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solo canoe selection help

Seeking your advice in selecting new solo selection. Years of paddling searching cooperative fish in junk canoes with no interest in style. Going long distances always against tidal flows and finally caring about vehicle, am searching new NECESSITY. 5'8, 160 and old, want best paddling sit/switch solo stable enough to fish sitting down and rescue Jack terrier from sharks when we get there. Bell, Hemlock & Coldon solos seem good choices but any U.S. considered. Any help would be cheered, good bad or indifferent. Suitability of hull, build quality, material choice or any thing you offer really appreciated...Jay


  • sit and switch
    I'd suggest looking at the Wenonah Prism, with the Wilderness as a second choice.
  • Swift
    Take a look at the Swift offerings as well. The new for spring 2014 Keewaydin 14 might be a good choice. It's so new you won't find much information on their website, but I have seen a prototype and it looks very promising. Look under pack canoes for a few details. It can be built as either a sit on the bottom double blade pack canoe or with a hung seat as a single blade solo canoe. Seems about perfect for your weight. Swift build quality is excellent. Maybe Charlie will weigh in now...
  • A Prism for a 160 lb guy fishing?
    Seems like a lot of boat for that size paddler.
  • What did Socrates say about Hemlock?
  • Yup
    It is, but he wanted stable and I think the Prism is one of the more stable solos. It is also a fairly efficient sit-and-switch boat.

    As I am sure you noticed, I also mentioned the Wilderness, which is smaller but still fairly stable.

    You've paddled a few different boats and I'm sure you have an opinion, so please feel free to make some suggestions.
  • solo canoe choice
    I have 4 solos that I use. I have a Prism flexcore that should fit your needs. I would recommend the ultralight model especially as one ages and looses strength.

    I also have a Swift osprey carbon fusion that only weighs 26 pounds. It is a joy to handle out of water, is stable, and maneuvers very well. I am looking forward to doing a lot of photography from it once the ice finally melts.

    I also have 2 Sawyer DY Specials that are a joy to paddle fast but are not quite perfect for fishing or a dog companion.

    I think either the Prism or Osprey would serve your needs well. As one ages light weight becomes more and more importanf.
  • Fishing Canoe
    -- Last Updated: Mar-17-14 12:30 PM EST --

    I's suggest staying clear of delta, radically asymmetrical, hulls like Advantage, Classic, Savage, Magic, Prism, as scant forward volume may be problematical when leaning forward with a landing net.

    A more general purpose solo tripper will be more forgiving, or predictable; look for something 30" wide or so, 15 -16 ft long. Bell's Merlin II, Northstar's NorthWind Solo or Phoenix, Sawyer's Autumn Mist, Souris River's Tranquility, Swifts, Kee 15, Osprey, Shearwater and Wenonah's Wilderness should all do fine. You may wish to have the seat dropped and at a flatter angle, most are rigged to both sit and kneel. I would want to be kneeling to haul a wet dog across the rail.

    I will forward a comprehensive list of available solo canoes if you email charliewilson77@gmail.com.

  • Indy
    Mad River Independence. Doesn't do anything great, but pretty much does everything. Stability is good, but it is a bit wide.
  • Options
    Great suggestions
    Looking at each and having fun. Easily becomes overload to ignorant one. Pack boats look too low to see/cast for my fishing. Please keep info coming. Thanks
  • Take a look at Coldens Nomad
    or look for an old Curtis Nomad..
    You need some speed and a little maneuverability for tidal currents especially if they are whirlpool inducing.

    Are waves in big open water like the Gulf of Mexico a concern?

    I have paddled several canoes in tidal Florida. RapidFire, Nomad, Hemlock Peregrine, among those still available.

    The Nomad is decidedly quicker than the Peregrine.. (yes GPS tests, though tidal currents are always changing). And when the seas follow, and the boat happens to slew its easier to get back on course.

    I have not paddled any Wenonah in open water swells and would be a little leery of those models with fine ends and a wide part low on the hull in big waves. However I don't know if that is part of the picture for you.

    I am sure some of the Weononahs would be quicker but I am finding out that all around the Nomad fits what I need in Florida the best (aside from a Mad River Monarch..which is less friendly to get on and off the car solo)
  • Options
    Spot on
    You have been there. Going looking at your suggestions. The Osprey search gobbled up last two days and looked good; then bumped into adverse comment on company, cooled off. Thanks
  • Anecdotes
    -- Last Updated: Mar-17-14 12:29 PM EST --

    Anecdotal evidence is fairly worthless. It often comes in some variation of " I like my boat, so you will too" which is a common form of conformation bias. Similarly, a negative comment is often as useless.

    Kim, above, is vastly experienced, has owned twenty solos, paddled fifty more and is a very skilled stick, but I cannot agree that a 28.5" wide hull with 26" waterline is going to be a stable platform for fishing and hauling dogs into the hull.

    Osprey has one of the widest, 27.5", waterlines of the 15' solo trippers; seemingly nice for hauling pup or perch across the rail, and is designed by John Winters, one of the greats, but an adverse comment from some indeterminate individual deletes it?

    OP 'oughta try both boats and several others in something other than calm conditions. Even then we seldom know, because the learning curve is pretty steep at first. What seems twitchy when we start calms down considerably after a few jaunts.

    Check out Nomad nets to reduce weight across the rail.

  • We do the best we Cavan
    -- Last Updated: Mar-17-14 2:09 PM EST --

    All anyone can do is answer part of the question. I can address sea handling in FL tidal areas for a few boats . I don't fish and don't include the dog cause yes she will go over the side

    Till we have a laboratory and a Center For Canoe Analysis With Varying In Boat Activities that's the best I can do.

    Being woefully inadequate I think I will go paddle to find some monkeys.

    BTW a gal has a Kestrel that she fishes from in the Everglades. Yes another anecdote

    If you have access to an Osprey try and test with a good approximation of load and water conditions.

    How in the world did we decide pre internet? We grabbed what floated by. Either it suited us or it didn't . Usually our gut instincts were pretty good or we made it work.

    And it's your canoe trip. Don't worry what others think too much,. Sometimes we are barraged with too much information cause all of us have different experiences

  • Where, in general, are you doing all
    -- Last Updated: Mar-17-14 3:28 PM EST --

    this...ie what type of fishing(rod)...for what fish..in how deep waters? I've done a fair amount of flycasting from canoes on bogs, ponds...lakes etc, especially on windy days. If you're flyfishing or not...I think a little added length(15.5'+) and, of course waterline width, helps the stability when in your casting motion.
    Then again I've used a 12' canoe with little to no secondary firmness when leaned, or should I say tipped...and I had a lot of great times, but I think a little more stable boat, that can handle some movement will make for a sweeter day that includes some fishing.....*think it's all personal here cause one man's casting motion will be completely different than another...when sitting...and if I'm reading that right, with a Jack Terrier..y/n?..I'd definitely go with something 15'+ - 16'+.

  • Full disclosure
    When sitting the Nomad will tip...when a manatee surfaces under it and the canoe slides off it's back. However people do pay to swim with then and my ride was free!
  • Options
    The adverse comment
    was about company, not Osprey per se. Sorry to misled. Jack Russell goes over the side when ever it's most troubling, he's calculating! If I said equal priority too stability & ease of propelling at moderate pace for 10 miles at a whack, would it change any nominations?
  • Just make sure he has a CFD with handle
    I can't think of a JR terrier being any sort of problem. ( I have a Golden Retreiver). Just leave out the dog in making comparisons
  • Options
    Colden Nomad
    Can't seem to find anything indicating they make one at present, any info? Try a Jack Russell, it's like living in a cyclone when ever he is awake. No such thing as a bad dog!
  • Call Paul
    at Colden. The mold is prepped and ready to go as I understand it.
  • Paul Meyer really wants to talk to
    People thinking about buying his boats. Which is not synonymous with hard sell; he is SO laid back. He's one of those not into computers. David Yost another. He doesn't even have a computer.
  • Options
    Nomad statistics
    Before I bother Paul,does anyone here have the numbers for Nomad? I tried CW's email for his list with numbers but won't seem to go thru. Windwalker has Nomad on site classifieds in Pa, who gets there first.
  • Go to Hemlock canoe website
    And you can access the old Curtis catalogs there you will find the original page on nomad giving description and statistics
  • Options
    Thanks Steve, on my way there.
  • If you want real stability
    You may want to look at an eaglet from Hemlock canoe it is a boat that can be paddled tandem or outfitted for solo. It's a bit wide to be fast, but would certainly give you stability for fishing moving around and chasing pup. The older I get the more I appreciate a stable platform instead of a high-speed craft. Owned several Curtis/hemlock boats. Never been disappointed.
  • Options
    Indy is just under 30" wide (eom)
  • Options
    Thanks folks, each one
    I bought the older curtis nomad, will be happy am sure and really hope I don't come down with the disease all of you have. 20 canoes? That as bad as one wooden sailboat! Duckhunter had my attention as that's the test of stability for sure. Thanks again for kind help...Jay
  • Hope you get to paddle it
    real soon.

    Just got back from a Florida trip with Nomad.. Some 120 miles paddling in ten days.

    Now back to regular scheduled snowshoveling.
  • Nomad seat
    Since you guys did a fine job on finding my Nomad a new home I want to ask this.

    Jay said he only sits. As we know the Nomad is set up for kneeling. While I often sit while paddling the Nomad, I mostly kneel. Obviously lowering the seat will help stability. And obviously when you kneel you are limited to how low the seat can be hung. I have offered to make Jay a new set of seat drops for the Nomad. My question is how much should I lower the seat? Thinking 2", would that make much difference? What ya think?

  • Ask Jay!
    Its his boat.. My Nomad has a replacement seat and its set high for kneeling.

    However I often sit (it has a footbar too) but since that is on trips with quite a load, the boat is far from unstable. I have paddled the Nomads scion unloaded and seated and empty and am OK with that too.

    It might be better to ask him how far off the bottom he wants to sit.. I would guess seven inches would be the ball park...but again everyone is different and he is the only one who matters.
  • Yes
    2 inches more than what it is now will certainly make a large difference. Best advice would be take the seat out and use cushions stacked up to decide what height he wants to sit off the floor then make drops.
  • Lowering seats
    A limiting factor in lowering seats is the length of available 1-/20 SS machine screws. 6" seems to be the max, resulting in a seat ~3" lower than kneeling variants and flat for sitting. Seat trusses of appropriate size are available from Ed's.

    Beyond that, floor mounted pedestals are an answer, ~ available from Wenonah,as Placid's elegant slider is not being available without a hull attached. Attach with methacrylate adhesive.
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