Canadian Canoe Routes

Swift Heron info
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Author:  bugmeist [ May 16th, 2014, 5:57 am ]
Post subject:  Swift Heron info

I'm looking at getting a dedicated solo canoe. There is a used Swift Heron for sale near me and I'm going to paddle it on Sat.

I'd like to get some specs (couldn't find any online) as well as opinions on how appropriate it might be for 2-5 trips mostly on flat water.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Author:  ezwater [ May 16th, 2014, 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

I was easily able to google people referring to the Heron, and I believe littleredcanoe on this board may have owned one for some time. I would think it would make a good solo tripping boat, though you should be aware that it was designed quite a while ago. My take is that if the one you try is in good condition and you like the way it paddles, buy it. But if you could afford it, there are more recent designs that might be a little better.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ May 16th, 2014, 7:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

Had mine for 21 years. If you test paddle it with no gear you may find it unsettling if you sit. Best kneeling when empty. It firms up nicely with a tripping load, and you can sit or kneel.

So far the longest its been on is a two week solo and it does have room for another four weeks worth of food.

But I have not the stamina to match.

It was limited production as the mold broke. It was a split one piece mold and for that reason had bubble sides.

Its still a quick boat but as EZ points out there are more recent designs that have flattened the bottom arch and added shouldered tumblehome. I suspect Swift never repaired the mold as the boat was probably too twitchy for new soloists. I wonder how many prospective customers got dumped at the dock on a demo paddle. The newer Kee 15 is a much more forgiving boat.. but too new to find used at a good price.

I got dumped too but kept at it.

Author:  bugmeist [ May 16th, 2014, 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

ez and lrc. thanks for the info. I test paddled the heron (empty) today in a fairly stiff wind an although the launch was a bit shakey it paddled well. I came home to think about it (and see if anyone had responded to my post here).

I pick it up tomorrow. It's in real good shape except for the sliding seat needs a minor repair which allowed me to bargain down the price another $50. Wood gunnels and deck need a bit of attention but will easily make it through this paddling season.

Just for the record I was designed quite a while ago myself so the fact that this canoe is 20+lbs lighter than my NC Tripper makes it state of the art to me. :thumbup: :thumbup:

I will attempt to post a picture or 2 when I can. Thanks again. :thumbup:

Author:  bugmeist [ May 16th, 2014, 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

btw any recommendations for a removable yoke. looks like lashed paddles would work well enough but padding and comfort are becoming increasingly important.

Author:  jedi jeffi [ May 16th, 2014, 8:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

Check out your local stores outfitting or someone with a solo boat near you.
Buy a good yoke cut and place at the balance point and secure with
"wing and Bar knobs" from Lee valley
in the hardware catalogue.
(page 207 of the hardware Catalogue.
Seen here ... 1995,61657
or you can find similar ones in broken lawn mowers that holds the handles together.
Oh always carry a set of spare bolts incase you "drop" them while putting them on.....

Author:  recped [ May 16th, 2014, 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

It's the wing nuts that usually go flying off into the unknown!

Teal yoke and cheap hooligan pad works pretty good.


The pic shows my first set of knobs, not the best choice, I had to add the washer to raise the thread higher to tighten the nut fully and the knob style doesn't provide enough grip ... 61995&ap=1

Then I switched to this type which uses standard hex bolts of any length (Type "C" knob) ... 61994&ap=1

The one on the page that Jedi linked to won't work because the bolt is integrated and not long enough.

All the knobs/bolts come in 1/4" or 5/8" sizes, don't think it matters much other than how big a hole you want to drill in the gunnels or what spare nuts and bolts (wing-nuts preferably) you have lying around.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ May 17th, 2014, 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

Portage yoke for dedicated solo boats. It must be removable. This is a lengthy discussion with pictures . ... rtage-yoke

I'm hesitant to cross reference sites but there are many pics and many options in a four page discussion in this case.

Author:  Algonquintripper [ May 17th, 2014, 12:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

Was this the one up in North Bay for $600?

If so, I saw it on Kijiji and thought it seemed like a good deal but NB is a way from TO to "have a look".

Author:  bugmeist [ May 17th, 2014, 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

this as the one posted on NB Kijiji. Usually any canoes I've been interested in have been to far away so I couldn't pass this up as I've wanted to have a dedicated solo for a while.

Older couple, actually not as old as me, selling the only solo in their fleet because he had a stroke and doesn't want to solo anymore.

I'll try to post pictures soon.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ May 17th, 2014, 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

Bugmeist...get going... none of us is going to be sticking around forever. I hope you have many happy solos!

Author:  ezwater [ May 19th, 2014, 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

Watch the market--- I want a little blue heron.

Author:  Charlie Wilson [ May 30th, 2014, 7:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

The Swift Heron was the seventh in Davis Yost's Solo Tripper series, the fifth "full sized" one. It was 15 ft long, 12.5 deep at center, and had bubble sided tumblehome, rails 26", max beam 29, waterline 27" with symmetrical rocker of 1.5".

I never noticed it being light/tippy/whatever. It didn't sell well in Canada, being considered too small for those preferring poutine to yoga. The smaller 14.5'
Loon went nowhere at all in the early 90s.

Times change more than hulls. The new Keewaydin 15 is 15 ft long, 12.5" deep amidships, with bubble sided tumblehome, rails 25.5", max beam 29.5", waterline 26.5 with asymmetrical, stepped rocker, 2" bow, 1" stern. Roughly the same boat, with less arch in the quarters and more and differential and stepped rocker. Kee is more stable, faster and more maneuverable than Heron, but they are basically the same boat, tweaked a little as the designer has experimented and learned. The even newer Kee 14 is, similarly, not very far removed from the older Loon, but selling like hotcakes in December to smaller solo paddlers who have felt ignored by the marketplace. ?

Swift has recently moved their sliding seat into the options list, which is a good thing. It optimizes function, allowing easy trim adjustment, for sitting paddlers, but is flat and a little low for those of us who kneel.

So why the current success of hulls that didn't flourish two decades ago? I think we're taking shorter trips than we used to with better, lighter and more compact gear. Stick skills have improved a little, and yoga studios are proliferating. ?? Swifts adjustable solo portage yoke will probably fit that Heron pretty well. I prefer Chosen Valley Pads because they are lighter, dry faster and offer width adjustment. Best install wheel nuts for instant adjustment.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ May 30th, 2014, 9:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

Having collected enough members of DY's touring series I lust not after Kee.
Heron Nomad and the mutant Peregrine are enough except yesterday am at Colden I caressed a beautiful new Nomad. A petty shade of green

Be happy my heart

Author:  Charlie Wilson [ May 30th, 2014, 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Heron info

JRR Tolkien had a thing about older works of man being better than more recent. then again, his life's work, other some fine literature we all enjoy, was teaching Beowulf to Oxford students. On the other hand, Tolkien was pretty hard nosed about property rights, intellectual and real.

In the real world, we no longer fly in planes with Sitka spars, and the mantra "stronger, lighter, faster and better" is usually served. DY's designs continue to improve just do construction methods. LRC's ennui with the latest efforts probably has more to do with the flat, low, seating which is optimal for those who sit rather than the kneelers amongst us.

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