one, but it seems small for a good tandem. It might seem small and tippy for camping or fishing with two people.

The Malecite, Tripper S and Northstar Polaris are narrow full sized canoes. They'll seem a bit large when soloed. Solo they will be more sensitive to wind. But overall probably more useful.

7 years is tricky. If they still want to paddle in ten years a larger canoe would be better. But tandems are easier to find second hand. You could get an Eaglet now and if your son loves paddling find a tandem later.
 
I just looked on FB in your area. There are quite a few interesting used canoes that may meet your needs. A Wenonah Aurora, a Mad River Explorer 16, and an Old Town Camper 16 to name a few.

As MrPoling stated above, your 7 year old will grow and your canoe needs will change. When I got back into canoeing my son was about 9 or 10. I bought a used Wenonah Adirondack. He is now 18 and about 6'-3". He outgrew the bowseat.
 
One more vote for a Nova Craft Pal. I have paddled one for 13 years now. Have taken solo and tandem trips in it. Good all around canoe.
 
I have paddled plenty of tandem canoes solo on overnight trips. Putting the gear forward trims out the canoes and provides plenty of flotation and freeboard.
The last canoe I purchased is an OT Candienne in kevlar. It is the 15'7" version. I changed out the seats and thwarts to make it a solo boat. It is lightning fast, but has taken some getting used to with a 32 inch beam.
 
Good call on the Candienne! I forgot about that boat. It is really fast, forgot how much I enjoyed paddling one … it has been a looooong time since I was in one.
 
The Esquif Huron 15 is really growing on me. It's billed as a cottage canoe, but it's the same hull as their Prospecteur 15, just trimmed down 2" shorter. Despite the cut-down hull, it's about the same height midship as an OT Camper while being lighter than the Prospecteur 15 and will catch less wind on a lake. If used with a spray deck I am sure it can handle Class II+ rapids. I am hoping to find one used at some point and try pulling in the gunwales a bit - it has a 35" beam out of the box, I want to try it at 33" or even 32"...
 
Good call on the Candienne! I forgot about that boat. It is really fast, forgot how much I enjoyed paddling one … it has been a looooong time since I was in one.
I paddled a Canadienne almost exclusively for all the 1970s and '80s, though I had the 17'-3" version in fiberglass. I don't consider it a really fast boat, but it was definitely no dog, and certainly maneuverable given its length. The only thing I didn't like about it was it got thrown around in heavy following seas, which was a problem in a few bigger lake situations. I can really think of only two instances right now where it bothered me that way, though there were likely others in those 20 years. I'm mostly a river paddler and that's very seldom a problem in current. Seldom because I see the Columbia River near me in windy conditions fairly often that would qualify, though I've only paddled on it twice, and neither were the times mentioned above (both in Quetico). I'm not a fan of huge rivers.
 
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