Bell Canoes - out of curiosity

Has anyone actually bought a late 2006 or 2007 hull from the new Bell?

Or even seen one? (I know that the Duckhead Grand Poobah has).

Just curious.


Eric Nyre has seen at least 10 of them
He posted something a few months ago in response to a question. But, I can’t find it in the archives.

With Dave Kruger invested in the success of the new company and overseeing production. I’d be surprised to see it botched.

paddled an '06
kevlar “chestnut” at CCK demo. Not my style but a very nice canoe. Way too pretty for my style of indecisive ww. Friend poles a “black crystal” Chestnut. Not sure what year but it looks pretty new. Again, a beautiful canoe.

Bell sighting[s]
I’ve seen over a hundred of them at Mountain Man’s Paddlefest and at Raquette River Outfitters. They look just fine.

Good news.
I was wondering, and had heard little info about the newly made hulls.


Very Good To Hear
All I’d seen was Eric’s earlier positive post.

I’ve not been in a part of the country where they’d have new composite boats. Hoping to correct that next summer.

I’m hoping to find a used or demo Bell at some point and of course if they are making good new ones that boosts my chances.


– Last Updated: Jul-03-07 10:16 PM EST –

I bought my Merlin II at the Bell display at Canoecopia in March of this year. I can't swear that it wasn't an old model, but it doesn't seem likely. There are some non-glossy patches of Kevlar at fabric edges inside the stems, above the floatation tanks, but it doesn't appear that the material is starved of resin. Other than that, I can't find any flaws. Overall, the boat appears to be very well-made (mine has no woodwork to speak of).

none glossy edges
Those edges were peel ply covered to make the edge lay flat. Not a downside - but indication of quality up front, as kevlar edges cannot be sanded smooth like glass or carbonin

I honestly don’t know what you mean by ‘peel-ply covered’, but since there is a thick clear coating on everything else, I thought maybe this was due to variance in the coating thickness or application. Good to know there’s a reason it looks that way. Funny, but none of the exposed seam edges elsewhere on the boat lack the clear coating like the ones up in the stems do. I wonder why that’s the case.

peel ply
is a tape applied to wet layups that does not bond to the epoxy. It peels off after curing and leaves a nice, smooth finish. It is nice for seams and filets if you are building or doing a repair. As noted in some other posts about repairs to composite hulls, saran wrap will do the same thing.