Swift Solos ???

I am debating between a Swift Osprey and Keewaydin 15.  The specs for these boats are similar.  Which model would be better for efficient flat water and mild stream paddling? I weigh about 200 lbs. and will not be carrying a lot of additional gear. Maximum load would be 225 lbs.<br />

The workmanship on both canoes I examined looked excellent.

I can’t comment on the Keewaydin 15
never having paddled one, but I haven’t met a David Yost designed boat I didn’t enjoy paddling.

I weigh a bit less than you and have paddled the Osprey a number of times with no load or a light load. It is a swell boat for combined lake and river paddling and paddles well sitting or kneeling. I think it would suit your purpose well.

Specs may look the same
but hull shapes are different.

The Osprey is more swede form (the wide part in back of center) and has a flared bow for wave shedding, Kee is somewhat swede form. Osprey has a very sharp bow.

Keeaydin is a good stable solo even for those who sit, with no load in the boat. Osprey may feel a bit more twitchy initially.

All DY boats are friendly to the user when the waves hit…but some better suited to kneeling. The Kee is fine sitting. Its a tad more manueverable especially when heeled. Good final. The Osprey is stable when heeled too.

Kind of depends on whether you seek a faster lake cruiser than can be used on twisty streams or a slightly more maneuverable boat that is no slouch on lakes.

In this case I think you will have to paddle each boat and make your own decision. Neither boat is a dud.

Like the others,I havn’t paddled the new Yost boat,but own an Osprey in expidition kevlar. Osprey fans may say “how can you improve on perfection”. On the other hand, I have great respect for David Yost,have shared events and campfires with him,and listened closly to all he has said and learned a lot. I think the differences would not be big. I hope the new Yost boat doesn’t mean Swift will stop building the Osprey-my favorite big solo. I would like to have one in one of their new lite layups with infused gunnels.


I never said I haven’t paddled both
I have but for thirty minutes each. I don’t own either.

I had a John Winters Swift Raven when
I started paddling. The solo was beautiful and people ever where asked about it. Even the NPS would stop to ask questions about it. The only problem was I was too new to paddling and didn’t know what I had.

That is a big river runner
and quite different from the other boats. JW and DY have different design approaches but both make very nice hull designs.(yes I do own that backbreaking Raven…wish I were stronger or it lighter)

I would be interested in learning how the Keewaydin design evolved. In some ways it paddles like my Swift Heron but not as stem grabby.

LOL, I was a big, strong guy at the time
I could just bend over and pick it up, then hoist it over my head with locked elbows. But that was then…

Classic JW / DY contrast…
The John-Winters Osprey is a classic canoeist’s boat: responsive, efficient, seaworthy… in the manner of the (to my mind, unsurpassed) Kipawa and Winisk.

The David Yost designed Keewaydin 15 is ok, but as you might expect (especially now that DY’s with Swift), it’s more of a numpty’s boat: seakindly, forgiving… rather like the (singularly retrograde) Keewaydin tandems.

I’m not sure any of the new DY designs for Swift give experienced canoeists a reason to switch from the JW designs - and I write as a DY enthusiast who paddles a Flashfire :slight_smile: