sot or solo canoe

Add ta de list…

– Last Updated: Apr-15-07 3:59 PM EST –

Placid Boatworks, Hemlock Canoes, Swift Canoe, NovaCraft an' Esquif.


Once again…
a thread where the people who tend to recommend kayaks apparently do so because the only canoes they compare them to are tandems. I see that all the time on the riversmallie fishing board. It’s too bad that solo canoes are relatively little known and rec kayaks have gotten so popular, because solo canoes, in my opinion, do MOST things better than a kayak. In this case, the weight issue is probably the most important. There are a bunch of solo canoes, in Royalex, which weigh from 33 pounds (the Old Town Pack), up through the upper 30s and low 40s (the Mohawks and Wenonah Sandpiper), with a maximum of 43 (Wenonah Vagabond) to 45 pounds (Bell Yellowstone). Most rec kayaks weigh over 50.

The other huge advantage, already mentioned, is the complete awkwardness of trying to use a double bladed paddle in tight quarters on a brushy stream.

I float and fish small, brushy Ozark creeks all the time. For the kind of fishing I do, the solo canoe is so much better than a kayak that there is really no comparison. But if you’re just exploring a creek and not fishing, the canoe will still be better. I usually use a single blade paddle, but will carry a double blade if I’m really wanting to cover a lot of river in a hurry, or if I’m wanting to paddle upstream.

I picked up a barely used Sandpiper for $300, and this from a dealer…all yaks, no canoes. I own two rec kayaks, a 9.5 foot Necky Sky and an Old Town Loon 138, and a tandem Mohawk Blazer. Of these, the Sandpiper is the dream paddle. The Sky weighs a couple of pounds more than the Sandpiper (Royalex, 39 lbs), but is more cumbersome to load on the truck. There is NO comparison between a canoe, especially a solo canoe, and a rec kayak when it comes to getting in and out of them. The solo wins hands down. There’s a small rive near my house, more of a creek, actually, with lots of deadfall. Used to take the Sky on it and thought it did fine, but the Sandpiper slays it when it comes to maneuvering, ease of getting in and out, and speed.

…streams ONLY?

– Last Updated: Apr-16-07 1:23 PM EST –

..My $.01 = definitely a canoe, under 15'
There are a number of boats, but a few names...
Bell's (~12')Flashfire(in their "BlackGold" layup" kevlar/carbon..light(~35lbs) & strong)
MadRiver's Freedom Solo (14') (royalex = ~45lbs), Mohawk's Solo or Probe(an OC-1)(royalex = ~45lbs)

Some ww-boats(OC-1s..all between 11-12') to consider...
Bell's Prodigy
MadRiver's Outrage
Esquif's Nitro


Canoe vs SOT
I’m a big fan of solo canoes. I agree with Al_A. I think if more people were exposed to solo canoes the rec kayak market would be dented for sure. I even have a buddy that has been a dedicated kayaker wanting to switch over.

We went to a demo day for a dealer here in Iowa and test drove numorous Wenonah solo canoes. Our favorite was the Argosy. The Vagabond didn’t turn nearly as well as we liked and all the other models were dedicated touring and marathon models. The Vagabond and it’s little, discontinued brother the Sandpiper would be great for flat water but not as good as the Argosy for creek and faster water. Other boats that compare to the Argosy would be the Bell Yellowstone Solo, the Mohawk Odyssey 14 and the Madriver Freedom Solo.

Another thought is to do as I did and make a Pirogue. A southern flat boat that you paddle like a kayak but is open topped like a canoe. They draw very, very little water and turn on a dime. I made my 1st one in less than 50 hours. It takes 2 sheets of 1/4 plywood and around $200. Just a thought. I can get you links if you like.


I owned a Canoe, and now have a Plastic Kruger, A tarpon 160, and a couple of QCCs, BY FAR the easiest boat for bush whacking is the tarpon 160 SOT. You can stretch out and lie flat to pass under trees, you can also bench press the tree as you go under for additional clearance, or you can slide next to the tree and climb over it and drag the boat over, or if the tree is only a few inches in the water, put your legs on the tree and float the boat over, or get a big head of steam up and jump, scoot over it. BTW with the Tarpon you can store your gear IN the hull, lowering your CG even more, and if you happen to flip, you don’t have to chase your gear all over the river, unlike a canoe, unless you tie your gear in, but In the Tarpon you don’t have too. Also when the water gets slow the T-160 is decently fast.

How’s that Tarpon turn in small spaces,
not well.

…forgot the Yellowstone Solo
Yes, as mentioned… (CB), Bell’s Yellowstone Solo…an excellent stream canoe…and pretty good on flatwater as well.

Turns fine
I have NEVER had a problem with not enough river to turn the boat in.