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Old 12-08-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
sawyergeorge
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Have you ever paddled a Sawyer canoe?

What model do-did you paddle? What do-did you think of it? I am new to this board and I like Sawyer canoes. I am curious about others experience with Sawyers. From literature I have seen Sawyer made 27 different models not including the Oscoda, Yankey Rebel and AuSable lines. I only have 7 of the 27 models so far but I have a desire to collect all 27 models. Some are easier to find than others. About half were racing models and alot were designed by David Yost, the most prolific designer of all time.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:57 PM   #2
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Welcome Mr. George!
I have only paddled the Summersong, Shockwave, some cruiser (or was it the cruiser?) and the DY Special. The DY left such an impression that I got in contact with Dave 25 years after my 1st paddle in that boat, and he gave me a set of plans. I had dreams of seeing that hull in wood from the 1st time I laid eyes on it, and now, after this years build, have a dandy DY Special of my own, built in cedar strip. I managed to keep the weight down to 31 lb, and it handles like a dream. Oh yeah, it's fast, did I forget to mention that?
I chronicled the build here, and the post series was somewhat popular.
A few times when I spoke with DY, he would relate the inner workings and backstories behind some of his designs and the approach that Sawyer would take to produce them. For me, it was fascinating, I loved hearing those stories. We have one of his coworkers on the forum as well...maybe he'll chime in.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:25 PM   #3
sawyergeorge
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DY Special

Hi Stripperguy,
I joined this forum because of your DY Special posts. Watching you bring it to life was very enjoyable reading. I too think that the DY Special is an incredible design. I can not believe how stable it is for such a fast canoe. I have had mine since mid summer and am very pleased with it's performance. I met David Yost at Coopers Lake Pa. this past summer and talked to him again at Raystown when I bought Clarion's Shockwave. David is such a wealth of canoeing history that it is fascinating listening to his stories. I also met David Curtis at the same times this past summer. David has let me borrow his Sawyer history literature to copy which was very kind of him. I am always looking for more Sawyer literature and I would really like to find a Sawyer belt buckle.
George
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:46 AM   #4
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Very cool to be able to talk to these living legends. I used to live near Harry Roberts, formerly of Wilderness Camping magazine and Sawyer Canoe. He would be paddling the Mohawk at the same time as me and my darling bride, of course, we had no hope of keeping up! DY has many stories about harry as well...I'd like to find a DY biography, he's such an interesting character...
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:35 PM   #5
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The Solo Canoe Rendezvous is again on for next June!

June 12-14. it had to be moved out of the fall season.

Bring on those Sawyers again!

Fan of the 190.. Ours is on loan to our nephew. Its been in the family since 89. The Summersong is another favorite of mine though I do not own one ( have access to it)
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:38 PM   #6
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yellowcanoe's Sawyers

I have never paddled a 190 or a Summersong. I have neither in my collection yet. Bring em on down to Solo Canoe Rendezvous. Just had a call from someone with a kevlar X17 for sale. Have you paddled one of them? What did you think of it?
George
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:25 PM   #7
charlie wilson
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X-17, other Sawyers

The X was the second swede form recreational canoe, after Pat Moore's Peter Pond II. A David Yost design, Sawyer left it in a snowbank over winter, fared the hull out and molded it. The warping and the fairing resulted in a hull DY has always been unhappy with.

I've paddles Sawyer Classics, StarLites, Autumn Mists, Summersongs, DY Specials and Shockwaves solo. Canadians, Cruisers, Chargers and Supers, then 190 and 222 Cruuisers, that damned X-17 and Legends tandem. I also paddles a friends square sterned 18 footer when unable to come up with an excuse.

Sawyer was one of the first companies to mold modern, high performance designs. [Moore was to follow, way before Mike C. started WeNoNah.] Sawyer hulls were hand laid, but they, like Moore, used roving, a heavy weave fiberglass, for partials and inner layer. When Mad River came along in 1973 with all cloth laminates, Sawyer and Moore were immediately clunky looking, heavy and brittle. Moore burned twice in a handful of years and was gone, which made room for WeNoNah to grow into a dominant player. Sawyer limped along, financially damaged by the Yankee Rebel/KMart fiasco.

They were great boats in their day, which was the sixties, seventies and eighties. Even with the great Harry Roberts doing the marketing, they were bleeding market share due to lack of consistent wood trim, questionable lamination, and defective trim/outfitting. With the same crew trimming the thousand dollar Sawyers and the three hundred dollar Oscodas, it was, maybe, understandable that the Oscodas were better finished than needed at their price point, but the Sawyers were always missing something. [How do you ship a solo with only one footpeg track installed?].
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:26 PM   #8
yellowcanoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawyergeorge View Post
I have never paddled a 190 or a Summersong. I have neither in my collection yet. Bring em on down to Solo Canoe Rendezvous. Just had a call from someone with a kevlar X17 for sale. Have you paddled one of them? What did you think of it?
George
Nice thought but the only boat I am bringing is the one I continue on after the event to do a trip in. Ergo it might be something for the Big Lake(Superior) or Biscotasing.

Its a far cry from Maine..to PA and Canada is in the way..or convenient..however you look at it.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:28 AM   #9
Old Rivers
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I owned an X 17 "Wilderness tripper" several years ago. It was mostly fibergass but was reinforced with proprietary materials. It was an excellent canoe for tandem wilderness tripping; easy to paddle, fast, manueverable, tracked well, etc. all you want for intended purpose. I ended up selling it as my need for occasional solo paddleing & portaging became prominant.

Last edited by Old Rivers; 01-05-2009 at 01:28 PM..
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:46 AM   #10
zski
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i've got a cruiser and an x-17
there's no comparison. the cruiser paddles like a breeze compared to the x-17. unless the x-17 is loaded with gear the wind becomes a very formidable foe. not so with the cruiser. on another note. the x-17 WILL oil can on you without some type of load in the boat. the result is ugly. bring duct tape. i'm going to repair mine. install a couple of ribs so it doesn't happen to the next owner and sell it. Charlie W. said it right, it does everything about average but nothing really well. On second thought there was one trip in which we were required at one point to load the boat to the max. she shined with a 100% load. Still love the cruiser after all these years.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:19 PM   #11
charlie wilson
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Sawyer;

Tended to use the same partials for all their tandems, so the 190 cruiser was always firm in the bottom and the wider X-17 and 222 were often soft bottomed.

To be fair, I never liked the Lynn Tuttle Cruiser much either. While a high performance, race spec hull, it had/ has no rocker, the bow can not be drawn. It was a great boat for the 60's and 70's but it's day is done too.

Last edited by charlie wilson; 08-16-2010 at 08:41 PM..
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