Swift's Composite Trim

WHat does the group think about Swift’s new composite trim; decks, handles, thwarts, portage yoke and seat drops? They certainly save weight and eliminate maintenance.

Only 1/2 pound savings
for the Pack 13.6 (per the video) and the end of the esthetic value of the wooden thwarts & handles. My 2013 model kevlar fusion Pack 13.6 has a listed weight of 26lb with wood thwarts & handles. It was a pleasant fall project to lightly sand and oil these pieces after a summer of use; personally, I would rather do this than lose a whole half pound in an already light boat.


Can one change the seat height and angle? Otherwise, I like them.


for me it would be an advantage
because it is lighter an requires less maintenance.

Aluminum trim is fine with me too, but is heavier and often deforms the canoes hull shape.

I personally like …
the integrated gunwales with the cherry thwarts. portage yoke and sliding bow/solo seat in the canoes. Little maintenance is required and there is a beauty in the cherry wood. The few extra pounds is irrelevant to me, but I can understand why some would favor the lightest possible. The biggest issue I have is the photo of that guy paddling the Osprey on the webpage for the solo canoes. What were they thinking? :wink:


– Last Updated: Jan-19-15 3:20 PM EST –

The composite trim saves weight, but as importantly, it saves lots of holes and machine screws which weaken rails, thwarts and yokes.

The seat mounting pods can be raised or lower or tilted differently when a boat is ordered, but once the methacrylate adhesive sets, all those decisions are final.

It is somewhat interesting that the use of the Osprey and paddler didn't completely ruin Osprey sales, proof that a great boat can overcome questionable marketing choices?

I don’t think I’d want an immovable seat
without the option to change tilt or height.

That feature alone would eliminate me choosing a boat of that construction.

I have a few solo canoes that I really didn’t like the fit and handling until I got the seat angle and height just right.

How would someone know that in advance on a boat they’ve never owned?

The Holy Grail

– Last Updated: Jan-20-15 8:50 AM EST –

would be an adjustable seat. How about seat attachment pods that allow for that....ala Phil S's from years ago? Single pod with tracks for different heights couldn't add that much weight. I'd be willing to go the extra pound for adjustability.

Alternately, could the seat be hung from the pod instead of sitting on top? With spacers almost any height could be accommodated.

BTW, I like the Osprey paddler....I've seen him paddle

Ah, the cap is already off the Ketchup bottle and it is being tilted.

What ever happened to Carly anyway?

Don’t know NM

sliding seat

– Last Updated: Jan-20-15 10:38 AM EST –

without a sliding seat arrangement the Osprey would be less useful to me, as I mostly paddle this canoe empty. The only way for me to get some decent speed out of it then, is with a bow heavy trim:

Is making me late…

Still available

– Last Updated: Jan-21-15 8:30 PM EST –

I'll bet John Winters wouldn't agree in regards trimming down by the bow, but if that works for you, so be it. I notice you seem to be sitting, which would need the seat moved forward ~ 6 inches to maintain equal trim with a kneeling paddler, so yeah you'll need a slider or just have the seat drop pod moved forward 6"

Wood sliders are available for 2015, something quite fancy and composite within the year.

bow down trim for speed
I’ll bet John Winters would agree this is possible in my case, because I am too light (72 kg / 159 lbs) to get a good working waterline when paddling the Osprey with only me aboard, and then the best waterline profile for speed in my case is with a bit bow down trim – at least that is my experience.

Also it helps to get that so called ‘skegged stern’ of the Osprey out of the way :wink:

wood sliders sounds interesting…
That sounds interesting CW…


Differential Rocker

– Last Updated: Jan-23-15 12:53 PM EST –

I recommend differential rocker for most paddlers as it aids tracking, which seems the major issue with canoes, mostly because solo and stern paddlers almost always carry their blades behind their bodies into a sweep which torques the boat away from that paddleside. Dropping the stern deeper in the water resists the sweeping force. {It's not much of an issue for bow paddlers.]

But once we get on top of an efficient forward stroke with vertical paddleshaft, torso rotation to a forward catch and a short stroke ending at kneeling paddler's knee, sitter's mid thigh, the need for a skegged tail vaporizes. I own three solo canoes; all have symmetrical rocker and lots of it, but it took me years of practice.

replacement issues?
I have had the embarassing experience of bending my 18 foot kevlar wenonah Jensen in half twice. Once my bow paddler was not listening to what I was thinking he should do, the other was stern tiedown and an impatient wife. In both cases I was able to take out everything pop the hull straight and put on new gunwales. teh cost in both cases was under $110.00 (US) Knowing how absent minded I am I can envision having to rerail a canoe again. How does one rerail one of those infused beautys? How much?


No maintenance gets my vote
Other factors being equal, I like the idea of an all composite boat. The other factor that really matters is I’d have to really like the boat.

It takes some time to know I like a boat. After a week long trip, I would know. I would be nervous about doing a 15-minute test paddle and then deciding whether to buy, knowing there is no way to change the setup of the boat.

But, generally, I like the idea. And if it saves weight, what’s not to like?


Like it
I don’t have any boats with them, but I have paddled a Savage River Blackwater and DIIIx with the integrated carbon gunwales and trim. They are very stiff which is very good, but if you hit something (or something hits you) sideways I could see the gunwale breaking instead of giving. But the forces likely would have broken a wood gunwale anyways and probably would have deformed aluminum past repair. Also, after 5 carbon repairs I feel confident I could patch a carbon gunwale back together and look relatively nice. Certainly more so than wood or Aluminum. Carbon is the easiest composite to repair in my limited experience.

I’d order a boat with them just because I don’t like wood gunwales (inwales are ok though, but carbon still wins because of maintenance) and I think silver aluminum trim doesn’t look good. Black Aluminum trim is nice but still scratches and turns silver in a hurry and looks worse once it does.

I think carbon is beautiful. Especially the new-ish checkerboard prepreg stuff, so I think they’re great (cherry is hard to beat in terms of beauty though). Crozier boats are setup with all carbon trim and the way he mounts his seats you can adjust the seat angle by putting risers in the back of the rails or drop the front mount below the bracket a little ways, so depending on the mounting brackets you can adjust the seat angle a little on some boats.

Anyways, carbon my boat up! I haven’t found one with too much yet.


– Last Updated: Jan-29-15 1:45 PM EST –

I haven't heard of a broken Colden/Placid/Swift integral rail system but I have seen them bent beyond deflection that would ruin aluminum or shatter wooden rails. Repair would be wet bagging a larger diameter, 2-3 ft section of woven Carbon/whatever tube over the break in rail or thwart.

One could damage Swift's seat drop pods with a framing hammer or hand axe I suppose, but who and why?

Thwarts and pods can be removed and replaced if necessary, but it is not a job for the faint hearted and is by far best done by the builder.