Sawyer Loon vs Placid Rapidfire

Hey Mcwood4, you own both of these boats - how does their on-the-water handling compare? Tracking? Maneuverability?

There’s been lots of chatter on recently about how well the Rapidfire handles in the wind and waves and was getting all lustful for one until I took my Sawyer Loon out in the wind and waves today. I just can’t believe that there’s any open canoe that handles wind and waves nearly as well as the Loon.

I like the flexibility of the Loon to be paddled easily with either a double blade kayak paddle or bent shaft canoe paddle.

Anybody in the IL area have a Rapidfire that I could check out?

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No comparison at all

– Last Updated: Oct-28-07 2:32 PM EST –

LOL is this a Troll? That's the equivalent of comparing a Starling to a hummingbird. Both boats have a totally different purpose. The Loon is an Expedition paddlers boat And today no one is looking to buy a new Sawyer Loon, that design is completely antiquated and out of touch with what people are looking for in a boat. Although there are a few cult people who are loyal to the Sea Wind knock offs that are still around. They are not bad boats but just do not compare well to any open canoe. A subject that has already been beaten to death.

A better comparison would be a Sawyer Loon and a QCC 500 50 lb. boat, single blade 30 lb. boat, double blade

what people are looking for in a boat ??
Easy there Norb. Yanoer clearly loves his Loon. No need to insult his boat.

While I hope the market for the Placid boats remains strong enough to keep them going, the Rapidfire, like most any canoe, appeals to a tiny segment of boaters.

What most people seem to be looking for are pumpkin seeds and bathtubs.

Those of us who appreciate fine hulls, be they wood canvas beautys, whitewater rodeo boats, surf skis or any of other the tiny niches, those of us who appreciate fine hulls ought to stick together.

not completely accurate
The RF can be single bladed with a short shaft blade…there is within this “pumpkin seed” a poppy seed.

Its not just for the ADK bushwhackers either; it can handle some coastal exploring. However it is hardly an expedition boat and I would want something locked onto me for sea journeys; and hard decked…over dumpings and dumpings a nylon skirt the full length of the boat isnt going to do.

Are you trolling?
My Sawer Loon is completely different from my Swift Caspian Sea/QCC 400 and I assume that the Q500 handles like a high volume Q400.

The Loon is very maneuverable. The Q400 is very hard tracking.

The Loon is fun if waves. The Q400 is boring.

The Loon is easily paddled with a bent shaft canoe paddle. The Q400 is not.

I have no idea why you would even mention Sawyer Loon and Q500 in the same sentence unless the Q500 handles much differently than the Q400.

I haven’t paddled the Rapidfire, so the question was asked in ignorance, but sincerity, regarding the comparison.

If you have paddled both, please give further information. If not, please let others do the answering.

I don’t love the Loon, but I do like it.

– Last Updated: Oct-28-07 2:45 PM EST –

It handles wind and waves better than any other canoe I've paddled, but there's many canoes that I haven't paddled.

The Sawyer boats with tractor seats and foot braces are the most comfortable that I've paddled.

The Sawyer Loon is a perfectly fine day tripper - no expeditions required.

My other solo boats are:

Sawyer Summersong with foot controlled rudder.
Sawyer Starlight.
Blackhawk Zephyr.
Mad River Slipper in carbonlite 2000 layup.
Phoenix Isere.
Phoenix Poke Boat.
Phoenix Vagabond.
Swift Caspian Sea.
Aquaterra Sea Lion in fiberglass.

A few of those may be considered niche boats.

None of them could be cosidered modern designs.

Edit: I also have:
Bell Wildfire in royalex.
Old Town Castines (2)

Yanoer, I love your collection.
I have an '83 Phoenix Seewun c-1, a '73 Moore Voyageur tandem, an '82 Noah Magma ww k-1, a '93 Corsica k-1… all old models that few would choose to paddle again. But each still performs very well in certain ways, enough for me to keep them.

I’m not knocking his boat
it’s a fine boat for its intended purpose. I just remember some other threads about that boat that were designed to generate renewed interest when Sawyer tried to start back up. Which by the way failed. I like a few of the Sawyer boats but there are much better newer boats today. Other than that there is no way I would try to compare the two. The placid is very much a niche boat that is much loved by all the kayakers that I know that tried it. Myself, it’s not for me. I like a solo canoe with a hung seat.

The argument will never end about the right paddle for which boat and I know it well. The decked canoe uses a single and the pack uses a double…but you can use a ball bat in either one and get away with it. So whatever blows your dress up is good.

You’re narrow minded today.

– Last Updated: Oct-28-07 3:36 PM EST –

I use a single or double blade in many of my canoes, depending on my mood. The Sawyer Loon works extremely well with a kayak paddle.

Some folks do use single blades in the pack canoes.

Go take a nap. I think you need some rest. Or maybe you're always this grumpy and crotchety.

Edit: I'm just wondering if the Rapidfire would be any improvement for me over the boats I've already got (other than being 24 lbs lighter than my Loon) - not trying to renew interest in Sawyer models.

Also - I don't wear dresses, but if you do, that's ok too.

LOL…Hell I’m in a good mood today
Poke boat? Wonder how that compares to a Rapidfire in heavy seas? Probably not as fast as a Pamlico 140

I give up. You win.

Anyone paddle both recently?

Bump. Would still like a direct

you find the Loon
I will have the RapidFire next week.

Never even seen a Loon here except the fish eating kind

I have a Loon, but…
you’re a bit far away for me to drive over to compare them. Thanks for the offer.

Congrats on the soon to be yours Rapidfire.

direct comparison
They are quite different boats. I can’t think of anything that is the same about them other than they are both paddlecraft. One is relatively small, very light, accelerates quickly, maneuvers easily, and is paddled from a fixed seat on the bottom of the boat. The other is a couple of feet longer, probably around 40 pounds heavier, accelerates more slowly, tracks stronger and turns much more slowly, and is paddled from a sliding bucket seat. I can’t give you a comparison on how they paddle in the wind and waves. The Loon does a great job (as you know), but I haven’t paddled the Rapidfire in those conditions. You could probably find two boats that have less in common, but it wouldn’t be an easy task. They are both excellent boats, though.

Thanks c2g. N.T., I eat crow. Sorry.
You and N.T. agree, so I guess it’s true. I thought N.T. was just being flippant and dismissive just for his own amusement.

My kevlar Loon weighs about 52 lbs, so I think it’s only about 24 lbs heavier than the Rapidfire (depending on lay up) and I sit about 6" off of the bottom with the seat in the lowest position.

I sounds like the two boats are enough different that it would be worth trying out a Rapidfire if one ever comes out this way or I ever make it out that way.

Thanks for the info.

Me flippant ? Well maybe sometimes
but not in this case. Maybe it’s just me but I can’t see comparing things that are not in the same class and are designed to do completely different things. The Loon is in a very small class of boats and so is the Rapidfire. You have paddled the Loon and know it’s habits and characteristics. Now you need to paddle the Rapidfire and I think I could safely say that the different feel you will get will show you what all the excitement is about. But that said, the Loon will carry much more weight, it’s decked so it will handle wind conditions with less effort (rudder) on your part. It’s inherently more stable especially with a load.

I’ll put it this way… if they were aircraft it would be like comparing a DC-3 to a P-51 Both were very good at what they were (past tence) supposed to do.

Yanoer I Liked the Loon
But the Rapidfire would be a GREAT canoe.

Never paddled one.

That said, my canoes are all antiquated:

I prefer my ORIGINAL Merlin to the Merlin II which I sold.

I paddle a Guillemot Night Hawk and a NDK Explorer, both pretty old hulls (okay not that old).

I love the Sawyer Summersong & Autumn Mist. Also paddle a SEDA Vagabond (kayak).

I had SO much interest in the Sawyer Loon and the Oscoda Loon I sold that it wasn’t funny. People either love to take these canoes on big water or to BASH them down wild rivers. Cool.

Unfortunately, trying to compare a Rapidfire with a Loon is like trying to compare Margaret Thatcher with Hillary Clinton. Both chicks, that’s it.

Both CHICKS???
Your analogy is so completely over the top! Thanks for the smile. RK