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      Tandem that I can solo from?     

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jdevries
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09/25/2017 03:40PM
If I ever retire, I'd like to spend a couple of weeks car camping in Ely or the surrounding are with my wife. She can only tolerate about every other day or so on the water, so I'd like to get a kevlar canoe that we can both fit in on day trips, but is also something I can solo with on her off-days. Suggestions?

JD
 
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jhb8426
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09/25/2017 03:49PM
Something like a Northstar should work. Most any decent canoe 16 ft or less is relatively easy to handle. I had a 16 ft Ranger that worked just fine. A tandem will be a bit wider but works ok. I tried soloing my northwind once but any wind really grabs it if it's not loaded.
Blatz
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09/25/2017 04:52PM
There's always the Wenonah Solo Plus if you're just doing day trips. I've never paddled one but it might be something to consider. I would look for a symmetrical hull if you plan on paddling backwards from the bow while going solo
09/25/2017 05:33PM
Souris River makes the Quetico 16 which can be tandem or solo.
09/25/2017 06:00PM
As others have suggested, a 16 ft tandem should be fine. I do this with my blue water prospector. Some thoughts. Try to get a symmetrical hull canoe because when you go solo, you will reverse the seating since the stern seat is more toward the center. Also, wind can be an issue with a 16 footer so you will be more limited in terms of good conditions to paddle. Also, because a tandem canoe is a bit wider than most solo canoes, it is more of a strain to use a double paddle. Other than these observations, soloing a tandem can work well. JerryG
Northwoodsman
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09/25/2017 06:13PM
Wenonah Boundary Waters. It is very stable and doesn't have the cross brace behind the bow seat.
jhb8426
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09/25/2017 11:22PM
When using a tandem as a solo it's not required to paddle them backwards, thus negating the value of a symmetrical hull. For canoes such as the Ranger or a Bell Northstar with an asymmetrical hull all you need is a kneeling thwart or a 3rd seat suitably positioned. I've never paddled a tandem solo from the rear seat.
09/25/2017 11:32PM
quote Mocha: "Souris River makes the Quetico 16 which can be tandem or solo."

This is the same one that came to my mind.
bwcasolo
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09/26/2017 05:53AM
quote Mocha: "Souris River makes the Quetico 16 which can be tandem or solo."
i had one it worked superb with my wife, and solo.
09/26/2017 06:31AM
I've used both the SR Q 16 and Northstar Polaris as a tandem and have used them solo with the 3rd seat in the middle. I like them both, but like the Northstar Polaris better. With the tumblehome it seemed easier to paddle in the middle from the 3rd seat. The Polaris also seems to get going faster/easier and nicer to paddle. The SR also seemed to get affected by wind more. Both are very stable. Both of them are plenty big/stable for tandem (especially daytrips) and small enough to paddle solo.

I would love to get a dual purpose canoe and do plan on getting one when the budget allows. If I end up buying used I'll get an SR Q16 because they are easier to find and cheaper used, but if I was buying new there is no doubt about it that I'd get a Northstar Polaris.

To muddy the water more......... if money is no object consider the Savage River Deep Creek. It's another 16 footer than can be used solo or tandem and only weighs around 32lbs depending on exact set up you get. I saw FOG51 with his during a trip once and it's a beautiful canoe.

Or watch for a used Bell Northstar. It's what the Northstar Polaris is a remake of.
DeuceCoop
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09/26/2017 10:23AM
quote jhb8426: "When using a tandem as a solo it's not required to paddle them backwards, thus negating the value of a symmetrical hull. For canoes such as the Ranger or a Bell Northstar with an asymmetrical hull all you need is a kneeling thwart or a 3rd seat suitably positioned. I've never paddled a tandem solo from the rear seat."

Would you care to explain why soloing in the bow position negates the value of a symmetrical hull? Never heard anyone make that point.
ozarkpaddler
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09/26/2017 10:56AM
quote ducks: "I've used both the SR Q 16 and Northstar Polaris as a tandem and have used them solo with the 3rd seat in the middle. I like them both, but like the Northstar Polaris better. With the tumblehome it seemed easier to paddle in the middle from the 3rd seat. The Polaris also seems to get going faster/easier and nicer to paddle. The SR also seemed to get affected by wind more. Both are very stable. Both of them are plenty big/stable for tandem (especially daytrips) and small enough to paddle solo.
I would love to get a dual purpose canoe and do plan on getting one when the budget allows. If I end up buying used I'll get an SR Q16 because they are easier to find and cheaper used, but if I was buying new there is no doubt about it that I'd get a Northstar Polaris.
To muddy the water more......... if money is no object consider the Savage River Deep Creek. It's another 16 footer than can be used solo or tandem and only weighs around 32lbs depending on exact set up you get. I saw FOG51 with his during a trip once and it's a beautiful canoe.
Or watch for a used Bell Northstar. It's what the Northstar Polaris is a remake of."


Have paddled several tandems solo. The Wenonah Adirondack and Souris Quetico 16 were my first "Solo" canoes. They both performed well at both. I would also recommend the Nova Craft Pal. But the Bells/Northstars, David Yost hulls are my favorite. I would add the Morningstar/Starfire hulls to that list if you can find a used one. And the 3rd seat is the most ideal way of getting the most out of the boat; although, I've soloed from the bow seat with packs in front of me many a time.


















jhb8426
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09/26/2017 11:19PM
quote DeuceCoop: "Would you care to explain why soloing in the bow position negates the value of a symmetrical hull? Never heard anyone make that point. "

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I'm not saying there is no value in a symmetrical hull, all I'm trying to say is that you don't need to use a symmetrical hull boat backwards to be able to paddle a tandem solo. Maybe a better term is "negating the need" to paddle a boat backwards. A properly placed 3rd seat or kneeling thwart works fine in a symmetrical or asymmetrical hull for solo paddling.
09/27/2017 07:52AM
Another boat that fits the bill well is a Mad River Malecite. I have one and it is my primary BWCA tripping boat. I never worry if our group is even or odd numbered because with the Malecite, I'll just go solo if need be. It's a small tandem or a large solo boat at 16.5' and wider than a true solo. Three seats so it gives the solo paddler 4 positions depending on wind and pack weight (stern seat, center seat, kneel near center seat, or bow seat paddling boat backwards). Symmetrical hull so no problem paddling backwards.

It's also has a low profile so the wind doesn't weather-vane it around too bad.

jdevries
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09/27/2017 03:36PM
Thanks folks, a treasure trove of info as usual. I should have mentioned that my intent was a 3 seater, not to paddle backwards from the bow.

JD
Grizzlyman
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09/28/2017 08:52AM
I have a seat that sits on top of the yoke. It's homemade and just rests on the top of the gunwales. This puts you right in the middle of the canoe. Seems to work well for me.
jhb8426
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09/29/2017 11:15PM
quote Grizzlyman: "I have a seat that sits on top of the yoke. It's homemade and just rests on the top of the gunwales..."

Doesn't that put the center of gravity pretty high in the boat?
Grizzlyman
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10/01/2017 01:33PM
quote jhb8426: "quote Grizzlyman: "I have a seat that sits on top of the yoke. It's homemade and just rests on the top of the gunwales..."


Doesn't that put the center of gravity pretty high in the boat?"


Techincially- I guess it may- but since its just you in the boat it's not a big deal. I'll take myself sitting slightly higher over being with a partner any day of the week for stability. Also- I think maybe being in the middle adds stability as well.

I don't think I've ever even felt slightly unsteady by myself- even in rough water- compare that to the many times you've felt unsteady with a partner.
kona
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10/01/2017 02:41PM
To the OP, if younand your wife are daytripping with a total load in the 350-400 lb range, maybe consider a 15' design like the bell Morningstar.

I personally find a 15-15.5' tandem boat much more enjoyable and manageable to solo than a 16.5' boat.
 
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