Wanted: Bell NorthStar

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I'm looking for a Bell NorthStar canoe (16'6") in a composite layup, i.e., not Royalex.

Dave
 
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Thanks, guys. I'm due for a trip to Winnipeg some time soon. Maybe I'll stop at the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and bring home two of them!
 
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Are you seriously suggesting it?
I mean, no, just kidding.
 
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Now if you're going to the Boundary Waters - Ely or Grand Marais - in September, I could arrange my trip to meet you there.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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Never been to BWCA or Quetico actually. First week of September I will be tripping on the east side of Manitoba, Bird River up to Snowshoe lake in Ontario. It is less than 4 hours drive to most of the places I paddle, no need to go further. Cannot blame you for not coming to Winnipeg though. ;)
 
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Bought one today - kevlar ultra-light. Cost: (1) MorningStar. I think he got the better end of the deal but I'm happy.
 
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No longer looking - traded my MorningStar for a skincoat NorthStar last week. Since then I've done the following to the boat:

Removed the stern deck plate and the last few feet of the right side gunwale in order to re-place the gunwale properly on the hull (the last several rivets missed the kevlar).
Replaced the aft thwart with a cane seat (no kneeling thwart installed, and I prefer a seat anyway).
Removed the bow and stern seat supports and replaced them upside-down in order to provide more foot clearance under the seats.
Re-placed the stern carry handle. Both handles were installed crooked.
Drilled the center thwart to take my portage pads.

This is the worst example of fit-and-finish I've ever seen in a Bell boat. I'm not surprised they went out of business. The boat itself is OK, but it certainly wasn't put together carefully. I'm looking forward to tripping with it as a solo. It handles very nicely.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
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405
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Wyoming
Glad you got the boat you were seeking but its surely a shame you had to put so many things right. Gunwale rivets missing the hull?!

Sounds like you have it sorted out now and I look forward to hearing how she paddles for you.
 
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Thanks. That's right - two of the right-hand stern gunwale rivets ended up just above the hull material. It's all sorted out now, with the only question being whether 8-1/4" is enough room under the bow and stern seats.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
182
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Lower Saranac Lake, Adirondacks
And, that's why ORC closed Bell, they couldn't get consistently good performance from their work crew.

A pre-bend, running the rails through a set of rollers to approximate shear curvature would have helped. A second pass pre-bending in the other direction too match the top curvature; bow to amidships and back in to stern would have been perfect.

Downsides include the cost of the two three roller sets, ~ $200 ea, time to run the rails through twice, ~ $5/rail, and additional storage space for the double bowed units.
 
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And, that's why ORC closed Bell, they couldn't get consistently good performance from their work crew.

Somewhere in the now defunct Community Webshots I had photos of the yoke I replaced in an ORC-built Bell Prospector.

That yoke was “attached” using four machine screws and just looking at the sloppy and uncentered placement of the screws on the inwale I removed the yoke to check.

Two of the screws missed the butt end of the yoke completely and one was secured through a hole no more than 1/16” from the yoke end.

Even using unskilled or novice labor I’d have though the manufacturer would use some kind of drilling template so that the machine screw holes were properly aligned and positioned. Maybe especially if using unskilled or novice labor.

Beyond labor problems I don’t think that ORC Bell understood the peculiarities of the canoe business – things like delivery of hulls and payment terms that are (or were) the norm with paddlesport dealers.

A pre-bend, running the rails through a set of rollers to approximate shear curvature would have helped. A second pass pre-bending in the other direction too match the top curvature; bow to amidships and back in to stern would have been perfect. .

I have installed one set of aluminum gunwales that were not pre-bent for the shear. One and only one and never again.
 
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