FlashFire & WildFire in production again

-- Last Updated: Jan-04-07 5:45 PM EST --

Finally good news about a couple of your and my favorite solo canoes. They have been in limbo for far too long!

Placid BoatWorks has received the FlashFire and WildFire molds. Charlie Wilson and Joe Moore are currently flanging the molds for vacuum infusion molding . They plan to have these two additional models in production yet this month, January 2007, yeah!

Vacuum infusion is the only method Placid BoatWorks now uses to lay up hulls. For method description, as well as materials used see their site. On the SpitFire (the smallest, the sports car model ;^) infusion saves 2 pounds, even after adding an extra 25 ounces of cloth. It would seem to me that drawing off the excess resin while adding more cloth in those proportions would produce a lighter and yet stronger hull.

Placid recently developed a foam and braided carbon gunwale that infuses with the hull. It saves about 4 pounds and produces a zero maintenance hull. I'm a bit torn here. I love the look and feel of wood, but I would also love what must be even sleeker looks. And of course I do really love ZERO maintenance!

Can't wait for some updated fotos and specs to appear on the web site: http://placidboatworks.com/

They remembered my interest in these models and e-mail me about the long awaited transfer of molds. Thought you might like me to share.



fer de information. Ah’ have ta go visit Charlie an’ take a look-see this spring.


Glad to see these boats available
again, because for some paddlers in some areas, they are exactly the best boats available.

Less resin = stronger
Most certainly does. That’s why most high-end composite makers vaccuum bag their layups. The higher the cloth to resin ratio, the stronger the finished composite (As a general rule).

There are a few paddlecraft builders who still swear the opposite (NDK in particular), and preach chopped strand mat and tons of gelcoat are the way to go. But if you want a tough, lightweight layup, vaccuum bag it, and add a ply or two of kevlar.

That’s great
While I will probably never own one, due to shoulder width, they are great boats.

As you can see from this picture.

http://www.pbase.com/sloopsailor/image/72595684/large.jpg My shoulders pretty much cover the beam of my Supernova at 32".

With beam rails at 24", even if/when I get down to weight, my shoulders would still be wider than the boat, not great for balance reasons.

Why would wide shoulders affect
balance? One shoulder on one side, the other shoulder on the other side.

It is somewhat true that a paddler very tall from the hip joints to the shoulder joints may feel more secure in a wider boat, as long as that boat also is designed to be stable. I am probably the tallest, especially in torso height, on this forum, and I paddle a designed-to-be-stable slalom c-1 that is only 24" wide, and that is well above the waterline. But I have wider boats that feel much less stable. It isn’t “flat bottomed stability,” it depends on how the sides of the boat are designed and what happens as the boat begins to tilt. Even rather rounded hulls can be quite “firm” with very good primary and secondary stability.

Good news. I hope to try a Flashfire

It’s a top heavy thing. I can paddle a flashfire,I have tried one but the slightest lean of the body quickly shifts the center of gravity outside the gunnels. A heavy J-lean is mandatory and that gets tiring. I can take my larger boats and remain comfortable. The Supernova is very quick to turn and quick to paddle.

I guess with my body style I just feel more comfortable in a larger volume boat.

Maybe when I get down in size I will feel different. I won’t know until then.

With larger boats, one may benefit
from length as well as width. Or length alone. I have paddled the MR Outrage X and found it OK for stability, but my own whitewater cruiser is the MR Synergy, just as narrow as the Outrage X, and quite rockered. It feels tender around the center point, but has more secondary stability than the Outrage X. One thing about the narrowness of both boats is that you DO need to J-lean quite a bit to raise the upstream edge when ferrying. My MR Guide is less touchy about lean, and actually ferries better (though it does have a catchy edge when exposed). I suspect that your SuperNova is less susceptible to being rolled by a cross current, and its width would have something to do with that.

On the other hand, it is in narrow boats that one really learns that J lean. It is easier, it is necessary, and it pays dividends.

That’s good news

– Last Updated: Jan-05-07 8:00 AM EST –

But at 2K+ I doubt it's going to be my next creekin boat...

best point made. I am NEVER going to spend that much on a canoe.

The Supernova is all about secondary stability. It will do about anything you need it to do with little effort. With 2.5" rocker front and back and the round hull she ferries quite easily. I have taken her sideways through some descent size standing waves, ones that swamped other boats and had no problems.

I guess it’s all in what you are used to.