I'm in the initial planning stages for a solo run on the Allagash, Telos to Allagash village, early next fall. I'm hoping for a little help from AWW veterans on which boat would be best for conditions — my solo Mad River Independence (fiberglass, 15'8", 29.5" beam, 39 lbs) or my big tandem Bell Alaskan (Royalex, 17", 36" beam, 72 lbs) paddled solo.
All in all, I think the Bell paddled solo is the better boat for this trip. It can handle lots of gear, and I tend to pack heavy. It has the size, depth, and stability needed to take on big flatwater swells, and its length and depth makes it a better poling craft. (I tend to pole rather than paddle when I can get away with it, and I'm assuming water levels will be somewhat low in September. Do correct me if I'm wrong).
The Bell's big drawbacks are its sensitivity to wind and its general lack of maneuverability compared to a dedicated solo boat like the Indy. I know to expect some Class II water on the Allagash, but I don't know if that water is technical enough to warrant my taking the Indy, a much more nimble boat in moderate WW.
For me at least, the Indy's low profile makes for a white-knuckle experience when wind and swells come up on big lakes. And the small size make it a tough sell for a 9 or 10 day trip with lots of gear. That said, it's a much more pleasurable boat to paddle, and its light weight would be welcome on the portages.
I'd love to hear what others think, and please let me know if I'm forgetting any important considerations.