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Thread: Venture Afon vs Silverbirch Firefly

  1. #1
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    Default Venture Afon vs Silverbirch Firefly

    So, as the owner of a ridiculously heavy 16' Novacraft SP3 Prospector that is mainly used solo and unloaded on both lakes and rivers, I am waiting impatiently for full details and prices for the Venture Afon & the Silverbirch Firefly.
    However, I know there are people on here who have paddled one or the other so my questions are:

    1. When will they finally be released?
    2. Which is going to be a better boat (& why)?
    3. How will they differ from my SP3 Prospector?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Maybe add in a Hou 14 into the mix as well.

  3. #3
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    As I understand it, the Firefly and the Afon will be very different to the Hou 14. They're both more moving water orientated, without being a full on OC1/2 type thing, and with the ability to carry a bit of gear with you on the river. They can be fitted out solo or tandem. Note sure who might have paddled both as understandably they've been kept largely in-house until recently.

    The Hou is more of a stillwater canoe.

  4. #4

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    Or have a look at the Esquif Pocket Canyon - a Royalex type boat with similar aim in mind. Whitewater capable solo/tandem also able to tour a bit. Definitely not an OC1/2.

    Must admit I'm looking forward to trying the Afon/Firefly boats.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Apache 14 might be worth a look as well in that solo river touring bracket.

  6. #6
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    I saw the pair of the prototypes in use at the recent OCF where everyone was being encouraged to paddle and give feedback. I didn’t bother paddling either myself.

    It it is as Mal says really, they are both like a bigger version of OC1 to me and certainly not the same sort of boat as a trad. Having said that, they both looked like a bit of fun with a payload.

    As to which is better, hmmmmm .... I’m sure that argument will continue for a while.

    Not sure if this helps but thought I’d say
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Canoe outfitting packages in the Massif Central


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL View Post
    not the same sort of boat as a trad
    The Venture Afon is very much an OC2 (specialist WW tandem): great fun two up on moving water, especially if you want to run dry even through the biggest wave trains!

    I wouldn't consider one for solo use or for open water / sheltered water use... but next time I find a partner wanting to play in one on a WW river I'll be right up for it

  8. #8
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    Hi tmcox

    I have a slightly bias view .. but my advice would be to try all the boats you have mentioned as that is really the only way to truly know what you want ..

    I can help with getting you some time in a Firefly 14 as my company is an official dealer and more importantly demo centre for Silverbirch Canoes.

    http://blacksnowcanoeoutfitters.co.uk/

    I have a Demo Firefly14 due in this month in Duralite with ash gunwales .

    Prices start at 899 for Duracore plus or 1,199 in the more popular Duralite lots of outfitting options add 300 for Ash gunwales and end caps.

    hope this helps again always try before you buy! See link for some photos of the prototype on the water.

    https://www.facebook.com/32341225437...9704850079835/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL View Post
    not the same sort of boat as a trad
    The Silverbirch Firefly is very much a "trad" boat and is very much aimed at your "trad" market!

    If you mostly paddle solo (perhaps with a big load, perhaps occasionally picking up a swimmer) this will work for you anywhere you might have considered taking a "Prospector" style canoe or a Mad River Legend: it's designed for anything from the Norfolk Broads to the Rannoch Moor Crossing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    I wouldn't consider one for solo use or for open water / sheltered water use... but next time I find a partner wanting to play in one on a WW river I'll be right up for it
    Greg has it bang on there. They certainly do also work solo but to be honest I’m struggling to see why you’d want that when you could just go for an OC1 anyway for that sort of paddling. They certainly aren’t made for tripping so comparing them to the customary ‘supertanker’ is pointless and a ‘solo with payload’ isn’t really what you’d do with them anyway.

    Just my thoughts
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Canoe outfitting packages in the Massif Central


  11. #11
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    Cheers guys. It certainly sounds like the firefly is exactly what I'm after. The Afon & Hou don't sound like they're aimed where I need them.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    The Silverbirch Firefly is very much a "trad" boat and is very much aimed at your "trad" market!

    If you mostly paddle solo (perhaps with a big load, perhaps occasionally picking up a swimmer) this will work for you anywhere you might have considered taking a "Prospector" style canoe or a Mad River Legend: it's designed for anything from the Norfolk Broads to the Rannoch Moor Crossing.
    Quote Originally Posted by pipster3 View Post
    I have a Demo Firefly14 due in this month in Duralite with ash gunwales .

    Prices start at 899 for Duracore plus or 1,199 in the more popular Duralite lots of outfitting options add 300 for Ash gunwales and end caps.
    I'd love a demo. Unfortunately Staffordshire is quite a long way to go. One of the coaches at my club is friends with Kelvin so hopefully I can demo one that way.

    Any idea on the weights for the duracore plus or duralite?

  12. #12
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    Default

    As Gordon suggested, if you want to try a playful 14 trad boat feel free to give me a shout.
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

    http://apachecanoes.com

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