Bell Wildfire-symmetric or asymmetric

I think it is Asymmentrical right? 2 1/2" rocker in the front and 1 1/2" in the back.

Which? Comp or rubber?
The composite is 2.5 and 2.5 IIRC.

Somewhere on this forum…

– Last Updated: Sep-19-09 3:21 AM EST –

Charlie Wilson explained elsewhere on this site what was involved in producing the Bell Wildfire in royalex, and in a subsequent post compared the two: see

Gist is: all the Bell Wildfire's produced whilst he was heading up production had a 2.5/2.5 symetrical rocker... but that might not be the whole story.

As I understand it, when the Wildfire rights and plugs went with Charlie to Placid Boatworks, Bell started making composite wildfires from their remaining mold... which was designed for the royalex construction and had a skegged stern... and that this became their "Yellowstone Solo".

Side note: I trust few have paid top $$ for this in composite!!!

What I don't know is whether Bell produced composite Wildfire's from their royalex mold prior to the name change. If they DID then buying a second hand composite Wildfire could land you with EITHER the 2.5" symetrical rocker David Yost gave the original composite Wildfire.... or with the asymetrical 2.5"/1.5" (skegged-stern) the same designer added for the target market for the royalex version.

Would love to know the answer as there's one last (brand new) Bell Wildfire available in Europe!

I don’t think there are any Rx boats
that have symmetrical rocker. As far as I know, when the royalex WF/Yellowstone was spec’d, they added stern layout.

No, but maybe in composite…
Agreed… but did Bell produce any composite’s from the royalex Wildfire (later Yellowstone Solo) mold and sell them as “Wildfires”?

Composite verse ABS, WF/YS

– Last Updated: Sep-20-09 9:03 PM EST –

WildFire was commissioned by me from David Yost as a 14ft symmetrical hull w/ 2.5in symmetrical rocker at the stems, asymmetrica; shear line in 1993. A stripper was tooled, a split mold was made. [That mold, now flanged for vacuum infusion, resides in Colden NY,]

In 1999 Bell decided to enter the ABS Vacuum formed market. The WildFire sized boat was redesigned with lower shoulders and blunter stems to accommodate the thick ABS sandwich and was speced with less stern rocker to improve tracking for what was assumed to be an entry-intermediate level paddlers.

ABS - vacuum forming molds are very different from composite molds. They are much thicker and have vacuum ducting and vents connecting to a significant vacuum plenum.

When Ted and I tore the blanket, The WildFire name and mold came East, Ted changed the newer hull's name to YellowStone Solo, and requested a composite plug from DY, which was tooled and a two piece composite mold made. The Composite stripper has sharper shoulders and tighter stems than are possible in ABS but retains the tripping differential rocker of the ABS hull. When DY draws asymmetrical rocker, he claims the hull comes out slightly Swede form, so but YS solos are probably also slightly SW.

There are two YS Solo's, the ABS and the composite. First year ABS YS Solos may carry a WildFire name plate. No composite YSS's carry a WildFire nameplate.

Just to clarify…
The rocker aspect of boats is generally referred to as “differential rocker” if they they are not equal. An Asymmetrical hull refers to the fact that the widest point of the hull is not at the boat midpoint. This is generally aft of center. The composite Wildfire had (has) symmetrical rocker and a symmetrical hull. The Royalex version came out of the mold a little differently.

Well now that you confused me !!
I just demoed a buddys Wildfire that was black gold and asymmentric with 2.5 rocker in the bow and 1.5 in the stern. So exactly what is Colden going to build then? Symmetrical? How much rocker? what material? What dimensions?

These wildfire vs. yellowstone threads

– Last Updated: Sep-19-09 10:11 AM EST –

... usually end up resembling a "who's on first?" routine.

It's really not complicated. Just read what Charlie wrote and you'll get the picture.

Hey C.

– Last Updated: Sep-19-09 10:20 AM EST –

De one ah' own an' yer tried last week wuz de symmetrical Bell Black gold Wildfire wit 2.5 inches rocker in both stems. Never even know'ed Bell had an asymmetrical B/G Yellerstone Solo until now.

Jus' looked at Bell's site an' sure as shootin' dem's do have it in composite - shazam!

(By de way - it waar great meetin' ye an' yer wife las' week. Stop by agin' waan yer in dis neck o' de woods)


As long as it’s symmetrical side to side
you’ll do just fine.

That is a problem child
Dont think I have ever seen a Black Gold WildFire with differential Rocker.

Either you were paddling a composite YS…or something weird was going on

Paul is going to build the non differential(see isnt the word symmetrical rocker making more sense here?) rocker 2.5 inches at both ends WildFire.

Well, now you have confused me!
Every composite Wildfire I have ever seen does not have differential rocker, but symmetrical at 2-1/2 inches; my black gold included. My Merlin II has an asymmetric hull and differential rocker.

Elmo, thanks for clearing that up!
What a revelation! So the Black Gold I tested was a symmetrical hull with 2.5" of rocker on both ends. OK. And the ones that are going to be made up from Colden Canoe will also be the same symmetrical hulls.Thats great. So now I need to test out the Indy. You said the Ramsey store has a few and I could demo one-right? Do you set it up Elmo?

Yer kin try my Independence…
It be de MR version but it be almost identical wit de Vermont Indy (jus’ 3/4" shallower in depth) or yer kin call Ramsey Outdoors (Paramus store) an’ ask Rob de de watersports manager if he’ll let you demo. Probably easier ta demo mine. Let me know.


One could suppose

– Last Updated: Sep-20-09 11:17 AM EST –

That most solo canoes ever made, with the exception of race boats, including their kin Prism and Magic would fit on a continuum between WildFire and Indy. ??

I think your right there Charlie.
In fact the chestnut fox that Red River made me was about in the middle of those two and I loved the way it paddled. 1 1/2" rocker for a 14ft boat is plenty for me . Those light weight canoes down in the 30s is great for portageing but I think it may also explain why it lets up the glide so easy too where a 50lber doesnt.

I’d say between WF and Prism though. For me the Indy kneels great and is much easier to turn than Magic or Prism.

What continuum?
Symmetrical rocker? For flatwater solo canoes? Composite only?

If yes, yes, yes, then according to a chart I got from secret internet sources, the continuum would go from the 3-3" of the Merrimack Baboosic to the 0-0" of the:

Sawyer Summersong

Souris Tranquility and Quetico 16

Wenonah Prism, Encounter and Voyageur

According to the Hogged Keel Hypothesis, this continuum could go to below 0-0" into minus numbers.

If we include Royalex and whitewater hulls, we then enter the realm of complex and even imaginary numbers.

hull weight
Let’s assume the average solo paddler weighs 200#, and for tripping, carries 50# in pack[s]. 20# variance in hull weight becomes much less significant in maintaining momentum than when hoisted on one’s shoulders for a half mile carry.