bell canoe purchase: help w/advice

Does anyone own the Bell Eveningstar canoe? I cant find any reviews on it. Does it paddle ok? Is its design a good compromise between stability and efficiency. I have a 35 lb. dog who loves to canoe but gets a little excited sometimes and jumps from side to side. Can you give me your honest opinion and review on this canoe? Thankyou for your help.

Dog canoe

– Last Updated: Mar-12-09 9:10 PM EST –

We've got a Bell Morningstar that's been a great canoe for solo or tandem with one or two 75-pound dogs. I use the kneeling thwart when I'm solo for better control and trim. In terms of stability, the Morningstar feels a bit loose around center but firms up nicely as you lean.

With a 35-pound dog I'd probably go with the Northstar unless you really need the extra capacity when you're tandem. It should be stable enough and would be a better solo than the wider boat.

reply 2 Tess w/dogcanoe
Thankyou Tess for sharing those pics with me. It looks like the canoe is plenty stable enough for one 35 lb. dog if you feel comfortable w/2 75 lb. dogs in it paddling alone. Its ok if the canoe rocks back and forth just so it doesnt flip really easy. A flat bottom canoe would be not as safe in rough waves like the shallow arch bottom hull I see that your eveningstar has to it. I’m use to the rock’in back & forth feeling of that type of hull; In fact I got where I hardly even noticed it after a while. The pics are reassuring, Thankyou for your trouble putting those up for me. Sincerely, Tony

Dogs are really anxious to please,
unless they think the owner just doesn’t care. Probably you could devise a command or two where the dog would understand that it needed to sit or even lie in the bottom. At other times, you’ll get better at taking into account what the dog is doing and compensating.

happy to help

– Last Updated: Mar-13-09 11:04 AM EST –

It can get *exciting* with two big dogs in the Morningstar, but we've never dumped. Kneeling is a good thing if you have any doubts about staying upright.

We found that if they can easily see out while lying down, they're more likely to settle down. They also don't like lying in a puddle. Your small dog might like some sort of raised platform -- maybe something like a carpeted piece of plywood clamped to the bow seat.

I have seen a dog sit with its hindquarters on the bow seat and its front paws on the floor.

She's not a water dog, so she's pretty happy lying down in the solo because she has a great view:

But our new guy will happily step overboard, and he wants to see everything -- in this case, another dog on shore:

It's nice to have a paddling buddy...

Canoe doggie platform
You know angstrom, your right. She does prop up on the side of the canoe looking out. She might use a doggie platform. I hadnt ever thought of that. But it still would not have worked in my solo wenonah because its was too narrow to start with, but it worked fine when she was a puppy. I need a larger canoe anyway as I need something more versatile that can be used as a solo canoe or a tandem about 50/50% or the time. I wont be doing whitewater in it anyway. I’m going to look into the Bell Northstar also, its only has 2" less width at waterline than the eveningstar. I couldnt carry camping gear in the wenonah either for overnights or weekend trips downriver. thank you again. Tony

OT: S&G Osprey??
Sorry to veer off-topic. I was admiring your solo canoe, Angstrom. Is this one of the stitch and glue Osprey’s? Was building straightforward? Do you like how it paddles?

S&G Osprey II
Long story – I bought the plans, cut the panels, and they didn’t fit. Started emailing with John Winters, who agreed that the plans were faulty, and he paid to have a set of panels CNC-cut by the folks at Newfound Woodworks who are not far from me. Assembly went smoothly, glassing messy but OK. Biggest pain was figuring out how to put the gunwales on the top panel with all that tumblehome.

I don’t have a lot of water time with it yet. Maybe a bit wide for me at 5’9". As you might expect with the hard chine it seem very responsive to an outside edge. Stability is solid. I think it’s going to be a good human + dog lake boat, which was the intent. The low freeboard looks spooky but it’s nice in the wind and so far it’s been dry. And while I like single-blading, it works great with a double blade which is how my wife has used it.