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Old 02-25-2012, 04:52 PM   #1
Conk
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Just the Ticket

One of my life goals is to explore all of the significant bodies of water that lie within the
Five Ponds Wilderness. There are approximately 100 ponds between Cranberry Lake and Stillwater Reservoir that qualify. I am 2/3 of the way there. Many of the ponds that remain unvisited are remote and require traversing rugged terrain. The lightweight solo canoe has been an asset in this endeavor, making the journey both easier and more interesting.

Out of production and moldering in a barn for many years the Mayfly mold is now owned by its designer David Yost. He granted permission for its use and a contact laminate hull was commissioned through canoe builder Dave Curtis. I would trim and outfit the canoe.

The Curtis Mayfly was originally marketed as a sporting canoe for the petite paddler. While my build is not exactly small I am of diminutive stature below the waistline and felt that my 28-inch inseam would work well in this narrow canoe. The question was one of mass and maintaining reasonable freeboard. David Yost assured me that fit was of greater importance than staying below a recommended cargo capacity and that my greater than ideal weight would not be an obstacle to using this canoe.

I saw in the Mayfly the potential for an excellent bushwhacking tripper that would be both lighter and shorter than my other solo canoes. There are many small pack canoes developed specifically for this purpose but most are designed to be paddled from the seated position with a double blade. I have a strong preference to kneeling with a short stick. The Mayfly might be, just the ticket in my quest to explore remote Adirondack ponds.

Photos: https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...0Yy6e62aEQA8uZ

Last edited by Conk; 03-14-2017 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #2
yellowcanoe
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It is a neat boat and successfully paddled by many taller and broader people than it was originally designed for.

I paddled one in South Carolina and while I am not compact it handled fine. When my 70 lb Golden begged me to go in the same boat I pawned her off on someone else.

But its hardly likely that with that sort of bushwhacking your pack will be anywhere near 70 lbs.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:36 PM   #3
charlie wilson
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Interesting

The Curtis MayFly was an important boat. It started life as Emily Brown's "SoapBox", a smaller version of the LadyBug for petite women. There was as econd SpaoBox built for Sue Stoltz before the plug was stripped for Curtis. Unfortunately the production version has significant V added to the stern to improve tracking. MayFly became an early differentially rockered hull, but it lost some of the LadyBug/SoapBox performance. It was one of the first solo canoes targeted for women, Sawyer's StarLight being the other, both from D Yost's workshop. Unfortunately it wasn't a financial success, selling ~ 25 hulls in ten years of production.

When Joe and I speced the SpitFire for DY we considered purchasing the MayFly mold. We preferred DY's more recent shouldered sides to the MayFly's bubbled ones, for both dryness and because they carry volume higher, lifting the stems higher and more predictably than bubble sides; but hardly important for a pack canoe due to the difficulty of heeling it that far when seated that low.

The larger issue was bottom shape. DY used more Gothic arch in the late 70's early 80's. MayFly's Veed stern would aid pack canoe tracking but limiting maneuverability. Finally, the mold was in great shape but would have been a problematic conversion for infusion, so we commissioned the SpitFire. Spit has DY's newer elliptical cross sections, is more stable, fraws a little less water and turns better. While we built a few, Joe no longer manufactures kneeling versions of SpitFire. They came in between 19 and 20 lbs with CobraSox rails. Current production Spits should not be converted to kneeling boats because the sides lack extra stiffening to support a rail mounted seat.

Conk will have a unique and historical ride!

Last edited by charlie wilson; 02-26-2012 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
shiraz627
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Conk,

Enjoy you new boat, looking forward to reading about your next adventure.

Gary
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:58 PM   #5
Wldrns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conk View Post
One of my life goals is to explore all of the significant bodies of water that lie within the
Five Ponds Wilderness. There are approximately 100 ponds between Cranberry Lake and Stillwater Reservoir that qualify. I am 2/3 of the way there. Many of the ponds that remain unvisited are remote and require traversing rugged terrain. The lightweight solo canoe has been an asset in this endeavor, making the journey both easier and more interesting.
I've spent a good deal of time in the same area also, including quite a few years before I had a reasonable canoe to carry with me. The microburst put some of the longer distances on hold for a while, and things are still very rough with the young growth thickly competing for space. I assume you have been in contact with John Scanlon, who also has significant knowledge of the area and been a great help to me in describing what is not shown on maps. Unfortunately I can't do everything... Recent years have kept me in marathon canoe race training either solo or with others on weekends and other times when I would otherwise be soloing in the 5 Ponds, but this year my crew is taking a break from the Yukon so I may have time meet you back there on the Robinson or paddling on Oven some day.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:11 PM   #6
madmike
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Nice. I love the Mayfly.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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Conk,

Looks like a keeper, you're lucky to have that hull. I like the combination of modern and traditional materials...
So now you can just about run to those other 30 or so ponds, eh?!
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:58 AM   #8
Conk
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I may have time meet you back there on the Robinson or paddling on Oven some day.
I would welcome a chance meeting one day but lets hope it doesn’t happen on Oven Lake. It would feel a bit crowded with two people there.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:24 AM   #9
SteveSam
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Beautiful boat. Thanks for the posting the pictures.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
Rich Lockwood
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Nice

looks real nice,Conk. I'm looking foreward to seeing. I had similar wishes when I bought my 15# savage River Wee Lassie set up for kneeling. I have since sold it and my light boat is now my 25# Colden Flashfire.
Turtle
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #11
vtflyfish
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Absolutely stunning boat!!!
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:38 PM   #12
richard p
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Mayfly

Very nice! I found this:
http://www.hemlockcanoe.com/images/p...ayfly_1986.jpg
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