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distinguished member (241)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/04/2020 11:26AM  
Looking for a light weight solo canoe, used primarily for duck hunting. Towing with my fat bike to get to some backwater stuff. The venn diagram includes being light weight, durable, and really stable (I have dogs)... I had missed the opportunity to buy a Tegris Ultimate kayak when I was still in school, light, tough as heck, and you could stand in it.

I've never used a solo canoe before... what would you recommend giving a test drive? Will wenonah, northstar or souris make any "outfitter" canoes with extra durability?

Not sure if Kevlar is the way to go. I couldn't imagine taking my Q17 into a beaver infested backwater duck sanctuary. All the "duck hunting oriented" canoe/ kayaks literally weigh close to or over 100 pounds.

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distinguished member (142)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/04/2020 12:37PM  
Unfortunately, I don't think many solo canoes would be capable of carrying you, hunting gear and multiple dogs. I would recommend getting a prospector tandem 15'/16' (or some other solo plus boat) that you can paddle solo, putting the dogs/gear up front for ballast. I own a Northstar Northwind Solo that I can easily paddle with gear and my 45lbs australian shepard, but I really wouldnt push it with a larger dog or more gear. You are going to want something larger and more stable if you're paddling late season when the water is frigid and dangerous.

You can always get a carbonflex/blacklite boat for extra durability, or even the IXP or Innegra layup, designed for whitewater paddling abuse. You'll pay a hefty price to increase durability without increasing weight. Otherwise, go with a middle of the road prospector with a composite layup of some sort. Youll be pushing 60lbs, but the alternative is spending $3k+
11/04/2020 01:38PM  
Canoe Stabilizer Floats
will make any canoe a stable shooting platform.
Why would you worry about your Q17 in "beaver infested backwater duck sanctuary"? Most of BWCA and Quetico are just that. I have no problem with my Kevlar Ultra Light Advantage and it has been over many beaver dams. If your looking for a solo that can haul a lot Wenonah offers the Encounter.

member (15)member
11/04/2020 05:20PM  
Don't have a suggestion, but would be interested in hearing what you finally decide on. Please post when you pick one.
distinguished member(693)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/04/2020 08:26PM  
kevlar duck skiff

May as well go for the tool that was refined by generations of Green Bay(The body of water not the city) waterfowl hunters.
distinguished member (284)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/05/2020 05:09AM  
My guess is that you hunt old school, meaning 5-6 dekes and no dog. Standing won't be an option, but chasing cripples in a canoe will; also, it depends on your ability as a canoeist due to the fact a small boat will be tender. I plan to build 3 next year in the 13' range for just this purpose. Building is cheaper and repair is easy acheiving weights from 30-40lbs. With the dog a 16' boat at least 36" wide would fit the bill IMO.
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
11/05/2020 07:51AM  
He is not making boats anymore. I was in his shop two years ago and all he is doing is repairing canoes and he had a boat he built for his niece in there.

distinguished member (151)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/05/2020 12:11PM  
I have a OldTown 119 I got primarily for duck hunting but use for solos in the BWCA. I have dragged that canoe filled with decoys and all my gear through the woods over sand and mud dozens of time. I have used it on creeks, rivers, impoundments, flowages and 6(?) BWCA trips over the last 20 years or so.
Mine weighs 43# and is very stable and basically bomb proof. Old Town makes a newer style of the 119. Check out Freelance Duck Hunting on YouTube.
Since much of the traveling when duck hunting is done in the dark and dodging rocks and snags is more by luck than design a more forgiving hull makes sense to me.
There was a post about canoes and ice on the forum a while back. My personal experience is that when the ice is thin and breaking on one side of the canoe and thicker and not breaking on the other side you get wet, very wet and very cold ( and I got skunked too)
distinguished member (241)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/05/2020 01:16PM  
butthead: "
Why would you worry about your Q17 in "beaver infested backwater duck sanctuary"? Most of BWCA and Quetico are just that. I have no problem with my Kevlar Ultra Light Advantage and it has been over many beaver dams. If your looking for a solo that can haul a lot Wenonah offers the Encounter.


Butthead- Always glad to see you commenting!

It's not so much the sticks, its probably the attitude. When I'm in the BWCA, I'm there with no agenda and searching for peace. Duck hunting I'm a little rougher on my gear, in the dark, and have less concern. I dont want to admit I baby my canoe in the BW, but I do.

I've talked to Wayne at Souris River. They sell a whitewater kevlar canoe, basically has an extra layer of kevlar- he recommended a prospector- though didn't really recommend canoeing with excitable dogs. If I went that route, I'd kill two boats with one stone- as my wish list included a river canoe.

Prospectors 16- How well do they solo?
member (35)member
11/09/2020 12:02PM  
Check the specifications of the link below.

Your best option for duck hunting!

My son’s and I duck hunt ALOT.

If you plan on shooting from a canoe go as wide as possible. If not use a solo or short tandem as your transportation with the proper carry capacity.

Don’t be the solo hunter, solo in the cold water!

Good luck!
11/11/2020 11:51AM  
I've got about 25 years experience duck hunting in Minnesota from a canoe and have a couple opinions for you, but not a specific boat recommendation. I've got an old Coleman RamX which cheap, durable, and stable, but not light at all. I've also got a Souris River Q16 for BWCA trips which I do solo with two dogs.

In thinking about these two boats as duck boats, the Coleman is I think more stable and nearly indestructible, but weighs close to twice as much. I like hunting from my Coleman (though I really like some of the links above), but I'm not so sure it would be that hard to hunt from my SRQ if I wanted to. Like Butthead said above, how could the beaver swamp you are hunting be any worse than the BWCA? I haul my SRQ loaded with 100+lbs of gear over beaver dams all the time. Mud and cattails or most any vegetation do no damage. And my SRQ hits pointy rocks just below the surface multiple times daily, and regularly hits or bounces on rocks at tricky portages. Color wise it is not ideal, but a cover of some sort could be made from camo Cordura or burlap or something for not very much. So I'm not sure what is so much more damaging where you hunt, and even so, Kevlar is repairable. Outfitter canoes get beaten on much worse than mine and keep going.

I've been pretty hard on my Coleman, but I think most of that is at landings and could be avoided. I recall after a hunt on opener I came ashore ahead of 2-3 other boats. Instead of taking the time to load my gear into my SUV, I just hooked a strap on and dragged my loaded canoe 100 feet up the gravel drive to get out of the way! Out in the swamps, though, I don't think there has every been any hardship to it.

I don't know how many decoys and other gear you haul, or what size and temperament your dogs are, but I personally would be uneasy about duck hunting from a solo canoe with one dog or two. Generally, to keep them both light and fast, they are narrow and therefore more tippy. Perhaps your hunts are different, but for me I am either paddling in or out in the dark, and sometimes in cold and windy weather. I can't imaging trying to do some of the dark lake crossings I've done in a narrow solo canoe, with or without a dog.
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