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Yes, it is common for a Royalex version of a hull design to end up with dimensional differences from the composite version, simply because of the differences in material and the molding/manufacturing differences that accompany those different materials.
But the Yellowstone is clearly a different design from the Wildfire. Compare the composite Yellowstone to the composite Wildfire, a case where we can factor out molding/manufacturing differences occasioned by Royalex. They are different boats, and not just in the rocker line.
The sin is not in reducing stern rocker. That may be an advantage to many paddlers. And I'm not claiming the Wildfire or the Yellowstone is the better boat. They are both very nice boats. But they are different boats.
Different boats should have different names. Otherwise, you could have 30 very different hulls called a Prospector. Oh, I forgot, we do.
Bell's original sin of trying to eat too frequently of the successful Wildfire apple continues to snake its confusing legacy throughout all of canoeing mankind, frequently here on this board, by rendering almost useless many of the "Wildfire" reviews as well as rendering ambiguous many classified Wildfire ads. Many people are simply unaware of what hull they own, or what hull they are buying or selling, unless they are aware of this tortured nomenclatural history.
When I was negotiating to buy a used composite Wildfire from a seller 500 miles away, the seller had no idea about this issue and no clue as to whether his stern rocker was the same as his bow rocker. Professor Wilson was a great help in identifying the year of manufacture for me, but couldn't recall at the time when the composite Yellowstone mold was made or whether Bell had called its early Yellowstone composites by the Wildfire name, as it had its Royalex version.
So he went the extra mile and contacted Dave Yost to reconstruct the timeline of this whole issue. As I recall, he and DY concluded via the mold history that no composite Yellowstones had ever been marketed by Bell as Wildfires. This gracious effort gave me confidence that I was getting the hull I wanted.
However, it really shouldn't require these kinds of divine interventions to figure out what the hull you are buying.
I have one of those, also.
If you refer to it from now on as a royalex Yellowstoe Solo, most people will know exactly what you're talking about and you'll avoid confusion.
Another option is to refer to it as a royalex Wildfire/Yellowstone Solo.
To ascertain real waterline length we need the boat in question, a level, a tape measure and a rational burden.
I propose 5 ea40 lb sand or water treatment salt bags. [200 lbs is what the gov tells us is an average guy with a 40 lb pack. It's to much for a 120 lb woman, not enough for a 240 lb guy with gear, but.....]
Oh yeah, we need knee high neoprene boots too. Plop the hull in foot deep water, the five bags i the hull; fiddle placement until it looks right. The apply the level vertically to each stem in turn, measuring the distance from level to cut-water. Write these numbers down. After unloading and unfloating the boat, measure it's Overall Length with the tape, and subtract the sum of the two offsets. Barring an embarrassing math error, Waterline Length should be computed.
We don't do this much in the northern tier from November through April because that would require getting a chain saw wet to cut a slot through ice, and, if truth be told, we prefer Mid May through September.
Comparing the relative speeds of the three Bell, etc hulls is kinda like debating how many angles, or demons, can dance on the head of a pin. That said, here's my two cents.
With a straight shaft and a perfect forward stroke, composite WildFire should be fastest as little or now yaw will be induced and the stern rocker reduces wetted surface, hence a little less skin friction.
If paddling with a bent paddle or carrying a straight blade aft of the knee or not stacking one's hands across the rail, YellowStone Solo in composite will be faster than the WildFire. That's why we reduced stern rocker, to counter misdirection from compromised forward strokes.
Of interest, bents move the +/- 15 dg blade angle window aft along the hull, hwich increases induced yaw oven if hands are nicely stacked across the rail.
The RX YSS should always be slowest due to greater skin friction, blunter ends and less precise shaping. If it's faster than a composite WildFire, the paddler isn't stacking hands across the rail or is carrying the blade behind the body, and needs a forward stroke clinic with Tom Foster.
Alternatively, the paddler might be comparing a brand new RX hull with a badly scratched composite hull. Winters discusses accumulated drag, best to read him, but a moderately scratched hull can have half again the skin friction of a new one. [One reason why comparison paddles are anecdotal and of minimal value; we seldom get to compare apples, ie multiple runs by multiple paddlers in new boats over a measured distance with a disinterested observer holding that stopwatch.]