replacement for Pyranha Fusion

I am looking for a more suitable WW capable boat in my fleet. I currently have a Fusion S that I picked up used at a very low price. I am 5’11" 185 lbs, so I am at the top end of the boats range of paddler size.

I have used it rock gardening, and limited WW (all under class 4). It is a decent general use boat.

I saw the Liquid Logic Stinger XP, and it looks like a better alternative to the Fusion for what I actually paddle when I do river run.

I am concerned if the XP has a rear bulk head? (i dont think it does). and I cant find any specific information. If flotation has to be added front and rear, the hatch becomes useless for what I have intended for longer trips. I do not count dry bag storage as flotation.

Does anybody have any experience with the Stinger XP, not as a race boat, but a 2-3 day down river boat?

rick gardening

– Last Updated: Jan-04-14 2:41 PM EST –

Neptune's Ranger have looked at a bunch of boats in this category as rock gardening boats.

Some background. Many of the guys used Fusions in the past, but are now moving to slightly higher volume boats. They want a skeg (for the times they have to paddle some distance to get to/from rock fun), rear bulkhead (safer for on-water rescues than having just float bags), and deck lines (also a rescue necessity). These are not always desirable traits for white water boats.

Here is a review they did of the Stinger.

Here is a review they did comparing the Fusion, Dagger Green Boat, and P&H Hammer.

These are rock gardening specific, but perhaps it will be of some help.

I did see that review
and the info added insight, but those guys are way over my level of paddling.

The more I think about it, a boat that I would use in rough water without a sealed bulkhead is an invitation to disaster. Without an either-direction bulletproof roll, pumping out a boat with float bags only does not seem prudent with my current skill set.

Good downriver for trips

– Last Updated: Jan-05-14 11:55 AM EST –

The Stinger should be pretty good for a downriver boat for trips. I paddled the older version, upon which this one is supposed to improve a bit in terms for the hull shape. It was great downriver if you want speed and predictable and reassuring handling to get you down on your way. It was not playful, nor did it surf well. And was a bit of a handful for attainments as the round bottomed bow was heavy and would get swept downstream by currents as you eddy out more than ideal. I hope the flatter bottomed new version minimizes this tendency, but I have not tried it yet. As for the bulkhead, I don't see why you couldn't add a foam bulkhead for the rear behind the seat. You lose the behind the seat access for long items such as split paddles (the hatch opening might not be big enough, but perhaps a 4-piece paddle might fit through), but you gain more permanent flotation. Front too - adding a foam bulkhead should not be difficult, but again you lose the storage, unless you make the bulkhead removable or with a loading port. And you would need to add a drain plug or inspection port in the front too to get rid of water there.

For downriver trips, I don't think sealed bulkheads are that important compared to float bags as the shore is usually a short swim away. Unless the river is something like a mile wide and flat water, you are better off swimming to shore than pumping anyway.

XP or Yukon
You do have some floatation built in with the stout foam support pillars and a load of drybags should supplement that. For a trip of any length, you would probably be filled with drybags. Bear in mind, the hull was designed for creek racing, so it’s rockered and relatively narrow, so you don’t have as much volume to work with as you might think. There won’t be a lot of room for water to enter.

Also, note that the pillars are right in front of and behind the cockpit, consuming that space. This would dictate that the load be closer to the ends. I haven’t paddled mine under load yet but have some concern that would have a negative effect on handling. I would probably put water bladders or other heavy gear on either side of the aft pillar, right behind the seat.

I like the Stinger XP quite a bit. But, for serious extended whitewater tripping, I would consider a Prijon Yukon. It’s longer and wider with a more bulbous hull to swallow up cargo, but is still designed to negotiate whitewater.