View topic - Bluewater Mist (14'10", solo).....anyone paddle?

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PostPosted: May 27th, 2012, 4:52 pm 
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I find solo canoes in general to be tippy, compared to similar tandems. The first time I got in my Mad River Guide (now the Freedom Solo) I thought it was tippy. Eventually, I realized it is a tremendously stable and predictable boat.

I wonder if in the case of CLofchik, since he has paddled other solos, his may have been set up with too high a seat or some such (maybe way out of trim). Maybe it is too small? I may be the only person to say so, but I found the Bell Yellowstone Solo to be not tippy but sort of boring - I think I'm too heavy for it.

I agree that those p-net reviews are hit and miss, though. Basically every canoe gets a 9/10 and people who have only paddled one or two say that the canoe they have is great.


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PostPosted: May 28th, 2012, 9:52 am 
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sabi wrote:
CLofchik,

Sorry to hear you are disappointed with the Mist.


Nowhere near as much as I am. :(

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In my experience almost all the solo canoes under 16 feet require vigilance while paddling.


A Bob is only 15' :D
(Yeah yeah I know, apples & oranges, but just sayin' )

Sabi, how long were your paddles in the Mist? I can do 90mins kneeling or 2 hours sitting and then I'm done, I wanna outta da boat. In almost every other canoe I've paddled I like to go out for some marathon sessions, 5-6 hours at a sitting. I just don't have the stamina to do that in the Mist, it's an exhausting boat to paddle. Here's a shot of me out on the lake, see how wet the sides are, that's using half the freeboard just sitting still. It would be nice if, y'know, I could put the paddle down on flat calm water and just sit there. But with 50F water temps I don't dare, what with needing to brace every 10-15min to keep from going over.

Image

See the cooler behind me, there's a nice trout in there and the camera man wants me to grab it for an onwater glory shot. My smile (grimace?) is me politely telling him to eff off, there is no way I could safely half turn and grab something right behind me.

I've dropped the seat as low as it can go with the stock Sawyer seat hardware, which is a little different than the fixed Bluewater setup.

Image

I've got it on the lowest rung after the first paddle. :lol:

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Perhaps you hate the Mist because you are wanting it to be something it can't be?


I want it to be the boat in the PNet reviews and sales brochure! :D
Quote:
This 14'10" solo tourer is designed for larger paddlers, heavier loads, and rougher waters. Its step-flared bow sheds water in big waves making it a dry canoe.


It's funny because when I bought it I thought it was a Summersong, the PO described it as a "15' Summer Mist". If it WAS a Summersong I wouldn't quite be so cheesed, but the Mist is supposed to be the stable Sawyer sitting tourer. The first week I was convinced I was doing something wrong, the second week I spent trying to figure out how to keep this boat from killing me. After paddling 80 miles in two weeks I'm looking at the thing on top of my car going "bleh, I really don't feel like paddling it today".

Quote:
Try paddling your Mist with someone in a prospector or Bob Special on a long haul across an open stretch of water. You will be poking around exploring the far shore while your friend is still battling the wind half way across.


Or alternatively, the guy in the Prospector is anchored up on a windblown reef getting the afternoon bass & pickeral bite while the guy in the Mist has paddled for his life and is now stuck with all the camp chores while the other boat is still out fishing. :D

It's not all doom & gloom, there are some (very few) things the Mist does well. It is a quick boat, a local outdoor shop has an annual canoe race and I ran the 5km course last week (with 2 short ports) and had a time only 4mins back from the winning tandem. That's averaging 5.8mph with a top speed of 6.2mph, so it is quick. Once you figure out it's quirks it can turn quite smartly without needing any momentum killing corrective strokes, just lay it on it's offside bubble and it will come around. It won't quite turn within it's own length, but close. As a comparison it has a tighter turning radius on an offside turn than a Hobie pedal kayak using a rudder. And it is pretty impervious to wind, anything that floats will get blown around a bit, but my Mist has the same windage as a plastic SOT kayak, and even less than a Native Ultimate, which is pretty good for a canoe.
In a nutshell my boat is happiest at 4.0mph+, and absolutely unhappy at anything below that. So if you are looking for a daytripper that you want to hammer out miles for a few hours it isn't bad. But if you want something you can sit back and trawdle along at 2.5mph and occasionally catch a fish out of, it is downright scary 2 miles out in Lake Ontario, even in a flat calm.

I have to ask, if you already had a Spitfire, what does this boat do for you that the Placid doesn't? Other than hauling more weight without getting boggy they pretty much have the same MO?

It's already on the car so I might give it another shot this evening or tomorrow morning, but I'm already measuring up corners in the house to see where it would make good shelving. :evil:


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PostPosted: May 29th, 2012, 1:20 am 
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Location: Nanaimo
Quote:
I have to ask, if you already had a Spitfire, what does this boat do for you that the Placid doesn't? Other than hauling more weight without getting boggy they pretty much have the same MO?


To be honest, the Spitfire scares me in big water. Like a cork in a gale. I wanted something that could handle chop and bigger waves, but not be so long I would have to really work to get it going. The longer wider boats are more comfortable, but not as much fun.

It is always a bit of a gamble trying to find the boat that fits your needs, but in my case, the Mist gives me everything I want. Feels stable enough for most of what I do, and I love the efficiency. It seems to shoot ahead without much effort. Just a lot of fun to paddle anytime, and versatile enough for some tripping.

It does paddle best when kneeling, and I have gone for three hours shifting up and down, from sitting to kneeling, but always doing the shifting in the lee of a rock, or in a quiet bay.

The only thing that comes to me as a possible answer to your difficulties is trim. I noticed a big difference when I got that right. Needed Paul's help to get me on the mark. From looking at that first picture, I would wonder if you might move some weight towards the stern. I am no expert in these matters, but I think the "factory setting" is assuming you are going at full tilt all the time. When at slower speeds the boat tends to plow a bit.

It is a shame, because you look great in that boat. I do love the look of those plum ends.

Richard

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PostPosted: May 29th, 2012, 7:46 am 
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sabi wrote:
It does paddle best when kneeling, and I have gone for three hours shifting up and down, from sitting to kneeling, but always doing the shifting in the lee of a rock, or in a quiet bay.


But, I thought you said it was pretty steady?

Heh this is like a scene from a Woody Allen movie, when a married couple are complaining separately to their friends.

"My wife is a cold fish, she'll only have sex with me 2-3 times a week!"
"My husband is a perverted deviant, all he wants to do is have sex, sometimes as much as 2-3 times a week!"

I think we have different ideas on what a "stable" canoe is. :D

Quote:
The only thing that comes to me as a possible answer to your difficulties is trim. I noticed a big difference when I got that right. Needed Paul's help to get me on the mark. From looking at that first picture, I would wonder if you might move some weight towards the stern. I am no expert in these matters, but I think the "factory setting" is assuming you are going at full tilt all the time. When at slower speeds the boat tends to plow a bit.


That's another thing I figured out pretty quick, it is definitely tuned to carry a load in the rear, I guess as part of it's MO as being a tripper and having a loaded pack back there. Even with the seat all the way back it is just on the cusp of being trimmed out, unfortunately with the glassed in hangers there isn't much I can do about it without major surgery. I did try carrying the cooler, with it's ice and load of salmon & trout in the front, it didn't really like that.

If you haven't been in any rear quartering chop yet, you are in for a treat. I figured out it moves just like my favourite Bomber crankbait, rolling side to side while at the same time having a yawing wiggle. Fun times.
Oddly enough trimming it front heavy going DOWNWIND calms it down somewhat, which is completely counter-intuitive to me but hey I'll go with the flow.

Quote:
It is a shame, because you look great in that boat. I do love the look of those plum ends.


Hee hee thanks, actually the annoying thing is that it is a "lucky" boat. It does catch fish, haven't been skunked in the dozen times I've been out in it. It's just I have to wait until I'm on shore before I can take any pictures of them :D


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PostPosted: May 29th, 2012, 10:11 am 
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But, I thought you said it was pretty steady?


Pretty, yes, but you are right, it is all relative. I used to take both my kids out in the old flat bottomed tandem and they would be fishing and I would be paddling and you know kids, they would stand up, wheel around in their seats, etc. and we never felt it was going to tip over. But, we still could have. When they stood up I would say, "hey, no standing in the canoe." Any canoe is more tippy than a skiff. I've never found a canoe I was comfortable standing and fly fishing in. But there are some I just wouldn't even try.

Yet I have seen photos of guys standing in canoes and fishing that I think, "waahaa?"

They obviously have a better inner ear than I do!

And with the Mist, for me, it is about respecting my own limits. I think we are maybe qwibling about degrees. We both agree it is a quick canoe. It just seems more stable to me than several of the other canoes I have tried in it's size range. For you, not so much. But we have probably tried different canoes.

Take the Rapidfire, for example, which I believe you have paddled. Until you are sitting down, it is a pretty tippy canoe, but once you are sitting down, man, it seems pretty comfortable to me. WAY more stable than the Spitfire. But you don't really notice that difference in stability till you encounter big swells. The Rapidfire rises and falls on the swells and you think, "this is nice," while the guy in the Spitefire is thinking, "holy crap." Look at the dimensions of the two boats. Same width, same shaped hull, just the rapid fire is 3 feet longer. And what a difference that makes.

Somewhere online someone, either Charlie Wilson or John Winters, has a little formula that shows how much surface a boat has given it's dimensions. Small changes in width and length can calculate out to significantly different numbers in this regard.

The Mist is on the shorter side of many in it's class, and has a reasonably tight beam. It is a performance boat, despite being considered more of a heavy hauler. As Charlie convinced me on one thread or another, the shorter the boat, the faster if feels. (sorry Charlie, I know that is not exactly what you said, but that is my crude paraphrase). I guess perhaps it would be better to say, a shorter boat will get up to speed faster, but may not have the fastest top speed. But for most of my friends, and definitely for me, I paddle most of the time in short bursts of speed, with lots of cruising. The Mist is perfect for this kind of activity.

So, yes, pretty steady, but not as stable as some.

I sure hope you can find a solution, the trim or whatever, and let us know you did. It would be good to know, because I'm sure if you are finding this, other Mist owners are too.

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PostPosted: May 29th, 2012, 10:14 am 
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CLofchik, I suspect you are onto it with that your idea of balance is different, but I also suspect it has something to do with your interest in fishing. I very rarely fish (only when tripping in Canada and we usually trip in tandems). But when fishing you don't generally sit for hours in the same position you do when paddling. You pull the paddle from the water and stow it in the boat, you pull out a fishing pole, and cast to one side, cast to the other, cast to the bow, try to turn your torso and cast to the stern quarter. You root around for your tackle box and change baits. Try to find your container of leaches (locally caught as not to introduce non-indignous species), that slid beneath your seat way back to the stern of the canoe.

My personal interest is in a canoe that performs. So I'll take that liveliness over stability everytime and given the canoes I generally paddle, the Autumn Mist is a "step in and sit down boat", not a "slide my legs in like I'm putting on a pair of pants" kind of boat.

I agree, it's a bummer that your boat doesn't work for you. I suspect that your Bob works better for you when out fishing... and I really like the Bob Special too as a small tandem. Might not be the boat I use to do a 40 miler, but it's an excellent river canoe that surely would work better for fishing if that was what I did more.

Mr Canoehead, I would tend to say that the Yellowstone solo isn't the most exciting solo, but I'd shy away from calling it boring. In Royalex, I find the boat too bouyant... It just feels floaty. I'm not sure how big you are, but I'm about 185# and 6'4". I really like the composite Wildfire, which has some geneology with the Yellowstone Solo, as a 14 footer. It's just more crisp at everything than the Yellowstone Solo (though the YS in kevlar might be a bit faster in the right hands). But even beyond that, I find that my liking for that style of canoe is even smaller. That's why I paddle the Flashfire in my avatar. At 13' in composite, it's quick, it turns like it's hardwired to my brain, and it brings out the desire to play, it's light, and is my go to boat to go out for a few hour paddle in the evening after work. Heck I've even done a 30 mile overnighter with it and it was great! But I had my MRC Guide which is my go-to whitewater/rock basher boat, out this weekend on a twisty blackwater river, and I must say for a 14'6" boat that thing maneuvers like a champ. It's like a full size van that handles like a Corvette. I could load two weeks gear in, and with the rest of the boat bagged run class III drops to my hearts content.

PK


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PostPosted: May 29th, 2012, 9:08 pm 
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Location: Lower Saranac Lake, NY
History and Data

'Mist is an early DY hull, as such is shows more arch and less elliptical bottom shaping than his more recent hulls. When we did up the SpitFire we were amazed how much more stable the Spit was than a MayFly we borrowed for comparison. [Compare Mist w/ Kee 15?]

That said, the Mist suffers in heeled maneuvers because it just starts to lift it's stems when heeled to the very predictable max beam in the bubble. More pressure on the down knee increases the heel and lifts the stems higher for a more radical spin/skid but changes that dynamic. Suddenly we're forcing less floatation into the water which renders maximum heel to the rail pretty control intensive. We need to back off onside knee pressure past the wide spot in the bubble. We all tend to swim while making our peace with bubble sided hulls heeled to the rail.

Outside heels, often not quite to the rail, start the bow carving into the turn, so the hull comes around more smartly.

All that said, the Mist, at 30.5 in beam X ~15 ft, has been a big guys preferred tripper for a couple decades. So successful and desired that Swift just had DY touch up the design with DY's elliptical bottom, significant and differential rocker and raising the tumblehome to improve stability when heeled. But, rather than run out and buy the newest, our OP needs more time in his new boat. It's a beaut that has stood the test of time, he'll come to love it!

It took me several years to get used to my first ex-wife too; ~a decade after we divorced. She's a great gal!


Last edited by Charlie Wilson on May 31st, 2012, 7:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: May 29th, 2012, 9:44 pm 
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It took me several years to get used to my first ex-wife too, ~ a decade after the divorce. She's a great gal!


Who is selling a more predictable (the wide point of the hull is higher) Osprey? :lol:


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PostPosted: May 30th, 2012, 1:02 pm 
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I dunno about that. Mist with it's plum stems may be a couple - four inches longer on the waterline than Osprey and is another half inch wider. I think we need to wait for the new solo paddler learning curve to cycle.


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PostPosted: May 30th, 2012, 3:56 pm 
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Charlie Wilson wrote:
the bubble sides are wet and unstable when heeled


That now sounds like a 2010 prediction.

Charlie Wilson wrote:
All that said, the Mist, at 30.5 in beam X ~15 ft, has been a big guys preferred tripper for a couple decades. So successful and desired that Swift just had DY touch up the design.


I will look forward to seeing what DY does with that design.


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PostPosted: May 30th, 2012, 4:46 pm 
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CLofchik wrote:
My idea of a tripping canoe is one where you can switch atleast some of your brain off and let the boat take care of itself while you take in the scenery, do a bit of fishing, watch the wildlife, look for a campsite along the shore, et al. Being able to look behind you is a plus too, which takes a life altering leap of faith in an Autumn Mist. Actually just assume there is no canoe behind you, because there is zero chance of actually trying to access any of it while on the water.


That speaks to my desires as well.

I’ve had canoes where looking backwards or grabbing gear from behind me while seated was dicey in the best conditions.

If I am paddling with friends and family I want to be able to turn around and see the boats behind me. On a river an eddy turn is an easy solution, but on open water I want to be able to crank my head and upper torso around. I’m not as limber as I once was, and already have a substantial buffet muscle above the gunwale line to start with – if I’m not careful with the 10 lb weight above my neck I’ll quickly be proving how well I float.

At least in the look-behind scenario I can maintain a ready brace. Grabbing gear from behind the seat is even more awkward. I need to turn to grab it (whatever), pick it up and swing it out over the gunwales to move it in front of me. I have yet to master a reliable one-handed brace.

If I can’t do those things it isn’t a canoe I will enjoy paddling routinely for any length of time. Now that I want downwind sailing capabilities in my tripping hulls that forgiving nature has become even more important.


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PostPosted: June 1st, 2012, 8:28 am 
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Location: mainly in Maine, my o my, moved to Maryland.
I'm still learning the ways of my first solo canoe, a Swift Raven. From yesterdays experiments in 1 1/2 ft of salt water chop, the addition of 75 lbs of water ballast let me sit comfortably in conditions I would absolutely be kneeling in if unballasted.


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PostPosted: June 3rd, 2012, 11:28 am 
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bark-eater wrote:
I'm still learning the ways of my first solo canoe, a Swift Raven. From yesterdays experiments in 1 1/2 ft of salt water chop, the addition of 75 lbs of water ballast let me sit comfortably in conditions I would absolutely be kneeling in if unballasted.



Where? I have a Raven too but can't imagine trying to paddle contra tide with it. Too slow..tide currents too fast.
I paddled the RapidFire from Isle Au Haut to east of Stonington yesterday in what is genteely termed by Mainers as "sporting conditions" :rofl:

But sitting close to the bottom of the boat. That said I lent my Raven to an "expert" who needed a solo boat to run the river part of the Allagash. He emerged at Bissonette Bridge after Chase Rapids sitting in the bottom of the boat!

You didn't do too bad!


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PostPosted: June 4th, 2012, 8:52 am 
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Location: mainly in Maine, my o my, moved to Maryland.
I've been been paddling on the NY side of long Island Sound. I haven't been frustrated getting around the tidal flow, but I grew up here and may have a feel for the eddy's. We get confused water over the shoals, which I've been paddling out to play in the waves.
The salt creeks get some fast current and Ive been practicing my "white water" moves under a foot bridge that creates a very fast sluice with eddy's on the output.
Handling the wind has been the challenge around here. When I got my canoe the seat was set on the center line. On my first paddle in a breeze I headed up wind for a half mile and when I turned to head back I couldn't control the boat and ended up drifting the whole way back side ways to the wind and waves. With the seat moved back 8" It is much more controllable down wind, but I can really feel the skegged stern grab and release when maneuvering. I would love to get the measurements of the factory seat positioning as a base line for further adjustments.
With 10 gallons of water ballast the boat firms up, but will still broach if I'm not careful. I'm still fussing with the best way to trim the boat on the fly.

Its been a while since I've cruised Penobscot Bay by sail, but I remember considering the tide when scooting thru the narrows at Isle Au Haute. If I can get my canoe on the Vinalhaven ferry and the weather serves, I would like to do a short "look who washed up on the beach" tour in the end of June.


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PostPosted: June 4th, 2012, 9:11 am 
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Joined: November 29th, 2007, 7:47 pm
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Location: mainly in Maine, my o my, moved to Maryland.
I've been been paddling on the NY side of long Island Sound. I haven't been frustrated getting around the tidal flow, but I grew up here and may have a feel for the eddy's. We get confused water over the shoals, which I've been paddling out to play in the waves.
The salt creeks get some fast current and Ive been practicing my "white water" moves under a foot bridge that creates a very fast sluice with eddy's on the output.
Handling the wind has been the challenge around here. When I got my canoe the seat was set on the center line. On my first paddle in a breeze I headed up wind for a half mile and when I turned to head back I couldn't control the boat and ended up drifting the whole way back side ways to the wind and waves. With the seat moved back 8" It is much more controllable down wind, but I can really feel the skegged stern grab and release when maneuvering. I would love to get the measurements of the factory seat positioning as a base line for further adjustments.
With 10 gallons of water ballast the boat firms up, but will still broach if I'm not careful. I'm still fussing with the best way to trim the boat on the fly.

Its been a while since I've cruised Penobscot Bay by sail, but I remember considering the tide when scooting thru the narrows at Isle Au Haute. If I can get my canoe on the Vinalhaven ferry and the weather serves, I would like to do a short "look who washed up on the beach" tour in the end of June.

Just to swing back on topic, after paddling Swifts Kewadin 15, I got the idea that the Autumn Mist would be the closest canoe available on the used market. How do you think the mist would have handled your Isle Au Haute paddle?


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