Bell North Star??

Wanting to paddle this canoe solo and wondering can I , do they make a center seat for the Bell Northstar and is that a decent canoe to paddle solo empty or loaded with 100 lbs.

How tall & heavy are you?

I believe that boat is designed to perform best when carrying over 250lbs.

5’9 195.

Do I get the seat from Bell or any after market.?


– Last Updated: Apr-02-10 8:16 AM EST –

Bell's NorthStar in B'G may be the best mid sized tandem ever made. It certainly belongs in the group with with Swift's Algonquin and Kipiwa, Sawyer's 190, Mad River's Malecite.

That said, it isn't a solo for many; too wide at 34", even with a kneeling thwart dropped in to replace the third thwart.

At your size Merlin II would be a better solo, compare w/ Swift's Osprey, Wenonah's Argosy and Bell's YellowStone Solo.

Have you?

– Last Updated: Apr-01-10 11:56 PM EST –

Try it. Sems a bit of a mismatch for your size, but you never know till you kick the tires.

this page has the rest the answers

Its a canoe for the larger folk on a day trip solo.. (seems to want 250 lbs.take a dog)Smaller persons might need to scale down as there is a fair amount of skin..Canadian Style heeled over minimizes that. That is if you can tolerate kneel (practice watching TV kneeling)

shameless plug for the StarFire
its big bucks, an investment, not a throwaway boat, not the best choice for rivers.

But a dream to paddle solo or tandem. Solo you can take a load. Tandem ferget it.

If a used one floats buy seriously consider it even though its a rare animal.

Otherwise it just occurred to me that most of us did the same Web research…doh…sorry for repetition on the post above.

Kim, Would You Just Shush!
I don’t need any “Competition” looking for a used Starfire, doggone it! They are too hard to come by, so give it up! WW

Thank you for the input. I am keeping my eye open for the right solo. I tried a Weenohna Vagabond (royalex) and found I was correcting with each stroke in light wind. Canoe bottom seemed to flex with waves. Love the Northstar as a tandem, and have yet to try it as a solo. Would prefer to have a 2nd canoe.


– Last Updated: Apr-02-10 9:55 AM EST –

It depends on your goals. At 5'9', 160 I often solo a Morningstar RX(even wider), often with one or two 80-pound dogs for company and entertainment. It's fun. I know it's not the most efficient option, and I wouldn't choose it for cranking off miles, but it works. The biggest downside is the windage when the wind kicks up.

I'd like to upgrade to a Northstar for tandem/solo use when my budget allows.

I usually solo the Morningstar from a kneeling thwart(Bell accessory) aft of center. It's too wide for me to comfortably paddle seated from the center.

One source for seats:

Here’s another possibility. Bluewater
Freedom17. 33" wide. Fast, easy turning.

Make sure to copy and paste the whole link.

Tripper 17
I had one (and I had a Northstar too) and the Tripper 17 is an amazing boat…the hottest Combi I’ve ever personally experienced. It takes a touch more muscle to solo than a true solo but if you’re willing to invest a little effort the boat keeps up with true solo canoes nicely…and is also a blast for messing around. It’s a bit low on primary stability tandem…if you bring a dog you’re quite aware when the dog moves around. Northstar can be a fun solo…but usually in “just right” conditions (calm…or downstream with the extra weight of a dog)…but Tripper 17 is a much better solo than Northstar. Northstar can also be fun for messing around solo on a calm lake once in a while. Northstar kneeling thwart placement makes the boat super light in the bow solo without any load.

Hey, G2d…
…wouldn’t this one be even better for solo/tandem?

Nice looking boats, BTW.

Yeah, I like the Peterborough. Maybe
a bit better as a solo/tandem.