Curtis Kevlar Solo tripper?

I am looking for some feed back on this solo canoe. I know it was replaced by the nomad in 1987 which is based on the vagabond and is a bit narrower than the tripper. I was wondering about the rocker and handling of this canoe. Any issue with the age I should be aware of. I believe the layup was S glass, Kevlar and gel coat.

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First some history
The Vagabond is a smaller version of the Nomad, and the latter not an evolution of the former. Both are in the 1986 Curtis catalog.

The Nomad is the second generation of the Solo Tripper. The narrower gunwale width is because of the shouldered tumblehome. There is only half an inch difference at the four inch waterline.

I have a Nomad from 1988. Kevlar S glass and gelcoat. It came to me virtually mint and I use it on big water as in the Gulf of Mexico. It is quite maneuverable. No issues with it at all.

The Solo Tripper would be too big for me as its just too wide at the paddling station; lacking the shouldered tumblehome. I think the above waterline shape is the biggest difference between ST and Nomad. You can heel Nomad to the rail and she will just stick there.

You can see comparisons on Hemlock Canoe Works photo gallery.

Thanks for the input.
I plan on test paddling the boat this Wednesday. The asking price is $950 which I feel is a bit high for a 30 year old boat. I just picked up an 87 vagabond in mint condition for less, so that may be clouding my judgement. I am enjoying the vagabond but for any extended camping it is too small for me. It fits my wife well and at 50-60 pounds lighter she could carry a decent load. I feel the tripper would give us each a decent light weight solo. I was wondering if the tipper handles similar to the vagabond?

Probably more like the Nomad
with a similar underwater shape and as the Vag is the little version of the Nomad I would agree that the handling ought to be the same as you are used to but I also think that due to the boat being just longer the turning radii will be wider.

I paid a similar price for my Nomad when it was 22 years old. I was ok with it as the boat hadn’t seen much water and no rocks. And had been stored inside.

Price does seem a little high for a boat that is an older design…I think the shouldered tumblehome on the Vagabond is a big improvement.

The market will tell… OTOH I see Dave Curtis has a Blackhawk Covenant for sale for 925.

Tripper will track
slightly harder than Vag as it has a bit less rocker in the. Stern I believe. Not a huge difference. Think you will enjoy it for what you are looking for

Thing about composite hulls is, if
they don’t get beaten to flexation on rivers, and don’t get baked excessively in the sun, they really don’t age.

So if the boat looks in good shape, it is. If I really wanted the hull, the only thing against it would be the gelcoat, which I despise.

Way back in Wallbridge’s Boatbuilders Manual, tests showed clearly that an SS/KK laminate was superior to every other combination tried in terms of impact resistance. And nice and stiff too. S-glass is fiberglass for Air Force purposes, tougher, harder, and stiffer than ordinary fiberglass. Using carbon layers in place of S-glass will save weight, and produce an even stiffer result, but if you wear through the gelcoat, carbon won’t stand up as well to gravel as S-glass, not by a long shot.

I took the vagabond for a paddle today
And really enjoy paddling it. I look forward to test paddling the solo tripper and comparing the two. While paddling today I extended my reach out from the side and think the 30" width of the ST shouldn’t be a problem for my reach. Does the lack of tumblehome reduce the secondary stabliity? I will definitely lean it. What are the advantages and downside to a flared gunnel?

lack of tumblehome just makes long arms
needed if you want to get a vertical stroke plant. Flared hulls have excellent stability. Flared hull boats seemed to be more common in the 1980’s. My Sawyer 190 has a flared hull. Its tough for me to determine when the water is getting close to the gunwale with that flared hull.

You may have to heel the boat over a little and that will make it naturally want to veer away from your paddle …the more curved edge toward the heel will want to carve a turn.

Shouldered tumblehome came about as a solution to keeping most of the features and advantages of a flared hull while allowing a narrower paddling station and less need for gorilla arms. Tumblehome comes in a variety of forms… but the shouldered tumblehome is where the widest point of the boat is just a couple of inches below the sheer line.

When I was young i heard ape arm
So I will see how the test paddle goes, and check the condition. If all is well and the price won’t budge it might be hatd to walk away. It seems like the vagabond and tripper might make a decent pair of solos for the two of us. How think they would do in the glades?


– Last Updated: Jun-03-13 10:52 AM EST –

The Solo Tripper was David Yost's first in his ST series. Vagabond was, maybe, the fourth. Nomad was the sixth, the Keewaydin 15 the eleventh or so. Do you think DY learned anything in the progression? Rocker increased and became differential over time. The reasons for tumblehome became compelling despite the manufacturing problems, etc.

My Nomad is my go to Everglades boat
She is a little big but when I have to carry 90 lbs of water as well as normal camping gear, I like the extra volume.

You may find as I did that the chief challenge was getting up onto chickees. I now snug up to the ladder with short lines on the thwarts in front and just behind. They are wound to the ladder as high as I can get and then I can stand in the boat to unload gear and hurl it onto the platform. Remember to stand on the side, yes the gunwale, that is next to the ladder. You can get upended if you weight the other side… You might like to have a towel for a boat bumper.

Your boats will be seaworthy… just don’t give your wife all the water.

I am sure he did, then again no design
Can do it all. Are you saying the ST design has some basic flaws that needed correction?

I do the same rig when getting out
My sea kayaks at high docks.Thanks for the advice and your experience paddling a similar hull.