Bell Canoes

Is anybody familiar with a

Bell canoe CP solo 15’?? 1993??

any info would be great


CJ Solo??
Bell Made the CJ Solo which was a 15 1/2 footer.

You can read about it in this thread:

CJ solo

I didn’t get the correct info

about the boat

CJ is it

thanks again

The CJ Solo

– Last Updated: Apr-24-12 8:17 AM EST –

The CJ was an early Bob Brown design originally named ManToy but changed to CJ Solo after his and my friend Cliff Jacobson, who bought the beer and offered advice as the plug was stripped.

Reminiscent of Yost's Solo tripper, it was 15.5 X 28.5 for the catalog but taped wider with no tumblehome, a relatively wide 27.5" waterline max and not a hint of rocker. She was made by Old Town Canoe in 1975 but dropped a couple years later. Importantly, it was one of the first solo canoes molded by a major manufacturer. [Mad River had a couple then too, but they weren't major players, yet.] OT sold the mold to Ted Bell in 1987.

The Old Town units were rugged but heavy. Ted's White/Gold laminate was lighter, more rugged and inexpensive and were paired with good looking wood trim. When Bell went up-scale with Carbon'Kev laminates and better wood the old bottom seemed out of place.

Bell made ~ 148 CJ's through 1995, when we discontinued the hull. It was way out of date compared to Merlin, Magic and soon, Merlin II.

The CJ was an important canoe in it's day, which is long gone.

Sorry, I have pics of Bob Brown, but Pnet claims images are still experimental after all these years....

Old Town CJ
I’ve had an Old Town CJ Solo for a couple of years now, and it’s a fun boat.

I’m not surprised to learn that the Old Town version is heavier than the Bell version. Mine is a bit over 50 lbs. According the folks at Old Town they only made a few dozen before they sold the mold. In a book written by Cliff Jacobsen he said that the original Man Toy had quite a bit of rocker and that he was disappointed that Old Town flattened the hull and put steep bow and stern lines on it. That took the playfulness out of it.

The CJ that I’m paddling likes to track and makes pretty good time across a lake. When I kneel in the bilge it heels over nicely and will sit gunnel deep just fine. Heeled over I can get it to respond to sweeps, rudders, draws and prys, but not as quickly or effortlessly as my friends can in their Rapid Fires, Flash Fires and Yellowstone solos. I know, no surprise.

I’ve had to adjust the seat up for me so I can kneel because I’m a big guy (6’ 2" / 250 lbs). It makes a good day tripper and weekend camper. I’m having fun with it.

cj solo
Would the CJ solo be good to practice

freestyle strokes. I tried a mowhawk 14

solo and liked it alot. any info would be great

Thanks Wade

cj solo
I.m 6’1 225lbs

too hard tracking and the stems wont free up. Perhaps if you heel it all the way to the rail you can loosen the stems.

I started learning FS in such a boat and very quickly bought a FlashFire…others like Flash and Wild are more fun and less demanding of extreme heel.

The CJ is from a day when we designed canoe waterlines without rocker, then turned at the chine and came straight up with the sidewalls.

WE know a few more things today. Rocker increases speed and maneuverability, but doesn’t adversely effect tracking. What does compromise tracking is poor forward stroke technique: angling the paddleshaft across the rails and bringing the stroke past the body. Skegging the stern counters these nefarious practices, so differential rocker - more in the bow, less in the stern is now common on modern touring/tripping boats.

To affect modern advanced whitewater maneuvers, one pitches the bow down by coming off the seat onto the knees to lift both stems more easily, but that requires heeling.

Straight sided hull can only heel through X angle before dipping the rail and creating a swimmer. CJ and the MRC Slipper are representative hulls. Tumblehome increases the potential heel angle, but at the cost of stability once the widest part of the hull submerges. Curtis’s LadyBug, Sawyer’s Autumn Mist, Swift Heron and Weninah Argosy are prime examples. Thes hulls are also pretty wet, as waves tend to ride up the bubble and wash into the hull.

Yost eventually shouldered his tumblehome, bringing the widest hull section upwards to increase dryness and allow greater heel angles with more stability. Bell’s WildFire, Merlin II and the North tandem series are examples. Mike Galt copied the shoulder on his Caper and Steve Scarborough used a similar tumblehome configuration on several Dagger hulls.

So sure, FreeStyle, which is just advanced whitewater maneuvers on Quaaludes, can be done in a CJ, but the lack of rocker and minimal hull width above waterline, combined with no tumblehome will limit performance.