Navarro Whisper vs Flashfire & Lady Bug.

I’m 5’6", 150lbs and own a Curtis Lady Bug and like it very much.

There is a Navarro Whisper available somewhat near here at what may be a tolerable price and I’m wondering if the Whisper may have any characteristics or qualities that might make it something that I might seriously consider adding to my fleet, or if it wouldn’t be any improvement over the Lady Bug for someone my size.

Of course, all of the water around here is frozen, so test paddling isn’t an option.

Any comparisons between the Whisper and the Flashfire, Lady Bug or Blackhawk Zephyr would be appreciated (I also own a Zephyr, but haven’t acquired a Flashfire yet).


Navarro Whisper specs:
These are the specs that I was previously provided, but the bow and stern depths don’t make any sense, since they’re shallower than the center depth.

13’ long

30-1/2" beam

12" at both stern and bow depth

13" center depth

1-5/16" gunwale width

34 lbs weight

My main concern for someone my size paddling a boat this wide, well, is the width. The max beam appears to be at the gunwales (appears to be constant flair) and then the outwales add about an inch more to the max width. I guess that this may not be much issue if paddling heeled most of the time (such as in the original design intent of freestyle), rather than level.

If anyone has specs that they are more confident in, please share.

2005 Paddler Mag Buyer’s Guide

L = 12-10

W = 28 at widest pt

D = 12.25

Weight = 33 or 27, depending on kevlar layup

I recall this boat was designed by Bob Foote for freestyle. Don’t think it sold very well, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good boat for the right person and application.

I never paddled it and think I only saw one, paddled by Karen Knight. Maybe Bob designed it for her before she was affiliated with Bell.

I have seen a couple
The Whisper is most unlike either FlashFire or LadyBug.

It acts more like a whitewater boat. Its tough to get it to track.

It also is very twitchy. Prone to boat bobble when you move around the boat.

If you are more than 125 lbs. forget it. Its definitely for the smaller paddler.

Lillian Tigard( who was about five feet tall and 90 lbs.) won the Nationals in FS some years ago in her Whisper but she would have looked better in another boat and would have had more control.

I have never seen one paddled from anything other than a kneeling position.

I think that you have disuaded me from
pursuing the Whisper any further.

If it’s still available when the water warms up, I may give it a test paddle just for the fun of it.


– Last Updated: Jan-02-10 1:23 PM EST –

Kim, I paddled Lillian's at LaLou one year, and at 6' 180lbs I found it fun to paddle. I thought it made some maneuvers surprisingly easy could fly into a strong bow jam and it wouldn't throw you like in the Flashfire :-) Definitely didn't track as easy as some boats, but being a river rat I like turny boats.
I agree it is much different than the Flash and LadyBug...and zephyr. You still should try it though Yanoer!

we have an anti throwing maneuver now
Its not the boat per se…but the Whisper does have lots more flare than FlashFire IIRC.

You never know till you try Yanoer… I didnt like it since I don’t like boat bobble when going from onside to offside and moving around in the boat with my knees. But Y may not be doing that…a footbrace kind of guy :slight_smile:

The Whisper being discussed here
is/was Lillian Tigard’s boat. I brought it back back to the Chicago area from LaLou a couple years ago for the current owner. It is a pretty fun FS boat, but for a small paddler. Karen Knight looked pretty good in it when I saw her paddle it.

She was a special person and I hope
her boat goes to another special person.