Hemlock Kestrel Canoe

Does anyone have this canoe in the Long Island/ NYC area?Id like to see/try it .

Good luck, but you’re not that far from
Hemlock headquarters. Ask if they have a demo boat on the premises.

Similar Hull
Placid boatworks’ RapidFire is David Yost’s 06 redesign of the 82 Curtis Vagabond from which Kestrel was splashed, and may be easier to access.

Charlie, on that Rapidfire with my size
at 5ft 10" and 170lbs can I use the kneeling cane seat and single blade canadian style paddling with enough stability for trolling a flyrod or fishing? I have size 9 1/2 feet will that clear under the seat with such a shallow depth? I have owned a 14 ft chestnut fox which I took some freestyle and canadian style lessons so Im pretty acquainted to a boat size of that dimension althoug it was a 30" beam and 13 1/2" deep. Or would I be better off with the Kestrel?

Foe someone
your size and wanting to fish, I’d suggest a size up from these 27.5" boats: Peregrine at 28.5" or Bell’s Merlin at 29"

RapidFire for big people

– Last Updated: Sep-07-09 7:17 AM EST –

On the other hand, I am very happy in my RapidFire, kneeling on the bench seat, and I'm 6'0", 220 pounds, with size 13 feet.

I am not happy at all in neoprene booties, though, so size 14 may be the most the bench seat can accommodate. For winter paddling, I have had to switch to a dry suit with thick socks underneath and formerly waterproof socks over the dry-suit booties (just for abrasion protection).

I haven't tried fishing from the RapidFire. I doubt it would feel good. With the kayak-style seat installed, though, it would be quite stable.

My RapidFire lives in far northern Manhattan, and I can set you up for a test paddle if you want.


just demoed
I’m close to your size – 5’9’, 160, size 10s – and recently demoed the Kestrel and Peregrine up at Hemlock. Kneeling footroom was OK in both. Peregrine felt very solid, nice, but just a bit bigger than I’d want to paddle empty. Kestrel was a bit less stable, as expected, but I preferred it --it’s the first solo I’ve paddled that felt like it really fit. It felt like it’d be a great boat to build solo skills in. Wasn’t thinking about fishing stability. It probably depends on your comfort level and quarry. I’ve happily fished out of a 22" sea kayak – panfish are fine, but bigger fish can be exciting if they decide to go under the boat…

Getting some good answeres on these boat
OK, So foot room sounds good and you mention solid with the peregrine,slightly less for the kesrel.And Im a little bigger than you so the peregrine may be my better choice especially as you mention a larger fish going under the boat could be intereting!! Id have to set the drag lossely-HE HE!! How far is the front thwart from the seat edge? Could I slide of the keneeling seat and sit on the floor with my legs gong under the thwart for a rest? And as far as sitting on the seat paddling is the kestrel too tippy versus the peregrine for my size? Still waiting to hear from Mr. Curtis for anyone that has these 2 boats down here on Long Island.

Fishing, mustangs and motivation

– Last Updated: Sep-07-09 5:06 PM EST –

If the OP has been paddling a Red River Fox with a 30" waterline and 13.5" depth, most of the modern small solo canoes, with 25"-27" waterlines and 11"-12" depths, are probably going to feel a lot less stable and secure.

Dave Curtis, though of course in the canoe selling business, has always seemed straightforward about the capabilities and proper uses of his canoes. Customers bitch a lot about solo canoes and try to return them when they can't do what they think they should do.

I believe it would be inconvenient to fish out of any of the modern solo touring canoes, for they are mainly designed to paddle not to serve as platforms for other forms of recreation. I also think it would be inconvenient to make out in the back seat of a Ford Mustang. However, I believe motivated people have endured both of these inconveniences.

My wife
My wife’s comments on first paddling my Kestral were " It’s stable and low effort to paddle". She is not a real experienced paddler. This was AFTER I raised the rear of the seat to the rail from it’s original lower position. Now it’s her favorite of my solos. If fishing from a canoe is like taking pictures,I could easily dump though!


I fish out of mine.

– Last Updated: Sep-07-09 10:21 PM EST –

With the stock seat raised to the rails it was very difficult to handle larger fish in the sitting position. I have added some nylon spacers to move the seat down an inch. that and kneeling when a big one strikes or when trolling in deeper water makes the Kestrel a great fishing platform for me. The added benefit that it's fun to paddle and trip out of is a bonus.

My rod holder is on the back thwart for trolling. Seat height stock before I lowered it. I also now have the glue down knee pads to make it easier to get from sitting to kneeling.


I know that you want to paddle it Canadian style but I added a foot brace to the Kestrel and use that to rest from kneeling and give my body a break now and then.

Hey beachcamper thats an awsome setup
for fishing!! What rod holder is that. I generally just put the rod down in front of me while kneeling and trolling. Im always on my knees!! But yeah when I want to take a break and stretch the legs I would either like to get back on the seat or drop to the floor if I can clear the legs from the front thwart. Can you do that? You mentioned foot brace but I didnt see it in the picture? Is that for paddling while sitting on the floor with a double paddle? --Cvarcher@hotmail.com

OT for angstrom
Angstrom, I recall you have a stitch and glue Osprey2. Any comments/comparisons of the Hemlock boats to your Osprey?

Wan’na try a Peregrine?
Ah’ gots one an’ ah’ be about 30 miles north-west o’ NYC iffin’ yer want ta give it a try. Couple o’ nice reservoirs witin 15 minutes too.


rod holder

– Last Updated: Sep-09-09 9:19 AM EST –

Cvarcher the rod holder is made by Scotty. They make a rail mount that works with wood thwarts if you buy the longer ss srews. My Cookes Custom deck also has a velcro flap to allow the rod holder to stick out while trolling.

My solution to the foot brace was not very attractive but it is solid and has allowed me to do longer distances sit and switch paddling when on trips. I have herniated disks and arthritis in the knee have to keep changing positions and moving or else! The seat back is very loose and I only use it when taking a break or just fishing/working a shoreline.

I tried sitting in front of seat but it was not relaxing or comfortable the boat is real shallow. I also did not want a sit on bottom canoe because of the above problems with knee and back.

Here are two pictures, one shows the footbrace and seat with back:


Better view of footbrace and drybag placement for trips:


yes, yes I can come up !!

– Last Updated: Sep-09-09 1:43 PM EST –

Give me your e address or email me at cvarcher@hotmail.com My name is Corrado and thanks!!! Weekend or this friday OK? Time place? Im familiar with Clarence Faunstock State Park which has a few lakes.(off the Taconic Pky)

Done went an e-mailed ye…


Ok email sent back–thanks!!
Call you friday nite!!

There are 11 other boats

– Last Updated: Sep-09-09 2:07 PM EST –

iffin' anyone wants to test drive dem too.... :>)


you accomplished what you had wanted