Double Paddle Canoe

Just to clarify re deckless kayaks
If the topic were a newbie looking for a first boat, and he or she seemed firm in resolve to use a double blade, I would certainly suggest or even advocate for a deckless kayak (pack canoe), so long as the intended waters were of the relatively calm kind.

I have always been a proponent of light weight composite hulls, if the buyer can afford them, and deckless kayaks make particular sense for paddle-and-portage tripping and for anyone who dislikes or can’t slug a heavy hull on top of a vehicle.

In this topic, where the OP seems already to own multiple double blade decked hulls, the question is whether there is any incremental benefit to another but deckless double blade hull.

Please excuse my occasional rhetorical paeans to the single blade, and my even more occasional disagreements with other single bladers about certain aspects of single blading.

Finally, I think a forum is more informative and even entertaining when the participants advocate strongly (and civilly) for definite propositions and positions, rather than trying to negotiate some sort of kumbaya “all-paddling-is-equally-wonderful-and-satisfying” middle ground. That last, of course, is also a respectable proposition and position. Just … ahem … wrong.

I have a Rapidfire and have raced it in the Adirondack 90-Miler several times. Although I do well against my own kind, I cannot compete with the Shadows in the same class as paddled by Joe or the other PB shop guys who also enter the race every year. I have paddled a Shadow for about 3 total miles at the PlacidBoat shop pond. Though it was quite windy that day and difficult to accurately compare, I figure it cruised at .2-.3 mph faster than the RF for the same effort, and Joe thought that a fair comparison. However it is rather narrower and would not be nearly as suitable as the RF for camping or tripping.

The Shadow really shines as a race boat in its own class, but overall I prefer the race and non-race functionality of the RF. If I were to buy a Shadow (which is a real temptation) it would be purely to enter and compete in the 90-Miler. I would definitely keep the RF for non-race recreating.

I much prefer to paddle any boat, including my RF, with a single blade, although in the 90-Miler race, in the class created for that boat, a double blade is required by the rules. I had Joe install the highest available slider seat as my paddling preference, and it certainly eases single blade capability and performance. I have absolutely no problem with stability or heeling to maneuver when I need to with either style paddle.

When not racing the RF I like either a straight wood “willow” shape blade (from Caleb Davis/Tremolo), or I use a 49 or 50 inch graphite bent shaft when I am in training for racing in other boats. Either paddle propels and maneuvers the RF well, without the annoying (and IMO boring) “dip and drip” of the double.

Thanks for that feedback.
I look forward to some test paddling.