BWCA Sawyer DY Special Questions Boundary Waters Gear Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Gear Forum
      Sawyer DY Special Questions     

Author

Text

SouthernKevlar
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
04/27/2022 07:08PM  
I have just adopted a new canoe. It’s a well used Sawyer DY Special 17 (as per the plate in the boat) in Kevlar, made in 1983 (as per the last SN numbers). With the foam floatation strips in it the weight is 38 pounds by my bathroom scales measure. The hull seems solid and paddles nicely, but has a LOT of gelcoat cracks, some were patched long ago and others still unpatched, so I’ll be doing a bunch of sanding and epoxy work on it, but the price was right. Cosmetic flaws I can live with as long as it paddles well and doesn’t leak!

We do not see too many DY Specials down here in the South, but I have read about these canoes and been curious to try one. I was able to test paddle it. I liked the way that it glided across the lake, the initial stability was better than I expected and maneuverability felt a bit better than my Grasse River Classic XL. Now that I have it, I have a few questions that HansSolo and others in the group might help me with.

The first question is about the bow and stern floatation chambers. There aren’t any. Someone has put in foam strips under the gunnels for that purpose. Was this just a weight reduction move by the company?

The next question is about the layup. I am assuming it is the “superlight”, but how do I tell if it is if it might be the Comp Kevlar or even the Expedition layup?
I also noticed that the gelcoat looked thick. I found one chip that was down to the cloth. I used a depth gauge to measure the depth of the gelcoat and it came out at .024” for the thickness. I wondered if this boat has a Clearcoat, Gelcoat or a solid epoxy layer and how that could affect filling in the scratches and cracks.

The interior of the DY was painted a light yellow color and is flaking off. Underneath the paint is pristine Kevlar. Is this something that was done at the factory or an aftermarket modification?

I am looking forward to paddling this old classic Kevlar boat and working on the cosmetics. Thanks in advance for any advice or information.

These photos were taken just after I got it home.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Bjelde
member (41)member
 
04/28/2022 01:42PM  
First, congrats on your new acquisition!! You're sure to enjoy it. My DY has flotation chambers. But, I've seen other Sawyers with foam like yours, rather than the chambers. You just need enough to keep your canoe at the surface in the event of a mishap. I don't know why they sometimes left them out.

Don't worry about the spiderweb cracking in the gelcoat. It's pretty common and won't hurt anything. I typically fill larger chips in the gelcoat, but that is also mostly cosmetic. Since you have a clear coat, maybe just drip in a little epoxy?

The weight of your hull suggests expedition kevlar. The superlight would have a foam core, which yours doesn't appear to have.

Enjoy!!
 
SouthernKevlar
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
04/28/2022 10:41PM  
Hi Bjelde,
Thanks for the info and the encouraging words on the cracks in the gelcoat; it was what I was hoping to hear. I'll be working on that problem in a couple of weeks once the "pollen storms" die down. They can leave lots of specks in resin!

I am hoping to get the canoe out this weekend for at least a few hour shakedown cruise and see how it feels on a river. From the test paddle on the lake when I bought it, it should do well. My wife said that I was smiling while paddling.

It seems that the Expedition layup could be a good thing on this canoe; I will probably be mostly a day tripping boat so a little extra weight shouldn't hurt. With a USCG capacity rating of 200 lbs. and me at 180 lbs., I guess I'll be using another canoe for my trip to the BWCA in September!
Thanks again.
 
Bjelde
member (41)member
 
04/29/2022 08:23AM  
With a USCG capacity rating of 200 lbs. and me at 180 lbs., I guess I'll be using another canoe for my trip to the BWCA in September!
"


You can absolutely take this to the BW. I have several times, and I'm also 180. It has similar capacity as the Wenonah Advantage, which some folks love for lake tripping. Somewhere I have an old Sawyer catalogue that lists capacity and performance capacity. From memory, the capacity was around 400 and the performance capacity around 300-325. The narrow gunwales (about 22") limit your pack size, so I typically take two mid-size packs, maybe 30#/each.
 
SouthernKevlar
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
04/29/2022 08:24PM  
Thanks for the info. I will just have to load up the DY and give it a try; I am curious to know the capabilities of this canoe. I plan to get it on the water this weekend and will let you know what I think.

For tripping I will probably be using my S.R. Tranquility or the Grasse River Classic XL. The XL is even narrower than the DY Special; my #4 pack will not fit in either, but I use an Osprey Xenith 88 pack in the XL and I guess that it should fit in the Sawyer. The Granite Gear #4 fits in the Tranquility just fine along with a daypack in the bow.

In a bit over a month I will be making a trip to the Adirondacks and will have to decide which canoe to take!
 
Bjelde
member (41)member
 
04/30/2022 09:18AM  
I'm curious how you think it compares to your other two. Prior to the DY, I had a Jensen C1W. The DY feels just as fast with much better initial stability. I paddled a Magic once and it seemed a tad sluggish compared with the DY. My only complaint is that the DY feels squirrelly in following seas, but I guess that's true of any narrow, straight-keeled canoe with sharp stems. I'd probably give up a little speed to gain some comfort in waves.
 
SouthernKevlar
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
05/17/2022 04:01PM  
Bjelde: "I'm curious how you think it compares to your other two. Prior to the DY, I had a Jensen C1W. The DY feels just as fast with much better initial stability. I paddled a Magic once and it seemed a tad sluggish compared with the DY. My only complaint is that the DY feels squirrelly in following seas, but I guess that's true of any narrow, straight-keeled canoe with sharp stems. I'd probably give up a little speed to gain some comfort in waves."

I finally got around to giving the DY a good workout. It was a warm (low 80's) day with 3-6 mph winds. The lake was lowered to do spillway work so I was able to play with it in both shallow and deep water. I did a loop of the lake so I had the wind from all angles. The light wind did not have much effect on the DY, so I cannot say about the squirrelly handling in following waves, but you are probably right in your generalization of sharp stemmed boats.

The DY is a pleasure to paddle. It has really good initial stability and it seems good secondary stability. I did not lean it to the tipping point, which I understand from reading can come abruptly. The previous owner told me that it responds well to leaned turns and it does turn much quicker this way compared to just turning with paddle strokes. It does like to go straight.

One of the nice features on the DY is the comfortable tractor seat. They did a nice job in shaping that one. Well, at least it fits my keister.

The DY does not seem as fast as the Grasse River Classic XL at top speed, but it does seem to be smoother and glides better at cruising speed.What I mean is that it seems to take less effort to maintain a steady cruising speed. The DY is faster than the Souris River Tranquility. I didn't carry much on this paddle; I am looking forward to trying it with a load.
 
Bjelde
member (41)member
 
05/18/2022 09:15PM  
Thanks for the review. The DY really is a nice cruising canoe. There's a reason it maintained a following even after Sawyer replaced it with the Shockwave.
 
05/19/2022 10:10PM  
You seem to be approaching the perfect number of solo canoes.


...just one more.
 
SouthernKevlar
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
05/20/2022 10:30PM  
sns: "You seem to be approaching the perfect number of solo canoes.



...just one more."


My limit is the number that I can fit on the racks in the garage, and I am now one over that limit!
4 solo canoes
1 tandem canoe (I did put a kneeling thwart in it...)
1 touring kayak
1 whitewater kayak
1 recreational SOT

One solo canoe and the rec SOT have been claimed by my wife. She won't paddle the tandem; she calls it the "divorce boat".
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next