Bell Rock Star vs. Yellowstone Solo??

I see Bell has a supposed new version and bigger than the yellwstone solo.

Any thoughts on this new canoe. Who has one???

Also…did Bell finally sell the biz to the new oweners and if so has the quality gone to s$#% ?


Found these previous discussions…

I’m sorry people have
to jump on somebody for bringing something to the market that is obviously desired. I know Dave Kruger and he put a lot of thought into the purpose and design of this canoe. You don’t like it, then don’t buy one. I’m sure it is selling well as evidenced by the crowd around it at Canoecopia.

As far as the change in ownership of Bell, I’m sure there is just as much, if not more, ingenuity, care, precision, workmanship and pride going into those boats as there was before the change. Nuff said.

I’m hoping…
someone brings one to the Western PA Solo Rendezvous so I could try it out…

Bell Quality

– Last Updated: Mar-28-09 10:31 PM EST –

I'll say this much about quality. I'm pretty sure that my Merlin II was made by the "new" Bell, not the old. I got it at Canoecopia a few months after the change of ownership, and all the "old" boats probably had been shipped to dealers by then.

Numerous comments (by just two people) on this board have stated that under the old Bell, Merlin IIs lacked sufficient rocker because the foam core was not properly treated during construction (I think it had something to do with them not having an oven big enough to handle the foam cores, but I don't know how much of that I should believe). Well, mine has plenty of rocker, with none of the supposed tendency to "snap back" to a tabletop-flat shape as has been ascribed to that boat. I haven't found a single flaw on the boat that "matters"; just a few miniscule flaws that no one in their right mind would care about. As far as I know, their quality is fine. It may not be a work of art, but it IS well-made.

For what it's worth, I saw the Rock Star at Canoecopia, and it is one honkin' big canoe! Should be a good one for someone with a lot of gear, or for a large paddler with gear.

I just picked up a new royalex Yellowstone Solo about 3 weeks ago. The quality is top-notch. Even the dealer said that he was going to stock more Bell boats after seeing the ones he just got in.

The rocker was unaffected
But because the foam core is stuffed into the boat and not oven cured it tends to flatten the bottom.

That is an entirely different measurement.

You can look at that bottom shape as a plus or a minus.

Roxkstar and YS are fro different sized paddlers. This seems to be a hard concept to sell…boat size as a function of leg length.

Bell quality

– Last Updated: Mar-30-09 7:40 AM EST –

In the first year after the move from Minnesota to Wisconsin (either '06 or '07), there were some quality issues, mostly concerning woodwork, not lay up. Since then the quality of composite boats has surpassed those that came out of the old factory: The interiors are MUCH better finished and the tandems come with out-of-sight, integral skid plates. These are very nice boats. As to the Rockstar, I can only echo guideboatguy: That is one big honkin' boat. Then again, most of the rock stars of our youth are now big honkin' guys (whether they are soloing or not!), so it is probably an appropriate niche. I would beg to differ slightly with kayamedic: While leg length is certainly a major consideration in boat length, it must be coupled with paddler and load weight to determine appropriate size. A high-waisted, willowy six-footer may need less boat that a short-waisted 5'9" paddler weighing mid 200's and carrying two week's worth of gear.

what I learned is from CEW tutelage
with Rockstar I cant get an efficient non sweepy forward stroke.

I kneel and I have to be able to insert one knee into each bilge.

I have never done a six week trip where I might go over 300 lbs total burden.

I have done three weekers with 270 lbs. Performance suffers if you go over a load by ten percent but the boat if well designed should not swamp!

Rocker is often described as the …

– Last Updated: Mar-29-09 12:52 PM EST –

...amount of rocking-chair motion that would be possible when the boat is layed on a flat surface (that's actually where the word comes from), so I don't see how the measurement of rocker by any realistic (not arbitrary) definition would NOT be affected if the bottom of the boat were made flatter. For example, lay ANY boat on the floor and then flatten out the bottom by some method, and it's an inescapable fact that the base of each stem becomes closer to the floor by an amount equal to the degree of flattening. Flatten the bottom enough and there wouldn't be any rocker no matter how arbitrary your method of measurement, so I don't see how this issue is totally unrelated to rocker. A person can mince words about how one particular boat company chooses to measure rocker only within X number of inches from the stem, but the fact is, all curvature along the base of the boat from one end to the other is part of rocker in the way it affects handling and in the way most people define it. But no matter. There is nothing flat about the bottom of my Merlin II. It is very strongly curved in both directions, so I stand by what I said about how it appears that the "new" Bell properly deals with this issue. I think that what I said about the Rock Star being a good boat for a large person isn't really an issue that anybody fails to understand either, but maybe I've missed something along the line. Still, I think it's more an issue of body weight or body-plus-gear weight than leg length. I'm 6'2" and I'm "all legs", and I don't need a big boat. I'm comfortable in a Yellowstone Solo, and "" is a few inches taller than I (he's actually the only person I personally know that has longer legs than I do) and he fits nicely in his Yellowstone too. But somebody weighing 250 or 300? That would be a different story, even if they were short.

There were two post before your response, mine and the first reply. Neiter JUMPED on BELL. I was hoping to get as much info on the new Bell copared to the Yellowstone and also wanted to know how the quality of the new boat since many other companies have gone down hill with new ownership etc. And if that is the case i would like to know.