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Thread: Bell Chestnut Prospector

  1. #1
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    Default Bell Chestnut Prospector

    Maker's Spec

    WEIGHTS BY LAYUP
    KevLight - 37 lbs.
    BlackGold - 42 lbs.
    Royalex - 65 lbs.

    Length: 16'
    Length/Width Ratio: 5.4
    Rocker: Bow 2.5" Stern 2.5"

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

    Width:
    Gunwale width - 33.5"
    Max width - 35"
    4" WL width - 32.5"

    Displacement:
    2" WL - 170 lbs.
    3" WL - 315 lbs.
    4" WL - 420 lbs.
    5" WL - 590 lbs.

    Capacity:
    6" Freeboard: 980 lbs.
    Maker's Write Up
    There are many Prospectors on the market, but none quite like the authentic Chestnut Prospector. Bell Canoe is pleased to be commissioned by the Chestnut Canoe Company to produce this fine canoe. 2006 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Chestnut Canoe Company, and for the occasion David Yost built and refined the plug for the Chestnut Prospector. The classic Chestnut design goes hand in hand with Bell's state of the art materials and superb craftsmanship. This allows you the opportunity to own the original ... and the best.
    Last edited by Chrish; 26th-October-2007 at 10:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Bell Chestnut Prospector review

    Ok so I finally did it after months and months of research - I bought a Bell chestnut Prospector and here's my thoughts.



    Requirements

    Classic Canoe shape
    A canoe that was easy to paddle solo or tandem.
    Around 16" long
    Plenty of space for carrying kit for two/three
    Reasonably light
    Able to cope with grade 2/3 rivers as well as touring

    Others considered

    Novacraft Prospector 16"
    Wenonah Prospector 15"/16"
    Wenonah Aurora
    Venture Prospector
    Mad River Explorer
    Old Town Charles River


    General layout

    Dimensions are as in the description above.
    Seats are woven with wooden frames and wooden hangers, one nice touch is that the front edge of the seat is chamfered rather than just rounded off. I find this more comfortable if kneeling as it doesn't create pressure points on the back of your thighs.



    There are two normal thwarts; behind the bow seat and between the stern seat and the centre thwart which is profiled to fit around your shoulders when portaging.
    Gunwales are moulded plastic. I'm not sure whether wood is available but the plastic does seem very tough and robust even though it doesn't look as good.

    First paddle

    Having spent a week with it on the North Norfolk coast I now feel like I might be qualified to give my first impressions although it starts a couple of weeks prior to this on the canal in Gloucestershire.

    I picked up my new canoe from Outdoor Active the day after the first batch arrived from customs - it was still wrapped in bubble wrap and to say Richard at Outdoor Active was as excited as me would be an understatement.

    With the canoe unwrapped it was straight down to the canal to try it out. I had tried a number of similar sized canoes up to this point none of which I felt gave me the balance I was looking for. In particular I was keen to see how it responded to side wind and moving water. Previous canoes I tried were either very stable with good tracking but difficult to turn, highly maneuverable and less stable or difficult to control in side winds.
    My first thoughts on the Bell were how responsive it was bearing in mind it was 16 feet long and I was paddling solo. Primary stability was good too; something I wasn't expecting considering the hull profile is well rounded. Side wind stability was better than most and any effects could be offset by a quick trim change.
    Solo paddling highlighted one problem – there is a thwart positioned right behind the bow seat which doesn't allow you to sit on this seat and face the opposite direction when solo. I did find myself kneeling between this and the centre thwart however so a kneeling thwart would probably suffice unless I am solo with a lot of kit then I would like to use the seat.



    Sea paddle

    So on to the Norfolk coast, Burnham Overy Staithe to be precise. A small tidal port loved by small sailing vessels and apparently where Nelson learned to sail as a boy, with lots of mud flats and creeks to explore in a canoe it was a good location. There's also lots of Samphire growing around the creeks which is easily picked as you glide past – Lovely when thrown in boiling water for a few seconds and then served with butter and black pepper. It’s also pretty good eaten raw.



    The first paddle saw me heading upstream to visit the creeks, fortunately the tide was coming in but there was a slight headwind and I had to shuffle right up to the centre thwart to find the balance point. Once found it was quite easy to play with the wind while paddling on the one side and keep it tracking well (time in the canoe and practice should improve my technique).
    Tandem paddling was a breeze and really showed what the canoe could do, it didn't have a problem paddling into the incoming tide and I was quite surprised at the rate we were catching up small sailing vessels, granted there was more of a breeze than wind but it was a nice feeling all the same.
    Stability was very good when tandem and turning in the incoming waves wasn’t really a problem; I think the fast response helped with this.

    Conclusion

    I’ve spent lots of hours in Nova Craft Prospectors during my time paddling and found them good load luggers and stable canoes however they didn’t really give me what I was looking for as a canoe to buy. The Venture Prospector and Wenonah Aurora were also very good but were just lacking that final touch and were quite heavy. I thought I had found what I was looking for in the Wenonah Prospector but I didn’t really enjoy the side winds when solo so the search continued. What I needed was the maneuverability of the Wenonah Prospector but without the high bow and stern.
    The Bell Chestnut Prospector has pretty much the same dimensions as the Wenonah but the bow and stern are lower so it just had to be tried – I wasn’t disappointed. Now I just need to remove that thwart.
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

  3. #3
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    Great Review! , I have the same canoe and have also been considering removing the thwart for solo paddling. Have you removed yours yet? I was wondering what it has done to the strength / feel of the structure as they are normally put in for a good reason and I am hesitating on removing it.

    Kevin

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    Quote Originally Posted by porker View Post
    Great Review! , I have the same canoe and have also been considering removing the thwart for solo paddling. Have you removed yours yet? I was wondering what it has done to the strength / feel of the structure as they are normally put in for a good reason and I am hesitating on removing it.
    Kevin
    Glad you liked the review. I did take it out and it was fine on calm water however I haven't tried it in WW like that.
    I put it back in for a recent trip to Scotland when I knew I was going to be tandem paddling but it was really just to make it more stable on the roof of the car.

    I am very tempted to get some wing nuts to make it easier in future.

    Incidently I am travelling up to Burnham Overy Staithe again in a couple of weeks time and was wondering about paddling other areas around there. Since that's your neck of the woods do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks.
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

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    Default Bell

    Does this boat Oil can ?

    Paul

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    Hello mate.
    No problems with my Bell Prospector at all. I love it. I also have the Bell Yellowstone Solo and thats another fine piece of kit.
    The Bell Prospector is heavier than my Old Town Charles River, ( which I have had no problems with ) but I don't see this as an issue because I think it just goes to show it's up for rougher treatment. The build quality is far superior on both the Bells though I have to say.

  7. #7

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    How does this boat compare to the mad river explorer.

  8. #8
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    I had a 16' Mad River Explorer in royalex and I now have a Bell Chestnut Prospector. I haven't yet paddled the Bell as much as I did the MR but have used both in some light grade 2 moving water and had a bit of a play. I would say the build quality of the Bell is superior to the MR, the royalex on the Bell seems harder - the MR picked up 'knife cuts' incredibly quickly whereas the Bell seems to 'scuff'.

    I also think the Bell is more rigid - I haven't noticed any oil canning in the Bell but the MR did it frequently. It handles well in moving water but clearly isn't a play boat (banana!) and provides a great place for the family on day trips - plenty of room and stable too.

    Any opinion is personal; mine is in favour of the Bell
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    Default I want one!

    Any of you guys know where I can buy one of these in the NW of England? I don't want to have to travel to buy it (too much)
    The early bird may catch the worm, but it's always the second mouse that gets the cheese!

  10. #10
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    It may be worth giving Brookbank (Stockport or Carlisle)a call.

    I don't think they usually carry stock of the Prospector model but would imagine they may be able to order one for you.

  11. #11
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    Default Funnily enough!

    Just been to Brookbank Lancaster, They can get me one but I can't look at one first to compare it to the Wenonah or Nova Craft prospectors.
    I would have to just "buy it blind" so to speak.
    Of the 2 makes above they do have, IMHO the Nova craft does seam to be finished of slightly better than the Wenonah (unless you buy the wood trimmed one, Which looked like it needed a good few careful hours to finish off the wood BEFORE oiling or varnishing!)
    And that's coming from a Wenonah fan!

    Are there anymore perfectionists out there who have compared the finish of the boats? (no jokes about meerkats please)
    The early bird may catch the worm, but it's always the second mouse that gets the cheese!

  12. #12
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    Give Richard at Outdoor Active a ring. They are the importers of both Bell and Wenonah so should be able to help.

    cheers Mike
    To every opinion there is always an equal and opposite opinion.
    (Newtons fourth law)

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    I am in the process of buying a Bell Chestnut Prospector in wood trim.

    the finish is as good as any I have ever seen.

    The wood is lovely and the hangers are all walnut. I have insisted the kneeling thwart (which is what I am waiting for) should be the same to match.

    Clearly it is a big volume boat and will need to be trimmed appropriately but it is beautiful and I would recommend it!

    regards.

    Alan L.

  14. #14
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    I've had my Bell Prospector for a few months now, so feel qualified to add my deux centimes here.

    Firstly, it's reasonably light, certainly in comparison to my old (non royalex) boat. So it's easier to transport from and to the water.

    In the water it moves along pretty sharply, paddled tandem or solo. Solo of course you have to get the trim right and put a bit of ballast up front, otherwise your bow will be high and dry and catching the breeze.

    It's manoeuverable and turns well. Plenty of space for spare paddlers, passengers and gear. Nice and stable too.

    When I got it, it was pristine and polished, shiny and red. I was a bit concerned that being royalex it would be more fragile and dent more easily than my old and much loved dreadnought. But I needn't have worried.

    It's tough enough and has taken a few scratches and scrapes along the hull, but that's just because I've used it, and taken it to some good places. Only cosmetic stuff though, and just because I'm not as conscientious as her previous owner. (Hi Davy!)

    It's been on Derwent Water, Loch Ken, Conniston Water and several times on the Tyne so far. I'm looking forward to taking her on some longer trips soon.

    And last but my no means least she looks goddam beautiful!

    Aesthetics do matter you know, and she is one lovely looking boat, shiny red, black gunnels, sleek lines, generous curves. What is there not to love?

    Also available with ash gunnels and/or cane seats, but personally I prefer the black.

    I've only made one modification - I took out the thwart immediately in front of the seat. It was perfectly paddleable with it, but it kind of restricted my naturally sprawling seating position.

    So, I'm very happy with my choice, she's a good 'un.



    Last edited by Crow; 20th-October-2009 at 09:50 PM. Reason: add pic

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    Some pics of the Prospector.

    (from this blog http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ad.php?t=20828 )













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    Bell CP is a bit of a wet ride in Class 2-3 rapids and two or three foot haystacks in wave trains.

    It really does need floatation bags end and center when running whitewater..

    Its not quite as maneuverable as I would have liked in very fast water..the ends seem sticky.

    I am thinking of moving the seats toward the center.

    I have had mine three years now.

  17. #17
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    Default Initial thoughts

    Well, I've now received my new Chestnut Prospector & done a couple of paddles in her, so here are a few initial thoughts on how she is.

    Firstly, I'm no expert & have been paddling a Venture Prospector 15 for the last year & a half or so. Over the last few months I have managed to get time in a few alternative boats, but I'm not really experienced enough to be able to make definitive observations so these are really my first impressions. Most are compared to my old Venture, but I've also paddled a Nova Craft Prospector recently too, as well as a few other different types of canoe. I chose the Bell because I've paddled one a few times & really liked it & then a too-good-to-turn-down opportunity came up when I wasn't expecting it!

    Off the water
    Its an ex-demo boat & there are a few scratches but otherwise it in excellent condition. The riveting on the gunwales is first-class & the wood all seems to be of a high quality.

    The seats are cane. I would have preferred webbing, but in use they are fine & if they wear out I'll replace them. In common with many canoes, I would prefer that the "front" seat was a little wider for paddling leaned when solo & using it facing the other way. This is a minor issue though.

    As with others above, the thwart behind the front seat seemed unnecessary, and had to be removed to use the seat reversed when solo. I will be putting a kneeling thwart in anyway though. The canoe still remained noticeably much stiffer than the Venture was.

    The carrying yoke is sturdy & well shaped, & sits more on the shoulders & less on the neck than the horrible Venture one. So I can actually carry this canoe properly!

    The only thing that seems a little bit less high quality are the plastic end caps, which are quite thin. This will not be a problem though.

    I will probably drill the hull for airbag lacing, as the gunwales whilst well made are thin & vinyl. This was also the recommendation when delivered.

    On the water
    Initial primary stability is pretty good, if not as solid as the Venture. However secondary stability seems excellent & you can really lean into it & feel stable.

    It was very necessary to have a fairly heavy bag in the bows to get the trim right, though this is mostly because of using the front seat backwards. Adding a kneeling thwart nearer the centre yoke will help & then only a moderate amount of weight will allow it to be trimmed well.

    In a straight line the acceleration is noticeably better than the Venture, but the "cruising" speed is probably only slightly higher. The difference is in the way it accelerates when you want it to, & doesn't lose momentum as quickly. Hard to tell for sure, but it seemed faster than the Nova Craft.

    The moderate rocker means that even when level the canoe turns easily, & more so when leaned. To me its a real revelation, & is an absolute joy to spin around. Again this seemed to have more "life" than the Nova Craft equivalent, but it was in very different conditions, though with a similar light load. Its a different league to the Venture Prospector.

    I managed to find some modest eddys on St Patrick's Stream which was flowing reasonably fast. Turning in & out of these was great fun compared to the Venture, & I could start to get the hang of it very quickly, & could get into small spaces surprisingly precisely given my lack of experience. These were mild compared with white water though!

    Its a fairly wide boat so for running water a slightly longer paddle would help with cross-deck strokes.

    On the slightly negative side, crossing wakes (the nearest to waves I could find) revealed it to be a bit bouncier & to "slap" down a bit more than the Venture. This makes sense as the Venture is much heavier but with quite pointed bows, so just cuts into the waves. I think I will have to keep my wits about me a little more on bouncier stuff, but that's OK as my white water ambitions remain modest!

    So, overall, I'm hugely pleased after 2 days paddling. She's still a Prospector, so an all rounder rather than specialising in any one aspect, but she seems to paddle so well & has that certain "something" special compared with other similarly priced boats I have paddled. My first thought when I got her on the water, trimmed her & then put her into a pivot turn was "wow, she dances". So that's her name - "Dancer".

    Its a shame they're stopping importing them, but then if they weren't I wouldn't have got such a good deal!!!






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  18. #18
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    Glad you like it Mal. Had mine now three and a half years and still love it.

    I was in the minority but the numbers have been growing steadily. If they are not importing any more it will be quite an elite club and three of them are Questers. Mine's the faster red one though
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Congrats, Mal.

    So that's 3 Questers and one scraggy crow in this elite club so far.

    Who else has got one?
    And here she is
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  20. #20
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    Default Bell Prospector update

    Hi

    Some of you may have seen a recent thread that contained a link to Bell Chestnut sale at canoe and kayak, I took the plunge and brought one £1095. So after months of ummming and reviewing and gathering loads of opinions from SOTP(see which prospector) and how important it was to paddle a variety of types and sizes. I did what many of always do... I grabbed a bargain, it was delivered on Thursday, but sadly I havent had time to put it in the water yet.. All I can tell you is it looks fab and is light as a feather to lift. (bearing in mind that my other canoe is a Pelican Colorado). Nuff said. Further reviews and pics as soon as I get an hour to go out.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by markpfc View Post
    Hi

    Some of you may have seen a recent thread that contained a link to Bell Chestnut sale at canoe and kayak, I took the plunge and brought one £1095. So after months of ummming and reviewing and gathering loads of opinions from SOTP(see which prospector) and how important it was to paddle a variety of types and sizes. I did what many of always do... I grabbed a bargain, it was delivered on Thursday, but sadly I havent had time to put it in the water yet.. All I can tell you is it looks fab and is light as a feather to lift. (bearing in mind that my other canoe is a Pelican Colorado). Nuff said. Further reviews and pics as soon as I get an hour to go out.

    I suspect it may have been in the same van as mine then! He said he'd been to Hants before Berks! Hope you get her on the water soon.
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  22. #22
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    Mal, on the issue of acceleration and cruising speed, there tends to be a trade-off. Boats designed for a high cruising speed will not accelerate proportionately. Whitewater boats, like my slalom boat and my MR Synergy and Millbrook, accelerate brilliantly but have limited cruising speed.

    Just looking at your new Bell, it should have a good cruising speed for a Prospector type hull, and should have enough acceleration ability for whitewater. A good compromise.

    There are some canoes that have both poor acceleration and poor cruising speed. I will not name them to avoid offending the sensibilities of owners. I do not know of any boats that have optimum acceleration and optimum cruising speed. Nominations are welcome.

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    Default The other Quester

    Like everybody else i spent ages reading reviews(including Bootstrap Bobs when it had pictures!) before deciding on the Bell.
    What i prefered about it is that apart from being well made and looking good is that the proportions are just right for someone who will mainly be paddling it solo. The freeboard is is not going to cause problems on a windy day on a lake for example.
    Here is my Bell taken on St Herberts Island, Dewentwater(with Catbells in the background) the Monday after the big meet. The wind was quite strong that day but i just knelt down low and powered across the lake with no problems.


    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornbeam View Post
    The wind was quite strong that day...

    Richard
    You're not kidding on that one! One of the convincing arguments for the Bell was trying yours the day before when it was merely pushing galeforce, rather than full on storm...

    ...it was not harder to paddle in wind than my heavy Venture, & I'd expected it to be more affected being light & seeming to sit ON the water not in it.

    Interestingly, Hannah's Reflection seemed far easier to turn & manoeuvre in that wind than it did trying it again last week. On Ullswater it seemed like the easiest to turn of our 3 canoes, but I would now say the Bell is. Might have been the barrel full of food in the Reflection I suppose!!!
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  25. #25
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    Default Change of plan

    Having ordered a venture prospector 16 back at the end of November and by the middle of Jan not materielised at PaddleWorks I was offered an alternative of a wenonah southfork with generous free-bees for the delay.
    We went to view the southfork - nice boat but a bit flat bottomed and heavy man, Next to it there she was , a Bell Chestnut prospector in Royalex ,curvy and light. A generous discount agreed the boat Gnu II as she is to be known from now on is sitting in my garden ready for her maiden voyage cant wait

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    Default first trip

    paddle on the Shropshire union canal near Gnosal shropshire.
    Went out with the kids 8 and 11. Canoe was fantastic compared to my stearns back country,easy to paddle light enough to get on and off my people carrier and loads of space, just need to sort a removable middle seat ( don't want loose my yoke ). Rocks a bit but felt predictable enough for the kids to stand up in the boat at the end of the trip.
    Boat was fast and easy to control (need a bit of work on my J stroke) Kids could paddle it with little trouble.
    Ploughed through the frozen parts of the canal with no effort.
    Looking forward to first solo trip.
    Home made portage trolley made a huge difference for the 200m walk to the water .
    Last edited by waty; 30th-January-2011 at 05:59 PM.

  27. #27
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    first paddle

    Last edited by waty; 3rd-February-2011 at 08:56 PM.

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    Default 3 years on

    Now 2013 , Have used Gnu2 lots . Three Holidays in Scotland and many trips on Loch Lubnaig and Venachar, lots of trips on the Severn around Shrewsbury. I love this boat, It handles well easy to paddle 1 up or 4 up. and light enough to portage on my own.
    Last edited by waty; 8th-September-2013 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Missed a bit

  29. #29
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    Six years on with mine now and still love it. I agree totally with you Waty.
    Quote Originally Posted by waty View Post
    Now 2013 , Have used Gnu2 lots . Three Holidays in Scotland and many trips on Loch Lubnaig and Venachar, lots of trips on the Severn around Shrewsbury. I love this boat, It handles well easy to paddle 1 up or 4 up. and light enough to portage on my own.
    Were those loch trips solo or 4 up? I've done loads solo in mine but I'm still unsure about with the family. It tends to have a low freeboard when loaded with gear and the 4 of us.
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bootstrap Bob View Post
    Six years on with mine now and still love it. I agree totally with you Waty.

    Were those loch trips solo or 4 up? I've done loads solo in mine but I'm still unsure about with the family. It tends to have a low freeboard when loaded with gear and the 4 of us.
    Hi Bootstrap
    On the Lochs I have been 4 up, 2 up and solo.
    4 up the boat sits low in the water but is fine even in rather choppy conditions , my Wife and Daughter are reluctant paddlers but never said they felt unsafe.
    I find solo the wind can be an issue , sitting central I find helps, may be more pies required.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by waty View Post
    .......sitting central I find helps, may be more pies required.
    Or more gear.
    It worked in Mal's boat
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

  32. #32
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    Another year, another Holiday in Strathyre and even more paddling fun.

  33. #33
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    Well I joined the Bell Chestnut Prospector club at the start of the year and have had her for 9 months now. I sold my NC Pal which too was a great canoe.

    I just love this canoe. For me at 20+ stone with the hound it works. Paddles solo well, very well built and finshed and in the wood trim it's a looker.

    This is us at Bala with a great photo taken by Bootstrap Bob



    I am glad that I was able to be the custodian of this fine craft which has spent most of its short life in East Anglia.
    Get Paddling!

    Blott

  34. #34
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    I thought you might like that photo Nick. The weather really wasn't that moody, I was playing with my camera settings.
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

  35. #35
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    Just want to add a couple of photos!




    "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

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    Now there's a good idea. Here's a couple of my own!












    I still think she's got the best lines of any of the Royalex Prospectors....but I may be biased!
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  37. #37
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    Great photos of your BCP mate, shame it's not RRRRREEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDD

    "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

  38. #38
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    Not too sure about red........







    A day on the Wissey in July
    Get Paddling!

    Blott

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blott View Post
    Not too sure about red........







    A day on the Wissey in July
    Hmmm, great photo of a lovely boat, nearly convinced about putting on wooden gunwhales, but not those deck plates


    "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

  40. #40
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    So, is this now becoming the Bell Chestnut Prospector Annual Photo Competition!?
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  41. #41
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    I couldn't possibly comment

    "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

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    Blott, I admit the wooden gunwales do make the green versions much prettier..............almost as nice as the red ones.

    Just realised that mine looks quite a bit different from the original photos at the start of this thread. I may have to add an update, it's now over seven years old.
    I do have the Swift 17' now for family trips but I still like the Bell and can't imagine selling it. Next outing for it is Scotland at the end of the month.
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

  43. #43
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    Rob,

    Whatever the colour I think that we are in agreement that the Bell Chestnut Prospector has to be one of the nicest looking canoes around in this classic design. They got it right.
    Get Paddling!

    Blott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bootstrap Bob View Post
    Blott, I admit the wooden gunwales do make the green versions much prettier..............almost as nice as the red ones.
    Can't beat seeing the sun shine through the kevlar on a clear-coat boat

    ...of course, I'm never in the right place to get a photo to prove that, but:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    So, is this now becoming the Bell Chestnut Prospector Annual Photo Competition!?


    Sun was behind, but still looks great

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    I can never understand why the seats on top end canoes are riveted through the hull ? Unsightly, and irritating when you catch yer fingernail :-(

    I felt the need to re engineer mine with epoxy resin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    Can't beat seeing the sun shine through the kevlar on a clear-coat boat
    I have to admit that is a nice looking Prospector and having paddled it, it is actually quicker than both the green and red Royalex versions. It's probably down to the much smaller wetted area as it's unbelievably light and the pointy ends.

    It's also quicker to spin when the wind gets hold of it.
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

  47. #47
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    I loved paddling the Kevlar Bell Prospector at Bala and me being just a tad heavier than Bootstrap it worked for me even in the wind. Initially I wanted it but didn't need it having had a Kevlar clear coat Merlin before, but I talked myself out of it on the drive home from Bala as I have a really nice Bell CP.

    I have however talked myself into the situation that I need a composite solo boat again and loved the Swift Osprey. Know anyone looking to join the WCHA and wants a 100 year old Peterborough cedar rib canoe?
    Get Paddling!

    Blott

  48. #48
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    On topic.... a photo from in front of Jörg's barn...



    Quote Originally Posted by barelyafloat View Post
    I can never understand why the seats on top end canoes are riveted through the hull ?
    It's an ultralight construction option that's discreet and functional... and works for low seats on high sided boats, and for foot-braces... but I doubt Bell has been the only company to also develop a pad to glue to the inside of the sidewall as an alternative approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blott View Post
    I have however talked myself into the situation that I need a composite solo boat again and loved the Swift Osprey
    Let me know what construction / colour trim / options you might like and so long as it's not too idiosyncratic... I'll get it on the "provisional" list for the next container

  49. #49
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    Guess what has ended up in my boasted a couple of years after I first paddled her?



    All I have done is swap one nice Bell CP for an even nicer one. The green on is back with Alan who owned (but never paddled it) originally. The kevlar clear coat version makes perfect sense for me cruising the Fen waterways and the Norfolk Broads as there's no white water here. I was spinning it around at the Quitewater+ meeting the other weekend. Have stripped the seats and yoke out, rubbed them down and re-oiled whilst Jude at Downcreek is producing some stained ask thwarts and carry handles to match so that I can get rid of the not so nice tubes.

    Get Paddling!

    Blott

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    Someone has just put a Royalex version on eBay for £1600. Pick up from North Wales.

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