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Old 04-12-2020, 10:32 PM   #2
Wldrns's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,402
I have a PB RapidFire and a 10.5' Hornbeck hybrid carbon/kevlar, and a traditional 12' kevlar Hornbeck. I have paddled the hybrid from Boonville to Cumberland Head beyond Plattsburgh (185 miles including 62 miles of portaging during a dry hot July week), it carried me and everything I needed for the week-long traverse.

I have raced the RF on the 90 miler several times with good success. Mine has wood gunwales, before the much lighter cobra-sox came out. Except when Joe decided to paddle with up to five his shop crew all in the newer faster designed Shadows. Now, I consider Joe to be a friend, but I believe the shadow was designed with a single purpose, and that was to beat all the RapidFires in the 90 that he had sold to customers over the previous years. I have paddled the shadow briefly, and like it for its designed purpose. But don't think the Shadow has enough stability or capacity to be a very good tripping boat. I also use the RF for my own solo tripping, and during BSA Voyaguer guide trip leader training. I paddle the RF fitted with a custom high seat using a single blade canoe paddle only (except during the 90 where a double blade is required in that class of boat - solo rec).

I haven't done much in the 12', as it was recently given to me. Probably best used as a fishing platform. The Hybrid is a much stiffer build than the all kevlar model, as I could see when paddled next to my friend in a kevlar when his oil-canned a noticeable bit. I visited Peter one April day wanting to buy a standard Hornbeck for my pending cross-Adirondack trip that summer. Then I saw this shiny black beauty hybrid on the floor, a pound lighter and in opposition to the dozens of pure kevlars strapped like so many sides of beef hanging from the rafters. This was before Pete came out with the all-carbon 10.5'. Pete said the hybrid was an experiment that he was considering, didn't know if it would be liked or how it performed, for just $100 more. I had to have it and have loved it ever since. I did a bit of damage to my hybrid in the bony dry lower reaches of the Saranac River, but Pete repaired it at no charge. I don't know that he offers that layup anymore, not since the new trick models came out. Of the ultralight all-carbon Blackjack Hornbecks I have seen since, I know that more than one has developed cracks in the rolled carbon Gunwale rails.

I also had my sights set on the GRB Peeper, from my friends at Newmandesigns but none were being made or available that season. They have other more substantial canoes in carbon fiber that might fit your needs.

Don't overlook the Swift brand of canoes. Similar in design and function to Placidboats. Both are of David Yost design, and had the same engineer work on development. Same with the Colden canoe line.

You will find more help on this forum:
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

Last edited by Wldrns; 04-13-2020 at 10:59 AM..
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