Good deal on solo? Thoughts?

-- Last Updated: May-31-12 4:39 PM EST --

I found what I think is a very good deal on a solo canoe. I already talked to him and Im tentatively going to drive 5 hours to pick it up this weekend but I'd like some of your input before then. Its a early 90's Jensen C1W in the Kevlar Ultra lite hull with internal wood gunwales for $500. The bottom appears to have the normal scratches and the skim coat looks like its worn off in the usual high wear areas in the middle of the boat. Ill have a better idea of exactly how worn it is when he sends me some more pics tomorrow morning. I already have a Jensen 17' and love it so Im inclined to buy another jensen designed boat.

-at what point does the lack of skim coat affect performance? where should I draw the line?

-If it will need a skim coat soon, how much $ (apporx) does it cost to re coat the hull? (probably another skim coat, not gel)

-What do you think of the C1W? I will be mostly using it around town for exercise. Maybe in the bwca in the next couple years. (but that's not a huge concern of mine now)

I was inspired by the "should I start with a solo" thread in which everyone resoundingly said "you become a better paddler in less time". That sounds like something I want =)


If I was down there, I might offer him
$550. I don’t know what renewing the “skim coat” would entail. I’ve coated fuzzy kayaks using West epoxy rolled on with little foam rollers. One then has to carefully sand the orange peel surface with a random orbit sander. Came out nice. Boats seemed faster, but I expected that.

I had a couple of early 80’s C1W’s. One I pretty much trashed by racing downriver over a few years. The other I kept in pretty good shape as I became a better racing paddler. The 2nd one served me for racing, camping, fitness paddling until in a weak moment I sold it to buy a tandem. I still miss that boat. I know where there is one hanging in a barn that has not been used in years and I approach it’s owner at least once a year about letting it go. After 10-12 years I think he may be beginning to weaken.

Got some pics, It will be mine!
I just got better pics from the guy and its in great shape. The only issue is the wood gunwales are gray and have a little mildew but thats no big deal. I was a painter before I was a machinist so I should be able to fix and finish almost any issue. The bottom is in great shape. He lives on a lake (apparently with no rocks) and hasnt traveled much with it. Awesome. Im going to get it sunday I guess.

I forget: as for paddle length in a solo, is a longer, shorter, or same length (as with a tandem) paddle usually best? I imagine seat height is similar to my jensen 17’ as it has a very low profile

paddle length
I use a 49" Zav in my solos as well as tripping tandems. If you like the 50" in your Jensen 17 you’ll probably do fine with it in this as well.

Congrats on the new boat!


So how is it?
Inquiring minds want to know.