Composite Bell Yellowstone Solo feedback

Anyone paddled a Bell Yellowstone Solo in any of the composite constructions?

Black gold Yellowstone Solo?

Kev-crystal Yellowstone Solo?

Kev-light Yellowstone Solo?


I’m curious about how the fit and handling compare to the royalex Yellowstone Solo, as well as other composite solo canoes of somewhat similar size and design intentions.

I have a royalex Wildfire/Yellowstone Solo, and composite versions of Bell Wildfire, Bell Flashfire, Curtis Lady Bug, Curtis Vagabond and Blackhawk Zephyr as points of reference.


Detuned WildFire
YS in composite is a detuned WildFire, stern skegged for those who need better tracking or course keeping.

The hull fits “wider” than the RX version because the same outer dimension with thin composite hull yields more space than the thicker RX.

The composite shoulders are better, higher and more abrupt, because the hull comes out of a two piece mold. The RX shoulders are lower and less pronounced so it will pull from a one piece mold.

Back when both the Royalex and composite versions were called “Wildfire”, you posted many, many times to say that they were very different from each other primarily because the Royalex version had a skegged stern and the composite version did not. If all they changed was the name, why would both versions now have a skegged stern? Didn’t some people also say that the same two molds were used after name change? I’m confused, though not particularly concerned what the answer is :wink:

The composite Yellowstone Solo
was NEVER called Wildfire and has always had the skegged stern, just like the royalex Wildfire/Yellowstone Solo and I don’t recall Charlie ever stating anything different.

The royalex Wildfire/Yellowstone Solo came a while before the composite Yellowstone Solo and the composite didn’t happen until after the name change of the royalex version. At least that’s how I understand it.

Did I help to confuse you more?

One more time for Ringo, George!
The Composite WildFire came out in 93; 14’X30", 2.5" rocker at both stems; conceived as a user friendly approximation of the earlier DY/Curtis DragonFly.

The RX version came out ~2000; the plug designed for RX construction, measuring 14’X30" with 2.5" rocker at bow, 1.5" at stern. The shoulders were dropped and rounded to allow extraction of hulls from the mold. The RX boat was originally plated WildFire, the name later changed to YellowStone Solo due to contractual obligations. There was/is only one RX mold.

~2002, DY designed a third plug to build Composite YellowStone Solos; 14’X30" 2.5" bow, 1.5 stern rocker, shoulders higher and more abrupt than the RX version because the Composite mold, a two piece unit, separates to remove the hull.

I knew there was just one Royalex mold, but I did not know that a new mold was made for the composite Yellowstone Solo as compared to the original composite Wildfire. Yes, that clears it up.

I don’t recall Charlie saying anything different either about boats of THAT name either. I just remembered his comments about the original Royalex and Composite Wildfire shapes, and got the idea elsewhere that there were still only two molds. So my confusion about what happened after the “Wildfire” name was dropped wasn’t his fault at all.