Picked it up last weekend, an older but in good shape, golden-glass Sawyer Summersong. It is a bit heavier than ideal, but at 45# it rivals my Spirit II's weight. $750 including a used carbon paddle. Deal. This is the third solo I have been in.
It was 4:30 am when the alarm went off, hell let's push it back to 5:30. I am on the water by 6:30. It's a cool 38 degrees, I'll have about an hour till I need to get the girls off to school.
As I step in and sit, I breath a sigh of relief. Way more stable than it's lines lead on. I had been apprehensive about not packing some dry cloths, but home is only 5 min. away. The first dip of the paddle and she glides. Instantly I knew this will work out just fine for me. The mist is rising and I quickly shed the jacket and unzip the pullover. We are on Rice Lake and I cruse to the falls where I work my first turn, not bad. Back into the channel and see how she moves through some "tighter" turns. Compared to the Prism I paddled last month, she is a bit easier to spin. When I was departing Mudro, I found the prism to hold it's line but I wasn't leaning at all. It was a bit too cold then and still is today.
Out into the open lake and it is a glassy morning, the sun is bright and I launch into a nice rhythm. This boat does glide nicely and I am able to sustain 4+ MPH with the espresso 14 degree bent. Pushing with power strokes I am over 5 but that won't last long. I fiddle with the foot brace and back rest, both lead to a comfortable position. The seat is in it's lowest setting and I surmise that a warmer water summer day will be needed to play with that. I try a bit of sit and switch and she stays fairly straight. I prefer my moderate J stroke and the tracking is as I expected, very good.
1:08 min, 4 miles done, I approach the landing and I treat like a portage. Slow up, swing it in and wow, that was nice. Much easier than the Prism.
First impression is this is a solid fitness canoe that I will try to get wet 2x per week through the season. The gunnels are tight so my Pioneer may need some convincing to tuck in behind the seat. I'll likely need to slide the seat to it's furthest fore position. Trimming will also take some work with it's non-translucent skin, I couldn't where the water line was. Overall I am pleased and thank my wife for the early Father's Day/ B-Day present I picked out!
Now for setting the table for a fall solo, on top of the otherwise very busy summer we will see. Hum.
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