Hi - I’m looking into buying a first solo canoe, and the Swift Osprey seems like it might be a good option based on what I’ve read on this site and on a conversation with the folks at Swift. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find one anywhere. Does anyone in Mass or Southern New England have an Osprey they’d be willing to let me paddle, or at least tell me about their experiences with that boat?
Some details about me: beginner paddler, 5’8”, 150 lbs. Looking for a day tripping boat for Eastern MA ponds and the upper Charles. I’d like to be able to fish from the boat occasionally, and maybe take one of my small (under 50 lbs) kids with me on a short trip or two.
Thanks for your help!
I know of one in Wilmington
He visits here occasionally
You do know the Osprey is a solo and not designed at all to carry a passenger?
It’s very Swede form and bow down is hard to control
That 50 lb child will grow
The Osprey is designed as a quick Wilderness tripper with a load fore and aft
I live in western PA and have a carbon fusion Osprey. It is a great day tripper for my wildlife photography. It is stable, maneuverable and easy to handle at 27 lbs. Unfortunately Swift has ceased to produce this model since it is much like the 15 foot Keewaydin. For my purpose it is an excellent solo canoe for wildlife photography.
Hey Charles, I’ve had more than my share of solo canoes and the Osprey may well be my favorite. It’s not quite as stable and friendly for new paddlers as a Keewaydin 15 but once you spend some time in it you will appreciate it’s maneuverability and responsiveness. It is a blast for just playing around on ponds. The recommended weight range for the Osprey tells a lot about it. It’s actually a relatively low volume solo so it should fit you perfectly. Typically I prefer the weight of my dog in my solos but in the Osprey I’m just as happy alone…with just my 185 or so pounds. I strongly recommend that you get a sliding seat. The Osprey is sensitive to trim (front to rear balance) so you want to be able to adjust your trim and the sliding seat makes it easy…if you want to add a kid it’s essential. Plus a sliding seat gives you plenty of room for napping in the boat. My dog weighs about 55 pounds and the Osprey handles us with no problem.
Hey duck hunter, I think Swift now lists the Osprey under “classics”.
At the risk of being a PITA, I have had to carry kids in my solos ( and like Tom L there have been many!). Kids arent like dogs. You put them in the bottom they don’t stay put. And because they are higher you have to factor in the raising of the center of gravity. I take it the kid would be seated… When you have a fine bowed boat the issue also becomes one of stability as there is little room a) to use your paddle without bonking them and b:) moving them further forward the “bow” station becomes pretty narrow. I learned from one of David Yosts presentations that the main cause of capsize is the instability of some bow paddling stations… The head goes over the side … Now a head of a 50 lb child may not be the 12 lbs of an adult but it may be enough to put them and you over.
I’d be more on the lookout for a small tandem… We just picked up one( a Yellowstone tandem) for our grandsons who want to paddle with us… The smallest is about 70 lbs. And it will be with us a while as the kids invariably grow.
Thanks for the replies! I’d still like to try one of these boats out, because it sounds like it could work well as a day tripping solo and sometimes fishing boat. It would be great to find a solo that checks those boxes and is stable enough to carry one of the kids as a passenger from time to time, but it sounds like the Osprey may not be it.
@kayamedic - I appreciate what you’re saying about swede form hulls and putting a passenger toward the bow. Makes sense.
I had one of those not as well behaved as Tom L’s dog… Mine was a 70 lb golden retriever. She insisted on standing up in the bow… I had borrowed an Osprey and the wind was from the back… The steering was so bad that the only way I could get back to the car was point the bow into the wind and paddle/drift backwards… She was NOT a good canoe dog.