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Thread: Wich solo canoe

  1. #1
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    Default Wich solo canoe

    Hey everyone I currently have a hou 16 that is fine for tandem but I find it a bit much solo in high winds, so I'm looking for the best solo canoe I can get for a budget of around 1800

    I will be keeping the hou and using it for the rocky stuff and tandems so I think I want a composite layup on the solo for lakes and lochs and rivers upto grade 2 and expedition style trips like the spey.

    My current choice is the apache trek 16 solo in carbon innegra layup I'm about to finalize the order, but then I saw the quetico and little egret from solway dory. (and swift canoes but I doubt I could get one of those imported in my budget range)

    I weigh about 95kg the canoe should be able to take me and my camping gear happily(30kg max).

    I'm pretty much set on the apache to be honest, waiting to finalize the order but would like to hear peoples opinions before I do.

    Edit: Thanks to barelyafloat for bringing the nova craft fox 14 solo to my attention looks appealing and I will also consider that.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Ashyx; 16th-May-2018 at 08:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hi and Welcome!

    If the 16 is a problem for you in wind, would you not be better considering the 14 or 15 Apache solo rather than the 16? You may have the same issue with that. Weight off the water should be much less, obviously, but on the water the lighter canoe may be just as prone to wind issues. Saying that, trim and paddle positioning will make as much difference as weight in wind. Off the water, any Apache CIX will be lighter and much easier to handle I'm sure. Have a good conversation with Stu at Apache if you can, he'll give you the best advice.

    Quetico has a good reputation as an excellent hull, but I've never paddled one. The Little Egret is a little different, more of a straight line canoe than the others, should be faster but with little rocker will need to be worked to turn, and I wouldn't chose it for tripping on rivers like the Spey.

    If you spot a Swift secondhand you never know you could get lucky! They rarely come up though.

  3. #3
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    Well my thought was that the 16 from apache had lower freeboard so wouldnt catch the wind as much as the 15, not sure about the 14 though. Compared to my hou it should be alot easier to handle solo the hou is higher freeboard and the width at gunnels is like 38" so its hard to reach out.

    Thanks Mal.
    Last edited by Ashyx; 16th-May-2018 at 09:05 AM.

  4. #4

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    Stu can make the sides of the 15 suit your requirements. The maximum height is set, but they can be cut much lower before putting on the wood trim. So the 15 can be as low as the 16.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    If you spot a Swift secondhand you never know you could get lucky! They rarely come up though.
    Indeed, rarely. But sometimes you can find a gem.

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    Silverbirch has the new Firefly 14 going into Production very soon .. the Prototype is doing the rounds and I will have a demo Duralite woodtrim Firefly 14 available as soon as the first production boats are made .. Composite is something that I believe Silverbirch Canoes will also be offering at some point maybe not soon enough for your purchase but the prototype Firefly doing the rounds is a composite boat ..


    https://www.facebook.com/silverbirch...88582281192092
    Last edited by pipster3; 16th-May-2018 at 09:09 PM.

  7. #7
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    Another alternative is the mega outlander - UK built, composite hulls comparable in weight and cost to apaches.
    My outlander 16 is my first choice of boat for flat and open water solo trips. (I have an apache 15 in grp lay-up too, but it's slower and more affected by the wind, though better on bouncy rivers). I have paddled apache 16s before too, and they're quite similar to the outlander 16.
    If you want a side by side comparison and are near me you'd be welcome to a test paddle.

  8. #8
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    Have a look at the Wenonah Argosy, try one first might be a bit twitchy for a big bloke but has river capability and is no slouch on the flat
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  9. #9
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    The Argosy looks great but I think I want something less specialized and better all rounded

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashyx View Post
    The Argosy looks great but I think I want something less specialized and better all rounded
    I found the argosy I tried very strange, primary stability was ok but secondary was the opposite of what you want really, it tended to accellerate into a tip rather than increase resistance the further it was heeled over.

    Its designed to be paddled sat down, Sit and switch or Double bladed, and feels very odd heeled over trad style, and a lot wetter than it should be.

    The new Silverbirch Firefly is just lovely, I was lucky enough to Paddle the prototype on its first day on the water, and I felt immediately at home, its a lovely boat and I cant wait for the production version.

    Its great fun, very predictable, turns fast but also tracks really well, and its designed to be paddled in a Traditional style (Heeled over)

    There will also be a composite one in the future which I`ll ultimately aspire to but for now I will be very happy with a Duralite one.

    Hope that doesnt confuse the issue further ?

    Cheers
    Dom

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr500dom View Post
    I found the argosy I tried very strange, primary stability was ok but secondary was the opposite of what you want really, it tended to accellerate into a tip rather than increase resistance the further it was heeled over.

    Its designed to be paddled sat down, Sit and switch or Double bladed, and feels very odd heeled over trad style, and a lot wetter than it should be.

    The new Silverbirch Firefly is just lovely, I was lucky enough to Paddle the prototype on its first day on the water, and I felt immediately at home, its a lovely boat and I cant wait for the production version.

    Its great fun, very predictable, turns fast but also tracks really well, and its designed to be paddled in a Traditional style (Heeled over)

    [...]
    Tandem canoes are often heeled when paddled solo, because they are too wide to paddle comfortably solo when 'upright'. The advantage of a solo canoe is that you can paddle them without the need to heel, just like a tandem canoe with two paddlers.

    I think there are no canoes that are really designed to be paddled heeled, and certainly not solo canoes.
    Some tandem designs are better in paddling heeled than others, but this is more coincidence than design, although this can be taken in account somehow when designing a tandem canoe of course.

    If one insists on paddling a solo canoe heeled, a small tandem canoe may be a better choice then?

    Dirk Barends
    Last edited by canonymous; 27th-June-2018 at 08:27 AM. Reason: typos and formulating

  12. #12
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    Its designed to be paddled sat down, Sit and switch or Double bladed, and feels very odd heeled over trad style, and a lot wetter than it should be
    I agree with canonymous; I bought an Argosy specifically because I have an ankle injury that makes it uncomfortable to paddle a boat heeled, so I wanted a boat I could paddle upright. I tend to sit on the seat unless I'm in rapids, and I paddle it using a single blade and J strokes etc. I took it down the Spey last November, and the Wye in April, and really like it - I can put it exactly where I want it, hit the eddies I want to hit, and carry it easily when ashore.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr500dom View Post
    I found the argosy I tried very strange, primary stability was ok but secondary was the opposite of what you want really, it tended to accellerate into a tip rather than increase resistance the further it was heeled over.
    But what if that's what the OP wants in a boat?

    Not many touring paddlers will want that, and you are probably right in assuming the OP doesn't in this case, but for others those characteristics might be sought after....

    I have a fairly low cut Apache 16, it does handle pretty well solo in the wind, and it has relatively low primary stability so it feels lively whilst still having some secondary if you need it (but not a huge amount on accound of the low freeboard). The other thing I did was set the thwart to the lower end of Stu's recommended range so it is a little narrower and tracks a little better on a loch - it still turns quite quickly enough to run the Spey full of camping kit and me when I was 105kg. Mine is the standard chop strand glass/polyester although I had to replace the gunwales so they are a little different to standard. I think the carbon/innegra version would be ideal for the OPs intended use, in fact I would consider the full carbon/kevlar version if I was buying another. I would however suggest talking the options through with Stu to work out what width and freeboard is going to suit you best - mine looks very low in the water and people expect it to swamp on rivers but a combination of 1/3 length spray cover (self made) and my experience mean it doesn't, other people might struggle with a similarly cut and loaded boat.

    If the OP does want to try something like an Argosy which has little or no secondary stability (because actually it might suit his paddling style) I would probably recommend posting and asking for someone who paddles one to meet you for a test paddle and help you understand how to get the best out of it, what sort of paddling style it works with, and whether or not it is a style you have, can, or want to develop.

    Over the years I have ignored some of the whitewater OC1s with a reputation for tippiness (Zoom, Prelude, Spark) - most people say they only suit light paddlers, and that isn't me. However; over the last few years I have been paddling slalom C1, a type of boat with no secondary stability at all, and to my surprise about a year ago I discovered that I could actually manage a C1 WWR boat (not well, but upright). My paddling style has changed (after 25+ years of doing it the way most here do), the way I control the boat through my knees and feet has changed and actually not only can I paddle boats others think are tippy, I enjoy them. So much so that I recently bought an Extasy - a boat designed for paddlers in the 55-80 kg range (I'm still just over 85) which borrows attributes from slalom and creek C1s, and really has no secondary stability at all - I love it, which surprises some of the guys I paddle with, especially those who tried it and didn't like it. I still haven't been back and tried a Zoom or Prelude or Spark, they may have less initial stability than the Extasy, I may or may not get on with them, but it would be interesting to see how I perceive them now....
    Certainly if anyone is interested in trying an Extasy I would suggest they try to meet up with me so I can explain how to paddle it before they set off and try to sit it on a gunwale as you would in most other OC1s - it will save them an early soaking and might help make a better first impression...
    Don't ask me about Argosy though, I've never paddled one and I'm not really comfortable sit and switch, I prefer to kneel.

    How hard can it be?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimW View Post
    [...]
    Don't ask me about Argosy though, I've never paddled one and I'm not really comfortable sit and switch, I prefer to kneel.
    This implies somehow that the Argosy is a design meant to paddle with the so called "hit and switch" technique*, but in fact it will paddle nicely when kneeling without "hit and switch".
    Of course if you are so inclined, you can use "hit and switch" very well in this kind of this design, but it isn't necessary for optimal paddling.

    Dirk Barends

    __________________
    * The so called "hit & switch" paddling technique uses the switching of paddling sides to go straight or to manoeuvre, e.g. for a turn to the left, the solo/stern paddler paddles on the right side of the canoe and vice versa. Even both tandem paddlers paddling on the same side is feasible in some situations.
    For really fast paddling with a stroke rate much above 50 s.p.m. there is no time for strong correction strokes for course keeping anymore, so to go faster, the "hit & switch" technique is the way to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Indeed, rarely. But sometimes you can find a gem.
    And like buses two come along. I have my Swift up for sale.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ey-Flax-Fusion
    Get Paddling!

    Blott

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonymous View Post
    This implies somehow that the Argosy is a design meant to paddle with the so called "hit and switch" technique*, but in fact it will paddle nicely when kneeling without "hit and switch".
    Of course if you are so inclined, you can use "hit and switch" very well in this kind of this design, but it isn't necessary for optimal paddling.

    Dirk Barends

    __________________
    * The so called "hit & switch" paddling technique uses the switching of paddling sides to go straight or to manoeuvre, e.g. for a turn to the left, the solo/stern paddler paddles on the right side of the canoe and vice versa. Even both tandem paddlers paddling on the same side is feasible in some situations.
    For really fast paddling with a stroke rate much above 50 s.p.m. there is no time for strong correction strokes for course keeping anymore, so to go faster, the "hit & switch" technique is the way to go.
    I was just following from cr500dom's assumption of how it is meant to be paddled, as noted I haven't tried one.

    It is irrelevant though, I can neither sit nor switch so even kneeling it's not a style of paddling I could do.
    I've spent far too much time getting strong on one side to learn to switch now - seriously, I did try it a few weeks back at an easy slalom where there was a shallow patch before an S-gate which would have been much easier if I could switch to the left for, but even when I successfully changed my hands I couldn't actually perform an effective stroke on the left...
    I tell the kids to learn both sides and switch, but I think it is too late for me!

    How hard can it be?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimW View Post
    I was just following from cr500dom's assumption of how it is meant to be paddled, as noted I haven't tried one.
    You're right, I should have made that reply directly to cr500dom, as he was the one explicitly saying that.

    It is irrelevant though, I can neither sit nor switch so even kneeling it's not a style of paddling I could do.
    I've spent far too much time getting strong on one side to learn to switch now - seriously, I did try it a few weeks back at an easy slalom where there was a shallow patch before an S-gate which would have been much easier if I could switch to the left for, but even when I successfully changed my hands I couldn't actually perform an effective stroke on the left...
    I tell the kids to learn both sides and switch, but I think it is too late for me!
    For maneuvering in difficult situations I also have a good and bad side, but for "hit & switch" my forward stroke is well enough on both sides. But it does take discipline to frequently switch paddling sides even when there is no need for. When I stay on one side for the first hour of paddlling, for some reason, paddling on the other side feels more akward for the rest of the day.

    Dirk Barends

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