Bell Whitegold

Hello everyone. First post but long time reader.

I was seeking to purchase a Northwind ($1109) in royalex, but I have been offered a Bell Moringstar in Whitegold for $1169 new. The canoe will be used for family outings (2 adults, 2 kids) on the St Johns river in Florida, and maybe some weekend trips on the Sewanee, Satilla, etc. 2 questions: (1) how does whitegold compare to royalex for performance and toughness? (2) Am I giving up too much length (15.5 vs 16.5) that I will regret going with the Morningstar in the longterm? Thanks in advance.

2 adults and 2 kids in a morningstar
How old are the kids? Sounds like quite a load for a morningstar, especially for weekend trips.

But, to answer your question, I don’t think you’ll regret the White Gold Morningstar in the long term. If you are like most people here, you’ll you’ll end up with more than one canoe. But, if your kids are older than 6 or 7, you may just regret it in the short term.

are 3 and 7 - and that crossed my mind with the optimum capacities. We’d be approaching that in a few years. On an open river, I think a 16 or 17 would be more manageable. I think I’ve talked myself out of the Moringstar unless I hear conflicting comments.


– Last Updated: May-22-06 6:19 AM EST –

Northwind in Royalex is better suited for what you are asking because it's a foot longer. But 16'6" with four people is still pushing it. The Composite Northwind is even better at 17'6"

whitegold is very tough stuff.

Two Northstar composites is the perfect answer, one for you and one for the wife. Or two Royalex Northwinds.

Our friend Clarion has a seperate canoe for his two young boys and with good training they do very well.

I know it's a bit much to ask to start out but two canoes is still better than 1 powerboat in my book.

If you insist on putting everyone and everything in one boat you should look at some of the bigger Boundry Water type canoes.

Morningstar probably too small
I agree with the other folks that the Morningstar might be a bit small for your needs. We got by okay in a 15’ boat (Novacraft Bob Special) when our kids were small, but when we moved up to a little larger boat, we sure appreciated the extra room.

go bigger

– Last Updated: May-21-06 11:38 PM EST –

like everyone else said, the morningstar is probably too small. The Royalex Northwind is a minimum. The composite at 17.5 ft is more suitable for 4, regardless of size.

Family Canoe
You’re getting good advice here. You sound like you need something bigger than either of these boats. I’ve got a Northwind in royalex and love it. But it would be tight for your needs if you’re going overnight with the kids. You want to have plenty of room to take what you want on your trips to be comfortable camping and such. And you want everyone to feel safe in the boat, with reserve capacity for stability and seaworthyness. Unless you plan on two canoes, I’d look at the 17’plus boats as has been suggested.

The kiddos grow fast as you know. Mine were 3 and 7 last week. This week they’re 9 and 14.

Have fun!

Quite a deal?
A new Bell Morningstar in WhiteGold has an MSRP of $1,995, so you have a quite a deal on new boat, assuming that it really is new, with no defects or signs of use, … perhaps its a little warm?

Is it offered by a dealer?

If not, I would want to be sure that the offer is from a legitimate seller.

If it’s not from a dealer, and you don’t know the seller, check the Hull Identification Number.

grab it!
The Morningstar is a hotter and sweeter boat in my opinion and it will handle a 500 pound load or more comfortably so IF YOU THINK YOUR KIDS WOULD FIT then I’d say you gotta grab the Morningstar since it sounds like a bargain. You could abuse the boat just about like Royalex; the white/gold is tough. I’d guess that the Morningstar is about 10 pounds lighter and that could make a real differnce in how often you use the boat. Morningstar also more versatile; works good as solo on calm days and would work great with 1, 2 or 3 people as well as four.

A vote for the Northwind
I love the Morningnstar and think it is a sweet boat for two or even for solo use with a load or big dog, but agree with the majority that it is not the boat for 4 people. Of course, if you think just one or two members of the family will be paddling most of the time, it is a good deal on a very nice boat and you can always rent or borrow a boat for overnight trips.

3 adults in Morningstar…
I have a Bell Morningstar, and we paddle all Florida streams and rivers, just with two adults.

However, recently my newly single friend has been going with us and she weighs around 170lbs. So we have been paddling this extra weight and we have NO

problems whatsoever. Now this is only ONE person and now TWO so this may make a difference in your family since the Bell is only 15’6".

We Do love our canoe though and suits us just fine.


I have a Bell Morningstar as well as a Black Hawk Ariel and an Old Town 18’ Canadian. I do like to paddle the Morningstar with one person or solo. It is the best all round boat I have found…. but it gets slow and a little hard to maneuver with a lot of weight in it. I bought mine in the Kevlar carbon lay-up for $1800. With the family bigger is better.