fast plastic solo

-- Last Updated: May-14-14 4:49 PM EST --

There are any number of great composite solo canoes but not many plastic ones, I paddle an Old Town Penobscot 15 solo which is OK (I've heard that they still have the mold for it!) but I would like something faster. I want plastic because I paddle in some sharp shallows, oyster shells and such.
Anybody know of anything out there?

How about a plastic Prism? ;)

Recent subject
This exact subject was addressed in length a couple months ago. Do a little searching. My recommendation is to find a Dagger Sojourn. Very fast royalite boat. Please don’t use the word PLASTIC though. Royalex and Royalite are a multi layer vinyl foam sandwich. Just say Royalex (what your Penobscot 15 is made of probably) and everyone knows what you are talking about.

Wenonah Wilderness out of roylax
Jack l

You are wrong about material.
Composite boats will stand up to oyster shells, etc., and lose less surface material, than “plastic”, Royalex, Royalite.

But if you want a heavier, less flexible, less repairable hull, go ahead and get plastic.

The hardest wearing composite hull will have a SS/KK layup, but your best selection will be from Wenonah Tuffweave, their glass/polyester crossweave. You’ll get some gelcoat in the deal.


– Last Updated: May-14-14 7:04 PM EST –

Swift's Expedition Kevlar is quite rugged. Colden and Hemlock will custom build to your specifications. All three offer a white gel bottom patch which will be ease repair. All three have efficient 15 ft. hulls

On the ocean, I'd select an integral composite rail system as wood and aluminum suffer from salt.

rotomolded polyethylene
rotomolded polyethylene solo canoe or Royalite ?

Try searching roto…

Poly hulls scratch scrape bounce but are extremely heavy…Old Town has a 12’ hull at 43 pounds.

I assume a kayak roto with deck for reinforcement is lighter. Do you know Phillip.AK video’s ? Phil AK uses one bashing off thru ancient stony portage trails dragging a loaded hull…worth a search.

Royalite has a vinyl skin surface good for bashing off rocks while headed downstream that is Royalite will get you downstream while bashing off rocks for the fun off bashing off rocks. Composite hulls may hole thru, crack, entire sections flap off…giving a questionable ETA from the top.

But oysters, sand, slow lake and tidal travel will eat that vinyl…and Royalite is heavy.

Roto and Royalite hulls are less sophisticated than composite hulls. For example, I paddled a kevlar Solstice Titan during a clinic with roto hulls finding the Titan cruised at a higher speed.

I have a Rendezvous for WW but wanted a lake/flat water cruiser for Florida sand and oysters. A visit to a ultra light Kevlar Prism this week impressed with weight and surface hardness, harder than the Titan’s gelcoat but more repairable ?

The Prism looks, I did not paddle, off toward the no hands bicycle level when relaxing on the seat: small hull for short people. SHORT !

West Marine sells a single tube gelcoat repair material at excessive cost depending on how much gelcoat 2 can material you want curing in stock.

There are oyster beds south of here on the outside trail to Cape Sable. Local advice is DOAHN GO OVER THE BEDS AT LOWER TIDES, not in aluminum ! try searching for aluminum sandals.

Wenonah Vagabond?

– Last Updated: May-15-14 1:17 PM EST –

I had a Wenonah Vagabond and found it to be surprisingly fast for a Roylex solo (NOT "plastic"). However, as has been pointed out, if one's only concern is abrasion, not hard impact, the wear and tear on the hull will actually be less with a composite boat than with Royalex or any kind of plastic. Plus, you can get faster boats in composite (even for two versions of the same model, the composite version will be faster). If you want some real durability in composite without getting a specialty boat or one that's made from newer, high-end materials, consider Wenonah's really basic material called "Tuff Weave". For years I've heard nothing but good things about how durable it is.

Considering that this is ocean paddling, I should also mention that the Vagabond is awful in choppy conditions. It simply sliced right through the waves instead of riding over them, and I only weigh 160 to 165 pounds (it's not like I was overloading the boat or anything).

Vagabond bow…
Rendezvous owner/dealer in Colorado sells a modified Rendezvous with a bow spread at gunwale giving more Vee and Vee overhang upfront for more carryover on hi/steep wave forms.

That might be Eric Nye? He used to
post here regularly, and if there was anyone who could make a Rendezvous “work”, he was the one.

rendezvous in kevlar would work

– Last Updated: May-16-14 10:04 AM EST –

the last two posts above mine relating to Rendezvous really relate to older royalex models - pre 2006 production years, I believe. I have a 2005 Rx rendezvous, and I did the modifications to add flare to the bow and move the seat back a bit for better handling. Supposedly, the factory changed the design to more or less do the same thing - I don't personally know anyone who has a later version rx hull, so I couldn't say that was absolute fact, but it is what I believe has been done.

The Rendezvous is a fast solo and you can have it made up in Kevlar or tuff-weave if you want to order one that way,and can even get a low profile version to reduce wind effects, and I assume you could custom order one with added extra layer of glass or whatever you wanted to the the bottom of the boat.

the kevlar version is a little faster and livelier than rx version, and certainly lighter - I've only paddled a kevlar version once.

any composite boat will almost certainly have sharper entry lines than Rx or plastic hulls, so would tend to cut into wave rather than ride over them. rocker and flare will help the boat to rise up on waves somehwhat to offset the sharper entry

on the used market, a tuff-weave prism is maybe the most likely candidate you are likely to find - the prism should be faster than the rendezvous,as I would expect a lake boat to be faster than a river tripper, but would be less manouverable with zero rocker I think

Cutting into waves, the actual cause

– Last Updated: May-16-14 11:05 AM EST –

I don't believe the sharpness of the entry line has anything at all to do with cutting into waves versus riding over them. There are plenty of sharp-entry composite boats that ride superbly over waves (my guide-boat is a perfect example). What really matters is the overall shape of the hull. A little extra resistance to forward motion caused by a Royalex boat's blunter entry may make it a bit slower, but I think that's the only negative effect.

My Vagabond (which was Royalex) sliced through waves because, like a lot of Wenonah designs, the shape of the forward taper (and the rear taper too, but that wasn't the issue in this case), was straight-sided, rather than rounded (the gunwales form straight lines between the bow and the widest part of the boat, rather than being bowed into a curve shape), so naturally this creates a "sharper" taper than that of a more-rounded shape which becomes wider at a faster rate with distance from the bow. Not only does that shape "slice" into a steep wave more naturally, it provides less volume up front that can come into play when that happens. The Vagabond also has vertical sides within the forward one-third of the boat (the rear too), so the rate of buoyancy increase when the hull gets pushed deeper into the water or gets "swallowed" by a wave is much less than that provided by a hull with flare. Put those two shape characteristics together and you have a boat who's buoyancy increase due to greater hull submergence up front isn't great enough to offset the boat's momentum in a short enough time. Yes, when slicing into a wave it will *eventually* rise up again, but it needs to rise a lot quicker than "eventually" to be a good performer in waves.

I don't want to make it seem like I'm bashing the Vagabond. It's just not made for use in choppy conditions or whitewater. A lot of general-purpose canoes aren't specialized for any purpose at all, yet because they usually have roundness to their profile as well as flare, they do much better in wavy conditions.

For speed with ability to shed waves,
our old Moore shows some designer thought. Though most who bought it did so for big lake touring, the ends are turned up too much for that. For lakes, they should be lower like typical Wenonah tripping hulls.

But the Moores were racing the Voyageur in downriver whitewater events. They were careful not to flare the ends too much, because the boat needed to be fast in whitewater smashing through waves. So they turned the ends up and added aggressive end caps. The hull is flared toward the top edge, so racers didn’t need to tape on foam strips. The hull is a not-so-shallow arch.

On whitecapped lakes, the boat plunges like a battleship but always seems to get by without taking water. We once ran it down Chattooga 3, and had to be careful not to let it get up too much momentum so we could still maneuver it.

Swamp Hen. Fast, light, durable.

15.5’ ww downriver racing boat. Millbrook prices are very fair, and you get a light boat with 2 exterior layers of S-glass, pretty much as hard a surface as you can get on a composite boat. The inner layers are Kevlar, and it’s vacuum bagged. The ash gunwales will need some care…

Its keel is very straight, so you’ll need to trim it properly to get all the speed out of it.

Close - actually Eric Nyre, I believe.

Buy something used
That’s what I did! Picked up a Sawyer Summersong for $200. Put another $150 in for paint and supplies.

This is what it looked like when I got it.

And I turned it into this! Coming from fast kayaks and surf ski’s, I found the Summersong a fast canoe. I can easily maintain 5 mph with a double blade paddle

Wish I could do such good work!

Yeah, I dropped the “e”. Eric even
posted on a UK website that I follow. I’d like to know if he’s paddled into retirement.

Penobscot 16