Do I own a composite Wildfire or a composite Yellowstone?
I ordered what was supposed to be a composite Wildfire from Bell just before the company was sold (2.5yrs ago). I wanted a Wildfire and was told that’s what I was getting, but after reading a recent pnet post, I’m realizing that I may be paddling a composite Yellowstone! The horror.
How do I accurately measure rocker, or is there another way to determine what sort of b@stard creation I’m paddling.
I thought the stems looked a little chunky… and it has a strange seam along the midline…AND I have trouble skidding the stern around. All these months, I thought it was just poor technique…
I feel like the unknowing parent in one of those switched at birth TV dramas
Here’s one way to do it
… put it on the floor, find the center point inside the hull, put a 2’ level in the bottom, block level the ends of the canoe until the bubble is centered, stand back and look at it to see if you have symetrical or differential rocker. I doubt you’d have to get a ruler out to see if you got YS or WF rocker.
Disregard the seam on the midline.
That’s just an after-effect of a two piece mold. My newest canoe has a vertical seam along the midline, because the mold was in front and back sections.
I do believe the mold for WildFire
was sitting in the shop at Placid Boatworks in early 2007.
However my long term memory is not good with dates.
Don’t these boats have a model name
I was talking to a fellow on the phone about a composite “Wildfire” and he could not verify that the canoe had the symmetrical rocker of a “real” Wildfire vs. the differential rocker of the altered Wildfire (later called Yellowstone).
The issue is whether Bell built differentially rockered composite boats that they called Wildfire.
Perhaps the serial number would reveal the answer.
Rx Wildfire was renamed YS before…
The Rx Wildfire was renamed Yellowstone Solo before they started making composite Yellowstones. That should answer your question.
Serial Number and Seam
What is the twelve digit number on the aluminum plate riveted high in right rear quarter?
Just to make sure, is the seam longitudinal, down the keel line or transverse, around the hull at center?
The WF mold came East winter 06/07 after Bell moved South and has a longitudinal seam along the keel.
I’m checking to see if the YS mold had a radial/transverse, seam.
As always, thanks guys!
I’ll check the plate tonight.
The seam is longitudinal and if I remember correctly, the boat was built just prior to 06/07.
I may attempt to measure rocker, but since the stems are radiused, I’m not sure where to measure from.
You wouldn’t need to measure it
If you get the center of the boat level, you’re eye will tell you if the rocker is symmetrical or not. Just stand back and look.
Good News and Bad
The composite YS was stripped in 04, mold made that fall so very few if any 04 Comp.YS hulls.
Both Hulls were made by Bell in 05 and probably 06.
Problematically, Bell numbers their hulls sequentially with no model / mold designation.
That said, all WildFires have come out of the same mold with a longitudinal seam now in western NY state.
The Composite YellowStone mold has a radial seam, so the OP has a real WildFire.
The bad news is that yes, it's a technique issue with those skidded turns. WildFire skids through 270 dg on well executed Axles and Wedges. Better initiation and more heel should solve that.
You gotta love pnet.
I never thought I’d be happy to have a big ole longitudinal seam on my hull (result of faulty gaskets?). Glad to know with practice, I can fix the problem.
Its not faulty gaskets
its the where the two piece mold meets that leads to a seam line. Some have complained about them. But it is not a defect.
You can spend hours sanding it out. Were you to pay for someone else to do that…the price would be way higher.
Not a Gasket Failure
Molds are mad of Gel coat re-enforced with glass fiber in a polyester resin. Sharp, 90dg, edged always chip and become rounded. This is especially true when making a hull with significant tumblehome. A take-apart, two piece mold is required. We put a strip of fine line tape down the keel line seam, hence the "look", a slight indent.
The stems are clayed, plasticine N of the border, then sanded out. If the entire keel line were clayed, the sand-out would require another three hours. The Bell radial seam is indicative of what a clayed seam would look like.
[The gaskets that seal the hull for vacuum infusion are ~ 3/8" behind the fine line tape.]
The alternate option would be to acquire a ~ $60,000 machined metal mold that could have a virtually invisible seam line and a wildly inflationary affect on boat pricing.