Canoes. Paddler weight 210. Paddling empty.
For river class II III and still make tracks in the flats?
How durable are these boats? How dry is the ride?
Not looking for a full blown WW boat…
Canoes. Paddler weight 210. Paddling empty.
Odyssey vs Solo 14
I’ve owned both. For CII-III the Odyssey is your choice. High and dry and tough enough to take it. Available in RX or Rlite.
The Solo 14 doesn’t have the freeboard for running C III. Ok for CI with an occasional II, but you have to bail.
at 214 lbs
My $.02 worth
Definitely NOT the solo 14. I watched a few of them play submarine in standing wave trains on the Buffalo…
welcome to try the Supernova anytime
There's plenty of class I, II, and/or III close to both of us. I'd bring a Yellowstone Solo for myself, or a Prospector 16 ... depending where you wanted to go.
Edit: Better yet, I'd have an excuse to finallly bite the bullet and epoxy in the D rings into the ME. The locations are figured out and marked, just have to do it. I'd welcome the "gotta do it" motivation.
I outfitted an Odyssey 14 as my first whitewater ride.
After about 2 years I started paddling more difficult water; I sold the Odyssey & purchased a Mad River Outrage X.
The Odyssey was not as manueverable as I wanted, was not as dry as I wanted, and because of its length the bow would submarine when going over large drops. A 14 foot boat is a bear to get to shore when its full of water, whether you have it bagged or not.
Can it handle class 2? Most definitely.
Can it handle class 3? Yes, in the hands of a good paddler.
Is it durable? Most definitely.
Is it a dry ride? It's ok if you avoid doing big drops head on, and you quarter the big standing waves. Not a boat I'd want to be attempting "must make/one boat eddies". You are somewhat limited to larger sized eddies due to its length. Not a boat I'd want to be surfing, or side surfing in big water. Most definitely requires more effort on class 3 than a "real" whitewater boat.
I think the Odyssey excels when paddling class 2 & class 2+, with or without a load. It's a very good multi purpose boat. Great secondary stabiltiy. Fun boat to play around in, on moving water & in rock gardens where there is plenty of room to manuever. Definitely not a boat you'd want to use to "make miles" on long dead pools.
After selling my first Odyssey I purchased another one because I missed having one.
I also owned a Solo 14. I do not miss it at all, but my wife does. She liked it because it was light weight, stable, & a rather benign boat. I question it's durability on the rivers I paddle, but it might hold up well for lake paddling. I disliked the floppy/flexibility of the bottom of the hull. I wouldn't have taken someone else's Solo 14 out on class 3, much less the one I owned.
I'll personally never buy another boat in the R-84 layup.
I weigh 200 lb.
P.S. For those who regularly paddle class 3+ & class 4 in your Odyssey or Solo 14; please post some photos. I'm "still" waiting (now over 2 years) for photos from those who paddle class 3, class 3+ &/or class 4 in their Bell Wildfire.
ratings going up?
"I'm "still" waiting (now over 2 years) for photos from those who paddle class 3+ & class 4 in their Bell Wildfire."
I thought you just wanted to see pictures of someone doing class 3, like Nanty Falls, in a Wildfire. Now it's up to 3+/4? ;)
The Jury Is In
But as a Solo 14 owner I'll add my two cents. Bob summed it up well, but I DO like my Solo 14. It's my "Beater" canoe now, for shallow, rocky stuff or when I just want get out for a few hours. It's in royalite and has taken a beating. Bob's correct that the Royalite isn't as durable, but I've got several 'glass patches on the bottom and kevlar grunch pads on bow and stern. Doesn't really affect it's handling as it's not a fast boat anyway. As Bob said, "Benign" is a good word for this hull.
I HAVE done Class II's in the Solo 14 quite a bit. It doesn't take much to come over that bow! On the Ponca section of the Buffalo I never "Swam," but had to wallow to shore to bail 2-3 times and a friend in one swam several times. This spring I had a nasty swim from the Solo 14 on Big Creek when it swamped and ruined my favorite camera when my Pelican failed. I swamped a total of 3 times that day. I thought several years in that boat and on that stream would allow me to run the high class II to low III at a high water level. I WAS THINKING TOO HIGHLY OF MY SKILLS AND THAT BOAT.
To sum up my thoughts, the Solo 14 is not a bad little boat for rivers, fishing, newer solo boaters, or just to go out and play arround.
I think the royalite suits ME because it is lightweight and I don't mind slapping a patch of 'glass on it occasionally. If you don't have the time or inclination to patch it occasionally, stay away from royalite. Would I buy a Solo 14 for class II? "NO." Also, after those Bell's and Hemlock's you'll be yawning paddling a Solo 14 Norb. I'll link a few pics to show you what I have done in the Solo 14 and what I don't reccomend doing with any frequency in one. WW
I asked the same thing last week
But I didn't get an answer.
I'll repost my only pic of a 60" bagged RX Wildfire running empty with a 160 pound paddler in some class II.
Boat swamped and floundered, padder had to swim out of it.
Can’t add much to what Bob says,…
…but I throw in a few comments. I’ve had my Odyssey 14 for a few years now, and I absolutely love that boat. I mostly use it for small meandering rivers, but have done a bit of light whitewater in it too, and for Class I and II, I think it does a marvelous job. It’s not as dry a ride or quite as tolerant of very “tossy” conditions as my Supernova, and doesn’t turn quite as quickly either (the upside is that it’s a better cruiser on the flats), but the turning it does do well requires less effort than the same amount of spin in the Supernova because it’s smaller and lighter. I was on the Upper Iowa River this weekend, and the water was higher than normal, creating some awesome eddylines and swirls, and the guy I paddled with was really impressed with the “tricks” that the Odyssey 14 would do in that water. I’ve got to admit I just had a blast playing in those conditions.
Eric here reminded me your question was about TWO boats and I was commenting only about my Solo 14. Only spent a few minutes in Bob’s Odyssey (and unfortunately put the first scratches on his then “New” boat). All I noticed in that short time is spins much easier, more volume, a tad less initial stability. WW
Class 3 in a Wildfire…
Yes, photos of someone running class 3 in a Wildfire, maintaining control, and getting it safely to shore would suffice. Would "love to see" a series of photos of someone running the left side of Nantahala fall in a Wildfire! If I ever see it; I'll be the first to say "good job"!
I have read several statements that people were running class 3+, and even class 4 in a loaded Wildfire. Figured someone might say they regularly do the same in an Odyssey or a Solo 14.
I personally wouldn't try it in any of the 3 boats mentioned; that's why there are whitewater canoes.
You could paddle the Grand Canyon in an Old Town Loon 138.
Well, you'd be paddling for a "little while", but mostly you'd be swimming.
I believe that the novice, beginner, or intermediate paddler who buys a Bell Wildfire
to do class 3 (bagged or not) had better have a good pfd, and be a decent swimmer.
I have nothing against Bell canoes; own a Wildfire, Flashfire, and a Merlin.
Somalley: You're a whitewater paddler. Would you run Section III (mostly class 3) of the Chattooga in a Wildfire?
Bob, I was on class 2 below Carry
Brook on the Kennebec in Maine, and those long 4+ foot wave trains would sink anyone’s Wildfire. My Synergy did pretty well… I only had to stop and dump once.
I often cringe when I see people say that a certain boat can handle a certain class of whitewater. It depends on the situation and the terrain.
Personal rating methods must vary too
I wouldn’t have thought that wave trains where the waves were more than four feet high would only warrant a rating of “class 2”, so I suppose it sometimes depends on a person’s experience, with the ratings getting smaller as the the person becomes more highly skilled. I figure it goes the other way too, with people giving the rapids they run a higher rating that what others here would do, making their statements seem more extreme than they mean them to be.
I’m just tweaking you
I just was having a bit of fun at your expense.
I'd never take a boat like a Wildfire down any 'real' whitewater, though I'd be tempted to try Nanty Falls just for the stunt value - in someone else's boat, of course. Section III, no way - swimming is way too risky on the Chattooga.
I'm reminded of the Liquid Logic video that shows 14 foot sea kayak-style rec boats nailing all the lines on Section IV. Just because the designers can pull that off doesn't mean the boats are appropriate for class 4 in the hands of mere mortals...
where is that?
Camera angle might be fooling me, but if he had wanted to stay dry, he should have been on the tongue to the left of the wave train instead of punching right through the meat.
What river is that?
Conequenessing Creek at Elwood City
That's in PA just off the Turnpike near Ohio.
He definately wanted to stay dry, but you're right he didn't hit it at the best possible spot. Oddly though, the tongue was not the best place, though it certainly looks like if from that picture. I'll have to search my home computer to see if I have a shot from downstream looking up at the options.
That side of the creek was the best opportunity to run dry. The water was bigger on the right side. The NC Prospector 16 I was in took it in stride with only a couple of gallons coming on board.
Here are two more pics after we switched boats
NT, Wes, Randy, Doc, this is a sweet little class II run with an easy shuttle.
"For river class II III and still make tracks in the flats?"
IMO you won’t find a better solo than the John Winters designed Osprey to suit your criteria.
I do wish it came in royalex or twintex though.
I do not want a 16’ canoe for small stream and rivers class II +
There seems to be a very direct need to fill the nitch of a good downriver 14 or 15’ canoe for people around + or - 210 lbs. With the exception of maybe the SRT which is a high end composite and the soon to be Alaskan solo which will no doubt be another high end composite.
The Mohawk price seems fair enough if it will do what I want it to do. My have to look at the 15 footer.
Too bad OT dropped
de Cascade, set up fer solo it be a'mighty fine river boat.