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Thread: Bell Yellowstone

  1. #1
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    Default Bell Yellowstone

    Maker's Spec

    WEIGHTS BY LAYUP
    Royalex - 59 lbs.

    Length: 15' 6"
    Length/Width Ratio: 5.5
    Rocker: Bow 3" Stern 2"

    Shear:
    Bow: 21"
    Mid: 14"
    Stern: 19"

    Width:
    Gunwale width - 32.5"
    Max width - 34"
    4" WL width - 32"

    Displacement:
    2" WL - 170 lbs.
    3" WL - 310 lbs.
    4" WL - 420 lbs.
    5" WL - 580 lbs.

    Capacity:
    6" Freeboard: 950 lbs.
    Optimum Load: 250 - 550 lbs.

    Maker's Write Up
    Not everyone has room in the garage or the budget for multiple canoes. We designed the Yellowstone to do it all with one boat. Its perfect blend of performance features, like speed and stability, make river paddling a breeze. Yet, the Yellowstone still skates across flatwater quietly and efficiently while holding enough gear for a long weekend trip.
    Last edited by Chrish; 26th-October-2007 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    A couple of comments:

    Note the hull is assymetric so you should generally paddle it forwards only, not turning it round for solo paddling. You might note that the front seat has a thwart behind it!

    For solo you will probably need to add a kneeling thwart at about the position of the rear thwart.

    The overall design of this boat is similar to the Dagger Legend and should therefore be quite versatile.

  3. #3
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    I've had my Yellowstone for about 6 months now and very impressed by its secondary stability. It can be leaned to the gunwales and it still feels stable but I haven't found the tipping point yet so I can't comment on how suddenly it arrives.

    I am a lightweight (140lbs/10stone) and paddling solo can mean that it is easily deflected by the wind, I would imagine a heavier paddler would have less of a problem with more of the hull below the waterline. Also loaded with camping gear may help too. Have yet to experiment with some ballast (10 litres of water in flexible bag type container) for improved performance.

    I haven't paddled tandem yet so can't comment on that or for that matter what the seats are like as I have not used them. They are angled slightly so kneeling should be more comfortable. I use an improvised saddle (rolled up bubble wrap in a stuff sack) which means I can alter trim easily - but I only do flatwater at the moment so don't need anything more solid. A kneeling thwart to replace the rear thwart would be good.

    It turns very easily and responds to the smallest amount of paddle input but is not twitchy unless one is too heavy handed.

    I know the rocker is asymetric but I am not sure about the hull shape (I'll have to do some measuring). It looks symetrical to me.



    Q

  4. #4

    Default yellowstone

    the hull shape is different the nose is higher at the front

    have taken seats out and put kneeling thwart in then have put front seat in just behind the thwart (had to be front as original rear too narrow)


    has been good quite fast for 15 foot boat bit small for 2 on exped though good for sailing


    but am about to rerig as double as replaced it with prospector for solo expeds

  5. #5
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    Last year I attended a Plas-Y-Brenin “Introductory Whitewater” weekend, and got to use a Yellowstone as a solo boat at Mile End Mill and Menai Bridge & the Swellies (It was probably the only dry week of last summer!)
    I haven’t tried too many open boats, but this felt great on the moving stuff: well balanced and forgiving, turns reasonably quickly. And it’s not too sluggish on the flat.

    At Menai Bridge I also received a top tip from Loel Collins. Each time I was breaking out I would slide off the kneeling thwart. Out came the paddle wax, and one sticky seat (and waxy bum on my salopettes) was produced.

    I tried out the boat again on the pond at the recent Nottingham Paddlefest (thank you, Outdoor Active).

    I now have my own Yellowstone. I’ve read the various postings on SOTP before lacing in some short airbags and fitting a modified “Wilf” QR kneeling thwart. I bought the basic outfitting version with vinyl gunwhales and ash/walnut woodwork & cane seats. Cosmetically the finish may offend some, with squashed plastic under rivets, but I’m after a low maintenance craft which will take the knocks.

    This boat should tick the boxes for what I want-a bit of solo paddling fun, tandem on the Thames and as a coaching platform.

    Another note: in order to make sure I had enough timber to build the QR thwart, I ordered the "extra long" option (supplied by Endless River through WWTCC). What arrived was a 6' plank of ash, plus hangers and hardware. So I could probably build a second set of woodwork. In fact I may build some slightly deeper hangers when I can access a decent drill press.

  6. #6
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    Default Yellowstone

    Does this boat suffer from oil canning at all ?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    Does this boat suffer from oil canning at all ?
    I didn't notice any.

    Although I'm not the most experienced as I only spent 10 minutes in it on a very windy day, trying to choose between the yellowstone and chestnut prospector. 2 very good boats 1 very difficult decision
    Last edited by joe.ford; 9th-June-2009 at 08:04 AM. Reason: still can't spel
    SF Peterborough 14'
    weighs 7 Stone! 44.5kg
    Bell Yellowstone (so light)

  8. #8
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    I have installed my Mk.1 thigh strap system for better connectivity when paddling on the rough. A few tweaks to do, but I'm fairly happy with the first attempt.

  9. #9
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    Thought I might put on another photo


    (photo courtesy of cragger)

    "Pedal five hundred miles on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature" - Pierre Trudeau

  10. #10
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    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。
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
    Thought I might put on another photo


    (photo courtesy of cragger)
    Is that an ex army canoe, in that colour? Good for a stealth paddle.

    Very nice.

    What's she called - Yelawa? (Can't make it out()

    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

  11. #11
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    "Note the hull is assymetric so you should generally paddle it forwards only, not turning it round for solo paddling."

    A. Cooper would think that. They rarely make asymmetrical barrels........

    Many asymmetrical hulls can be paddled in the "wrong" direction, providing one has the "right" position.

    Many want to turn the boat around and sit on the back of the bow seat. But this is almost always the wrong way to achieve good trim, so we won't give it serious consideration. A solo seat belongs close to the center of the canoe, and trim should be very close to level.

    When I bought my Mad River Synergy, the canoe that "stars" in most of my blogs, I tried paddling it in reverse, which made it fishform, with a bulbous upturned "bow" and a tapered stern. It was quite different in behavior, and I could see why the latest open canoe slalom competitors prefer fishform.

    The Millbrook canoe in my avatar was designed fishform for solo paddling, but for tandem use, it is paddled in reverse, in which orientation it becomes swedeform, with a narrower bow and a wider, more upturned stern.

    The Yellowstone under discussion in this thread has so little asymmetry that it is unlikely that anyone would have a problem paddling it solo in reverse. But a swedeform canoe will be slightly faster if the narrower end serves as bow.

    Another criticism of asymmetrical canoes is that they supposedly misbehave when one tries to backpaddle or backferry. Not so's you'd notice. How could this be true if so many whitewater solo canoes are asymmetrical? I can backpaddle and backferry my asymmetrical canoes with no problem whatsoever, and I never experienced a problem when I first learned to manage them in reverse. I suspect that this notion came in part from people sitting backwards on the bow seat. If you're out of trim, the canoe won't behave properly in reverse, whether it's symmetrical or not.

    I should add that when the paddler and boat are in level trim, then that trim can be modified to advantage by merely leaning one's torso forward or back. By doing so, one can get the canoe to grasp the water more firmly at one end or at the other.

  12. #12
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    I've had my Yellowstone for over a year now, but have not until now had the opportunity to directly compare it with other boats I've had in the past. However having just done the Tyne Tour in it, that has changed. This year was my sixth Tyne Tour, always in a tandem open boat. The first was in a plywood boat I made, it got down Warden Gorge at periscope depth, but at least it made it! Then 3 years with a Pyranha "lowline" prospector, again we got down the gorge OK, but shipped so much water.So then it was a Venture 16ft prospector in corelight. Enormous boat, really 16' 6" in length, very stable, but very heavy and it oil canned terribly. It was dry though. Needing a lighter boat to more easily get on van roofracks and wanting something a little less numb, I narrowed the choice down to a Wenonah 16ft prospector, a Mad River 16ft Legend and a Bell Yellowstone. In the end a Yellowstone came up for sale on SOTP and as I was already impressed by a friend's Yellowstone that's what we got.
    So how did it compare with the others on the Tyne? I was most impressed. The initial stability is a little wobbly compared with the Venture prospector, but that's probably about one of the most stable boats you can get. You soon get used to it anyway and the secondary stability is most impressive, there were several times I thought it must tip over, but it never did and you soon become very confident in it's ability. The ride, even tandem was surprisingly dry, we hardly shipped any water down Warden Gorge. I think this is a function of the flared bows compared with those of a prospector, the water gets pushed aside more effectively.
    Playing on waves solo was a revelation, so responsive and again that great secondary stability gave added confidence.
    Having also used the Yellowstone on flat water at times over the last year I can confirm that it is fast, nicely balanced and doesn't catch the wind too much. Perhaps not the first choice for flat water, it is certainly more than acceptable.
    In conclusion, for a boat that can be used tandem or solo on white water on grade 3, is also OK as an all rounder, is fairly dry, is light and beautifully built, I think the Yellowstone is excellent.

  13. #13
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    Thought I might throw in another 2p's worth as I've had my Yellowstone for quite some time now. In agreement with delfhill (think I spoke to you as you were loading up at the end of the Tyne Tour). Getting into the boat for the first time, yes, it felt a little on the wobbly side. However, it amazes me how fast it made me "trust" it, but like Quercus, I still haven't found out just how far I can lean her over before she tips over.
    On an outing with cragger on Derwent Water, I tried to keep up with him but found him far too fast in his NC Prospector. He pointed out that it all has to do with trim (so I am still working on this one as I am a slow learner).
    Once in a groove, fully laden, even with logs for the weekend wild camp, she came into her own (I used my C100 Ainsworth).
    Overall and mainly because of wanting to take my girls out more often I thought about a NC Prospector 16 a few times now, but, what would I really gain? I'd only get another 6 inches of boat and admittedly more width. Having said that, solo paddling a wider boat after the Yellowstone would really be something I'd have to get used to again.
    So, unless someone makes me an offer I can't refuse, she is staying with me



    "Pedal five hundred miles on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature" - Pierre Trudeau

  14. #14
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    Nice last pic there Ingo
    Even going up to a 15 Prospector would give you a fair bit more room for tandem its a completly different boat to the yellowstone

  15. #15
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    I've paddled this boat quite a few times on different grades. I've always found it to be really responsive. For Quite a while I was convinced that it was a dagger mold that Bell had used, as it was very similar to other daggers, but now I'm not so sure.

    I found it excellent on flat water, with a low gunnel and wide hull it made for good day and multi day tripping. Equally I also found it to be very responsive on a river, more that the Pyranha Prospector that I've paddled.

    Just my 2 pence worth.
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  16. #16
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    The Yellowstone Solo is not from a Dagger design. Its an original design made by David Yost and the mold was created approximately circa 1998.
    "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing." WS-prophecy about internet postings.

  17. #17
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    The similarity might be an example of convergent evolution, often seen in canoe design. If different designers are working to create the best hull for a specific set of demands, after a few tries they may independently settle on similar approaches. And, Yost would have been remiss if he hadn't taken a look at what Scarborough and others were doing.

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