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SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/08/2018 12:03PM
I am going to buy my first solo canoe this summer and I would love some of your opinions. I am looking for a tripping canoe that tracks pretty well. I have a Minnesota II and I really like it. I am 6' 3" and 230 pounds so I will need a boat that can handle a decent load. I am going for a canoe that is as light as possible so Kevlar all the way. Price is really not much of an issue. I took a trip into the BWCA with a Prism a few years ago and it went well, but that is the only solo I have ever paddled. I am going to the Midwest demo day on Lake Nekomis later this month so I can paddle some of your suggestions.

Thanks Guys
 
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06/08/2018 12:30PM
The only true solo that I have paddled is a Northstar Northwind Solo and I really liked it the 3 trips I rented one. I'm smaller than you but I trip with a 90lb lab and that thing is rock solid stable and comes in at 28lbs.

Test paddling a bunch to find out what you like is a great idea.

If they have any Savage River canoes there make sure you try them out. Those things are super light.
MReid
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
06/08/2018 01:09PM
I've only paddled Wenonah, but Northstar has similar models. Look at the Wenonah Encounter and the Voyager. The Voyager is a rocket (modeled after the Minn II), and the Encounter is slightly shorter and wider, and designed for large loads. They paddle quite differently--Voyager is tender until loaded, and the Encounter is more stable (yet slower). My Encounter was 36 pounds, the Voyager is 37 pounds, Kevlar ultralight layup. Wenonahs tend to be a bit heavier than the competition.
billconner
distinguished member(6568)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/08/2018 01:55PM
Frequent topic. I love my SR Tranquility - 32-34 pounds. I'm 6-2 and 225 so close - and trip in canoe country is all I've done. Some criticize it for not being twitchy. For me, that's a virtue, not a fault. Stable in rough water, and good initial stability. I sit and now mostly use a yak paddle.
bct
senior member (68)senior membersenior member
 
06/08/2018 01:56PM
I'm 6'3" 250 lbs and love my prism. I've paddled the voyageur as well - also a nice boat. I found the prism to be a bit more stable. When I went to my local dealer, he had the prism in tuff weave, carribean blue, and the voyageur in kevlar. As the tuff weave was notably less expensive, I opted for the prism.
Ottertailvoyageur
senior member (65)senior membersenior member
 
06/08/2018 05:30PM
I’ve paddled the Prism on many solo trips over the years and have always been very happy with it’s performance. However.....I tested a Northstar Magic prior to a trip a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. The Magic is 16’...so only six inches shorter than the Prism. Carries a lot of gear. It also has less shear, so it sits a little lower in the water and handles magnificently in windy conditions. Did I mention yet that it weighs only 29 pounds (in Kevlar, of course)?

Although I still like the Prism, the Magic is now my solo canoe of choice.
Marten
distinguished member (288)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/08/2018 06:03PM
I'm 6-1 and have had 380 pounds including me in a Prism many times with no issues. I tripped once with the ,Encounter and really liked it too even though it was a little slower. In my opinion the Encounter would work best for you. The Encounter has a lot of tumblehome so the width across the gunnels is narrower than the Prism.
TominMpls
distinguished member (309)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/08/2018 06:25PM
Test paddle at Nokomis is a great idea. I did the one a month back and was surprised at what I found. Go back and forth a few times with your top contenders. Personally I was most impressed by the Magic.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(1410)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/08/2018 06:39PM
I'd say definitely test paddle if you can. Seems to me there is a LOT of personal preference in such decisions. For me, I started in solos on a Magic, and it took some getting used to but then I loved it. Later I rented a Prism and hated it. In part because I was on a small river system and had a hard time turning it. That would probably have helped me if I'd been on a big lake. Later I had a bell merlin and it felt sluggish after the Magic, but handled a bit more gear I think. Testing boats -loaded down with gear - and thinking of the paddling situations you are like to be in will greatly help you find the right boat for you.
billconner
distinguished member(6568)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/08/2018 08:18PM
Do look at your packs and how they'll stow between the gunwales.
OCDave
distinguished member (109)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/08/2018 08:36PM
I really enjoy my Northstar Northwind Solo. I wouldn't trade it for anything. However, there is a guy who paddles the same lakes as me with a Northstar Magic and a Kayak paddle that seemingly doubles my speed.

My Northstar came with the sitting drops. Initially, I couldn't get comfortable. I now have the kneeling drops, even though I sit 80% of the time, I feel more stable and way more comfortable in the canoe.

Good Luck with your purchase.
HappyHuskies
distinguished member (235)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 06:49AM
As others have said, test paddling before buying is a really, really good idea and preferably with the load you are going to be tripping with. Recommending a boat for someone else is always difficult and I'm reluctant to do so. For one thing, I have only paddled a limited number of boats. I currently have two Magics, a Pro and a Black Gold. I like both of them, but prefer the Pro because of the sliding seat (the Black Gold has a cane seat) and because it's significantly lighter. Still like both enough that I'm not kicking either to the curb anytime soon.

In the past I've also owned a DY Special (my first solo) and an Advantage. Liked the DY Special just fine, but it was fiberglass and I sold it after paddling it for many years to get something lighter. The Advantage I only owned for two seasons. Nice enough boat, but just never jelled with it.

If I was looking for a new boat I'd take a hard look at Savage River, but would not rule out Ted Bell's offerings either. Lot of other boats out there that I'm sure are nice, but those are the two companies I'm most drawn to right now.

Good luck. I'm sure you'll find a boat that makes you smile!
sns
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/09/2018 09:05AM
I too padded both the Northwind Solo (expecting that to be the hands-down winner) and the Magic, last month on Nokomis.

Was very surprised at how good the Magic was for me...if I were buying today, it would be the Magic. The NW Solo was pretty great too, however - paddle them both.
Wick
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 10:52AM
I have a carbon prism, 29lb. I paddle it on a local lake here for exercise. Just point it at your destination lower your head and paddle hard with a kayak paddle. When you bump in to something, you will be where you aimed! That sucker just goes straight as an arrow. I really like the prism. The sliding seat made it easy to pack. My ccs pack fits good.

I bought a placid spitfire for the bwca this summer. I am having a tough time sitting on the bottom of the canoe, as my legs go to sleep. The prism has adjustable tractor seat (i love that seat) and sits much higher. My son tried the spitfire, and now he never wants to paddle the prism. The attraction to the spitfire was its 20 lb weight and no maint unless you bust it. It turns very quickly.

You just don’t know until you paddle something.
Wick
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 11:05AM
I should mention my wife has a 12 ft hornbeck. Weighs 18 lb. we got it this year to go to bwca also. She has been paddling it empty, and has gotten to like it the best of our canoes, so last week i took her pack with us to the lake. That boat is a little more narrow then our other canoes. With her and the pack in back of her, the bow was too high. There is not room for a big pack in front of her, so we have to split her load. I mumbled about it,,but what else can we do,,,,. The ccs pack does not fit real good either. Very narrow canoe. Pay attention to that.

That made me smile more on my prism, as i just move my seat forward, throw the pack in,,done.

I think it is very important to take a pack with weight to trial paddle a solo. Tandems are easy to pack. I bought my solos, then just lately am learning to pack them. Don’t be like me!

uiyyuc
 
06/09/2018 11:55AM
I would recommend something like the Oldtown camper (as mentioned above) or a Nova craft Pal. Save some money and get a Discovery 169.

The Prospector series of canoes are a great "all" purpose canoe. But if your paddling plans do not include week long trips or rivers with class 3 rapids that can't be portaged around then don't buy a Prospector.

If you are set on a NC prospector get the lite version. You probably don't need the regular layup for your usage.

My NC Prospector is heavy and tough as they come... but I use it for everything... flat water and class 3 rocky rivers.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/09/2018 02:08PM
Thanks for all of the thoughts guys. I am planning on bringing a loaded Superior 1 pack with me.

I guess that I forgot to mention that my trips are generally a week or more, and once I make camp I spend as much time fishing as I can. I am currently planning a 3-4 week trip to Woodland Caribou.
Banksiana
distinguished member(1548)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 02:15PM
Superior One is too much pack for the long, fast, narrow solos like the Advantage, Magic, Voyageur, Blackwater or Prism unless you travel with the pack upright on the bottom or side- makes a nice back rest but catches wind and reduces stability.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/09/2018 03:26PM
Prism here but surely check than all out. I like the Prism in the tractor seat,very stable. I would like t hear more about the SR solo.
Marten
distinguished member (288)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 03:27PM
Trimming out any solo will be difficult with one large and heavy pack. Best to have two packs with one light enough to portage with the canoe. Proper trim makes paddling a solo so much sweeter.
Marten
distinguished member (288)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 03:27PM
Trimming out any solo will be difficult with one large and heavy pack. Best to have two packs with one light enough to portage with the canoe. Proper trim makes paddling a solo so much sweeter.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/09/2018 08:45PM
Banksiana: "Superior One is too much pack for the long, fast, narrow solos like the Advantage, Magic, Voyageur, Blackwater or Prism unless you travel with the pack upright on the bottom or side- makes a nice back rest but catches wind and reduces stability."

I was planning on tightening the side compression straps all the way making the pack much narrower. The other option would be pulling my food pack out after each portage splitting the size and weight in two. What are the dimensions of the CCS pack?
Banksiana
distinguished member(1548)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 11:08PM
Tightening the compression straps will make it thinner (from back to front) but the width of the pack, gunwale to gunwale (pack down flat, harness up) is not changed by the compression straps (if anything tightening the side compression straps makes it wider).

I 've used a Superior One a CCS Guide, a Granite Gear Solo and a Kondos Outfitter Special in my solo. The Kondos Outfitter is best suited for the job (the GG Solo fits even better but requires a strict gear list due to limited volume), I assume a CCS Pioneer would do well also as the CCS Guide is just ever so slightly too wide (If I pack it right it fits ok but it's easy to get it too wide and it catches). If attempting to single carry I'll put everything in one pack- usually I carry a CCS Rucksack as a bow pack and double (my knees are no longer appreciative of the single carry).

As for trim the Advantage generally prefers to run stern heavy, I found the Prism similar- loading all my gear in one pack stashed just aft of the seat worked ok- still able to adjust with the slider.
Banksiana
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06/09/2018 11:28PM
This is the solo I want to own.
06/10/2018 12:34AM
Prism. Two packs. Encounter will be too much for you.
billconner
distinguished member(6568)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/10/2018 07:11AM
Pinetree: "Prism here but surely check than all out. I like the Prism in the tractor seat,very stable. I would like t hear more about the SR solo."

I had grown comfortable with my Q17 so I decided to rent a Tranquility for my first solo, from Doug Chapman. He said it was his wife's and she loved it. Three or four of the Q rangers also seemed very pleased with theirs. After loading it and getting in for the first time at the Beaver house landing, I had a few moments of doubt but in half an hour and for rest of trip it was very comfortable. Finally found an outfitter used one for a very good price. I only trip in BWCAW and Q, and have always been loaded with two packs. That is what I wanted it for. Comfortable at 4-5 mph, was easily faster than a Prism on a group solo but I don't care about speed. Did well on whitecaps on LLC. All in all, a great solo for me. What else can I tell you?
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/10/2018 07:41AM
Banksiana: " This is the solo I want to own."

This looks like an amazing canoe!
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/10/2018 07:47AM
Banksiana: " If attempting to single carry I'll put everything in one pack- usually I carry a CCS Rucksack as a bow pack and double (my knees are no longer appreciative of the single carry)."

On my last trip with my daughter we ended up with a few little loose things in the canoe so we doubled. I hated the extra time spent on the busy BWCA portages, but man it was easy on the back and knees.
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(824)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2018 11:38AM
A few weeks ago I finally took delivery on a Wilderness and could not be more happy.
I've waited a long time for it.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/10/2018 11:50AM
For years I used a tandem for soloing. Once I got my Prism it was like your in heaven. Such a difference and much much safer in my opinion because of control ability. Yes I am a kayak paddle person also.
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(824)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2018 12:51PM
Pinetree: Yes I am a kayak paddle person also."

Same here.
06/10/2018 01:20PM
MReid: "Look at the Wenonah Encounter and the Voyager. The Voyager is a rocket (modeled after the Minn II), and the Encounter is slightly shorter and wider, and designed for large loads. They paddle quite differently--Voyager is tender until loaded, and the Encounter is more stable (yet slower). My Encounter was 36 pounds, the Voyager is 37 pounds, Kevlar ultralight layup. Wenonahs tend to be a bit heavier than the competition."

I'll second what MReid has said about the Wenonah Voyager and Encounter.

A Kevlar Flex-Core Voyager has been my primary solo tripping canoe since 2004. Fast, seaworthy, and carries a decent load. It's also great for tripping on bigger wider rivers like the lower Wisconsin River as well.

About 4-years ago I purchased a used Kevlar Flex-Core Encounter for my son. He loves it and it can handle our 90-pound Golden Retriever and gear quite easily. Prior to that, my son was using a "Goldenglass" Sawyer DY Special. The Sawyer DY is a great solo tripper as well IMHO, but doesn't have the load capacity of either the Voyager or the Encounter. The DY Special can also be a bit of a wet ride due to its low volume hull and sharp entry lines

In 2015, I wanted to compare the tripping capabilities of the Encounter to my Voyager, so I used my son's Encounter on an August BWCAW solo trip of that year. It performed beautifully! It's every bit as seaworthy as my Voyager, if not more, and is more initially stable than my Voyager, but a bit slower as MReid mentioned. The initial stability of my Voyager has never been an issue for me though.

I still prefer my Voyager, but the Encounter excels when when hauling an extensive load and/or taking a large dog. For what it's worth, the Encounter is one of the few solo canoes I know that can accommodate the width of a CCS Guide pack.

A few pictures below of my Voyager, my son's Encounter and the DY Special in "Canoe Country" and on the lower Wisconsin River. (My Voyager has the white gel-coat and my son's Encounter has the clear skin coat.)

Hans Solo



billconner
distinguished member(6568)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/10/2018 02:44PM


Tranq with 2 packs.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/10/2018 04:26PM
Banksiana: "Tightening the compression straps will make it thinner (from back to front) but the width of the pack, gunwale to gunwale (pack down flat, harness up) is not changed by the compression straps (if anything tightening the side compression straps makes it wider)."

I just unloaded my Superior One, tightened all eight compression straps, and then loaded it again. The pack ended up being 29" high, 17 1/2" wide and 13" deep. The trick is to tighten the compression straps while the pack is empty. Then when you load the pack it is forced to get narrow. I will likely buy a pack that is better suited for the task in the future, but for now this should work fine. Maybe I can trade one of my Superior One packs for a CCS or other narrow pack for my solo.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/10/2018 09:53PM
Banksiana: " This is the solo I want to own."

I really like this canoe! I have never seen so many options available on a canoe, my mind is spinning.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/10/2018 09:55PM
Bannock: "Prism. Two packs. Encounter will be too much for you."

Why would the encounter be too much for me? Sounds like a challenge to my manhood or something. A buddy of mine has a small chest pack that he clips to the D rings on the shoulder straps of his main pack while I carried my pack and my MN II. That might work for a light weight pack up front to trim the boat and I could single or double portage.
Marten
distinguished member (288)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2018 05:15PM
SinglePortage: "Bannock: "Prism. Two packs. Encounter will be too much for you."


Why would the encounter be too much for me? Sounds like a challenge to my manhood or something. A buddy of mine has a small chest pack that he clips to the D rings on the shoulder straps of his main pack while I carried my pack and my MN II. That might work for a light weight pack up front to trim the boat and I could single or double portage."



I am one suggesting the Encounter but understand how close a call this is.

230 pounds, 6-3 and two week trips tip the choice in my mind.
Duff
member (11)member
 
06/11/2018 06:55PM
Tranquility with a CCS Explorer and Solo Food Pack.
Plus rod and reel case, shotgun and a couple dekes. :)

I wanted something a little different (rudder), a little tougher, could handle a tad more gear, and wasn't super tippy.

After 10 years, she's still the same girl I fell in love with.





06/11/2018 07:54PM
SinglePortage: "Bannock: "Prism. Two packs. Encounter will be too much for you."


Why would the encounter be too much for me? Sounds like a challenge to my manhood or something. A buddy of mine has a small chest pack that he clips to the D rings on the shoulder straps of his main pack while I carried my pack and my MN II. That might work for a light weight pack up front to trim the boat and I could single or double portage."



I can tell you from experience with another canoe that you don't want a canoe that is too big for you and your load. It will sit up high on the water and present a big profile to the wind, which will push you around and make it a lot more work. Various online reviews suggest a minimum load for the Encounter of 350-400 lbs. How much will your maximum load (you & pack) be?
Lailoken
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
 
06/11/2018 08:50PM
I just bought a Northstar Solo blacklite with wood trim. I am 184 lbs and 5'9" I had paddled the NS Magic and loved it and the Wennonah Prism on separate trips. I don't like bucket tractor seats that the Prism had and like Northstar, so went with them. The Magic is tight, like 26 inches, and loading and unloading it, the buckles always caught, so I went with Solo, which is tad wider. It "seems" bit slower than Magic, but also, It has been two years since did Magic solo, so I just might be out of shape.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/12/2018 08:34AM
boonie: "SinglePortage: "Bannock: "Prism. Two packs. Encounter will be too much for you."



Why would the encounter be too much for me? Sounds like a challenge to my manhood or something. A buddy of mine has a small chest pack that he clips to the D rings on the shoulder straps of his main pack while I carried my pack and my MN II. That might work for a light weight pack up front to trim the boat and I could single or double portage."




I can tell you from experience with another canoe that you don't want a canoe that is too big for you and your load. It will sit up high on the water and present a big profile to the wind, which will push you around and make it a lot more work. Various online reviews suggest a minimum load for the Encounter of 350-400 lbs. How much will your maximum load (you & pack) be? "


This makes a lot of sense. I tend to travel pretty light and would never exceed even 300 pounds unless I brought my dog along. My first trip to the bwca 35 years was with four other guys who "go every year". Well, it turned out that they bring everything including the kitchen sink on their trips and I was just an unpaid sherpa. This taught me that less is more when it comes to this type of trip. I have seen a lot of pictures here of solo canoes loaded with two large packs and a smaller day pack and I am always surprised. I bet most of the difference is in the food pack though. I tend to go with very simple food choices and count on fish for dinner every night. I have read some trip reports that included some pretty elaborate (and tasty) meals. Maybe I need to give that a try some time.

Having a lower profile in the water is very important since I try to spend more time fishing from an empty canoe than I do travelling with a loaded one. I threw all of the gear that I normally bring on trips in my pack and weighed it. The pack and two fishing rods came to 33 pounds. My spartan food pack averages about one pound per day, putting me at 40 pounds for a week long trip and 55 pounds for a three week trip. If I add 5 pounds for things I missed and a few extras I am at 45 to 60 pounds of gear weight. So for me, I should try to find a canoe that performs best with a load range of 230-290 pounds.
MReid
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
06/12/2018 10:07AM
SinglePortage: "boonie: "SinglePortage: "Bannock: "Prism. Two packs. Encounter will be too much for you."



Why would the encounter be too much for me? Sounds like a challenge to my manhood or something. A buddy of mine has a small chest pack that he clips to the D rings on the shoulder straps of his main pack while I carried my pack and my MN II. That might work for a light weight pack up front to trim the boat and I could single or double portage."




I can tell you from experience with another canoe that you don't want a canoe that is too big for you and your load. It will sit up high on the water and present a big profile to the wind, which will push you around and make it a lot more work. Various online reviews suggest a minimum load for the Encounter of 350-400 lbs. How much will your maximum load (you & pack) be? "



This makes a lot of sense. I tend to travel pretty light and would never exceed even 300 pounds unless I brought my dog along. My first trip to the bwca 35 years was with four other guys who "go every year". Well, it turned out that they bring everything including the kitchen sink on their trips and I was just an unpaid sherpa. This taught me that less is more when it comes to this type of trip. I have seen a lot of pictures here of solo canoes loaded with two large packs and a smaller day pack and I am always surprised. I bet most of the difference is in the food pack though. I tend to go with very simple food choices and count on fish for dinner every night. I have read some trip reports that included some pretty elaborate (and tasty) meals. Maybe I need to give that a try some time.


Having a lower profile in the water is very important since I try to spend more time fishing from an empty canoe than I do travelling with a loaded one. I threw all of the gear that I normally bring on trips in my pack and weighed it. The pack and two fishing rods came to 33 pounds. My spartan food pack averages about one pound per day, putting me at 40 pounds for a week long trip and 55 pounds for a three week trip. If I add 5 pounds for things I missed and a few extras I am at 45 to 60 pounds of gear weight. So for me, I should try to find a canoe that performs best with a load range of 230-290 pounds. "


I wouldn't overthink it too much. For sure, a shallower boat will be less affected by wind, but depth is good for waves, etc. FWIW, before I had the Encounter/Voyager, I paddled a 15" deep Wenonah C1W (16'), and paddled in some rough conditions, both loaded and empty. It worked, I had fun, I didn't dump, I made it to the takeouts. Except for 18-25 pounds of camera gear, I pack fairly light--less than 50 pounds for a 10 day trip, and I weigh 165. All three boats have worked for me. The one trip I did with the Encounter (5 days), I had no wind (great trip!), so whether it was too big a boat for me (!) I can't tell you. It paddled well and I had fun--absolutely no problems.

Trim is critical for making solo boats paddle well in wind, but then trim is very easy to adjust with two packs (I use main pack in rear, day pack in bow)--you can just shove/pull the packs around, and my boats also have a sliding seat.
06/12/2018 10:41AM
The Northwind Solo can hold a big pack. I use a CCS Guide pack which is very large.... but a 1 pack system works well for me because I have the dog up in the bow.



SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/12/2018 11:02AM
Lailoken: "I just bought a Northstar Solo blacklite with wood trim. I am 184 lbs and 5'9" I had paddled the NS Magic and loved it and the Wennonah Prism on separate trips. I don't like bucket tractor seats that the Prism had and like Northstar, so went with them. The Magic is tight, like 26 inches, and loading and unloading it, the buckles always caught, so I went with Solo, which is tad wider. It "seems" bit slower than Magic, but also, It has been two years since did Magic solo, so I just might be out of shape."

What packs do you use? Twenty-six inches should not be too bad if you narrow your pack a bit. I tightened the compression straps on my Superior 1 pack and loaded up at 18" wide.
Marten
distinguished member (288)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2018 11:33AM
Singleportage,
With the details you have added about your packing so light and fishing time in an empty canoe I will change my opinion and suggest a Prism type canoe. I still suggest having that second pack to aid in trimming the canoe.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/12/2018 11:54AM
Marten: "Singleportage,
With the details you have added about your packing so light and fishing time in an empty canoe I will change my opinion and suggest a Prism type canoe. I still suggest having that second pack to aid in trimming the canoe."


A second pack helps to balance extremely for me. Yes I love my prism.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/12/2018 05:59PM
At this point my two top choices are the Prism and Magic, but I plan on paddling as many as I can before deciding.
Banksiana
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06/12/2018 06:06PM
They must have changed the Superior One since I bought it. My compression straps only affect the thickness of the pack, not the width- the width is constant, determined by the seams of the pack.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/12/2018 07:48PM
Banksiana: "They must have changed the Superior One since I bought it. My compression straps only affect the thickness of the pack, not the width- the width is constant, determined by the seams of the pack."

My packs are all 20+ years old. Try doing what I did. Tighten all of the straps all the way tight, THEN pack it. I will be shocked if you do not end up with an 18" wide by 13" deep pack. If you tighten the straps to a lesser amount you will end up with a wider pack.
Dooger
distinguished member (105)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2018 09:24PM
Ok, I'll bite...

I recently bought a Northwind Solo. Reason being is I'm a big gut, 250#, and wanted a boat for a load. But, I also wanted a boat to fish out of when empty and a boat to maneuver small winding creeks/channels. The Magic just isn't my thing unless I wanna go relatively straight, quickly. That's not my style though. I'm half rec, half tripper.

I fished out of the boat while empty recently in wind. I'll say it was a bit twitchy at first, but I overcame it within 10 minutes. Very enjoyable. The seat was too low for me though....as it is a common complaint. I cut the hangers two inches (my paddle seemed too long due to the seat height too). I will get it out again in next few days to see if my mod proves effective. I'm guessing I'll enjoy it a lot more. I'd say that the kneeling drops would have been way better for me, but I'm primarily a sitter.

P.S. I sorta wonder if the seat is positioned so low due to the more recent popularity of using a double bladed paddle??? Personally not into that though.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2018 10:32AM
Make sure to let us know how raising the seat two inches effected the stability. Raising the center of gravity will surely have some effect.

I have decided that since tripping is my main purpose at this point, I am going to get a canoe that is designed for it. That being said, I will likely buy a less expensive canoe with a little rocker to satisfy my urge to get into small rivers and backwaters. I have learned that no one canoe excels at everything. You either get a specialist at one end or the other, or find a model that compromises and lands in the middle somewhere.
Dooger
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06/13/2018 11:40AM
SinglePortage,

Bear said I'll be fine.

You never go out in your canoe, empty, once in the backcountry? If you want to go for an evening paddle or fish, you load it back up first?
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2018 02:29PM
Dooger: "SinglePortage,


Bear said I'll be fine.


You never go out in your canoe, empty, once in the backcountry? If you want to go for an evening paddle or fish, you load it back up first?"


Did I say that? Yes, I go out fishing or on day trips with little or no gear in the canoe every day when I am up there. In fact, fishing and solitude are the main reasons I go.

My comment saying that raising the seat will raise the center of gravity and effect stability was not a criticism, just a fact. But I don't like sitting too low either and would likely raise the seat too. I am just curious if you notice much of a difference. I know that I sat on a boat cushion once in my MN II and I could really feel the difference, but maybe it would have less effect in the middle of the canoe.
Banksiana
distinguished member(1548)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2018 04:41PM
I've paddled a lot of solo boats and while I prefer fast lively hulls (ie Advantage, Voyageur, Blackwater) I think that the Magic makes for one of the best all around hulls I've paddled. It's relatively quick and user friendly, turns when necessary, carries a decent load, doesn't catch a lot of wind and positively shines in rough conditions (especially considering its low profile).
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2018 05:01PM
Banksiana: "I've paddled a lot of solo boats and while I prefer fast lively hulls (ie Advantage, Voyageur, Blackwater) I think that the Magic makes for one of the best all around hulls I've paddled. It's relatively quick and user friendly, turns when necessary, carries a decent load, doesn't catch a lot of wind and positively shines in rough conditions (especially considering its low profile)."

As of now my top two are the Magic and Prism, in that order. I like the idea of a lower profile to catch the wind, which made the Blackwater very interesting. I have read a couple of reviews that said the Blackwater was surprisingly stable, but if not I am not as interested. But I would love to paddle that beautiful boat to know for sure.
Dooger
distinguished member (105)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2018 07:00PM
SinglePortage: "Dooger: "SinglePortage,



Bear said I'll be fine.



You never go out in your canoe, empty, once in the backcountry? If you want to go for an evening paddle or fish, you load it back up first?"



Did I say that? Yes, I go out fishing or on day trips with little or no gear in the canoe every day when I am up there. In fact, fishing and solitude are the main reasons I go.


My comment saying that raising the seat will raise the center of gravity and effect stability was not a criticism, just a fact. But I don't like sitting too low either and would likely raise the seat too. I am just curious if you notice much of a difference. I know that I sat on a boat cushion once in my MN II and I could really feel the difference, but maybe it would have less effect in the middle of the canoe. "


No you didn't say that outright, but some of your comments make it sound like you just want to go from Point A to Point B without much of anything else.

Just get the kneeling drops if you get the Magic. It's basically the same as what I did with a slight drop in the front. You can always even them up if you'd like. If you poke around a bit, you'll find that a lot of folks aren't fond of the sitting drops because they're too low and "kayak-like". A lot seem to cut them and are happy with them once they're shortened.

I'd call Northstar if I were you and ask if you should buy the bigger Solo. I was in the same predicament as you are when I was looking to buy. I would have bought the Magic too if it weren't for my load (including personal size) and if just wanted a boat for going straight and fast on big water. 6'3" and 230#...I'd go Solo over Magic, IMO.
SinglePortage
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2018 11:21PM
My trips are always a single base camp or, for longer trips, a series of base camps. I try to hit the water early, travel hard and get to my destination, and then stay a few days fishing and exploring. Then I travel to my next base camp and repeat.
Ladyonthefly
 
06/17/2018 08:52AM
Hello, will be doing my first boundary waters trip this year. I purchased a 22 lb classic solo canoe from Hornbeck canoes . This boat came recommended by a person who has done numerous trips. I couldn’t be happier with this boat. I’m rough on gear and have smacked it into numerous rocks already & it has survived. Might be worth checking into. Good luck.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/17/2018 09:00AM
Ladyonthefly: "Hello, will be doing my first boundary waters trip this year. I purchased a 22 lb classic solo canoe from Hornbeck canoes . This boat came recommended by a person who has done numerous trips. I couldn’t be happier with this boat. I’m rough on gear and have smacked it into numerous rocks already & it has survived. Might be worth checking into. Good luck."

How long a canoe is that. That is superlight.
 
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