Wanting a solo canoe

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Hello, I am a new member here but have been searching the forum for solo canoe info. I am ready to order a Hemlock Peregrine but the NS NW solo and Magic are in the running. I was interested in hearing folks experience with these boats. I am 5'9 ish 185 and plan to use it for lake cruising day trips only, no rivers or overnighters. 1/3 exercise, 1/3 fishing and 1/3 fun easy cruising. I think some of you may have replied on a different forum.
Also am thinking of a GRB 6 deg paddle for this and wanted to get your thoughts on that too.

thanks much for your time.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Welcome to site membership, kbobb!

Personally, I am very familiar with the Hemlock Peregrine at think it would work great for your intended uses at your size. I have some familiarity with the Magic, more of a sit & switch canoe, which likely would be slightly faster and slightly harder to turn. Matter of preference. I am not familiar at all with the NW solo.

As to paddles, I prefer a 12 degree bent for forward flatwater travel and a straight paddle for rivers and twisty streams and freestyle play, and always take one of each on any kind of trip, just for variety if nothing else. A compromise bent shaft of 6 degrees will surely work in the hands of a canoeist with some skill, and some paddlers use them, but would not be my personal preference. A 12 or 11 degree has been determined by experiment and the experience of two generations of flatwater and outrigger racers to have the most straight ahead propulsive force, and straight paddles have always been the standard for whitewater and advanced river canoeing in which turning is important. I'd rather have the ideal paddle for each situation rather than a compromise bend. But I know many other serious canoeists do use bent paddles in the 5-7 degree range.

Others here should be familiar with all three canoes you have in mind.
 
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kbobb I don't know where you are but trying out a boat before purchase is always a good idea. I had a Peregrine and liked the Magic better during a test paddle but not so much better that I wanted to sell the Peregrine and go through all that.

I haven't tried any of Northstars boats; seems they are more common in the Midwest.

Don't know where you are but in Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh there is a solo canoe try out and play event first weekend in June
 
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Thanks you both. I do have a 12 deg ZRE and older Camp brand bentshaft that I like with my Minn 2. The only straight shaft paddles I have are older "war clubs" - thinking about a nice lightweight wood but after using the ZRE would more likely go with one of their straight shaft paddles, not sure about which model tho.
I did test paddle a Peregrine and like it just fine. finding the NS boats locally has been a challenge with the nearest offer to paddle a Magic being about 6+ hrs away. On paper the NW solo and Peregrine are very close. I do think Hemlock's construction is very good and Mr. Curtis has been a great source of info/help. I want to have a boat for next April but will still likely attend the western PA event - you never know what other boats may be in the cards!
 
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Didn't Glen just post a piece on Yost'd Solo trippers? Peregrine is a copy of the Curtis Nomad, NS Solo is a lengthened variant. Swift's Keewaydin is the most recent design; basically all the same boat whis handles kneeling wi5th a straight shaft and sitting with a bent pretty well.

Magic has heritage from DY's older Sawyer Shockwave and Summersong hulls and has been redesigned in Swift's Cruiser series. These are sit and switch, bent shaft boats.

Both series also respond to double blade use.
 
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However P and N paddle VERY differently. On paper there is rocker in the P. Mine had none.. Charlie you were there when we chalklined it. Nomad I still have. P not.
 
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Mr kbobb,
Welcome to the forum!! By any chance, is your first name Shish?

I have no idea where you live, but I have a wood strip Kite that I rarely use...you're welcome to come test drive it.
I don't know your abilities or your aspirations, but have you considered building your own canoe? It can be a very satisfying and addicting process.
 
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Stripperguy - good one! that's not my first name but now I'm gettin hungry!
I have considered making a stripper canoe - cause they look so good and I do enjoy woodworking, but I just do not have the space and at this point want a boat sooner rather than later.
Thanks for the offer and if need be I'll get back to you on it.

Yellow - when I paddled the Peregrine I had absolutely no trouble maneuvering it. Unfortunately Nomads are hard to come by so gotta go with what's available.
 
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I had the guys at Sanborn make me what I call a half bend (6/7 degree) a few years back and I love it.
 
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Peregrine will serve you well for your stated use. Manages to be efficient and user friendly concurrently. Easily maneuverable at your weight. Thoroughly comfortable solo. Get both kneeling and sitting drop blocks to service future preferences….then enjoy! (I would prefer a Nomad but without availability I would be happy with the P….have owned both.)
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I don't think the Nomad, a canoe no longer in production, is in the running for kbobb.

Here is a video that compares the Northstar Magic and Northwind Solo, a design difference being that the Magic is primarily a sit and switch canoe whereas the Solo is primarily a kneeling canoe:


Here is Dave Curtis's video on the Peregrine:

 
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Agree, Glenn. I am not parting with the Nomad easily. Maybe it is cause I got it mint for under 900 ten years ago.
 
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Thanks all - the videos are very helpful - actually seeing the boats on the water.
 
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I'd also vote for the Peregrine. I've owned Peregrine, Magic and NW Solo. My Peregrine had rocker as advertised. I'd also give three thumbs up to a GRB 6 degree for kneeling. I use mine a lot.
 
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I've owned a peregrine for several years now and like it a lot. I'm probably an intermediate paddler at best and never owned or paddled any of the others on your radar, so can't speak from comparative perspective. I mostly fish and hunt with the peregrine, feather light and easy to paddle with a heavy load. Definitely a much better and impeccably crafted canoe than I am a paddler...
 
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I ended up getting a North Wind. I didn't even know about the Peregrin, so it wasn't in the running, but I probably would have gone with the North Wind anyway. Great design, highly regarded.
But now, I'm thinking neither one is the right boat for me. Somehow I overlooked the Esquif Echo. My main focus is river trips. T-Formex is lightyears better, for river tripping, than composite, in my opinion. Not cheap, as plastic boats go and a little smaller than I'd like, for multiday trips on western rivers, but it is the best choice I've seen for what I do.
 
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