Everglades Exploration Network

So...

It appears that solo canoes are cool, but not only particular about total load, but also about the size of the paddler. Load and freeboard stats are commonly published by the manufacturers (although seem to be kinda controversial) but paddler size seems a bit more fuzzy. 

Can anyone suggest a model / size for a 6'3", 200# aging male paddler with lots of experience paddling, but always big sportsman models? From what I gather its unfortunate that I probably have a high center of balance.

Total capacity would not be the main criteria as I have that in spades with my current canoes, which I would default to for camping or fishing. I'm primarily looking for a solo "poke around" boat for day trips exploring and paddling for paddling sake. I'm not necessarily looking for an ultra light one either, in fact, durability is probably more important.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

GM

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Gary, see if Roger can let you try out his Shearwater. I'll bet that is a nice canoe for your specs.

Keewaydin 15, and  Curtis Nomad would fit you too.  Solo canoes are more about paddler height and then reach, Weight less. 

We of the dedicated solo ilk regularly overload our boats at the beginning of a ten days Glades trip.  That darn fresh water.  Just don't go packing you and your gear in a thirteen foot long boat that is 26 inches wide. The bigger boats. (around thirty inches wide at their widest) do better.

That said what you want for day tripping.. are my boats or the Shearwater.  Keewaydin 15 by Swift is another good boat as is the Merlin II (if you can find one) or Hemlocks Eaglet.

Heck for poking around if speed is not your thing you can put yourself into an Old Town Pack.  Its quite wide. 12 feet long and kind of slowwwww.  Its also quite budget friendly. The Discovery 119 is the same boat, heavier and even more sturdy for battles with oyster bars.

You can get away in your situation by lowering your center of gravity in any solo boat that floats your way..That's right rip out the seat and lower it.  Seats aren't set in concrete.

Now. Step back and ask yourself if..once you get a smaller narrower boat are you really going to refrain from camping with it and carrying gear?

Kim, Gary loves to fish and the Merlin II is terrible to fish out of. Can you recommend a solo that is good for his height/reach that is also stable other than ones mentioned?

The Pack is a good one for creeks and fishing but crossing those windy bays are not easy in that thing.

 


 
Kim Gass said:

Keewaydin 15, and  Curtis Nomad would fit you too.  Solo canoes are more about paddler height and then reach, Weight less. 

We of the dedicated solo ilk regularly overload our boats at the beginning of a ten days Glades trip.  That darn fresh water.  Just don't go packing you and your gear in a thirteen foot long boat that is 26 inches wide. The bigger boats. (around thirty inches wide at their widest) do better.

That said what you want for day tripping.. are my boats or the Shearwater.  Keewaydin 15 by Swift is another good boat as is the Merlin II (if you can find one) or Hemlocks Eaglet.

Heck for poking around if speed is not your thing you can put yourself into an Old Town Pack.  Its quite wide. 12 feet long and kind of slowwwww.  Its also quite budget friendly. The Discovery 119 is the same boat, heavier and even more sturdy for battles with oyster bars.

You can get away in your situation by lowering your center of gravity in any solo boat that floats your way..That's right rip out the seat and lower it.  Seats aren't set in concrete.

Now. Step back and ask yourself if..once you get a smaller narrower boat are you really going to refrain from camping with it and carrying gear?

Why is the Merlin II terrible to fish from?  I have a friend who fishes from a Curtis DragonFly. Thats a boat that terrorizes some. She just lowered the seat.

He would probably love the Swift Raven. Its a big boat. But its relatively slow. Its over 15 foot so its not as slow as the Pack.  I guess that one was the most confidence inspiring coming across from Pavilion to Chokoloskee in two to three foot bow on seas.  Also look at the Wenonah Vagabond.

Thanks folks!

Thats a good list to start with. I had hoped that Roger would let me try his Shearwater, but I wanted some other options too. Life has taught me not to fall in love with the first one! ;)

And just to clarify, I'm not looking for something to fish or camp. I think I already have that covered (probably an understatement). I'm looking for fun, speed and nimble for "off the brochure" stuff and just paddling around my neighborhood.

Once I get a list, then if everything falls into place, I'll find one that is... lets say seasoned... beat up and cheap might be other terms. I know my chances are slim, but I've already defiled one beautiful craft and don't want to do that again. And I'm not in a real hurry as I'll have to get rid of one of my current boats due to storage constraints.

So...

Shearwater

Keewaydin 15 

Curtis Nomad

Merlin II

Hemlock Eaglet

(Not a Pack... I've been in them... not what I'm looking for)

I like the wenonah vagabond for fishing you can see if Connie can meet up with you for a test paddle on hers. They are available in royalex too. My Merlin II was trim sensitive and really felt tippy when hooked up with larger fish. What is weird is that my Kestrel is even narrower but firms up (when I kneel) enough to turn around and grab my rod out of the holder to fight larger fish. Yes, lowering the seat really helps with stability.

LOL.. we are coming down to EC starting the 29th.. and will have a Monarch and either the Nomad or RapidFire.

I do recommend if you are sitting that you use a footbrace. It aids stability a whole lot. I caught a two foot pike (by accident!) in a non footbraced boat in Wabakimi and it was a bit of a bother trying to stay up.  It wasnt the Merlin II but a very close cousin of it.

I am also looking for some more info on Liquor Still bay. I gave my book to the library sale and I guess I forgot to mark my map. Understandably this is best done in  person.  

Check your messages Kim.

The only "new boat" I can offer is the RapidFire on our  EC launching the 30th.  The Monarch will be there too . I see one of those on Vivians  blog..

Who says that length ought to be short in the Everglades?

The Nomad is having a hissy fit. I suppose I have to suffocate it with more snow.

If your looking for something fun to paddle around for day trips, maybe something other than a traditional canoe.

I have used one of these: http://www.wildernesssystems.com/product/index/products/recreationa..., and It was just a fun boat to paddle, and there are other similar hybrid yaks on the market.

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