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 Post subject: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 24th, 2020, 9:01 pm 
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Joined: November 11th, 2019, 1:21 pm
Posts: 13
I am looking to enter the world of solo canoes...I have posted within other topics but thought more direct approach might be helpful.

I am looking at a few boats that are available and seem to fit my needs but curious to see what others think of boats and prices for the used ones...

6'0" tall, 215 lbs, fit and comfortable in canoes - some solo whitewater, C1 training and 30 years of tripping in tandem boats and soloing backwards tandems. I am in Eastern Ontario and will likely do most of my paddling lightly loaded, day-tripping for fitness and recreation but intend to trip several times a summer too. Family has grown and moved away. Always paddle kneeling with correction strokes, looking for a challenge and learning platform for Canadian Shield lakes and rivers around here rather than a predictable fishing vessel.

Right now a used Swift Osprey ($2800) and Shearwater ($3000) are available and a used SRT ($3200). Am considering a purchase of a new Clipper Caribou S shipped here for around $3500. Exchange rate and preference to buy Canadian have me hesitant to consider American boats. Locally Swift Keewaydin 15 and H20 16/6 are readily available but Keewaydin seems a bit more stable than I want and H20 too long and narrow to be as flexible as I would like.

Used prices seem pretty high, better chance of better prices down the road? Do any of these boats seem to be appropriate? These are bigger boats, but I seem to be bigger than most paddlers too and would like to be able to travel with at least a week's worth of gear.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 26th, 2020, 3:35 pm 
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Joined: June 6th, 2011, 9:56 am
Posts: 29
I own a SRT, the only one of your four that I have paddled. I am very fond of mine. It's a great boat for lake and river tripping. I've paddled the St John in Maine in it, and the Missinaibi in Ontario. It's narrow enough to have excellent speed and paddling efficiency, and deep enough to stay pretty dry in whitewater. The depth makes it a poor fit for some shorter paddlers, and the rounded bottom makes it somewhat twitchy aka tender without a load, especially seated (as opposed to kneeling). The high sides also catch the wind when the boat is lightly loaded, although nowhere as much as on a whitewater C-1 (or tandem paddled solo). For my purposes it is ideal for mixed water tripping, a little less ideal for day trips. I am 5'9" and 175 lbs. - K


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 26th, 2020, 7:04 pm 
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Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
Posts: 462
Location: Winnipeg, MB
For that much money, why not something like a Vertige new? I could trip for more than a week in mine. It feels like a barge compared to a playboat but it can be comfortably paddled in Class III.

For tripping I shorten the air bag cage and have webbing buckles for the camping gear. I put a 100l MEC Scully in front of me, Kellly Kettle on the pedastal block and a 30l barrel behind the pedastal. I can also increase the size of the rear camping gear area to take more than the 30l barrel back there.

It's a little heavy to not have a yoke but depending on how much you portage that may not be a big deal. I'm not a fan of carrying mine (pedastal) but I'm used to it now.

I'm sure it's much slower than more flatwater oriented solo boats but I can still cover a lot of ground on a trip - not much less than in a tandem.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 27th, 2020, 8:15 am 
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Joined: November 11th, 2019, 1:21 pm
Posts: 13
Whitewater solo is appealing but not the primary motivation - thought was if I could find a reasonable more flatwater oriented boat for fitness and tripping I could also afford a ww specific boat...never too many boats, also coming across some cedar canvas boats as an added distraction...

My C1 experience is flatwater racing - hence the appeal of a twitchier boat, paddle kneeling or one leg forward, not comfortable sitting or hit and switch (no experience with it yet).

Boats will always be there - used boats on offer right now do seem expensive, no open water to try them out readily - people tend to get nervous when asked about trying their boat in mid-winter. I think best bet would be to make it a mission to wander the province paddling different boats - maybe easier to avoid the house repairs if I am not actually in the building...


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 27th, 2020, 8:41 am 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
Posts: 3077
Location: Milton
Also having some sprint background :D (kayak but also WW kayak and c1/c2)
I can say you will be looking for a boat that runs a bit since you are looking for the fitness aspect.
One thing I can say, even though now you prefer kneeling if you start have knee issues you may need to sit.
Now I only kneel in harder conditions, but in a much higher position then I did 20 years ago.
All the boats you have chosen will hold a weeks worth of gear in shoulder season.
You may want to looking having a complete spray cover for the boat because it does help with the early spring and later fall conditioning paddles.
For tripping in the shoulder seasons it is great and helps keep cool winds and spray off you making it that much more enjoyable.
In the pic I am not useing the full system, but it does help keep any splashes out in grade II & easy III
https://photos.app.goo.gl/jXR5PVA3HT83eXNDA
So that does not help you decide too much but does add another thing to look at. :)
Jeff

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 27th, 2020, 8:57 am 
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Joined: August 5th, 2009, 8:34 am
Posts: 273
Have you looked at a wenonah Wilderness? I'm 5'11 and 260. I loved mine. I only sold it as I have a growing family and solo time seems like it never happens any more. I strongly recommend looking into that one. Solo Canoes are the canoe industry "hot" market right now according to swift, I strongly doubt your going to get a better price.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 27th, 2020, 10:39 pm 
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Joined: September 16th, 2019, 1:47 pm
Posts: 76
I'm looking at/researching solo boats as well carpenter, and living on the west coast of Canada, Clipper is as local as they get, and I'd love to give them my business. I'm not convinced the Caribou S is anything other than a scaled-down Prospector, kind of a very-small tandem. I'd take Esquif's Prospecteur Sport setup for solo, over it for a hull of that shape. Hellman's Solitude is a good option for a narrower beam, the Scout for a wider beam. Esquif's Champlain setup as a solo, would be my #1 choice but the factory representative here says it's been discontinued... H20's Peterborough rates pretty high on my criteria. Possibly' Abitibi's Peterborough might also be worth a look. Beamy but still narrow(ish) at the waterline.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 29th, 2020, 5:00 pm 
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Joined: February 18th, 2005, 12:41 pm
Posts: 422
Location: Denver, CO
something to consider is the layup and weight. ultralight Kevlar boats will get blown around a lot in the wind if you are just day tripping for exercise - you'll need lots of ballast. but you would want an ultralight boat for trips in Algonquin/Killarney/Quetico parks with lots of portages. I never use my 29# solo for day trips - use my 45# K-glass boat - big difference in the wind with minimal gear.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 30th, 2020, 8:43 pm 
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Joined: November 11th, 2019, 1:21 pm
Posts: 13
There we go, even more choices and then once the choice is made, how and where to put the holes into for the spray cover...that looks like a good set up jedi jeffi.
Peterboroughs seem to be a good option for a smaller, second tripping boat that could be soloed, specs do seem to indicate a lively and more narrow boat than the prospectors.
It would be nice to find a more reasonably priced smaller boat, whatever the make and model so that I could consider something else again...Caribou dimensions are very similar to the Shearwater and SRT, perhaps bigger than I need for the majority of the paddling I will do.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: January 30th, 2020, 11:13 pm 
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Joined: September 16th, 2019, 1:47 pm
Posts: 76
Another little something to sidetrack you. Mwah ha ha ha.

http://www.hornbeckboats.com/boats_st_20.php

Used boat prices are high, I agree. I've found though that asking price and actual sale price are dramatically different. It helps to reference the original sale price for the canoe in it's production year.

Clipper will sell with the Northwater spray deck installed at the factory. Also check Western Canoe and Kayaks clearance sale page in the fall... was early November this year. Most boats $300-$400 off retail. Saw a 'herd' of Caribou on it this year. All sold now, but I think they've a f/g Caribou still listed for $1300.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: February 1st, 2020, 1:54 pm 
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Joined: March 9th, 2014, 11:10 pm
Posts: 21
there's just so many boats out there, so many options. given your size, rule out the smaller boats narrows it down. also, do you want something unique or rare? of the used ones you've mentioned, i would be most keen on the SRT. that would be a rare boat, and a highly refined design. it will also be a bit more maneuverable and less focused on straight line speed being a 'solo river tripper', but that may or may not appeal to you. those used prices seem high, but they may be very nice or high end versions. i be the prices are flexible and no taxes always helps....


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2020, 9:46 pm 
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Joined: November 11th, 2019, 1:21 pm
Posts: 13
SRT was appealing for the reasons above - but realizing that I am limited in my geographical range for the pursuit of a boat...Osprey may be the best boat for me on offer right now but seller just reposted at $100 more?! Infused gunnels, sliding seat and apparently rarely used - maybe someone enamoured with idea of solo paddling but not the experience? Not much point in conjecture, waiting to hear a reply from seller.

Don't need to go fast, enjoy working at paddling at a good rate, playing with my strokes to maneuver creatively. I have come across a variety of Esquif boats mentioned as above and elsewhere - opinions about entry lines, weight of RX and similar boats vs. composites?

To that end, another more affordable option showed up - Mad River Freedom Solo - at $850 would be a heavier, twitchier boat that would challenge my skills to keep straight and allow me to explore some of the rockier rivers in the area...while I wait for the "perfect" boat to fall into may lap for just the right price...


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: February 27th, 2020, 6:15 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1778
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Carpenter wrote:
To that end, another more affordable option showed up - Mad River Freedom Solo - at $850 would be a heavier, twitchier boat that would challenge my skills to keep straight and allow me to explore some of the rockier rivers in the area...while I wait for the "perfect" boat to fall into may lap for just the right price...


The Mad River Freedom Solo is my favorite downriver day trip solo, and its lineage of MR Courier/Guide/Freedom Solo are all well regarded canoes.

I am seated 95% of the time and don’t find the Freedom Solo twitchy in any sense. It does want an active paddle to go straight, but behaves very well in current and mild WW.

14 feet six inches isn’t enough for me as a tripping hull, but I’m a heavy packer. Great rocky river solo.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: February 27th, 2020, 7:00 pm 
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Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2557
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I have built a few Ospreys and tripped for a few thousand kilometers in them. Currently building another one. Be good for daytripping, but if you intend any extended trips, I think you might find at your size that it will be a little small. Too bad swift didn't make the J. Winters Raven in a composite layup, it is a deadly large guy solo.


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 Post subject: Re: Choice of 4 boats
PostPosted: March 4th, 2020, 1:35 pm 
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Joined: May 24th, 2014, 8:13 am
Posts: 17
I have both a Mad River Freedom Solo and a Pocket Canyon. The FS is a solid boat that can do up to R3, but you need to plan your routes carefully, whereas the Pocket is far more forgiving. I do love how quick the FS eddies out. I have paddled both on 7-10 day trips and carried a bucket load of stuff, supporting larger groups in most instances, with no problem. If I had to choose one, it would be the Pocket because I have a small crush on the Lievre:) I am 5'8 and have no problem, friends of mine in the 6'2 range have also paddled both with no problem.


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