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Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/20/2021 02:23PM  
I just picked up a used 2018 Northstar Northwind 17 in starlight from a Gunflint area outfitter.

I decided to see how close it weighed to the 40lbs advertised on Northstar's website. I was quite surprised to read just over 47lbs using both a hanging scale and the bathroom scale method. Granted, that weight is with the portage pads, but roughly 15% overweight?

Part of what drew me to the NW17 was the low weight, so I am a bit disappointed.

My boat's construction is of the typical outfitter fashion, internal skid plates, seats on brackets riveted to the hull rather than drops from the gunwhales etc.

So, those of you who have NW17s in starlight....what is the actual weight of your canoe?

I am still looking forward to portaging the the NW17 instead of my 70lb tandem, but I really can't say that I bought a 40lb canoe....
 
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04/20/2021 02:39PM  
I have an outfitter NS NW 17, same setup. Weighed mine at 39lb a year ago; your 47lb number seems very odd...I know there is some variance, but I'd think maybe a pound, one way or the other, not 7. Will recheck mine, but it will be a week or so before I can do that.

Do you have anything to check scale calibration?
 
MidwestFirecraft
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04/20/2021 03:05PM  
My guess is the outfitter applied a coat or two of epoxy and potentially skid plates?
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/20/2021 03:34PM  
MidwestFirecraft: "My guess is the outfitter applied a coat or two of epoxy and potentially skid plates?"

The skid plates are internal....meaning they were applied when the canoe was constructed. No recoating of the hull has taken place either...plenty of scratches currently.
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/20/2021 03:35PM  
sns: "Do you have anything to check scale calibration?"

I tried two different scales...I think I have a third I could try as well. Scale calibration is something to consider....but the more scales I try with similar results, the more I'll prove that scales are at least measuring somewhat accurately.
 
04/20/2021 04:33PM  
Interesting Northstar often is under the advertised weight. I haven't weighed my Northwind 17 but my Northwind Solo was under. I have an internal skid plate on my NW 17 It will add some pounds
 
04/20/2021 07:36PM  
Beast388: "MidwestFirecraft: "My guess is the outfitter applied a coat or two of epoxy and potentially skid plates?"


The skid plates are internal....meaning they were applied when the canoe was constructed. No recoating of the hull has taken place either...plenty of scratches currently."


I would of guessed the same as MidwestFirecraft...maybe the outfitter had a special order of an extra layer of kevlar?

T
 
PVnRT
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
 
04/20/2021 07:54PM  
Could it be possible that outfitter resurfaced exterior with epoxy in the fall of each of the 3 years they owned? Perhaps had to add sheets of fiber/kevlar to cover holes? That might account for weight gain
 
mgraber
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04/20/2021 08:36PM  
My friends weighs 44 with internal skid plates and portage pads. It has never been refinished. Internal skid plates DO add weight over what is advertised and portage pads do also.
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/20/2021 09:42PM  
PVnRT: "Could it be possible that outfitter resurfaced exterior with epoxy in the fall of each of the 3 years they owned? Perhaps had to add sheets of fiber/kevlar to cover holes? That might account for weight gain
"


Nope…no patches on the hull and no resurfacing either. The hull number shows a manufacture date of October of 2018, so this boat has two seasons on it.

This is a 100% stock boat….with 2 season’s worth of use and scratches…..

 
MidwestFirecraft
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04/21/2021 06:34AM  
I may be ignorant in this, but those don't look like internal skid plates. I own a NW 18 and you can't see my internal skid plates. Those look like normal, added kevlar skid plates. The seats are mounted with bolts which also might add weight. How can you know if they skim coated the bottom over the years? Just because it was scratched when you bought it doesn't mean they didn't put a clear coat on it every year, which would add up to the weight your describing.
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/21/2021 08:06AM  
MidwestFirecraft: "I may be ignorant in this, but those don't look like internal skid plates. I own a NW 18 and you can't see my internal skid plates. Those look like normal, added kevlar skid plates. The seats are mounted with bolts which also might ass weight. How can you know if they skim coated the bottom over the years? Just because it was scratched when you bought it doesn't mean they didn't put a clear coat on it every year, which would add up to the weight your describing. "

I certainly don't want to turn this into a pissing match. On my boat, the aramid skid plates were laid into the mold first, before the aramid layers. The skids are flush with the rest of the boat.....not raised like added skids. You can see the transition where the step from the aramid felt to the aramid fabric is filled with resin....again all of this is flush and follows the shape and lines of the mold.

I have coated/resurfaced two of my other canoes. Where I have applied epoxy or varnish, the surface is nowhere near as smooth or glossy as the factory finish which comes from the mold on skin coat canoes. In between all of the scratches on the bottom is the smooth glossy factory finish. Trust me....this boat has not been coated. If it was evident, then those recoats would add to the total weight like you suggest....and I wouldn't be perplexed as to why my boat is 47lbs.
 
04/21/2021 08:29AM  
For canoecopia I attended the ultralight BWCAW tripping session and the speaker mentioned outfitter canoes often weigh much more than manufacturer specs. Sometimes as much as 10# more. He said they put layers of varnish or epoxy on each year, often order extra reinforced Kevlar. Looking at the pic I am not sure you have internal skid plates—-I think outfitters can order special reinforced skid plates. The extra coats and reinforced skid plates could account for the weight gain?

T
 
04/21/2021 08:49AM  
Beast388: "On my boat, the aramid skid plates were laid into the mold first, before the aramid layers. The skids are flush with the rest of the boat.....not raised like added skids. You can see the transition where the step from the aramid felt to the aramid fabric is filled with resin....again all of this is flush and follows the shape and lines of the mold."

My boat has the same internal skids as you describe them and as pictured in your photos. Standard outfitter model from NS.

Since I got the 39# weight I have recoated mine, so it should now be heavier, however I have a hard time imagining it would be much more than a pound or two. My boat had not been recoated or patched by the outfitter prior to my purchasing it in 2018.
 
BAWaters
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04/21/2021 11:37AM  
Beast388: "PVnRT: "Could it be possible that outfitter resurfaced exterior with epoxy in the fall of each of the 3 years they owned? Perhaps had to add sheets of fiber/kevlar to cover holes? That might account for weight gain
"



Nope…no patches on the hull and no resurfacing either. The hull number shows a manufacture date of October of 2018, so this boat has two seasons on it.

This is a 100% stock boat….with 2 season’s worth of use and scratches…..

"


Yeah it looks very similar to one I purchased from Tuscarora. Only things I see that could add a little weight are the skid plates, but that wouldn't be much. Northstar is a great company, and very consistent in their production process. Weird.
 
PineKnot
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04/21/2021 11:59AM  
I've got a Bell Northwind purchased as a blem in 2008.....no skid plates evident since they were internal....after many trips, I could start to see some of the "kevlar" fabric from the internal skid plate and so I added an external skid of felt w/ epoxy....has worked great as added protection....
 
gymcoachdon
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04/21/2021 03:21PM  
Beast388: "

So, those of you who have NW17s in starlight....what is the actual weight of your canoe?
."


Just thought I would restate the question. I don't believe anyone has actually answered, and I am really curious!
 
tr3a
 
04/21/2021 03:52PM  
I have a NW 17 Starlite purchased new last summer. The canoe has aluminum gunnels. I added yoke pads and a folding seat back (direct from Northstar). When I weighed it last fall (bathroom scale of known accuracy) the weight was just under 42lbs. Makes sense because the seat back was approx 1-1/2 lbs and slightly less than 1/2lb for yoke pads.
 
DanCooke
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04/21/2021 05:27PM  
Are the gunnels and thwarts wood or aluminum? Have you asked the outfitter if they were ordered as an special for them or as a standard consumer canoe?
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/21/2021 06:47PM  
DanCooke: "Are the gunnels and thwarts wood or aluminum? Have you asked the outfitter if they were ordered as an special for them or as a standard consumer canoe?"

I’ll email the outfitter to find out…..





 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/21/2021 06:52PM  
sns: "Do you have anything to check scale calibration?"

I took off the portage pads and weighed again with the three scales that I have:

Bathroom scale 1 = 46lbs
Bathroom scale 2 = 45.6lbs
Berkeley hanging scale = 46lbs 7oz

So the portage pads weigh about a pound.
 
Argo1
member (10)member
 
04/21/2021 08:19PM  
Is the foam in the float tanks wet or saturated? One thing I noticed on my NS Phoenix is the tanks are actually fully open on top of you look close, not sure of the NW is the same. What about the foam in hull, is there puncture that may have been repaired but allowed moisture to be locked in during repair?
 
pswith5
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04/22/2021 05:18AM  
Not sure anyone asked, did you eat a lot of donuts this winter? My weight hasn't changed in years. But, I haven't weighed myself for a few months. ??
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/22/2021 10:19AM  
DanCooke: "Have you asked the outfitter if they were ordered as an special for them or as a standard consumer canoe?"

Just heard back from the outfitter....they just order the standard outfitter version....no extra layers of cloth etc.
 
04/22/2021 11:50AM  
Blatz: "Interesting Northstar often is under the advertised weight. I haven't weighed my Northwind 17 but my Northwind Solo was under. I have an internal skid plate on my NW 17 It will add some pounds"

Agree. My Northstar Magic is advertised at 30 lbs. When I got it, it came in at only 23 1/2 lbs!

I'll go weigh my Northwind in a little bit and post it
 
jhb8426
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04/23/2021 12:17AM  
Beast388: "Just heard back from the outfitter....they just order the standard outfitter version....no extra layers of cloth etc."

It would be interesting to know what the difference is between that and a retail version.
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/23/2021 08:02AM  
jhb8426: "Beast388: "Just heard back from the outfitter....they just order the standard outfitter version....no extra layers of cloth etc."


It would be interesting to know what the difference is between that and a retail version."


My understanding is the outfitter versions includes the internal skid plates and the seats are mounted to aluminum angle riveted to the hull....rather than the wooden seat drops hung from the gunwales. Of course gunwales are aluminum rather than wood too.

Outfitter:


Retail:
 
04/23/2021 08:06AM  
jhb8426: "Beast388: "Just heard back from the outfitter....they just order the standard outfitter version....no extra layers of cloth etc."


It would be interesting to know what the difference is between that and a retail version."


I believe it's the internal skid plates and the way the seats attach - instead of wooden drops they rivet a piece of angle-aluminum (4 total) to each side and the wooden seat rests on that.

I am not 100% positive, but I think the ribs are the same. All else appears to be the same - except on mine, the stickers are different (~2016).
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/23/2021 08:25AM  
jhb8426: "Beast388: "Just heard back from the outfitter....they just order the standard outfitter version....no extra layers of cloth etc."


It would be interesting to know what the difference is between that and a retail version."


After posting the pictures above.....I noticed something......

On my outfitter boat, the layer of aramid that covers the foam diamond runs the full length of the boat....out to the stems.

On the retail boat, that layer is cut to the shape of the foam diamond....and doesn't go to the stems.

SNS....how about on your outfitter boat?
 
Speckled
distinguished member (309)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/23/2021 08:38AM  
I think a call to Northstar would probably answer alot of these questions. I've called there previously and they're super helpful.

That aside, this post points out some interesting things to think about when purchasing a boat from the outfitter. If the manufacturer makes a retail and outfitter version and In your case, you've identified a few key weight adding differences. The layer of aramid, the addition of internal skid plats, not your boat, but additional layers of epoxy or clear being added to the bottom by the outfitter and suddenly what you thought to be a 40 lb boat is 47.

 
04/23/2021 10:29AM  
Beast388: "
On my outfitter boat, the layer of aramid that covers the foam diamond runs the full length of the boat....out to the stems.

On the retail boat, that layer is cut to the shape of the foam diamond....and doesn't go to the stems.

SNS....how about on your outfitter boat?"


On mine that piece of aramid overlaps the foam 'diamond' by a few inches on all sides, but is more-or-less the same shape as the foam core.

I will weigh mine early next week & report back.
 
04/23/2021 02:50PM  
Just weighed mine which is the outfitters version- internal skid plates, starlite layup, aluminum gunwhales. I removed the portage pads, painter ropes and even the BDBs. 44 lbs even.
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/23/2021 03:03PM  
OneMatch: "Just weighed mine which is the outfitters version- internal skid plates, starlite layup, aluminum gunwhales. I removed the portage pads, painter ropes and even the BDBs. 44 lbs even. "

Thanks! Out of curiosity, what year was your NW17 manufactured (Last 2 digits of your hull ID number)?
 
04/23/2021 03:55PM  
Beast388: "OneMatch: "Just weighed mine which is the outfitters version- internal skid plates, starlite layup, aluminum gunwhales. I removed the portage pads, painter ropes and even the BDBs. 44 lbs even. "


Thanks! Out of curiosity, what year was your NW17 manufactured (Last 2 digits of your hull ID number)?"


Just last year 2020. I, too, was surprised it weighed that much. I also have a SR 17 Le Tigre and it's supposed to be 43 lbs and always felt it was much more than that. When I got the NW 17, it felt much lighter and easier to portage. It especially is exceptional to paddle. The minute I put it in the water I was in love.
 
jhb8426
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04/23/2021 07:32PM  
Beast388: "On my outfitter boat, the layer of aramid that covers the foam diamond runs the full length of the boat....out to the stems.

On the retail boat, that layer is cut to the shape of the foam diamond....and doesn't go to the stems."


Yes, missed that until you pointed it out here. I see that sns says his is diamond shaped. I recall discussions with Charlie Wilson talking about various Bell models and how there were some ad hoc construction decisions/improvements made at times as they went along.
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/23/2021 07:46PM  
jhb8426: "Beast388: "On my outfitter boat, the layer of aramid that covers the foam diamond runs the full length of the boat....out to the stems.


On the retail boat, that layer is cut to the shape of the foam diamond....and doesn't go to the stems."



Yes, missed that until you pointed it out here. I see that sns says his is diamond shaped. I recall discussions with Charlie Wilson talking about various Bell models and how there were some ad hoc construction decisions/improvements made at times as they went along."


I got a response from customer service at NorthStar. A couple of years ago, they changed the lamination schedule across the board for both consumer and livery boats. So the difference I noted above has more to do with date of manufacture than anything else. The lamination schedule is the same for both consumer & livery unless a special request is made.



 
Speckled
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04/24/2021 03:38PM  
I was curious to my own boats. I have three Bells, a 1996 Bell Rob Roy in the FiberLar layup, a 1996 Bell Magic in the BlackGold layup and a 1997 Bell Northwoods in the WhiteGold Layup.

Finding published weights for these boats was tough.

I found some old literature for the BlackGold Magic, which had a published weight of 35 lbs, with the note of wood trim adding 2-3 lbs...so 38? Mine weighed 40.

I couldn't find published Fiberlar or WhiteGold weights for the other two boats, but did find some kevlight and blackgold weights. I found fiberlar and WhiteGold weights for other boats and calculated a percentage weight increase, applying that to the Rob Roy - I came up with an expected weight of 48 lbs...mine weighed 47. For the Northwoods I came up with an expected weight of 67 lbs. Mine weighed 70.

So lots of assumptions were made here as I just can't find the old literature and am guessing on the layup to a certian degree...as i'm unsure what was available for each boat in that time frame. Anyone know if that old literature or specs exist anywhere on the net?
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/27/2021 08:00AM  
Speckled: "I was curious to my own boats. I have three Bells, a 1996 Bell Rob Roy in the FiberLar layup, a 1996 Bell Magic in the BlackGold layup and a 1997 Bell Northwoods in the WhiteGold Layup.


Finding published weights for these boats was tough.


I found some old literature for the BlackGold Magic, which had a published weight of 35 lbs, with the note of wood trim adding 2-3 lbs...so 38? Mine weighed 40.


I couldn't find published Fiberlar or WhiteGold weights for the other two boats, but did find some kevlight and blackgold weights. I found fiberlar and WhiteGold weights for other boats and calculated a percentage weight increase, applying that to the Rob Roy - I came up with an expected weight of 48 lbs...mine weighed 47. For the Northwoods I came up with an expected weight of 67 lbs. Mine weighed 70.


So lots of assumptions were made here as I just can't find the old literature and am guessing on the layup to a certian degree...as i'm unsure what was available for each boat in that time frame. Anyone know if that old literature or specs exist anywhere on the net?"


I see in your other thread that your boats come in very close to the advertised weight, which is nice.

In the email I got from Northstar, they state that when they build livery canoes, they focus less on maximizing weight savings and focus more on added durability such as the internal skid plates and the heavier duty seat brackets.

Your point about things to consider when purchasing an outfitter boat is a good one.....
 
04/27/2021 09:32AM  
I weighed my NS NW 17 (outfitter w/ internal skids and aluminum brackets for the seat attachment) today.

It's a 2016, has one recoat on it that I did last spring and some glass added (thanks Arcola/Kent!) to the stems . Showing right on 39 lb with several weighings. But on that scale, I'd give it a +/- of at least 1 lb.

I have a really accurate scale (checked with scientific weights) that unfortunately tops out at 33lb, so my weights are from a cheap bathroom scale - however I did cross-calibrate the two, and for an object under that 33 lb threshold they were virtually identical.
 
04/27/2021 09:51AM  
And so it's apples-to-apples - my NS 17 weight was without portage pads, lines, etc - that's a naked boat.

So Beast...sounds like there is more variation in these hulls than we'd realized.


Also weighed my Magic - but on the very accurate scale (again, checked for accuracy with scientific weights).

My Magic is modded with a Minicell Seat which saves significant weight.

The magic weighs 25.5 lbs naked, and about 26.5 with a backband, amsteel painter, bailer and a handful of Bungee Dealee Bobs (thanks to Old Scout for making me some custom ones!)
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
04/28/2021 07:42AM  
sns: So Beast...sounds like there is more variation in these hulls than we'd realized."

Yep, I would agree. It would we nice to get a few more members to weigh their NW17s to see what the range is. Right now....you have a light one at 39lbs....and I have a heavy one at 46lbs.....
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
05/01/2021 09:48PM  
I rolled on a thin coat of Northstar’s resin and slapped on new stickers. Looking forward to our mid June BWCA trip!
 
05/01/2021 09:56PM  
Beast388: "I rolled on a thin coat of Northstar’s resin and slapped on new stickers. Looking forward to our mid June BWCA trip! "
It looks absolutely great! It's amazing what a bit of varnish will do for a scratched up hull. Enjoy!
 
05/02/2021 07:38AM  
Looks very sharp!
 
Speckled
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05/03/2021 01:55PM  
Beast388: "I rolled on a thin coat of Northstar’s resin and slapped on new stickers. Looking forward to our mid June BWCA trip! "

Wow! Huge improvement. Boat looks fantastic.
 
05/04/2021 10:30PM  
Now you have me curious about mine. I bought a Northwind 17 two years ago, but haven't actually weighed it. I have the wood gunnels and the blacklite carbon (or whatever you call that). I think they each add 4 lbs.
 
amhacker22
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05/05/2021 10:28AM  
Beast388: "I rolled on a thin coat of Northstar’s resin and slapped on new stickers. Looking forward to our mid June BWCA trip! "

I'm curious what the updated weight is with the fresh varnish. I don't think we've established what the actual difference is from a single coat of resin or varnish elsewhere on the site.
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
05/06/2021 07:16PM  
amhacker22: "I'm curious what the updated weight is with the fresh varnish. I don't think we've established what the actual difference is from a single coat of resin or varnish elsewhere on the site."

A thin coat of Northstar’s “proprietary” resin on my 17’-6” hull added about 1.3lbs.
 
amhacker22
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05/07/2021 10:23AM  
Now we know!

Thanks.
 
05/07/2021 10:47AM  
Beast388: "A thin coat of Northstar’s “proprietary” resin on my 17’-6” hull added about 1.3lbs."

Full hull or to the waterline?
 
Beast388
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
05/07/2021 11:23AM  
sns: "Beast388: "A thin coat of Northstar’s “proprietary” resin on my 17’-6” hull added about 1.3lbs."


Full hull or to the waterline?"


Full hull
 
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