Heavy Royalex

I just purchased the 2005 Bell Yellowstone Solo with vinyl trim, advertised weight 44lbs. I bought this model after paddling Nova Craft Supernova Solo (58lbs.), Mad River Freedom Solo (55lbs.), Mohawk Solo 14 (39lbs.), Wenonah Vagabond (42lbs.) The Yellowstone was for me a clear choice based on preformance. The fact it was supposed to be 15lbs. lighter than the Freedom Solo helped me select the Bell canoe.

I have weighed my Yellowstone on two different scales and actual weight is 53lbs. That is 9lbs. or 20% over advertised weigh, no where ballpark IMHO.

If the Royalex material is so inconistent I wish the canoe manufacturers would say so and not publish weight in their catalogs. I have been lied to and do not know if this is the canoe I wanted.

Disappointment for sure.
I can understand your disappointment and I would vent it with them in a letter as well as a phone call.

However I have never been one to care about the weight of my boats especially when its within 20 lbs. I look at it from a different angle. In “water” it will only weigh about 6lbs anyway, plus I easily add 10-200lbs of crap in my boats anyway so it doesnt matter to me in the long run, I prefer to take a lot. Even a gallon of water to drink will make up that 8 lbs etc.

If you like the performance of the boat then thats all that matters. My late friend Verlen Kruger once told me “dont know why people worry about a pound here or 20 lbs there, you should just get in better shape to haul that extra weight around”

But the bottom line is you should still let the manufature know what you think. Just like how i felt this year finding out that MR wont guarantee their RX boats even if you follow the cold weather storage guidelines in the warrenty manual etc. They still wont warrenty them. I was mad at mad river and will never purchase another canoe from them.


I think I heard on this forum that…
… some manufacturers published weights are without “any” trim, and supposedly that includes seats. Somebody even suggested it might include the gunwales! If I’m not mistaken, that previous discussion of over-weight boats was also talking about Bell canoes.

For what it’s worth, my Mohawk Odyssey 14 is a few pounds lighter than advertised, and my Wenonah Vagabond is within a pound or two of the published weight. I haven’t weighed the Supernova yet but it’s “pretty heavy” (all three boats are Royalex).

Remove the gunwales, trim an inch or so
off the top edge of the ABS, replace the gunwales, and you’ll be down below 50 pounds.

take it back to the dealer
Even though you weighed it on 2 different scales, it could still be that the scales are wrong? 20% over the spec weight seems really high.

Check the serial number and verify that you did indeed get a 2005 model, and not an older model (could be the weight was higher on older models).

Forget which numbers are for the year of manufacture - I think it is the last 2 digits (or maybe the first 2 after the 3 letter MIC code) - anyway, if its an 05 model, you should see an 05 as part of the id#. If you see 04 or 03, you didn’t get an 05 model.

Maybe what you should do is bring the canoe back to the dealer you bought it from, and see if he has another Yellowstone Solo to compare it to, using the same scale - if so, take the lighter one home. That assumes of course, that you haven’t used/scratched the canoe.

Older models were lighter.

– Last Updated: Oct-13-05 10:51 AM EST –

This thread was discussed here recently. My 2004 model weighs 42 pounds, 2 pounds below advertised. When the model first came out (1997?) it was well under 40, but there were "issues", and Bell beefed up the stems a bit.

Not only lighter but softer too
The new boats constructed of Royalex are softer than the older boats made of the same material.

Silver Lining
I thought about this last night and will go with the silver lining idea. Good stiff hull on this baby, no oil canning here. One of the reasons I wanted this canoe is for running the creeks in spring (save having to put any dings in my Peregrine). When the wife joins me on one of my ADK trips with a 3 mile portage I will show her the specs in the Bell catalog. “See honey only 44lbs stop complaining.”

I guess my real grip should lie with Uniroyal I hear they make the stuff and not much on quality control. Canoe manufacturers could put a asterisk in their specs though. How about weighing each boat as it goes out the door, just like my underwear (inspected by #13 48lbs 2oz) Probably sounds to easy.

softer but,
i think that they get a bit harder with time. new Royalex is always noticably softer in it’s first year or so before it firms up, though i can’t say i know why that is.

Where I work, at Clipper Canoes, any canoe that comes in at more than 5% off the listed weight, becomes a #2 (a factory second). All canoes are weighed prior to outfitting and again after the outfitting has all been installed. A 20% variance in weight is ridiculous, I’d take it back.