Canoes have maintained a ~ stable, ~ 120K units sold per year for a couple decades. Kayaks sales have exploded from 20K to 400-500K units per year over the same period.
Part of the reason is the perception of kayaks as solo craft.
Part of the reason is price.
A big part is the fact that the learning curve for a solo kayak is the shortest possible; if you can remember that left-right-left sequence, you will arrive at your destination.
Interestingly, two of the hottest boats this spring are Native’s Magic and Mad River’s Synergy, which are rotomolded, 60# pack canoes paddled with a double blade stick.
My Synergy is one of the hottest boats! Wow, I must be a trend setter or somethin’.
While we’re on the subject
CE you probably have more experience with sit on the bottom canoes than anyone else I can think of. Could you share your opinion of the Bell Rob Rob 15 compared to the Pungo 140, and hey, what the heck, how about comparing them both to your Rapidfire 15 with the spray cover? I’m curious about ability to manuver in Class I-II rockgardens, and carry a combined paddler and gear of say 250#. My hope is to be fast on the flats, get through the rapids with a minimum of fuss, and be able to travel on some of the high wind days when most canoes are windbound.
Interesting numbers canoe vs kayak sales
Just for giggles, if the "average" canoe sells for $1000, and the "average" kayak sells for $1000, then the "average" market share is $120 million for canoes and $500 million for kayaks. Wow, that's impressive.
Sounds like you … you … you really
er, ah, um, ah … don’t really need another, ah, um, ah, er … canoe if it is so hard to do. There. Got it out. DID I REALLY SAY THAT?!
I must be sick. I think I need another canoe. Quick, someone give me another canoe to hug till this passes!
You’re right, he doesn’t need another
He needs SEVERAL more!!!
i’ve got a cooke cover on my rob roy and rarely need it, but haven’t had any problems so far with implosion, etc. as for flotation, it’s minimal, enough to keep the fully swamped boat about two inches above water surface. i put in float bags when paddling big water or on long trips.
RobRoy verse RapidFire & Pungo?
Ignoring the deck, which is an affectation of the Inuit designed to cover congenetally misshapen knees.......
Sitting in a low seat in a touring/tripping canoe is a change from kneeling and sitting on a high seat. We sit low to reduce windage, improve stability and generally roll with a double paddle. We need foot braces and a backband, but bring a 46-47" straight single blade for tight twisty creeks.
Rob Roy's bottom is a scaled down Magic - a "delta" or pretty radically asymmetrical design that optimizes performance in shallow water as the wide stern resists squatting when the bow wave refracts off the bottom and lifts the bow. Earlier hulls in this family are Shockwave, Summersong and the DY Special.
RobRoy tends to act like all delta boats - it's kinda cranky at slow speed - you have to get it running to enjoy. Best way to turn them is a reverse sweeping low brace.
RapidFire is a stretched SpitFire. It's rounder and more symmetrical bottom shape makes it a faster hull in deep water / slower in shallow, although it's additional narrowness also increases speed. [Joe averaged 5.7 mph over the 90 miler, but we've sprinted to 7.3mph] It's family heritage includes the Curtis Vagabond and Nomad, [now Hemlock Kestral and Peregrine], Bell's Merlin, Swift's Loon and Heron and the Loon Works 15' tripper. Rapid is the fastest of the bunch because it's extreme narrowness gives it a better Froude number. [Easy way out; check waterline lengths and widths - higher number generally equals faster hull, unless Prismatic coefficoent drops below ~.57.... Oh never mind.]
All these bottoms are more neutral handling than delta shapes - the bow draws or wedges on demand, the stern skids out when told to. They are more predictable.
Rapid is, of course lighter ,28 v 35 lbs in similar Carbon/ Kev laminates, and stronger than RobRoy because it lacks the semi deck and is infused rather than wet bagged. Rapid's higher seating inproves both double and single blade paddling; allowing a more vertical paddleshaft.
The Pungo has one vast superiority - for parties - I don't think one can damage the hull by filling it with ice and beer. Paddle a 60 lb solo with that much surface area with such poor skin drag?
Average canoe may well be $1500 now,and average kayak $750, but numbers still impressive - the power of the double blade solo paddlecraft.
rob roy hull is not a shorter version of the magic. it's a different hull, i think a precursor to what DY is doing now. i have it on good source, one i won't reveal. it is a different hull design, if only slightly.
Also, are those numbers with or without current. i don't think you're doing 7-plus in a 15-footer on flat water.
Thanks for the input CE
I just sent you a pm
RapidFire is my choice!
Someone wrote me about this thread and my personal comparisons as I have paddled all three boats. I thought posting most of what I replied to them might be of some help. So what follows is my 2 cents worth. Take it or leave it.
The Rob Roy does not fit my 69", 180# to 200# body comfortably. I always have felt like I was on a SOT kayak that was too small when in a Rob Roy. My legs are uncomfortable where they meet the gunwales, giving little stability or control. If I were to have a Rob Roy I would need to replace the seat, back support, and foot rests. But even with all this it is still too small of a hull for my liking. I think it was designed and is made for women, children and small men. The Rob Roy also has an inherit weakness in the area beside and behind where the seat is. I do not know if Bell had fixed this, but many Rob Roys cracked there and had to be fixed. The Rob Roy is not as responsive as I like my hulls. It is also too heavy for what it costs and what is there.
The RapidFire is a completely different canoe for most. Some even call it a kayak w/o a deck. No matter as a kayak is but a sub catigory of a canoe anyway. The RapidFire is a continuation and combination for me of efficient and fun hulls I like, such as the Sea Wind and FlashFire. It is fast, but not overly long; tracks, but turns well; solid and stable, but light and quick. It is made for a double blade paddle (been using a wide loomed GP lately), but paddles very well with a single blade (A SHORT single blade, 48" is too long for me in the RapidFire).
Oh yeah, the Pungo. (I do believe what is now the Pungo is what I knew as the KeoWee.) I owned a couple KeoWee and KeoWee II hulls when the kids were young. When everyone fought over the other hulls and no one wanted to paddle the KeoWees anymore I sold them and moved on. Pamlicos were much better then KeoWees, but them we moved on from Pamlicos as well.
Hope this helps.
Hasn’t appived as of 12 midnight 22 June 07.?
You’ve got to be Kidding
I have paddled pungos, and have owned a Pamlico for years, it was our first ‘family kayak’. Make no mistake, a Pungo or Pamlico is NOTHING like a Kruger Canoe outside of both being semi-decked and having a large cockpit.
In this niche, I would consider a Pungo or Pamlico a recreational boat, a Rob Roy or Kruger a performance canoe (this is not a plastic vs Kevlar comparison).
great info but …
one has to wonder … how big is the market for performance, go fast hulls versus folks who want something decent, light, but not a an absolute burner or a big plastic barge?
Who said anything about comparing
a Pungo to a Kruger?!
The only thing I said about a Pungo was my family, even the kids outgrew them.
I think you need to read my post again. There is definately two parts: The first three paragraphs about the comparison of the composite hulls and the last paragraph to do with basically putting the Pungo out of the discussion due to being outclassed.
checked the website
what’s the cobra xlt option?
We are doing a foam cored gunwale inside a carbon / Kevlar braided tube that infuses with the hull, so both rails and the 36 pieces of carbon and kevlar that make up a hull set up as one piece of fiber reinforced plastic. Thwarts and bow grab bar are made of same foam and sox , infused in a seperate mold and plexused in place. Saves 3# in SPitFire, 4# in Rapid, not available in Flash or Wild. While the weight savings seem small, they represent a 50% saving in trim weight and ~ 17% savings for the hull without outfitting installed; outfitting being seats, backrests and footpegs. And, near to my heart, no maintenance. I put the thing on the Subaru 1 May and back into the garage 1 November without any recourse to oil or Poly or guilt about not.
McWood, thanks again! When I looked on
the Bell website, the woman in the Rob Roy looked comfortable, which I am sure I woudn’t.
I’m thinking Prism or Majic now, or maybe just be happy with what I have.
Rob Roy to Rapidfire
I owned a Rod Roy for 4 years. Was quite pleased with it. Then that SOB CEWilson brought a Rapidfire to an event I was at. I took a short paddle in it. Liked it. Went back and took a 1.5 hour paddle in it. Lust began. A couple of months later I drove to Lake Placid and paddled it once more. Ordered one- it’s all his fault.
Charlie’s analysis of the hull performance differences between the Rob Roy and the Rapidfire (above) was reveled to me today. I was paddling down Bantam River to Bantam Lake (CT) and the Rapidfire felt quite slow- felt lots of drag. Why had I ever thought it was fast?- I remembered the Rob Roy as being faster on this river. A friend, paddling my former Rob Roy said it felt fine.
Charlie noted above the Rapidfire hull doesn’t perform as well as the Rob Roy in shallow water. Well, weeds made the shallow river functionally even more shallow. When we reached the deep lake the feeling of drag melted away- the Rapidfire suddenly became the fast canoe I bought. Charlie may still be a SOB for getting me to spend money when I had been happy with my Rob Roy, but he knows what he is talking about.
The Rob Roy is a good canoe. My friend is quite happy with the Rob Roy he bought off me. For me, the Rapidfire is better in a number of small but significant ways. For the sake of my friend’s marriage, I’m only going to let him paddle my Rapidfire in shallow water.