Bell Mantoy?

Anybody know anything about this boat?


It’s suposed to be like a narrower Merlin II designed Cliff-Can’t remember his last name.There is one on E-Bay.


My wife refers to all my canoes as Man Toys, I didn’t know Bell made on specifically for that market. I may need to get one.

I’m also curious about that one and
have been watching that one on ebay. Too bad that it’s so far from me.

Lousy boat
I heard that was a lousy boat…:slight_smile:

Just like those garbage scow Blackhawks.

The Bell Listed
is an early 90’s CJ Solo, designed by Bob Brown. Originally molded by Old Town in the early 80’s before they sold the mold to Ted in the late 80’s.

Can’t determine if it has float corks or molded in flotation; which would be a 94 watershed.

I’d like to see the scale they weighed it on, I think I can get back to my High School weight with it.

Lousy boat…

– Last Updated: Mar-12-09 2:05 PM EST –

Having never "actually paddled" the boat in question, and not being interested in purchasing it, I can't say that it's a lousy boat.
If I wanted it, but didn't want you to want it; I might call it a lousy boat........

On the other hand, I've heard a lot of "it's a lousy boat" statements come out of the mouth of some less than stellar paddlers, and also from the mouth of a lot of people who never actually paddled the boat themselves.

I know "for a fact" those Blackhawks are junk.
If you have one for should contact me; I love paddling "junker".

Too bad you didn't win that "scow" you were bidding on Yanoer. Must have been some others who liked paddling "scows" better than you eh?

"One man's junk is another man's treasure".


Lousy boat
I was kidding…I am looking at that on ebay too as you will see in one of my other posts.

Are you sure it is a CJ solo? Seller claims it is a Mantoy and that it is somewhat of a cross between the Magic and Merlin II in terms of their current models.


CJ solo

– Last Updated: Mar-12-09 5:31 PM EST –

Just sent an email to Wilson. Not sure if he was going to go back and read this post.

Asked him why he said that boat on ebay is a CJ solo and not a Mantoy.

I think he may be right though, because there was a CJ solo with the exact same extras and description listed on the Raliegh Craigs list.

Actually though, after doing some research, I suspect they may be the same boat. From what I have read Cliff Jacobson designed the Mantoy which was first made by Old Town I believe. He also designed the CJ Solo from what I understand...bearing his initials. Maybe it is the same boat under different names???


some more info
so far it seems to me that the Mantoy and the CJ solo are the same boat. The Mantoy was designed by Cliff Jacobson and I believe was also coined as the CJ solo given his initials. I have not been able to confirm this for sure but so far all I have researched seems to indicate this to be the case. Furthermore the pictures I have seen of the “two” boats appear to have identical hull shapes.

Here is what Cliff said about the CJ solo:

Here is the one thing I found about this boat…written by Cliff Jacobson himself on another forum:

Hello PG:

The Bell CJ has an interesting history. It began life as a wood-strip canoe I built with the help of my friends Bob Brown and Darrell Foss. IT was similar to your boat but had curved back stems and about 3 inches of rocker at each end. It was my first solo tripping canoe, built around 1979, if I recall. I sold the design to Old Town who straightened the stems and removed the rocker (big mistake!). They called it the Old Town CJ Solo. At the time, it was one of a very few true solo tripping canoes on the market. Old Town sold only a few dozen CJ’s and I got the mold from them and gave it to Ted Bell who lightened the construction and generally improved the canoe all around. He named it the CJ Solo and it was Bell’s first successful solo canoe. It has been out of production now for I’d guess about 10 years. It was a good canoe—high volume, relatively fast and very seaworthy. But by today’s standards it is simply too big for most people, and the zero rocker and square ends make turning it a chore. Still, it’s a nice canoe, though not in the league with the top Bell’s and We-no-nah’s of today.

The more you paddle solo canoes the more you come to realize that the CJ is bigger than you need. I weigh barely 130 pounds and that old CJ is way too big for me. Indeed, even the Yellowstone Solo or older Bell Wildfire is marginally too large for me. The little Bell Flashfire is really a more perfect fit for someone my weight. But, I still prefer the YS because of its versatility—reasonably fast on the flats, pivots on a penny in rapids and is very seaworthy in big waves.

Your Bell CJ is a fine old canoe, and a good boat for a beginner. When my daughters were little I installed two extra seats in it and the girls paddled it like a tandem canoe. They could really move that boat: my wife, Sharon and I had a Sawyer Charger (18.5 ft) at the time and the girls could keep up with us if we didn’t push real hard.

I think you’ll enjoy your CJ. It won’t depreciate any more than it already has. You will probably be able to sell it for more than what you paid for it five years from now—that is, if you can bear to part with it.

You’ll find some references to the old CJ in my book CANOEING WILD RIVERS (revised edition). The newer versions of this book (EXPEDITION CANOEING) reference more recent designs.


Cliff Jacobson

Did anyone here buy it?

I tried
I tried but got outbid. It went for a bit over $1500. That was about as much as I was willing to bid on it.

I did buy a used CJ Solo from a shop in MN. I think it is the same boat, but still am not 100% positive. Hull looks the same and research seems to indicate that it is likely the same.

Mine is not in as good condition but is in the black gold layup which I think will be more practical.


I think for $1500 someone over paid. Unless there is some collector value associated with it that I am not aware of.

I agree
That’s why I was not willing to bid any higher to win. I was pretty shocked. Think it was just someone who wanted to win the auction but don’t think that it was a matter of collector value (or at least I don’t think so).

For that price you are getting close to what you could get a new one for on sale.

I got mine for $1000. Not as pretty or in as good condition, but it is a better layup and a much better price.