Solo Touring and Rec Canoes

Ok all you solo canoers, got a questions for ya.

Disclaimer: Canoes, by nature, are generally more vurnerable to the wind and spray. Decked canoes and kayaks handle wind and water spray much better, but I’d like to keep this particular topic focused on solo canoes of an open deck nature.

The Question: With the various solo models you all paddle for touring and recreation, how are the bow and stern heights for keep you dry, water out of the boat, and getting pushed around by wind?

Mohawks and Mad River are around 18" and 19" at both ends. Bell has their performance solos at 17" for the bow and 15" for the stern.

So how about it? If you could design your own solo, what would be your bow and stern heights?

not just height
The height of the bow/stern is not as important as the shape of the end few feet of the canoe. If the sides are straight up and down you’ll have a wet ride in the waves. If the end of your canoe has flare from the waterline to the gunnel you will have a drier ride. I would prefer a relatively low stem height and good flare to straight sides and high ends.

excellent point!
Keep 'em coming!

Hi Jem
I’d have 17 bow height with lots of flare. Nice sheer lines from bow to mid where it would invert due to some sweet tumblehome. Then stern would be 13 high with about half the flare the bow has.

hull shape
A bow that has flare is very seaworthy. Lots of 1980s boats had constant flare (ie the Lotus Dandy for example). However this makes for a wide paddling station. Bells have tumblehome mid ships so that the solo paddler can paddle while centered.

A full blunt bow seems to be subject to pushing by wind more than a fine bow. But the fine bow just knives through the oncoming wave, dumping water in your lap.

Lots of historic canoes had very high bows but were typically paddled tandem.

Me I like a low bow with flare for wave shedding and not so fine an entry line so that the boat will ride up and over and not through the waves. Think mine is 15 inches on a Swift solo.

hull shape
I agree with kayamedic, it has to do to with the shape ofthe hull and the hieght of the bow. I run the novacraft supernova, it can handle some pretty beefy water and still be dry.

Mad River Slipper
stays pretty dry in 1 to 2 foot waves and I believe it is 14" at bow and stern.

have a Merlin

– Last Updated: Mar-26-05 9:23 AM EST –

with 14 inch stems and stay dry in 1 foot waves. since the wieght is centered the boat rides over the waves. I have never paddled it loaded but I suspect that if the wieght was centered instead of spread out it would still be dry. Have never paddled it in higher waves then 1 foot, although have quarted some slightly higher boat wakes.