Rob Roys and decked canoes

I’m planning on buying a lightweight decked canoe for daytripping and weekending in large, choppy lakes and the nearshore Maine coast. Are there alternatives to the Bell Rob Roys? How do the Rob Roy 12 and 15 compare? (I’m 6’2", 185#)

Large choppy lakes
I’d go with the 15 for large lakes.

I had a few Rob Roys while paddling once
I couldn’t paddle straight, but I had a warm glow.

rob roys
You may want to check with Placid Boat Works, in Lake Placid NY…don’t know for sure they do decked models, but do build some “sit on the floor and double blade paddle” models. Think it’s just

Clipper and Kruger
The Clipper Sea-1 and the Kruger Seawind are 17’+ by 28" expedition sized boats.

I’ve never been in the Kruger but the Clipper is a big, fast, hard tracking boat that IMO needs its rudder.

Check with Topher
I believe he had a Rob Roy for sale.


contacting topher
Thanks for the suggestion. Do you know how I might contact this person?

  • eric

Topher’s isn’t the light weight model.
It’s pretty close to 60 lbs, I believe.

Contact Topher
via the personal e-mail on his profile. He just responded to the “What canoe did you start in” thread on this board.


I did not like the Rob Roy

– Last Updated: Nov-08-06 10:48 PM EST –

it felt too much like a big rec kayak. I prefer a nice solo canoe you can kneel or sit and move around in easier. Don't see the advantage of the deck other than adding weight when you can put a splash deck on a solo canoe if needed. Or if the water is that rough a touring SIK would be a better choice.

I didn’t like Robert Roy in 4th grade

– Last Updated: Nov-09-06 5:52 AM EST –

So I most certainly am not going to paddle an expensive freakyak named after Rob Roy in my adulthood, thank you.

If you're out there Robert, come on back to the Roosevelt Franklin Elementary School class reunion in 2007. I've got something special for you.

Rob Roy
I have a Bell Rob Roy and like it a lot . While I use to kayak a good amount,

It got to my legs and back . The Rob Roy is a good alliterative to discomfort in

a sea kayak . Yet the Rob Roy is not for as heavy duty waters as a kayak . In

high winds you are limited as to what you can do .It has no rudder or skeg ,and

takes a good amount of paddling , and tacking in some situations .

The new seat looks nice but I would not like to drill holes in the light weight

model to install it . The old seat was the main reason for complaints about the

boat .John

Thanks for the pointer, but unfortunately (for me) it was just sold! Know of any others?

different than a Pungo
How is the rob roy better or even much different than a much less expensive rec kayak of similar length? I’m not bashing the design and I’ve never paddled one but it seems as though one could get a pungo and a decent canoe for the same price as a rob roy.

Don’t forget the "plastic Sea Wind"
the Pamlico 160. ;^)



Since you’re asking for alternatives…
Easy Rider makes a multipurpose boat, their Cormorant, that looks simular to the Bell Rob Roy.

It has the same hull as their Sea Hawk kayak. But the Cormorant has a large cockpit like a Rob Roy and can be outfitted for sculling paddling, or sailing. It can also be outfitted with outriggers. You can also get a hard shell cover that converts the large cockpit to a more standard size cockpit. I believe the Cormorant is a little narrower and lower than the Bell RR, but about the same price.

Additionally, some of the SOF folding kayaks are simular in size a shape.

Such as the folbot Yukon.

These style of boats are of some interest to me, because they look like they have the ability to carry a small child in the cockpit with me. I too am interested in what people that have them feel about them.


Rob Roy 15 vs Pungo 140

Per Bell the Rob Roy is 15’ x 28.5" and 31 lbs in Kev Light. Optimum load 160 to 280 lbs.

Per Wilderness Systems the Pungo 140 in Duralight is 14’ x 28" and 42 lbs. Max load 350 lbs.

Based only on the added length and lesser weight I’d expect the Bell to be faster.

The Pungo has a rear bulkhead and fore and aft hatches. The Bell has neither bulkheads nor hatches.

My experience with older poly Wilderness Systems boats has been that they are built light and floppy. This may not be true of a new Duralight boat.

My experience with Bell composite hulls is that they are light and stiff.

Floppy hulls waste energy. Again I’d expect the Bell to be faster and easier to move.

The Pungo is sold as a rec kayak by a big conglomerate with a reputation for marketing. I’d expect it to be stable and comfortable.

The Bell is sold as a performance boat by a small company with a reputation for high end performance boats. I’d expect it to be quick, lively and responsive.

MSRP on the Duralight Pungo 140 $1000

MSRP on the Kev Light Rob Roy $2295

Is there a real difference? $1295 worth?

I dunno.

Guess I’d have to paddle both for a while to be sure.

Ok so a rob roy is better than 2 pungos?
Have you paddled them both? It seems like they are both pretty much made to do the same thing. Both light, both short, both wide. My original pungo was crazy fast for a 12 foot rec boat, but I’ll agree that the rob roy should be a little faster than the 14 foot pungo.

My question still stands:

Has anyone paddled them both and bought the Rob Roy? The boat has a good reputation, but I’ve never seen one or had the chance to paddle one.

I’m a solo canoe novice
so take this FWIW: I tested the Rob Roy and found that sitting on the floor I had no contact with the hull. Keep in mind I am a kayaker and recently into solo canoes. It felt strange to me to sit on bottom of a canoe. I did not like the seat at all. The hull however was not like a pungo or pamlico I’ve been in both. It was more like a solo canoe hull with a deck.

Once I got over the initial reaction it paddled well and picked up speed effortlessly I was using a kayak paddle but it felt dead. I feel so much more control kneeling in a solo canoe than sitting on bottom of one. Maybe it’s just me and my prior experience in touring kayaks where I also easily control the hull with my lower body.

I more than make up the other 11#'s…but that’s not the boats fault.

Mine ended up finding a home with a local guy looking for a way to take his Black Labd with him on the river.

My once mighty fleet is now down to three boats…but I’m sure I’ll survive.