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DSettahr 04-13-2020 11:39 PM


Originally Posted by richard1726 (Post 280978)
My take on your question, A different perspective.
I have had many fun solo trips with my 17 foot, 36 inch wide, 72 lb Roylex Mad River Explorer, 1991.

Ooooof. 72 pounds? :p I'm sure it works for you, but I am definitely looking for something that I can at least keep up a good pace with, whether in the water or across land.


Originally Posted by Rich Lockwood (Post 280987)
it sounds like your only looking at pack (sit on the bottom)canoes. Is that right? Are you looking at paddling lakes, windy streams, Or moving water. that would narrow it down. I have experience with several light weight solos (all with high seats) , an you may want to look at savage River canoes. I have owned 2 and they are real tough and extremely lite.
Keep your paddle wet, Turtle

Yes, definitely focusing on pack canoes. Some swiftwater, possibly even Class 1 might be nice but is not the highest priority for me right now.

As with all pieces of gear... I have a feeling that my first canoe won't be my last. So right now I want something that will get me into some of the areas of the Adirondacks that I don't yet have much experience in- the St. Regis Canoe Area, The William C. Whitney Wilderness, and so on. I have my eyes on a potential Little Tupper Lake traverse to Inlent on the Oswegatchie River planned for this summer, which would more or less be the maiden voyage of the canoe.


Originally Posted by Zach (Post 280989)
Since no one else has said it yet in this thread I'll say that building a strip canoe is not only fun but cost-effective.


Originally Posted by stripperguy (Post 281003)
Mr deathstar,
Come borrow my Red Kite for a week if you should be easy enough for you to carry, and it's certainly able to carry you and your gear. It's built tough, so you don't have to baby it...

I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of building my own boat, but I think I'm going to pass on that option at least for boat #1. I will keep those suggestions in mind for the future, however. :)

Rich Lockwood 04-14-2020 05:51 AM

Your trip
I did a portion of the trip you're considering--lake Lila to inlet. a wonderful trip. I used my 16# savage river wee lassie. It took some hard knocks with no damage and was a joy to carry and paddle down the twisty osswagochie. . Going down the osswagochie is much more enjoyable in a canoe that turns well.

DuctTape 04-14-2020 06:36 AM

yeah, capacity is quite variable. even if one were to use a quantifiable measure for example "one inch freeboard remaining", how well the canoe functions matters greatly. While weight/capacity seems like a straight forward metric, I would suggest trying out your short list options with the maximum load you expect to see how well she paddles.

Bluefire 04-14-2020 07:22 AM

Ok, lots of opinions, charts etc. my choice for you is the pbw oseetah in the xlt layup. Color would be green. I think an important but unmentioned point in this consideration is the vacuum infusion vs the contact lamination. The lighter layup has the same hull material but less material in the sides!!. I think based on your criteria, you will be happier with oseetah over the spit 13. It is a bit longer and a bit narrower. I have never paddled either, so take suggestion for what it is worth. I do however own both a rapidfire and a spitfire, both in xlt layup. I am quite confident in this layup , have used both boats hard without issue. I recommend a visit to pbw . Joe is a wealth of information and you can test paddle all the models right there.

JonnyADK 04-14-2020 07:47 AM

Connie Perry at Frisky Otter in Inlet is a PBW dealer with demo boats. I bought my Rapid Fire from her last summer and am very happy with it.

MTVhike 04-14-2020 10:40 AM

Why are "pack canoes" sit-on-bottom? I would like a lightweight canoe which I can paddle the traditional way (kneeling with a single-blade paddle). I find my back hurts when paddling a kayak, even with a proper backrest. Can the Hornbeck or Placid Boatworks Canoes be made for kneeling?

DSettahr 04-14-2020 10:53 AM


Originally Posted by MTVhike (Post 281027)
Why are "pack canoes" sit-on-bottom? I would like a lightweight canoe which I can paddle the traditional way (kneeling with a single-blade paddle). I find my back hurts when paddling a kayak, even with a proper backrest. Can the Hornbeck or Placid Boatworks Canoes be made for kneeling?

Several of the 1 person Swift canoes come with the option for a pack canoe setup (sit on bottom) or touring setup (elevated, traditional seat bolted to the gunwales). The solo models available with the traditional style of seating that I see offhand on their site include the Keewaydin 14, Keeywaydin 15, and Prospector 14. There is also an option (for an extra fee) to have knee pads installed in the canoe.

FWIW, I've had similar back complaints when paddling kayaks in the past myself, but with the Placid Boatworks setup I've definitely felt far more comfortable. Even the "sit on bottom" style of setup includes a seat that is raise a few inches off the floor (seems to be at least a tad bit higher than the traditional kayak setup) and that makes a big difference for me.

EDIT: Sit on bottom, not sin on bottom, hahaha. :)

JonnyADK 04-14-2020 11:12 AM

PBW offers 3 different seat heights. Demo the model you like with the different seat heights as you wish. Connie at Frisky Otter offered me the trial choice. Kayak paddle, bent shaft canoe paddle, bring your favorite means of propulsion with you and have a trial paddle in 4th Lake.

Zach 04-14-2020 11:13 AM

When I made my Kite I put about a 3" high seat in it that is mounted to the bottom, though that canoe is designed for a high seat mounted to the gunwales. Since I am 7 feet tall this allows my head to be at about the same height above the canoe as a conventional person sitting on a high seat or kneeling. I have heard of some people putting high seats in hulls that were designed for low seats, but I don't know the details. I think that ergonomics (being able to reach the water with a paddle) and stability (either perceived or real) are what determine what seat is practical for any given paddler and hull design. Also some canoes may have structural issues with a high seat that is attached to the gunwales, if they're not designed for that and are built to be very light.

Wldrns 04-14-2020 11:49 AM

I had all three seat height options designed for my Rapidfire. One nests on the other. Still too low for my preference and my preferred use of a single blade paddle. At Joe's shop I saw his RF set up for the 90 miler with an even higher seat mounted on rails so the seat could be trimmed fore and aft and it is also optimally tipped 15 degrees forward. I want one of those. He was reluctant at first, saying that once he mounts it, it is permanent and makes the backrest practically unusable. And that most people want a lower seat for better stability. I told Joe to give me one of those seats. Joe, just do it. I'll tell you it is the best thing I could have done. It makes single blade paddling a real pleasure and the canoe becomes extremely maneuverable for me. I love it. Unfortunately for the 90 miler, the rules for that class of canoe (solo-rec) require all boats to use a double blade paddle. No matter, I can handle that, and have done well in the 90 using that configuration a number of times (unless there are PB Shadows in the competition) with minimal pre-race double blade training. But I normally otherwise use the RF to train for single blade paddling in other boats when not able to train with my other paddling partners.

I know that in at least one other case, Joe has installed extra strengthening material as an extra belly band, making the center portion of the canoe stiff enough to mount a high drop seat from the gunwales. I would have gone for that option, had I known about it when I first bought my RF.

mike7575 04-14-2020 03:08 PM

I went with the rapidfire. Im 69 , I bring a lot of extras, and I have dunlap disease ( my belly dun laps over my belt) so the RF was a better fit than the spitfire, at least for me. Joe changed my forward thwart to one a little shorter and it gave me about 3 extra inches to get in and out. It works for me.

kwc 04-14-2020 08:55 PM

We have Wenonah Wee Lassies & we are pretty happy with them. I’m sure that most of the paddlers on this forum look down their noses at these boats but they have worked very well for us.

Pauly D. 04-14-2020 09:15 PM


Originally Posted by kwc (Post 281036)
We have Wenonah Wee Lassies & we are pretty happy with them. I’m sure that most of the paddlers on this forum look down their noses at these boats but they have worked very well for us.

Wenonah's are great canoes IMHO. I really like the seat in the Wee Lassie.

Wldrns 04-14-2020 09:22 PM


Originally Posted by kwc (Post 281036)
We have Wenonah Wee Lassies & we are pretty happy with them. I’m sure that most of the paddlers on this forum look down their noses at these boats but they have worked very well for us.

I''d never look down at a fine bushwhack remote pond hopping capable boat such as those. I have two Wenonah canoes myself, just a bit larger.

Zach 04-14-2020 10:12 PM

My first strip canoe was a Wee Lassie II and I liked it except that I didn't fit quite right, but that was my fault, not the canoe's. It tracked really well but didn't turn as easily as my current canoe. My main problem was that my feet stuck too far into the bow, where the hull was V shaped, so my heels were pushed together and my legs would go to sleep after about half an hour. Once I didn't wait long enough with my legs hanging over the side to get the feeling back before trying to get out and I fell over backward into about 3 feet of water. It was not one of my more graceful maneuvers.

Rich Lockwood 04-15-2020 06:19 AM

many lightweight canoes are made for high or low seats. Slipstream, swift, and my 16# savage wee lassie have high seats. Like you, my back won't take sitting on the floor. I have tried some packboats sitting high that were just too tender though. My next high seat packboat if I can get the money will be a savage River Jun Bug with high seat.

mike7575 04-15-2020 08:32 AM

I like my RF because I have the low seat but my back is supported and the foot pegs take pressure off my lower back.

Rich Lockwood 04-16-2020 05:16 PM

to clarify, I mean a hung seat so I can kneel. Peoples back issues vary, but for me and many others, the kneeling position is the most comfortable.

richard p 04-16-2020 05:29 PM

Pack Boat
Years ago I bought a Vermont Canoe Tupper. Designed by Rob Frenette (sp) in Tupper Lake. It has a cane seat about 3 in off the bottom. No longer in business but Slipstream now has the mold. Definitely worth checking out and it is made in the Adirondacks.

Connecticut Yankee 04-19-2020 05:13 PM

You've been so helpful on this site over the years, I'm sure any of us would be more than happy to let you try out our personal boats.
Your chart is very interesting, BUT, weight capacity is a very arbitrary thing. Your 240-260 pound capacity would require a boat of at least.13' to be seaworthy in rough conditions I should think. Weight capacity is really just displacement, and length is more important than width, and don't forget depth. I really like the versatility of the Rapidfire, but the new PB 14 foot boat might be ideal for you. The price is a consideration but don't forget that this is probably a lifetime investment and 10 years from now the cost is irrelevant. I'm sure the cost of your preferred boots, pack, etc. is not much of a consideration then buying other outdoor gear.
So, contact the members here and try out any boat you like. (I'm volunteering all of you here), like Zack, I have a couple of wood strip solo boats.
After you get your first boat , then you might want to build a wood strip or skin on frame some winter.
I'm just about finished building a skin on frame kayak right now, 16' 24 1/2" wide and about 25 pounds, I plan to paddle it in this years 90 Miler. I should call it my covid kayak, since I've built it while in self quarantine. Last coat of finish on it tonight , then I'll give it a week to cure and get it out on the lake. If interested in checking it out , I'm in Lake Clear.

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