solo canoe

Would appreciate any ideas for a solo canoe. It would be used on big water (bays, estuaries, large tidal rivers) with a load rangeing from 170 to 350 lbs. Am looking to cover long distances in a wide range of conditions, but top end speed is not a consideration. Something that tracks straight and is manageble in wind and moderate chop would be ideal. Would also like something under 45 lbs.

Other than maybe weight . . .
you just described more of a sea kayak than a canoe.

(standing back to hide from the monitor)


Realistic weight range?
That is a pretty wide efficiency range. 170 lbs, which we assume is you, plus gear, maybe 40 lbs, and enough food for six weeks to two months?

That said, I’ve a comparison sheet of every available composite solo canoe I’ll be glad to forward if you email

Bon chance!

you are right
but back problems prevent me from sitting in a kayak for more than an hour or so.

A spray cover will make it easier and safer to paddle in wind and waves.

the weight range
is pretty wide. The longest trip I take is 7-8 days, and the load is high because I have to carry fresh water. For day trips it is most often just me, and sometimes me + a 90 lb lab.

Me = 170

Dog = 90

Gear = 50

Water = 64

For the origianl post, I did overestimate, THe max load is more like 280-290. The dog stays home on long trips.

Thanks for the offer, and I will email you.

they look pretty nice
and I have been considering one. A deck canoe also looks good, but is prohibitive in terms of weight and price.

Bell Rob Roy – yep, yep

– Last Updated: Jul-15-08 8:00 PM EST –

It'll fix all yo' concerns. 'nough said.

wait, that's how that coonass elmo says it. :)

Wenonah Encounter
This is just what the Encounter was designed to handle.

Wenonah Voyager with a Cooke
Custom Cover. I happen to have one for sale.

Clipper Sea-1
In Kevlar lists at 55 lbs.

Bell Magic
I my tripping canoe for exactly the type of load describe. Been in the Boundary Waters a bunch of days with it and also many more empty day tripping around home.


Stance in boat
Before getting any wilder with “you’ll love MY boat!” we might ask for a little more information.

Does our guy kneel with a straight blade, sit and switch with a bent or sit lower and use a double blade?

Secondly, what is our guy’s skill level? Does he need differential rocker to keep the hull tracking or can he dominate a more aggressively rockered hull?

How tall is he? - helps decide how wide / narrow amidships and how much rocker he’ll need to achieve a vertical paddleshaft.

I think the 90 lb dog pretty much puts paid to decked canoes, whether hard or fabric. My 90 lb dog surely does.

decked canoe
how about a solo expedition canoe.

this hull design holds 8 world records including the longest paddle trip in the world at 28,000 miles i used mine for this trip the company

it weighs 55 lbs but thats never been a problem in portaging since it have a built in yoke.

answers to Charlie’s questions

– Last Updated: Jul-16-08 12:38 PM EST –

I am 5'10" and a dedicated single blade paddler. I usually carry both a straight shaft otter tail and a bent shaft on longer trips. When trying to eat up ground fast, I use the bent and hit and switch, but my favorite paddling is with the straight shaft.
About 20% of the time I kneel, and sit the remainder. I would kneel for longer periods but stiffness and cramping force me to change positions.
The Rob Roy is a beautiful boat, but the positon is uncomfortable for me and I really do not want to double blade.
The decked canoes look intriguing, but price, weight and maybe the dog are big considerations.
The spray cover is an idea I really like, and Cooke has said he can custiom design a "dog hold". Not sure whether this will be zipper opr velcro.
I am a fairly experienced paddler, currently soloing a Bell Northstar shich is just too wide for extended trips and hard to handle in the wind by myself.
Stability is not a huge deal. My dog is very well behaved and I paddle a 19" beam surfski for short workouts without too many problems!
I appreciate all the thoughts and suggestions. Before I posted, the Bell Magic was my leading choice and I may come back to it, but you have all given me ideas to look at.

Hemlock Peregrine?
Not sure where you’d find one to demo, but it is designed for your load range.

Second the Peregrine.
I have paddled mine on Lake Michigan and felt comfortable in wind and waves.

a few bottoms

– Last Updated: Jul-17-08 8:51 AM EST –

Sitting most of the time but mostly using a voyageur paddle seems to be the key.

Magic and prism are dedicated sit & switch hulls - pretty strongly delta shaped - and really prefer bent paddles.

You'll probably be happier with less asymmetry because your sitting forward stroke with a straight paddle will induce less yaw.

Bell's Merlin II and Hemlocks Peregrine are both strongly based on the Yost designed Curtis Nomad - and good choices. [Peregrines extra length is mostly layout at the stems.] Another hull that is a little wider but the same effective length is the Winters designed Osprey.

I’ve seen Dave Curtis out in the Everglades with a really loaded Peregrine (water/gear/food). That’s the paddling situation you are describing with large open bays and lots of wind.

Maybe call Hemlock canoe and talk to Dave regarding your question. I am sure he will be able to give you some more ideas on what boat will fit best in those conditions.

I have the smaller version of the Peregrine the Kestrel. It really does well in those conditions. I paddle mostly the Everglades coast and backcountry.