Sawyer DY Special

 I have not seen much mentioned of the old Sawyer DY Special solo canoe. I have two like new-one in goldenglass (50 lbs.) and one in ultre light kevlar(31 lbs.). I just love paddling both of these crafts but see them rarely mentioned in the forums.  Are many of this model still in use?

DY Special
The Special was a great race and touring boat in it’s day, but was completely eclipsed by the Sawyer Shockwave and the Wenonah Advantage in the mid 80s, and later, by the Bell Magic in the mid 90s.

Race boats went the other way - strangely lawyeristic responses to ill thought out rules.

Enjoy those neat old boats.

DY Special is a great canoe…
A friend of mine has one he bought in the mid 80’s in expedition kevlar and he uses the heck out of it for day paddling and fishing.

My Shockwave and Advantage were faster canoes over a distance, but the difference is very small.

The DY has a slightly more shallow vee shaped hull vs the shallow arch shape of the Shockwave and Advantage. According to Yost this was so it wouldn’t be blown around in the wind as much as a canoe like the shockwave making it a better choice for fishing among other situations.

I have an 83 DY
I love it. I use it for training, in fact I paddle it a lot more then my J-200. While it is not as fast it handles a lot better in nervous water (Nervous water is any water that is going to eject my butt from the boat). The seat finally gave up the ghost so I installed a Wenonah slider which I like. The only thing I do not like are those clunky Sawyer emblems, maybe this will be the winter I get it in the shop to remove them.

USCA rules
They do seem a bit silly, especially on the solo end. I love my Jensen, but will we see a day when they drop the rule or change it.

my dy
I have an 82 kevlar DY that weighs about 40 lbs. I put in a wenonah slider with a pedestal made to my dimensions as well as the old style wenonah foot brace. Very stable, fast enough for me, fits like a glove and can handle some interesting water. Hull is well made and solid. Makes me feel I’m riding a magic carpet. Great boat for crossing the river styx.

I’m toying with adding floatation tanks/bulkheads at either end. I use airbags on whitewater and made a neat snap on fiberglass bow deck extension. Maybe even add the Old Towne glue-on spray guards but hate to mess with the looks of the bare boat.

Bell Magic ad nauseam
Charlie knows boats, period. So I guess I’ll have to try another Bell Magic someday (NOT).


Because I’d own a Savage River Otegan, first, I guess.

I didn’t like the Shockwave, either. I feel my Summersong has more turning ability and is as fast as the Shockwave. I’ve had some pretty experienced canoers agree that they are similar in speed.

I sold my woodstrip Grasse River XL because the seat wasn’t set up to kneel and I DON’T usually modify my canoes too much.

Currently, I prefer the ORIGINAL Wabash Valley Merlin for everyday paddling, followed by the Summersong. I just LOVE Yost boats, including the Wildfire, Summersong and Autumn Mist (he designed it, right?).

Anyway, a big HOWDY to all the hull GEEKS out there who find hull design/performance so intriguing. So many hulls, so little money and time.