Hemlock Peregrine

-- Last Updated: Apr-25-07 12:12 PM EST --

Wha Ho, Pilgrims;

Like ah' needs a'nudder canoe, but ah'm lookin' inta a lighter solo touring canoe. Ah' have demo'd a Bell Magic a few years ago, an' it waar quite nice - but now am really likin' de sound of de Peregrine fro' Hemlock Canoes. Mr. Curtis's reputation for quality craftsmanship and design are well known an' would play a deciding factor in me decision. Ah'm gittin' worried about dealing wit the "New" Bell. Ah'm meetin' Dave Curtis at de Delaware Water Gap tomorrow ta get my W/C Prospector, an' would like ta discuss it wit him. Ah' wuz wonderin' if any o' ye folks have any opinions on de Peregrine.


Height: 5'9"
Weight (after a good dump): +/- 200lbs. More + then - ).
Average cargo load: Maybe 60lbs.
Kneeler not a sitter.
Use of canoo: Flat water, Class 1+ touring.

Thanky kindly.

Fat Elmo

Hey FE
you’re about the same size as me and I fit the Peregrine really nicely. Beautiful design and well executed construction. To me it fits me better than the pinched in sides of the Magic. I think the Peregrine is faster, too, although the Magic cult :slight_smile: will probably take umbrage at that statement:)

Tell Dave I said Hi, and you got to that Prospector faster than I did. Post some pictures, eh?

Sure will…
If ye ever gits up here ta Joisey, give me a holler.

Come try out de Prospector.


hey Elmo
Get the Peregrine…just get one. Forget about the Magic…you were confused and lost…it’s OK.

You only need to decide if you want the lightest lay-up…33 pounds I think and still way stiff, strong and tough,…or the “heavy” lay-up that’s still super easy to handle and may be even tougher and quite a bargian. I have a lightweight Peregrine (his 1st all kevlar Perergine and 34 pounds, now they are 33 with a layer of carbon) and a standard lay-up Kestrel at 33 or 34 pounds and tough as nails.

The Peregrine will handle your load easily and perfectly.

I may be a bit biased…

Hi to Dave

Go for it Elmo!
Congratulations again on that Prospector but let me get this straight. You’re less than 24 hours from taking possession of a new canoe and already contemplating the next hull, way to go Elmo! My recommendation is to go ahead and order that Peregrine, it’s a good boat for a big guy that likes to kneel. I’m sure that it would be ready by July, you could pick it up and attend the WCHA Assembly at Keuka, it’s not far from Dave’s shop. I’m as green with envy as that new Muskoka.


Sweet boat
I paddled Conk’s for a bit at Raystown last year. Can’t say enough good things about it!

Get One
I’ve had my Peregrine (Premium + hull) about three years. Did a week-long trip on the Green in Utah last spring with me at 230 lbs, all my gear & food, plus 50 lbs of water aboard. Total load was around 400 lbs. The boat handled flawlessly, even in the high winds that the Green is known for. Mr. Curtis understates the Peregrine’s capacity quite a bit. The Magic is a nice boat, but I prefer kneeling which favors the Peregrine. Speed-wise I think they’re pretty close. I give the edge to the Peregrine in turning ability and its secondary stability is rock solid. The Peregrine wins hands down when it comes to quality of construction. If you have one shipped to a freight terminal, Dave will pack her up real nice for shipment. Mine arrived in Indianapolis without a scratch.

is an outstanding canoe.

I have had mine for two years now.

I’m about your height but a few less pounds and it fits me fine. I think that it is much more comfortable kneeling than a Bell Magic due to the extra room to adjust leg positions from time to time.

The light weight composite makes it easy to car top.

Good luck.

Please say hello to Dave.

Bruce (in Pittsburgh)

is a great boat. I orderd a Kestrel for my self which Dave is shipping soon. Dave is great to work with and the quality is better than Bell.

MMM boats
Two years ago at Raystown I was able to paddle WesD’s Magic, Topher’s Voyager and BLK’s Peregrine.

The Magic was nice, steady, and solid. The Voyager was FAST! It also surprised me by being quite responsive to edging.

Those boats I only paddled in calm conditions.

I borrowed Bruce’s Peregrine when the wind was howling and the powerboats were sending in the ocasional roller. The Peregrine was quite comfortable in those conditions, had no trouble with the wind and even let me catch and surf one of the rollers. Maybe it was the conditions but I was left with a strong desire for a Peregrine.

I’d still like to try the Magic and Voyager in those conditions.


new solo canoe
Hey FE,

Read in your post where you are a kneeler, so I won’t suggest sit-on-bottom solo canoes for now.

However, when your knees get too old for kneeling in fast solo canoes, drop your 200lb butt into a Rapidfire seat for a trial. Instead of painful knees signaling the end of fast solo boats that require kneeling, you can start on a new shopping spree for fast sit-on-bottom craft.

Until that day comes, enjoy kneeling boats. Have not paddled a Peregrine but all reviews I’ve read or heard have been good. Shopping for canoes is always fun.



– Last Updated: Apr-26-07 12:00 PM EST –

Ah'm so used ta kneelin' in canoos fer de last 40+ years dat ah' jus' can't git comfortable settin' except waan ah'm pulled over an' ettin' vittles. Maybe dat be one reason me' an' kayaks jus' don't git along very well. Jus' kin not set fer too long an' like de extra control dat kneelin' provides.

Ah' did try out a Vermont Canoe Tupper sit-on-de-bottom canoe last year. Beside almost sinkin' it, ah' don't like settin dat low. Thanks.


Hey FE,

Wasn’t trying to convert you- As long as the knees hold out and the brain remembers which end of the paddle to hold, continue paddling the way you enjoy.

The double blade paddle eliminates the decision making about which end to hold for old paddlers like me.


No doubt about it, get the Peregrine. Just try calling Hemlock and then try Bell. Can you even find a phone number for Bell??? Probably not.


Peregrine and Magic
[late to this discussion but]…though the Peregrine has only a 1/2inch less height in the center and ends and with less total width how does it affect carrying capacity, waves, and stability vs the longer and overall wider Magic?

Apples and oranges
Guys; Magic and Peregrine are wildly different bottoms.

Magic is pretty asymmetrical and paddles lots like a detuned race boat that has been set up to turn and be more seaworthy.

Peregrine is a rework of the Curtis Nomad, a ~87 Yost design - an excellent general purpose solo touring canoe that is better compared to Bell’s Merlin 2, a ~96 Yost design.

The length diff between the two is less than it seems, as Peregrine has more layout at the stems. Merlin is a little drier because it has more volume above the waterline and turns a little better due to less pinch in the stern.

Dave’s boats are always beautifully made. Bell’s nearest dealer is available off their web site.

CEW is correct
As usual; but then again he is a perceptive guy, with lots of experience.

Actually the Peregrine concept goes back to about 1977 when Dave Yost and I set out to create a solo traveling canoe that could stay with decent tandems on lake country trips, paddling and portaging. I don’t remember how many strippers we built (DY would do the hulls and I would play around with different trim setups) but there were several, some are still around. We couldn’t find anyone interested in building the boats for us so we starting building ourselves. This model was originally named the Solo Tripper, first under the Canoe Specialists label and then as a Curtis canoe. The original catalog pages for all these boats are now posted on the Hemlock Canoe website under the Photo Album:Curtis Canoe models.

The Solo Tripper then became the Nomad in the mid 80’s after lots of input from experience trippers who offered there varied suggestions relative to the performance of the boat. The shouldered sides were the main improvement which was actually Harold Deal’s idea, since he had been conceptualizing the model which became the Dragonfly. After we did the Dragonfly we re-did the Solo Tripper to include the shoulders as well as some bottom changes.

After the demise of Curtis Canoe, which we had sold shortly after the Nomad upgrade, the designs remained pretty much status quo for 10+ years. In the mid 90’s Harold had been working on his new ideas for a solo combined boat (whitewater/flatwater) and sent me the strip plug for the boat which became the SRT, which I believe has proven to be an exceptional solo wilderness tripper.

We then incorporated some of the SRT bottom ideas into the Nomad style boat and that became the Peregrine. At that point we also layed out the stems which I personally prefer to plumb stems.

So; at this point in time the Peregrine is simply my best idea on what a solo lake county tripper should be. Fast enough so that a reasonably skilled solo paddler can keep up with a group of tandems on a trip; on the water and on the portages. Enough load capacity for at least 7-10 days, stable and maneuverable enough for whatever one might encounter and above all seaworthy enough for the toughest conditions. In my experience the Peregrine with an experienced paddler will actually lead the group of tandems.

Hope this all adds a little to this discussion. Many thanks for the nice compliments about our boats. Hope we can all paddle together some time.


I remain amazed
at the wealth of information shared here at PNet. Thanks to everyone that continues to educate those less worthy.

Hope to see you on the water at one of the local gatherings. Maybe Raystown in October?


Thanky kindly

– Last Updated: May-01-07 12:52 PM EST –

ta all ye pilgrims fer de grand advice on de Peregrine. Kind'a looks like a no-brainer ta me (which be right up me alley). Without actually demoin', me'thinks ah's gon'na order one from Hemlock next month for de autumn when ah' start me paddlin' season agin'.... red, yup dats it, in red!

De sickness goes on!

Thanks agin' fer all yer help on dis. Great folks here.

Fat Elmo

Very informative post. Thanks!
Particularly thank you LDC for your input. Having paddled the Peregrine albeit briefly and owning a magic and swift shearwater, I concur with the handling and unloaded characteristics of the Peregrine. Not having experience on a trip with this hull I won’t comment.

FE, at 6-3, 215 +/- (mostly plus) I prefer the somewhat higher volume and capacity of the Magic and Shearwater. Used the Magic in the BW and found a great comfort with the hull. That said, I would not hesitate to take the Peregrine out in challenging weather with a load, the boats from Hemlock Canoe are second to none in construction and workmanship.

Everyone seems to find their “fit”, though I own other hulls I would not hesitate to add the Peregrine to my fleet. Hemlock’s new hull the “Eaglet” is VERY appealing.

BTW, Mr. LDC, I’ve met you twice and bought two boats from you. Thoroughly enjoyed the time spent and discussion. Say hello to TonyF for me.