From the Horses Mouth
Dave Yost drops into BMO from time to time. I asked about the Roys origins and he assured me it was neither a Merlin nor a Magic, but its own entity.
BTW…Dave has been doing some extensive tripping out of his Rob Roy and says its one of his favorite boats.
From the Horses Mouth
i didn't really want to name you since i didn't know if you were told to keep quiet or not. i always try to protect my sources. AND, you never answered my question about the rob roy and the conditions your group recently paddled in.
also, good to hear that dave's trippin' in the roy. that has to say something about the design.
I really like the looks of the Rob Roy.
I would prefer a Kruger but I’m not taht serious about expedition paddling.
I supose it can be taken too far, and it may irritate the designers, but I get a kick out of all the designer lore around certain boats.
I’d heard somewhere that the Rob Roy was essentially a decked Merlin II. Somewhere else I heard that the SRT was a Merlin II with free board added. Others have told me that neither is the case. Good to hear it from Topher about the Roy.
A case can be made that it doesn’t matter of course, but I think the added mystique around certain solos based on the lore of what design they might be related to add interest for me.
And at middle age I quickly forget what the straight story might be and get to enjoy the mystery again!
Chad19, you paddle on the Gulf Coast if I remember right. So I’m particularly interested in hearing your thoughts on the seaworthyness of the Rob Roy vs. other canoes in coastal conditions.
Rob Roy and Bells vs MRC vs Wenonah
The Rob Roy is a totally different boat from the Merlin or the Merlin II, and it’s not a shortened Magic either. Obviously DY’s boats all have a family resemblence.
As to Topher’s statement that all the Bell boats turned back… It surely has nothing to do with the hull. As the owner of two MRCs and one Bell, and very familiar with all the boats both companies build. Bell boats shed water as well as any MRC or Wenonah. The Bell boats turning back had more to do with the decision of the person holding the paddle than any limitation in the canoe.
Yes, I think there was just joshing going on and I for one "overmisunderstood" the situation and what was being implied. See Pyker's post above.
Nevertheless, as always I appreciate your knowledge and straight forward communication.
i paddle mostly in coastal areas of Southwest Florida. The rob roy handles great in pretty adverse conditions. however, most of my experience, rob roy aside, is in kayaks and outrigger canoes. i’d love to have a solo canoe get-together paddle in this region so i could try out some other canoes. i’m the only person i know in this area with a dedicated solo canoe who paddles often.
what about rowing canoes?
when i moved to the coast i was overwhelmed with the power of the wind and waves in my 17’ tandem canoe. i made a pair of 7’ oars and mounted short (9")outriggers and started rowing. what a difference in power and handling the oars made. i eventually gave up rowing in favor of yaks, but i went out in my canoe this past weekend and remembered what a cool rowboat it had been. maybe i’ll try it again
Missed a Posting
Ah yes, I missed that posting. That’s what one gets for incompletely reading a thread.
I’ve heard that the SRT/Merlin II connection is just the opposite: the Merlin II is a detuned SRT. Sometimes ya’ just gotta’ shake your head, but you must admit the speculations and ruminations can be quite interesting. Anyhow, if you go to the Hemlock site and click on the ‘Meet Harold Deal’ link, you’ll find some insight to the SRT.
We row all our canoes
I collect canoes like some take in stray dogs … and it’s not long before I figure a way to adapt them for rowing … preferably in ways that will work both for solo and tandem usage. They are: Clipper Expedition 17’5", Wenonah Adirondack 16’ & Saranac 15’, Swift Shearwater 16’2" and a Navarro Egret 16’. They are all considerably more capable and seaworthy when rowed than paddled due to lower center of gravity and keeping our mass centered in the boat. I try to keep myself out of trouble by manuevering to accommodate the occasional double amplitude waves … and because I’m well braced and often situated in a form-fitting bean bag seat. I’ve never been tossed out of a boat yet when rowing. Powerful strokes help avoid problems with orientation to waves and currents. I think a canoe like Wenonah’s Rogue (for rivers) could be used as ultimate ocean-capable “light dory” if outfitted with bags and spray cover. Of my canoes, the 15 foot Saranac comes closest to this but doesn’t match the rocker, depth or toughness of the Rogue (which is best as a tandem, while the Saranac is best with just a centered, solo rower.
Anyway … it’s easy to see I’m a convert to oars and the rowing way of travel. When I miss looking ahead (and don’t have to go too far), we pick up our spare paddles and cruise that way for a change of pace. Often, it’s mixed with a paddler in the stern and a rower facing backward from the bow seat. The stern paddler assumes responibility for navigation and hazard avoidance while the rower Zen’s out and provides the power. Because you’re facing one another, communication is easy … hehe, sometimes too easy ;-D
hey how about some specifics
how do you set your boats up for rowing? i was just looking on the net for some 6’ spruce oars
Well , in our case …
… it’s fixed seat (no sliding rig), fixed pin rowing. No oar feathering. Sockets are usually mounted on the gunwales except for outrigging them in the solo Shearwater. My favorite oars are the Cannon spoonblades from Springcreek. I’ve gone many hundreds of miles with them and they’ve always delivered and never have broken. I bungie them down in really big water so their pins don’t get lifted out of the sockets by rogue waves. Great oar sockets for Wenonah’s vinyl/aluminum gunwales (on their Royalex boats) can be ordered from Old Town for less than $15/pr … and they function superbly well on the Egret (custom fitted to mahogany gunwales), Saranac and the Adirondack. Very strong, frictionless … nylon, I think (quiet - no squeaking). The outriggers for the Shearwater were adapted from a set I ordered from a sheltered workshop in New York state somewhere. They make canoe accessories … sorry, I forgot their name … they advertise in C&K usually. Seating is either off the bowseat, a beanbag or a foldable bass boat seat spaced a few inches off the bottom. Where there’s a yoke, I sit belly up to it and row on the other side with a crossover stroke (2-4"). Each canoe has it’s own dynamics to consider in regards to oar socket placement so that tandem and solo rowing are both possible with the same set of sockets … with just seating that differs. The thing that really makes it work great is the functionality of those spoon bladed aluminum tube oars … they really catch and hold the water for a long duration power stroke !!! There you have the short-version … hehe. Cheap, but superbly effective is my motto.
Hey Topher, that’s a nice looking boat!
Is this your source…
for the rowing set up on the shearwater?
Yes, that’s them … great people and
… good products. I took their outriggers and improved them by epoxying on some hardwood “mushrooms” (large drawer or folding door handles) that I drilled to accommodate their nylon sleeve (1/2" ID). This served to increase the height of the pin sockets so that there was more oar shaft clearance (at a premium due to the narrow gunwales of the Shearwater) during the rowing strokes. You have to be very careful to maintain adequate strength of the sockets for the torque involved though. The bonding must be very strong!
I’d never thought of rowing my Shearwater but that might be a really fun option to explore. I have rowed small boats before and thought it was good fun. I’ll bet the Shearwater would really move.
I took out the Shearwater’s seat
I replaced it with a small bean bag that contours to the hull and gives a sitting height of about 4" off the bottom … along with great lower back support. I’m well “locked-in” in the bag depression … i.e. no side-to-side slop.
I installed a thwart to anchor the outriggers. With this setup, my weight is slightly aft of center and allows gear to be placed up front to decrease hull slap or when tripping. My snap on cover actually works to cover all this with only 4 snaps left undone to accommodate the outriggers. When covered, this rowing setup is a low profile mover that resists weathercocking if I do my part to trim it well (I take along a 2’ carpenter’s level which I place on the hull bottom in the center). I would take it this way in almost any conditions except big surf or white water … it’s powerful and seaworthy (low cg, flared hull) when loaded between 200 and 300 lbs.
Roy and Conditions
I was actualy in my Voyager on the day in question. I believe the winds were aprox 20k with no more than 6"to8" chop. Far from epic.
I have had my Roy out in stiffer breezes and higher seas, and like you have found it to be predictable, comfortable and very seaworthy.
PS. my comments concerning the Bells turning back was a joking jab at my cohorts from the eve before who aided in the consumption of a fair bit of brown liquor.
i really enjoyed the photos all of you posted. nice stuff. wish i could have been there. as for the bell jabs, i agree: anybody who can’t paddle with a hangover isn’t worth their salt;)