maybe a stupid question but I noticed the Wildfire is measured at the 3 inch waterline as opposed to the Argosy at the 4 inch waterline. Is the Wildfire effectively wider? Is the Merlin II measured at the 4 inch waterline?
I’m glad to see the Yellowstone Solo is now advertised at 47 pounds, that’s a little closer to reality than the 44 pounds they used to advertise. Mine actuallly weighed closer to 55 pounds as did several others who posted on this subject a while back. Weights are hard to get specific based on manufacturer literature. I’ve weighed a bunch of boats using a digital bathroom scale and takeing the average of 3 readings. Everything from Bell Yellowstone tandem to Placid Rapidfire to Prijon kayaks to Nova Craft blue steel to Wildfires composite and Royalex have weighed more than advertised. There are a few exceptions; my Swift Bering Sea for example, weighs exactly 40 pounds, as advertised and my Wenonah Argosy weighed 44 pounds as advertised.
My head hurts
I don’t care what you call it, but I love my BG Bell WildFire. Just hope Charlie and Dave got their cut…
Thanks all for the interesting data, insight and opinion. To summarize I think I can safely say that it’s felt either canoe would be fine for my application. Personal preference reigns on this one as no real leader pops ahead of the other one for what I’m going to do with it.
Yep, that’s aboout it
I might also add IMO the Wenonah Wilderness would also fill your needs quite nicely, it’s a sweet little boat and quite a bit roomier inside and a good bit more stable for photography and fishing than the other two.
I can believe that Wenonah would very their lengths between materials, what I cannot believe is that they wouldn’t say anything about it. So I measured a the Vegebond and Argosy in both RX and composite this morning. News for you, they are all the same length, 14’6". And since I had both a RX WF and RX Argosy on my truck the other day, I can conclusive state that the Argosy is 6" longer than the Wildfire. I think Wenonah has some of the finest workmanship in their RX hulls. Their only drawback is that they spec the sheets a little light. I wouldn’t mind the Argosy being 4 pounds heavier, But to some people, weight is more important than durability. What I found is a year after the boat is built, the RX sheet has a better cure and doesn’t dimple like a new hull, but by then, one would hope you’ve add lots of character to your boat.
more boat length…
I measured my Royalex Vagabond a while back, and it was 14 ft. 3 in. Not the 6 or 7 inches difference stated above, but not the exact 14-6 of the specs, either.
Same goes for rocker
Not only does Wenonah not tell you that the Royalex Vagabond is half a foot shorter than the composite version (this is based on measurement of the actual hull length in both cases, not including whatever overhang of the deck plates might be present), they also don’t tell you that there’s a really good chance that the Royalex Vagabond won’t have any rocker at all, while the composite version has 1.25 inches. Even if the Royalex Vagabond has a bit of rocker, it won’t be nearly as much as it is supposed to be. That is why I say Wenonah hasn’t really got a handle on building with Royalex. If you by a boat from Mohawk, Mad River, Bell or Novacraft, it WILL have the dimensions stated in the catalog, and that goes for the amount of rocker too. Anyway, it’s good to know that both versions of the Argosy are the same length. The Argosy is a new boat, and maybe this time around they took into account the shrinkage of Royalex as it cools, meaning a completely different mold would be used for the Royalex version. That’s just a guess on my part though.
not my understanding at all
I’ve never heard that the Royalex design came first. I’ve never heard that the composite design was a copy of the Royalex, with or without inaccuracies. Where do your assertions come from?
I owned a composite WildFire for 11 years, and I paddled a Royalex WildFire or Yellowstone Solo for a week. I preferred the composite design because of its less sticky stern.
I’m no authority on the history or the designs. I get my history largely from CEWilson, who is obviously an involved party. I also was researching boats when the composite WildFire was introduced, and I don’t remember any Royalex version until years later.
got it now
I didn’t know there was a composite YS. Sorry I missed that.
So the history as I understand it (with only approximate years) is:
1993: composite WildFire, symmetrical rocker.
1999: Royalex WildFire, asymmetrical rocker.
2000: same Royalex boat, renamed to Yellowstone Solo.
2007?: composite Yellowstone Solo, asymmetrical rocker.
go back and read Charlies post
somewhere in this pile. It has the dates xcept for YS composite…
the YS tandem of course confuses me more.
Lifespan of a Mediocre Boat?
How long can Bell run with this mediocre boat design – the Yellowstone Wildfire Rx?
Isn’t it about time to retire it?
learn to paddle, its going to be around..
Surely you havent missed the mass dumbing down of boats?
Not to diss current YS users but its original intent was to make a WildFire like boat more "user friendly" to those who had problems paddling a straight line.
That said, there is nothing wrong with keeping the YS and push it outside the box. Both it and the Argosy are quite versatile.
Think using the whole hull, not the bottom only.