Try before you buy in CT - Swift Canoes Sat 08-16-2014

Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
427
Location
Long Island, NY
Collinsville Canoe & Kayak is hosting a Swift Demo Day on Saturday August 16

41 Bridge Street Collinsville, CT 06019 860-693-6977

I've gone to two Swift demo days at CC&K and both times everyone who helped me was friendly, knowledgeable and eager to help. I called ahead and inquired about the availability of specific models and they were able to have them on hand for me to try.

In stock Swift boats will be on sale - this makes them even more difficult to walk away from. So far I'm two for two.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,386
Location
Raymond, ME
I am so glad I moved away and out of CT.. I think my record was a dismal 4 of 4. It's a neat paddling shop. The record was my inability to resist. Not their inability to serve.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
41
Location
Manchester, CT
I am with you there, YC. It really is irresistable. We bought 2 canoes at last summer's demo day and I snagged a paddle this spring. Going there is hard on my bank account.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
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Long Island, NY
I really want to try a Swift Keewaydin 14.

I love my Keewaydin 15 but sometimes it's a little too big for the water (or lack of) that I'm trying to paddle in. The Keewaydin 14 would probably be an ideal grab-n-go canoe for me and the type of paddling I most often get to do. I'll keep the K15 for big solo trips and use the K14 for day trips - if I go and take the leap.

Are you thinking the same thing, JP?
 
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Why do you say the 15 is too big?

Just my suggestion - If you don't mind sitting and double-blading I'd skip the Kee 14 and size down to a pack canoe.

And if that was the case, I'd look into Hornbeck as well. I've tried the Swifts and the Hemlock pack canoes and I definitely prefer the Swift, but for a pack boat, it's on the heavy side.

I personally think a PBW would be the pack boat I'd choose, just from seeing others paddle them... but that might confuse your situation.

Long story short, I wouldn't jump right on that Kee 14. It probably won't be significantly different that what you have. More like a Kestrel v Peregrine in Hemlock speak. They are different, but not enough so that I'd own both.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
41
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Manchester, CT
I'm happy with my Kee 15 and the packboat seating on the 14 just isn't for me. I'm really just looking for a beater canoe right now. Besides, we need to send in the Algonquin 16 in for some repairs. The man and boy got a little over zealous and there are some cracks to have fixed. There goes my canoe budget!
 
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Sep 13, 2013
Messages
427
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Long Island, NY
A little background info: I'm picky and I make myself crazy over-analyzing stuff.

I don't think I want a pack boat. Floor seating with double blade doesn't blow my skirt up. I keep running over in my brain what drives me to paddle. Is it the locations? The chance for seeing wildlife? The paddling itself? What I'm trying to get out of paddling will change what I want to paddle or what I think I want to paddle ;-)

I primarily day trip. I have a ten year old dog that keeps me tethered to home for a variety of reasons. I wish it were different but it is what it is.

Here, on Long Island, there isn't any really big water. Everything close to home doesn't need a 15 foot solo and part of the fun for me is paddling up rivers to see how far I can go. They tend to get tight and windy so a 14 foot canoe would be a bit easier for that sort of paddling.

You can get a Keewaydin 14 set up for sitting or kneeling. Their website seems to be lagging behind their innovation and available models. That would be what I would be most interested in. Would it be different enough from my Keewaydin 15 to justify it? That's debatable but thankfully I don't need permission to buy one.
 
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I've heard it's a pretty turny boat, if that helps you justify it. Not typically what you'd want for lake travel but for a windy stream it might be nice.

And I get you on the pack boat thing. There is a reason I don't have one. And it isn't because I like carrying heavy boats. I was just checking your logic.
 
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I just got home from a 3 day trip to lows lake in the adks paddling my keewayden 14 with kneeling seat. It did fine and I wouldn't have wanted a bigger boat or another boat. I like the narrow paddle reach, manoverability, and practically effortless paddling.
Turtle
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,386
Location
Raymond, ME
.

I don't think I want a pack boat. Floor seating with double blade doesn't blow my skirt up. I keep running over in my brain what drives me to paddle. Is it the locations? The chance for seeing wildlife? The paddling itself? What I'm trying to get out of paddling will change what I want to paddle or what I think I want to paddle ;-)

I primarily day trip. I have a ten year old dog that keeps me tethered to home for a variety of reasons. I wish it were different but it is what it is.

Here, on Long Island, there isn't any really big water. Everything close to home doesn't need a 15 foot solo and part of the fun for me is paddling up rivers to see how far I can go. They tend to get tight and windy so a 14 foot canoe would be a bit easier for that sort of paddling.

You can get a Keewaydin 14 set up for sitting or kneeling. Their website seems to be lagging behind their innovation and available models. That would be what I would be most interested in. Would it be different enough from my Keewaydin 15 to justify it? That's debatable but thankfully I don't need permission to buy one.


Floor seating is not required, nor is a double blade. My RapidFire has a floor seat, a double blade. When I want to change personalities, I drop the high seat over the floor seat and am up and canted a little forward. A short bent shaft single blade is great with the high seat.

I use the albeit still lower seating even with the high seat in the RapidFire for where the conditions can get gnarly. So far its been 150 miles on Lake Superior and a few times in the Gulf of Maine.

Its a bit of a challenge to heel the RapidFire in either sitting configuration. Its pretty easy when heeling a standard solo canoe to take a 15 footer and shorten it to 12 feet waterline length. One boat can therefore become two boats. But most folk never use the whole hull or the side shape.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
427
Location
Long Island, NY
I just got home from a 3 day trip to lows lake in the adks paddling my keewayden 14 with kneeling seat. It did fine and I wouldn't have wanted a bigger boat or another boat. I like the narrow paddle reach, manoverability, and practically effortless paddling.
Turtle

I'm glad to hear your favorable review.

I'm happy you're busy enjoying it while making memories.

I just can't justify it this year but I think next year I'll be buying one.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
182
Location
Lower Saranac Lake, Adirondacks
Strange data morphing going on above. ???

Yost has done four, similar, sub sized solo canoes. The first was Vagabond for Curtis, 14.75'X27.5', in 1982. The second was the Swift Loon, 14.5" X28" in '92, followed by The Placid boatworks RapidFire 15'X27.5" in '06 and the Swift Keewaydin 14, 14'X28" in '14. The group is joined by Hemlock's Kestrel; splashed off a Vag ~ '99. I've excluded waterline widths since they are all about 25" and rocker because with several builders the rocker data is skewed. Vag, 1.4" both stems, had the most, kestrel has the least.

There are trim variations in the group. Vag and Loon were not offered as pack canoes, RapidFire must be Special Ordered to be built for kneeling. Swift's Kee 14 is available in either pack or kneeling trim.

The differentially rockered hulls, Rapid and Kee 14, are slightly Swede form; that's how they draft out with differential rocker. Vag, Loon and Kestrel are symmetrical hulls. Within this group of 4/5, the longer hulls are faster, but require more horsepower to achieve their speed, the shorter ones are more efficient at moderate output levels.

Smaller hulls always seem faster than larger ones; the diminished wetted surface reduces skin friction so they accelerate more quickly. Kee 14's stepped rocker is a DY tweak to increase speed and acceleration.

A consideration is that with the same burden, hull, paddler and gear weight, these smaller solos will sink deeper in the water than one of DY's many ~15'X~29" standard solo trippers. What does the paddler weigh; what are they carrying?

So Kee 14 accelerates faster than it's big sister Keewaydin 15 and will turn a little tighter with moderate burden because it's shorter but is a little slower at top end. It's a more efficient tripper for smaller folk, sportier for mid-sized day trippers and a dog for the larger amongst us.
 
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I had a chance Sunday to paddle a (Colden) Vagabond for the first time in the same pond with my Kee 14. For two (similar) boats, the paddled remarkable differently. Having owned a Kestrel, now owning a Kee 14, and having paddled a (pac style) Rapid, I'm struck by how different "similar" solo canoes can feel. They all have their positives and negatives. I become more and more convinced that, at least in solo canoes, paddling them is a must to decide which you like. Our local paddling group and solo events have been a great resource for trying different solos.
Turtle
 
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Guest
I had a chance Sunday to paddle a (Colden) Vagabond for the first time in the same pond with my Kee 14. For two (similar) boats, the paddled remarkable differently. Having owned a Kestrel, now owning a Kee 14, and having paddled a (pac style) Rapid, I'm struck by how different "similar" solo canoes can feel. They all have their positives and negatives. I become more and more convinced that, at least in solo canoes, paddling them is a must to decide which you like. Our local paddling group and solo events have been a great resource for trying different solos.
Turtle

So what you are saying is we can't determine much about a boat from a few numbers in a table? We should actually go try them and develop our own, subjective opinions?

What a novel idea!







BTW Turtle - I'm purposely being facetious AND I completely agree with you!
 
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