Results 1 to 43 of 43

Thread: Mad River Freedom Solo

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    260

    Default Mad River Freedom Solo

    Maker's Spec

    Last edited by Chrish; 17th-March-2008 at 09:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Puivert, Pyrenees
    Posts
    433

    Default

    Can't believe no one has posted anything up about the freedom solo as I've seen plenty of people in them! I've had one for over a year now and am selling it due to circumstances, but I think they are a decent boat.

    If you're thinking of getting a solo boat, there are really 4 choices, Freedom Solo, Novacraft Supernova, Wenonah Argosy and Bell Yellowstone Solo (I've put aside the Old Town Pack because it's dimensions are so different) - Wenonah and mohawk do a bunch of other solo boats but these seem more flat water orientated. All of the 4 boats I've mentioned above compare really well because they all seem geared towards a compromise between river running agility and flat water tracking and speed.

    All of these boats are pretty much the same length and width, which means that they'll get you into tight spots a bit better than a 16 footer, but they'll also feel a fair bit tippier. I'm 6ft 2in and weigh almost 100kg so it's defintely not the most stable choice for me - but someone say 80kg or less would find it perfect for almost the opposite reasons. The length is a compromise which allows for better speed and tracking than a spec boat and makes all of these solo boats more versatile. Taking a spec boat onto a lake would be a bit of a chore (Mohawk XLs aside), but I've not spotted any noticeable difference in speed between the solos and the bigger boats (of course purists will talk about the extra miles per hour difference for each foot yada yada) - but basically you won't feel like a burden in a group of paddlers with 15 or 16 footers. They are all also rather pointy and being a bit shallower in general means they will all ship water in a wave train and you have to adjust your paddling style accordingly. I've taken mine into GII/III and not noticed the wetness being a massive problem. If you compare them to a stub nosed boat like a Legend or spec boats then yeah they are wet - but compared to a prospector or explorer shape - I don't see much difference!

    So the only differences in all these solo boats are the minute differences in hull shape. Having paddled them all except for the Supernova, I can say there a few small comparisons to be made. Firstly none of these differences make a BIG deal. There are people who like the Argosy, people who like the Yellowstone Solo, but frankly they all feel MORE or LESS the same, and if you think about that makes perfect sense really as there's not much in it. The Freedom Solo has symetrical rocker which makes it equally maneuverable backwards as well as forwards and it has a shallow V hull which means it's nice and stable leaned on it's side and this helps it track. The flip side is that it's not all that stable straight up so poling isn't the best, and there's a slight difference surfing waves etc... as it doesn't have the super smooth transition that a curved hull would have. The Argosy and Supernova both have pretty rounded hulls which mean that the stability feels pretty much the same all round with no particular bias as you edge - at least the Argosy felt like that. I didn't notice much difference between the symmetrical rocker and asymmetrical rockered boats like the yellostone solo. The Yellowstone solo had the most tumblehome of all the boats in my opinion which makes it nice and easy to paddle but you can't lean it on it's edge quite as much.

    At the end of the day, as I mentioned earlier, they are all pretty much the same and do the same job. So it comes down to other things like price, build quality etc... Price wise, I picked my boat up fairly cheaply with a bunch of extras so that was great. The build quality is okay but mad river are not the best in terms of build quality. Don't get me wrong they aren't cheap and nasty, but if you want nice build quality, I think Wenonah are fantastic. Also Mad River are fairly ubiquitous in the canoe world so having and Argosy or Supernova is more original and unique.

    So that's it really - my two cents as it were. In summary, a nice little river running/flat water boat. It tracks well, it's agile around rocks etc... but it's less stable than a 15/16 footer, less dry than a spec boat and isn't great for poling, however it compares well with the Argosy, Yellowstone and Supernova.

    Personally, if you could only have one boat, don't buy a solo - unless you haven't got mates or will never envisage your wife/partner being interested in coming along. Many of the 15 footer boats out there are pretty much the same length and rocker but much more stable and can carry two people. Think Explorer 15RX or Explorer 14TT. People don't seem to realise it, but they are both actually under 15ft and as there's only 3 inches between a freedom solo and an explorer 15 - well do you think it makes much difference? On the otherhand, if you already have a bit of a beast boat (like me) in a 16 footer, and fancy something agile that can do everything that you already do - then the solos are a good way to go. They are a versatile compromise.

    If however you are not looking for versatility and compromise, don't get them. If you're looking to replace your 16 footer with a solo for flat water my question would be WHY there's simply no benefit to be had here? If you predominately do WW and river running, then again I'd question the benefit having owned one myself for that very purpose. Get yourself a spec boat in my opinion. They are drier and designed specifically for river running. Of course Legend 15s are a category all of their own which I guess is why they are so popular. As for me, I plan to sell both the beast and the baby beast and get myself one single all round compromise boat. Maybe an Esquif Prospecteur or Pocket Canyon if they sell em here
    Last edited by lovingit2; 23rd-September-2009 at 11:48 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,650

    Default

    Great review!

    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit2 View Post
    Can't believe no one has posted anything up about the freedom solo
    Me neither! I was looking for one about a month ago and couldn't believe the gap... and that's not just on this site: I came across far more comparisons of the Argosy and Yellowstone Solo (perhaps reflecting the status of Bell and Wenonah, especially in the US).

    Specification wise, the equal rocker of the Supernova and Freedom Solo (as opposed to the skegged stern of the Argosy and YS) is the obvious stand-out difference... but (for instance) as Charlie Wilson has noted elsewhere... "The S bend of the YS's shoulders is higher than Argosy's, so when heeled near the rails YS lifts its stems higher. YS will, thereby turn tighter".

    He goes on to note:

    Another factor about the shoulders is the YS gets progressively firmer when heel angle increases as more volume is forced into the pond. Argosy buries its bubble sooner, and once the bubble disappears into the lake less volume is presented as heel angle continues to increase and stability suffers.

    Nothing is free. Argosy's lower shoulder/bubble improves hand clearance when sitting with a bent paddle. That, coupled with Argosy's Swede form hull give it the nod if you're going to sit and use a bent paddle. The symmetrical YS will respond better to a kneeling paddler with a straight stick.
    Whilst the Supernova's "shallow Arch" would seem to fit between the 27" (gunwale) - 30" (max) -26.5" (waterline) "bubble" section of the YS and the 27"-30.2"-27" "shouldered" section of the Argosy, the FS measures 29" at the gunwales, 30.5 max and 29" at the waterline... which is pretty straight sided.

    Combine that with the shallow v hull and the hull does suddenly start looking VERY different, and perhaps a little dated.

    On a slightly different note, the Supernova struck me as big, and the stats back that up: at 32" (max) it's beamier than the rest (30.5 FS, 30.2 Arg. and 30" YS), and at 14'9" it's quite significantly longer than the FS and YS... and at 23" (bow) 15" (centre) it is deeper than the 20" (bow), 14.3" (centre), 19.5" (stern) Freedom Solo and way deeper than the 18.5"/12.5"/16.5" YS... or the 18"/13.5"/16" Argosy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Puivert, Pyrenees
    Posts
    433

    Default

    Wow - now that's a review! Blimey I had no idea it was so complicated!

    I've spent most of my time in WW and never used a bent shaft paddle and rarely sit so I'm glad I didn't pick an Argosy! I think sitting in your canoe on a surf wave could be interesting. In fact, I think I'd rather stand than sit! When you're sat down I just find it's so much harder to put down pressure through your feet and get the edge control you need on a wave...

    The freedom solo is basically a shrunken down explorer hull. If that's dated, I dunno, they seem quite pleased with their shallow V hulls over at Mad River HQ! At one point shallow Vs were the new exciting thing in canoeing. At the end of the day I bought mine because it was a good deal, and I as I said, I didn't appreciate much difference between them all. Okay that's not like I didn't notice any difference, but no one was going to sell me a Yellowstone solo at the time! I've been pretty happy with my purchase overall. I doubt very much having an Argosy, Yellostone Solo or indeed any of the other boats would have made much of a difference to my paddling experience the past year or so. Maybe it would have saved a swim? I doubt that! I'm going back to properly wide boats until I've got my skills licked!
    Last edited by lovingit2; 23rd-September-2009 at 03:20 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Enkhuizen
    Posts
    530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit2 View Post
    [...]
    If you're thinking of getting a solo boat, there are really 4 choices, Freedom Solo, Novacraft Supernova, Wenonah Argosy and Bell Yellowstone Solo (I've put aside the Old Town Pack because it's dimensions are so different) - Wenonah and mohawk do a bunch of other solo boats but these seem more flat water orientated. All of the 4 boats I've mentioned above compare really well because they all seem geared towards a compromise between river running agility and flat water tracking and speed. [...]
    Although harder to get/buy, in that 'league' there also is the Swift Raven as a choice now, I think.

    Dirk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    805

    Default

    I've paddled the Raven two times recently. Will try to post a short review soon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Puivert, Pyrenees
    Posts
    433

    Default

    Nice looking boat... 15.4 is quite long and it's even narrower than the freedom solo, but I'd love to try it. It's probably pretty quick on the flat.

  8. #8

    Smile Freedom Solo lover

    I've had a Freedom Solo, for 5 years now and in my opinion as a solo female ww paddler it's a first rate canoe. That said since buying it I've become a Level 3 Coach and I now work with groups on ww so the need to rescue swimmers and boats is a necessity and has proved risky in my precious solo. With that in mind I have now purchased a Legend 15 which is similar enough in specs to suit my paddling style but stable enough to cope with a rescue situation and not make me another casualty.

    The Freedom Solo is massive fun to paddle, highly responsive and light for portaging (although no yoke). After 5 years of play, ease of paddling in strong winds (she seems to be so perfectly trimmed that whatever the wind direction I never get blown off course) I have an affection for the Freedom Solo that has never been matched by any other canoe design (and I've paddled loads).

    Thanks to lack of storage for a second boat I'll shortly be selling my Freedom Solo and I'll be devastated to see her go.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    I have a Freedom Guide and also a Mad River Synergy, a descendant of the MR ME that you will probably never see over there. The Guide is a great boat for maneuvering in easy rapids, and the flattish bottom makes it ferry like a banking F-16. It actually ferries across swift current better than my Synergy, and not much worse than my Dagger Zealot slalom boat.

    I actually paddle my 15', highly rockered Synergy much more than I do the Guide, because the Synergy is better suited to the class 2-3 whitewater I usually paddle. But that is no reflection on the Guide. There are plenty of easier whitewater rivers where it does quite well.

    If someone is thinking of buying a Guide, they should be thinking eddy turns and violent ferrying. Otherwise they might as well try a faster boat. Anything of similar length made by Wenonah is faster. By the way, I have paddled the Wenonah Rendezvous, supposedly a whitewater boat, and it can't touch the MR Guide for maneuvering.

  10. #10

    Smile Selling it now

    I'm now selling my Freedom Solo, I've placed an ad in the classifieds forum

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...532#post258532


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    still in Hazard County
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Freedom Solo
    - Faster and better tracking than a Prospector style boat
    - More manuverable than a tandem boat
    - As capable on class III as any boat of a similar weight
    - Easy to carry if you fit a yolk or on your shoulder like a kayak

    It's not perfect at anything but it's as good a compromise as you'll find for a one-boat solution to solo canoeing
    Have fun!
    D
    You're still not trying hard enough!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    2,062

    Default

    The boat is best suited for larger longer armed paddlers. It is way too wide for me.
    "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing." WS-prophecy about internet postings.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    Guide Solo isn't wide, really. It's gunwale width is under 30 inches. But it's wider than certain more Placid boats.

    The main reason the Guide might be too large for some smaller paddlers is that, for me at 225 pounds, it sits light on the water, with its stems not fully engaged. That's good for whitewater but not for flatwater. With a paddler and a load of gear, it would be enough down in the water to track and glide better.

    I've probably already said this, but in class 3 the bow doesn't have enough spread for dryness. It can handle many, but not all, class 3 rapids taken one by one. I would not try running it down the Kennebec from Carry Brook because it will swamp.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,650

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ezwater View Post
    Guide Solo isn't wide, really. It's gunwale width is under 30 inches. But it's wider than certain more Placid boats.
    Because of the boxy cross-section, smaller paddlers might find they need to line the inside of the hull with minicell foam to reduce the internal dimensions... especially if the seat is high: at 6' tall, I'm able to lock a knee in each chine... but I find the spread excessive. More seriously, the reach over those 30" gunwales could get tiring after a bit.

    For comparison... the size series Reveries were as follows:

    REVERIE SERIES Reverie I Reverie II Reverie III Adventurer
    Overall Length 11' 10" 12' 6" 13' 2" 10'
    Molded Width 23.5" 25.5" 28.5" 21"
    Waterline Width 23" 25" 27" 21"
    Optimum Capacity (lb.) 105-150 140-210 200-275 55-95



    At ~6' tall and ~135lbs I found the Reverie II pretty sweet: my 28.5" max beam Flashfire feels a tad dumpy by comparison.

    For me, the Freedom Solo works well enough to have been seriously entertained... but for little folk, the Freedom Solo / Guide is going to feel a bit barge like. For others who are big enough to really fit nicely, I'd suggest these are good, cheap and cheerful river-canoeing "beaters" that are easily available and eminently suitable for most UK white-water paddling.

  15. #15
    Crow's Avatar
    Crow is offline こんにちは。私はカラスと私はスコットラ ンドの出身で す。
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    16,113
    Journal Entries
    10

    Default

    What's that in stones, for us UK readers?

    Here comes the future and you can't run from it
    If you've got a blacklist I want to be on it


    Crow Trip Log

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    4,808

    Default

    6 foot tall and 9 stone 9 lbs = skeleton !!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eastern Australian highlands
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Here's some footage of a Freedom Solo in whitewater. The other canoes in this are Legend 16s. The Solos tend to take on a bit of water, but they're fun & light.

  18. #18

    Default

    Excellent video, I like the small child floatation system. Need to get one.

  19. #19

    Default

    Unless air bags are cheaper

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    manchester, uk
    Posts
    977

    Default

    They're a lot,lot cheaper than any kid I know.....
    "Access all areas, Under the radar"

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tweeddale, Scottish Borders
    Posts
    164

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe Guru View Post
    Maker's Spec

    I have a freedom solo and until the other day when I removed the seat I didnt like it one bit. its OK for flowing water but on windy flat water - just terrible.

    I would recommend to anyone who has one, remove the seat and then you have a choice of paddling positions. if like me, you've got a bad knee and really need a seat decide where to put it. I was paddling with my ass against the rear thwart and it was MORE stable there than in the middle - I couldnt understand it, and it went where I wanted it to - even in wind (not tried stong wind)

    You'll see by this picture the seat front is dead centre. I played around with no seat then put it back one seat width rear, i.e., the holes for the rear part of the seat became the hole for the front.

    A traditional stroke, ie a j stoke how has more effect, because you're putting the paddle in slightly behind the centre, not in front as before. It makes for a more traditional paddle style. In my opinion.

    The other thing is, its now easier to stand up in - because you were forced to stand ahead of the seat - forward of the centre line. Now with no seat or the seat moved back you can stand in it. Its not easy, but it can be done.

    You've got nothing to lose, try it. If you dont like it - put the seat back.
    Last edited by Keith Miller; 18th-July-2012 at 09:11 PM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    I can understand why you find that an improvement, but I don't J-stroke much, because I'm actually rigged a bit more forward than the factory shot you provided. I "pull the boat straight forward by the nose." And in whitewater, having the boat trimmed level makes spinning and ferrying easier.

    Fortunately, it's a boat that tolerates many approaches.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tweeddale, Scottish Borders
    Posts
    164

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ezwater View Post
    I can understand why you find that an improvement, but I don't J-stroke much, because I'm actually rigged a bit more forward than the factory shot you provided. I "pull the boat straight forward by the nose." And in whitewater, having the boat trimmed level makes spinning and ferrying easier.

    Fortunately, it's a boat that tolerates many approaches.
    The answer is I am touring and flat water as much as anything else, I am trying to increase the scope of what is a specialised boat.

    If you are in white water your style will be much better and I wont be able to do it, but I do have the option of getting off the seat and kneeling.

    But I dont do much white water unless I come across it touring.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    I wouldn't call it a specialized boat---rather the opposite. It's supposed to be good enough on the flats and good enough in class 1-2 whitewater. Moving the seat back will make it track better on the flats, at only a modest, imperceptible loss in speed. It does sit light on the water, even with my 220 pounds aboard. But if you load it with camping gear, put enough in the bow so that it is trimmed level again. With a load, it will track better, and trimmed level, it will have a better glide.

    It used to be gospel that people trimmed canoes a bit bow light, tandem or solo, and the photos I see of UK solo canoeists suggest that many prefer to be a bit light in the bow. I've found that trying for level trim in a boat like the Freedom Solo works better for me, but that doesn't apply to my ww solo opens. My Mad River Synergy, a swedeform boat (slimmer bow, fatter stern) works best, solo, trimmed just a bit stern light. It tracks better that way, and if I want to unload the bow for a severe maneuver, I just lean back hard. My Millbrook, which is fishform (fatter bow, slimmer stern) paddles and maneuvers better if I am kneeling just a bit back of the center, the way you do in your Freedom Solo. One has to find those things out by trial and error.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tweeddale, Scottish Borders
    Posts
    164

    Default

    I've had a good think about what you say, and I think you're right.

    It isnt a specialised boat at all, its trying to be a cross over between solo white water which isn't really good in white water and a flat water canoe without being good at that either.

    First time I took it into white water it dived the nose into a moderate wave train and nearly swamped.

    However, I am still delighted I moved the seat. Other opinions may vary.

  26. #26

    Default

    Great VIDEO
    How apelle wooden paddle and carbon, or to buy unfreedom solo and equipments in United Kingdom
    Thank you

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tweeddale, Scottish Borders
    Posts
    164

    Default

    Normanoc,

    If this is a genuine enquiry - my boat is currently not for sale, but you see them turn up in the classified section every so often. Put a request in wants and swaps but drop the UN in Freedom.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    Keith, on the issue of swamping in whitewater, the Freedom Solo might have benefited from having its bow flared a bit more. But saving that, there are two things you can do if you want to run through a wave or hole and not take excessive water. One of them is to aim the boat to one side or the other of the wave train or hole, so that you go through a less active zone. I do that all the time. It isn't cheating, it's just common sense. The other is to go through waves and holes at approximately current speed, not faster. That way the bow and stern of the boat have time to rise and fall with the water, rather than getting shoved into it.

    If a canoe is taken through a rapid at current speed, rather than faster (or slower), it won't have as much directional stability, and will require a bit more minding with the various whitewater strokes. One thing to keep in mind--- if you need to spin the boat to a new heading, that's easiest to do when it is passing over a wave or haystack, rather than when it is down in a trough with its ends buried in the sides of the trough.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Appleton, Warrington.
    Posts
    1,261

    Default

    Hello, I have just joined the MR Freedom Solo owner club, with a second hand one and have a few questions.....

    The seat is far too low for me and the thwarts are a bit loose, giving a bit of a flexing hull.. I will try and get to the bottom of this in the next couple of weeks.. I was wondering whether fitting thwarts closer to the centre of the canoe would make it more rigid. I note the thwart on my Wenonah is set just behind the seat..

    I am wondering whether to fit a kneeling thwart (or just use a stingray saddle) and keeping a seat, it is sold as an asymmetrical design, does anyone know whether this would make a big difference if it was paddled backwards ?

    Many thanks.

    Paul

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    Vinyl or wood gunwales? Mine is a Guide Solo that was made back in the 90s, and I don't notice hull flexing at all. If the thwart screws seem loose, you might remove the thwarts, glue dowel stock in the screw holes, and then re-drill, taking care that the new holes precisely fit the outside diameter of the screws. Another approach might be to put sleeve liners in the holes so the sleeve liners fit the screws tightly. Right now, I'm looking at a plastic Bic pen that might provide plastic tubing of the right OD/ID. You'd have to improvise. If the liners are properly glued in, they will protect the inside of the wood from rot. I have only two thwarts in my Guide Solo.

    I guess the holes in the gunwales might also be too big, though that's unusual. Rather than sleeving the holes, you could move each thwart just a bit forward or back, making new, tight holes. The old holes can be plugged, perhaps with black vinyl insert buttons, which I've seen in hardware stores.

    Don't move a thwart unless it's in your way, or you need it more in a new location. Instead I'd suggest thoughtful addition of thwarts. You don't need shapely thwarts like the original. Relatively narrow ash thwarts will do just fine, because they're usually only under tension/compression along their axis. If you move an exiting thwart, it may not span a wide spot in the boat, or it may have to be shortened and drilled for a narrow spot. But you knew that.

    On hanging seats and hanging solo thwarts, the boat can be stiffened a bit by putting stiff closed-cell foam between the hanger and the hull. That way the seat or thwart will serve as a low cross brace.

    I used to think it was an asymmetrical design, but folks on myccr.com convinced me I was wrong. If the MR site says it is asymmetrical, they may only mean that the stern is cut lower than the bow. I'm sure they did not change the design when they changed the name. You need to take careful measurements and stare at the thing to assess whether it is asymmetrical, but I think you'll see symmetry.

    Incidentally, I don't know who writes Mad River's online or paper catalog copy, but I've seen some astounding changes in their descriptions of their hull designs. Don't quote me, but I seem to recall them calling the Guide/Freedom Solo a V-bottom in one catalog edition, and a shallow arch in another. It is, in fact, a very shallow V-bottom, and one of their very best V-bottom designs.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Appleton, Warrington.
    Posts
    1,261

    Default

    Finally got round to removing seat and thwarts. I think that the problem is with the exit holes on the gunwales seem to have been 'double drilled' so are elongated.

    Just sanded the thwarts down and will varnish them later this week, but I am tempted to trim a cm off each off each end and pull it in bit, I know it will reduce rocker.... any thoughts ?

    Regards

    Paul.

    ps. have stared at the boat from several angles on numerous occasions and it does seem to look asymmetrical, but I can't seem to quantify it.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    I think they're symmetrical if the thwarts are installed in a symmetrical pattern. But in the case of my Guide Solo, the previous owner removed the center thwart and put a rear thwart in place to hold the foam pedestal down. So the hull, loaded with me on the water, may not be symmetrical.

    You could pinch just the bow inward by a bit, which might make the boat a bit swedeform.

    Royalex boats with wood gunwales sometimes have the Royalex screw holes enlarged toward oval shape, toward the ends of the boat, so that when the Royalex contracts in freezing weather, it can slide between the gunwales rather than cracking. I have no idea why holes might be double drilled in your boat.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Appleton, Warrington.
    Posts
    1,261

    Default

    EZ,

    Thanks for the info.

    The screw holes are elongated coz someone made an ar#e of fitting the thwarts and drilled them at the wrong angle first time.

    I note that my seat is fixed about 6" back from the centre line and the thwarts are about the same length but fixed at different distances from the ends.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Appleton, Warrington.
    Posts
    1,261

    Default

    Work still in progress, but I am still pondering. I have chucked in a couple of temporary thwarts and " or so shorter than the originals and the seat has been lifted a couple of " with temporary hangers and 1/2" taken off each seat end to pull it in.

    The width at the gunwales has now been pulled in and are now 30" (I think they were 33" before ). I have looked at the Mad River website and note that they already say that it's 'swede form' and the (current) spec is 30.5" but in 2008 they stated it was 29" !

    Should I pull it in another " ?

    Paul

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    I haven't found the MR website at all reliable or realistic regarding hullform. Not sure why that is, but all makers are hampered by inconsistencies in definition for "symmetrical" . I have seen MR describe the Guide/Freedom/Solo as V-bottomed (it's a shallow V) and as shallow arch (not quite). As for symmetry, another Solo owner argues that actual measurement does NOT confirm swedeform, and I'm inclined to agree.

    I think mine is about 30 inches at the gunwales, and you could go a bit lower than that, but will it reduce the rocker? I don't know.

  36. #36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bin_man View Post
    Work still in progress, but I am still pondering. I have chucked in a couple of temporary thwarts and " or so shorter than the originals and the seat has been lifted a couple of " with temporary hangers and 1/2" taken off each seat end to pull it in. The width at the gunwales has now been pulled in and are now 30" (I think they were 33" before ). I have looked at the Mad River website and note that they already say that it's 'swede form' and the (current) spec is 30.5" but in 2008 they stated it was 29" !
    Should I pull it in another " ?Paul
    Well, I'd say "Go for it." I have a friend whom somehow backed into something in a parking garage with his and mashed in the starboard gunnel probably 3". He swore it did nothing to the hull's performance and only enhanced paddling by introducing some tumblehome. I thought he was being optimistic and just didn't want to admit he needed to fix the boat. But I paddled it and by golly he was correct! Now, I'm not a boat builder or designer and I wouldn't try to persuade you to do what he did. But I cannot imagine pulling in the gunnels a bit more would do anything other than enhance your ability to paddle this boat. Here's a pic of the boat in question.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Let us so live, that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry! Mark Twain

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eastern Australian highlands
    Posts
    77

    Default Shallow arches v. V-bottoms

    Quote Originally Posted by ezwater View Post

    Incidentally, I don't know who writes Mad River's online or paper catalog copy, but I've seen some astounding changes in their descriptions of their hull designs. Don't quote me, but I seem to recall them calling the Guide/Freedom Solo a V-bottom in one catalog edition, and a shallow arch in another. It is, in fact, a very shallow V-bottom, and one of their very best V-bottom designs.
    I noticed those two terms, too, and concluded that MR uses them interchangeably.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eastern Australian highlands
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bin_man View Post
    Work still in progress, but I am still pondering. I have chucked in a couple of temporary thwarts and " or so shorter than the originals and the seat has been lifted a couple of " with temporary hangers and 1/2" taken off each seat end to pull it in.

    The width at the gunwales has now been pulled in and are now 30" (I think they were 33" before ). I have looked at the Mad River website and note that they already say that it's 'swede form' and the (current) spec is 30.5" but in 2008 they stated it was 29" !

    Should I pull it in another " ?

    Paul
    I'd love to hear the results of this experiment. By the way, why are you considering making it swede form?

    My standard seat was too far forward for my j-stroking, when I got mine. I ended up putting a saddle in front of the rear thwart. Also installed a yoke.

    I haven't paddled mine for a while, and now paddle a L'Edge more often which I drive from the front (a la ezwater), so I might have to reposition the seat in future.
    Last edited by Pea Pod; 11th-July-2013 at 02:55 AM.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    still in Hazard County
    Posts
    20

    Default In short...

    Spec:
    Length - 14'6"
    Width - 30.5"
    rocker - 2.5" each end
    Weight - 55lb
    Essential refinements - (for technical solo paddler) replace seat with kneeling thwart; lash-in two 4' airbags; add a yoke.
    Pros:
    White water - I've paddled mine on class 3+ a fair bit and it's fine although a little wetter than a MR Explorer or Novacraft Prospector.
    Open water - I've also done fair distances on open water and it's really fast for a general purpose boat and tracks beautifully!
    Light enough for even my meagre frame to lug around by myself
    Cons:
    - Feels really tippy to start with but you get used to it when kneeling.
    - Too unstable for confident poling or sailing
    Summary:
    Great boat for solo tripping and play but use a larger boat for longer expeditions, traditional skills and tandem work
    You're still not trying hard enough!

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    Here's a canoe I'd like to have to replace my Guide/Freedom. About 40 pounds in a very tough layup. Dryer with more capacity.

    https://www.cliffcanoe.com/single-po...79419695487942

  41. #41
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    still in Hazard County
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Northstar Pheonix certainly looks good on paper but will it be plagued with build quality issues or is it going to be as tough as old boots?
    You're still not trying hard enough!

  42. #42

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy Duke View Post
    Northstar Pheonix certainly looks good on paper but will it be plagued with build quality issues or is it going to be as tough as old boots?
    Well, since it's Ted Bell building them, I do not think there is a problem with Build quality?" I have a few friend whom own Northstar boats and they feel they are very well made. I know of an outfitter in the US whom always used Bells and he feels the Northstars are even better.
    Let us so live, that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry! Mark Twain

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    Charlie Wilson rates Northstar as close to Colden in build quality. Not sure what you mean by "tough as old boots" but if you choose the ~40 lb Innegra version it will be plenty tough.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •