David Yost designs

I really like his work.

I know he did many of the Bell solos, some of placid’s boats, some early racers, swift boats? and some others.

Anyone know of other DY designs? I really like the way his boats handle.

Many of the Swift boats are Yost designs

so many designs
for Curtis, Sawyer, Loon Works, Swift, Perception, Bell, PBW.

Some Sawyer boats, including Summersong.

David Yost designs

– Last Updated: Jun-10-09 1:49 PM EST –

DY's Commercially produced hulls as of June 09

Tubbs: [1] Minuteman

Curtis: [10] Solo tripper, Vagabond, Nomad, MayFly, LadyBug, BlueGill, DragonFly, Companion, NorthStar, CrossFire II.

Sawyer: 10] Autumn Mist, StarLight, DY Special, SummerSong, ShockWave, Solo 13/Coda, X-17, 190 Cruiser, 222 Cruiser, Legend.

Loon Works:[11] Pal, Duet, My Bug, Wee Bug, Mistral, My Toy, Button, Solitaire, Nakoma, Allegro, Aria.

Swift [10 canoes] Heron, Loon, Algonquin 16, Otter, Kewayden, Outfitters 15, 16, 17, Prospector, Kewaydin II.
[13 Kayaks] Classic 12, 13.5, Adirondack 10LY,12, 12LT, 13.6, Saranac 14LT, 14LV, 14 Spt, 14.5, Kiwasee 12.6LV, 12.6, 13.2.

Perception [6] Spectrum, Spectrum S, Prism, Keewee 2, Carolina[s] [2]

Bell: [26] BuckTail, Magic, Merlin II, RobRoy 12, RobRoy 15, FlashFire, WildFire, YellowStone Solo RX, StarFire, NorthWoods, NorthStar, NorthWind, MorningStar, MorningStar RX, NorthWind RX, BackWater, Mystic, Prodigy, Prodigy X, YellowStone Solo, Nexus, Alaska, Companion, Prospector, NorthShore.

Hemlock [4 from Curtis plugs] Kestrel, Peregrine, Eagle, Eaglet.

Placid boatworks [6] StarFire, FlashFire, WildFire, SpitFire, RapidFire, un-named Tandem Pack

Sawyer IV [4] Shockwave, SummerSong,Autumn Mist, Solo 13 [Sawyer II and III never really counted.]

And the 09 C-4 6mm Magnum makes 102 hulls from 12 manufacturers, 7 of whom are still in business! Please note when a model moves to a new manufacturer I'm counting it again. Without these doubles the number is 91 different designs produced.

Having commissioned 13 of these myself and worked on the specs for those and a few others, I'm kinda liking the way they work on the water myself.

David Yost
Hi David,

If you are lurking, I would like to see one of your Air Canes and why don’t you bring a model gas engine to run at Coopers Lake.


What about MY1?

– Last Updated: Jun-08-09 4:28 PM EST –

I think there never was a 2. 1 was a most interesting boat to paddle..it sure kept you on your toes..er knees.

I was going to reply to this post with a note that the Bel Nortstar is a DY design when Charlie posted with that one and lots more!

Charlie is a treasure torve of great advice and info and I hope to stop by PBW and meet him one day.

DY and CEW have hit some home runs

– Last Updated: Jun-10-09 2:54 PM EST –

Freestyle paddlers have found the Flashfire, Wildfire and Starfire (designed as a tandom) are fine craft for their use, choosing the model by their weight. The Wildfire has found general acceptance as a fine all around canoe for those of average size who prefer a maneuverable canoe. Flashfire fits lighter paddlers. The Merlin has it's fans.

Members of the "church of the single blade" find the Magic a excellent choice for both general use and solo tripping. Fast, with strong tracking.

The Northstar is a popular tandem. I've never paddled it so I can't comment on it.

I'm one of those perverts that like sitting my old butt on the bottom of the canoe and using a double blade. I'm quite happy with the Rapidfire as a very fast solo canoe, with good tracking while still being maneuverable. I would be well served with a Spitfire if I was much lighter/smaller.

All the canoes mentioned can be built in very strong lay-ups while still being fairly lightweight. There are lighter weight lay-ups offered, but it's hard to beat the "Black Gold" from Bell or the PBW carbon kevlar infused layup.

As noted in my post's "subject", DY and CEW have hit home runs in a number of ball parks.


Charlie ?
I was wondering wha the difference is between an elipse and a shallow arch? I would think that a shallow arch has to transition into an elipse at the waterline.

Yet another idle question…


still loving my Magic

good subject over a beer
this weekend…Charlie and DY both will be there at the PA Solo Canoe Rendezvous.

Elipse verse arch
Thanks to all for the kind words; I probably don’t deserve them.

Arched hulls end in a point which occurs along the keel line - The Elipticall hull is rounder at the keel line more like a football in the center sections.

The Bell, Swift and Pb hulls are elliptical. The older Sawyer/ Curtis/hemlock hulls are mostly arched.

A good recent example is comparing the old Curtis MayFly with the New Placid SpitFire.

We compared both on water. Spit was much more stable, which was the end of using MayFly as a pack canoe.

hemlock hulls
Charlie, how has the hemlock hull like the kestrel (curtis vagabond) change in terms of hull shape from original DY design?

And unfortunately, I will not. Sigh.



– Last Updated: Jun-10-09 2:13 PM EST –

In some semblance of order.

The Hemlock Peregrine seems to be flatter bottomed than the original Nomad- may be aging eyes or the result of using a canoe as a plug when mold making. I'm not familiar with the Kestrel, so cannot comment.

I guess I should have said the sides of arched CROSS SECTIONS meet in a point along the keel line. [I had a wife who insisted on parsing every word I spoke. I don't know where she is now.]

Chatted with DY in the last few minutes. He claims all the new Swift kayaks have his elliptical cross sections.

This is the guy who draws the boat, cuts the cross sections, places them on a steel strong back, staples the strips in place, sands to infinitum then glasses the plug. Bill Swift, a brilliant marketer and masterful manager who I am proud to count as a friend, pays for the plug.

Just so everyone can feel happy, cross sections become arched near the stems.

Yost's elliptical bottom is actually flatter than his earlier arched hulls so stability generally improves.

The important consideration is that we're discussing cross sectional shape, not longitudinal shape.

and I’ll just add…
told ya’ so. :slight_smile:

i’ve stepped in that patty plenty of times.

What about Yost’s waterline shapes
Without intending to be arch or elliptic, but just curious, can any generalizations be made about the waterline shapes of Yost canoes?

More specifically, does anyone know whether Yost’s design waterlines are symmetrical, fishform or swedeform – just in general or for any one of his particular boats.

best discussion I know of cross sectional shaping is in Winters’ “The Shape of the Canoe.”

DY has designed race boats that are delta shaped or strongly Swede form. Some examples would be Legend, ShockWave. He also has done several symmetrical boats, FlashFire, WildFire, StarFire, and the 190 Cruiser among others. DY claims that when differential rocker is designed into the original drawing, the hull comes out mildly Swede Form, so most of his recent designs, those Bell trippers, Swift kayaks, SpitFire, RapidFire and the new tandem pack Inferno are all mildly swede form. Handling characteristics are altered a little by using different radii at bow and stern stems.

Winters’ writings …
… have interested me since the days of Canoesport Journal, the best paddle mag ever, and I own one his swedeform and differentially rockered canoes.

I became overly uninterested in the young Yost’s designs in the late 70’s or early 80’s when I paddled them in (I think) Sawyer boats. That was because those boats, relative my whitewater background, didn’t feel right. They were tractor seat, sit and switch, unturnable things that seemed alien. So did all things Harry Roberts and Wenonah.

We change.

Jumping way ahead to the late 90’s, I took note of the nicely turnable Fire boats – which, I take it, have a symmetrical rockerline and waterline but an asymmetrical sheerline. My kind of boat, but by then I was in my sea kayak phase.

We change.

I am pleased to take note that DY is now producing some differentially rockered, swedeform hulls – which I currently fancy – just as does … well …

… John Winters.

You may have become uninterested

– Last Updated: Jun-10-09 10:23 PM EST –

in DYs designs because he did not build a boat for you!

No ruffled feelings now!

Seriously he takes inspiration one paddler at a time, and you may have not been in the right place.

He tends to build around a user somewhat more than a concept. Someone will come up with an "I would like a boat that does this and this" and a few pencil strokes later is the bones of a new idea for a boat.

Many of us too have never had a boat built for us explicity either but find something universal in DY designs. Or most designs.. I have some nervousness in Shockwave and the Summersong seated position scares me..would rather kneel.(might be that my knelt balance is far better than my seated balance)

And I would rather relegate the poor Spectrum to the candlewax pile. The design and the execution did not jibe (the stern sprang back on unmolding)

LOL do we change..it all started out for me ww kayaking...