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Old 11-04-2010, 05:21 PM   #1
NatalieS
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Looking for a lightweight pack canoe I can single paddle...

Hi everyone,

As you can see I'm a new member. I've been into paddling since I was a kid. I live in northcentral Florida (a good ways from the Adirondacks ) and I'm looking for a canoe to take out on the water here. I've seen great information on this forum. A lot of people know their stuff, so I would love to get some feedback on the type of boat I want.

I currently have a kayak (Hobie mirage sport) which is just way too heavy for me to transport. At a hull weight of 48 lb, I'm exhausted by the time I get to the water. I'm a gal in my 20s and I'm 5'5" and 120 lb. After doing some research I came across the pack style canoe (particularly smaller models in the Hornbeck, Hemlock, Savage River, and Wenonah lines). I like both the length of these (10-12') and the extreme light weight! Here's the thing.... I really prefer paddling with a single blade. I also prefer to sit in an elevated position off the bottom of the boat, to keep my butt dry and make single-blade paddling easier.

Since I don't want to use a double blade paddle, I realize the pack might not be a good match for me. What would the next lightest and smallest option be? I intend to use the boat for day trips around the small rivers and springs here in central FL. I won't pack much gear at all but I would like to take one or both of my 20 lb dogs if it's realistic (probably one at a time).

Out of all the boats I've looked at, I really like the Hemlock Nessmuk, but it does seem like a double-paddler.

I really appreciate any help you can provide. Unfortunately I can't make it up to the Northeast to demo many boats, so I'll probably have to make my decision based on what other people tell me to do. I've seen many recommendations for Placid Spitfires and Rapidfires, but they're out of my budget unfortunately. Maximum budget for me is around $1500.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:05 PM   #2
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you need something like this...


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Old 11-04-2010, 06:28 PM   #3
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Ask the folks at Hornbeck if they can elevate the seat. Placid offers a high seat for single blading on their pack canoes but as you have indicated your budget wont cover that.

I dont think that the Hornbeck gunwales are strong enough to hang a seat from but I could be wrong.

Vermont Canoe also makes a pack canoe.

Fox Worx makes a paddle to any shaft length you want.

http://www.foxworxpaddle.com/ With a 44 inch paddle (about..you will need to measure) you can single blade a pack canoe.

Alternatively you can buy a Zaveral straight shaft and cut the shaft to your length.

There are canoes that are far longer and still come in at around 30 lbs.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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I've always used a single blade paddle with the Hornbeck, standard seat arrangement. Never thought it was troublesome.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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Where's Charlie??
Mr. Wilson has a list compiled of the various sit n switch boats, as well as the pack boats and even some tandems. There's a lot of quality designs out there.
Maybe he can share that list?
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:44 PM   #6
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I've always used a single blade paddle with the Hornbeck, standard seat arrangement. Never thought it was troublesome.
True. Natalie wishes to be elevated however.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Where's Charlie??
Mr. Wilson has a list compiled of the various sit n switch boats..
Sit (or hit) and switch? Bite your tongue.... there are dozens of highly efficient single blade paddle strokes that are much more pleasant (though I concede as marginally slower) than the race mode of h&s. Even though I race canoes, I avoid that mode whenever I can and always use a more accomplished and comfortable stroke when not racing. I think Charlie might agree.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Where's Charlie??
Mr. Wilson has a list compiled of the various sit n switch boats, as well as the pack boats and even some tandems. There's a lot of quality designs out there.
Maybe he can share that list?
The OP had a length requirement. That narrows the list down a lot.

The budget for a 10-12 rules out Spit. It doesnt rule out lots of Hornbecks. Nor Vermont Canoes pack boat offerings.

Anyway here is a list of the solos. The OP had a weight limit too.

http://www.paddling.net/buyersguide/soloCanoes.html

The Hornbecks got left out..

http://www.hornbeckboats.com/

And the Tupper

http://vermontcanoe.com/tupper.aspx
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post

Anyway here is a list of the solos. The OP had a weight limit too.

http://www.paddling.net/buyersguide/soloCanoes.html
I guess I just don't keep up with the commercial boats...
From that list of 80 canoes, only 11 of them fit the stated budget...and 5 of those within the budget are heavier than the curent kayak that's already too heavy.
I really need to pay more attention to what's out there.
There must be some used, quality boats in her neck of the woods...
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:27 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your help and ideas. I know that my requirements are pretty specific. At the same time, I know that if I buy a boat that is cumbersome or too heavy, I just won't use it. I found that much out after buying my kayak, and I'm now trying to sell it to fund the canoe. This boat will be purely recreational. I want something that I can put on the car and into the water with as little effort as possible. I'd really like to stay under 20 lb.

Okay, a few questions...

Stripperguy, what model is the strip canoe in the picture above? I like the wide-base hull and it looks like the kind of sitting position I would love to have!

Randomscooter, when you use a single paddle with your Hornbeck, are you sitting on the bottom indian style, or kneeling, or what? I do like the Hornbecks a lot.

I've had my eye on Craigslist for a while for used boats. Unfortunately for some reason most of the canoes down here that end up for sale are big metal lugs. The really nice solo canoes very seldom show up for sale.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:33 PM   #11
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Natalie ...
Stripperguy builds his own boats ... so if it's got a model name/number, it's probably something he's given it himself!

Check out some of the other subforums for his detailed boat building reports, pics and all!
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
I guess I just don't keep up with the commercial boats...
From that list of 80 canoes, only 11 of them fit the stated budget...and 5 of those within the budget are heavier than the curent kayak that's already too heavy.
I really need to pay more attention to what's out there.
There must be some used, quality boats in her neck of the woods...
Yep. Actually if she can find mphelps3 on p'net he has a real good handle on canoe sales activity in her neck of the woods sorta. He is in Brooksville FL.

But your boat pic reminds me that indeed you can build your own. There are solo kit strippers available.

The Hornbecks have a lot of flare and single blading is a real reach unless you can get the seat a little up and heel the boat. If I was you (and I ain')t I would give them a direct phone call and ask them what they can do to raise the seat so you can single blade.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:29 AM   #13
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I believe that a boat that has enough size and strength to allow a high seat will end up weighing over 30lb. If that's too much, you'd better plan to sit low and use a kayak paddle. If the seat on a Hornbeck could be placed high, I'd worry about the stability. Of course, it's always warm there in Florida, right?

If you can tolerate 30+lb, and you don't need super high performance, there's the Old Town Pack or the Mohawk Solo 13, both under $1K. Not glamorous, but they do work.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:40 AM   #14
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Wenonah has the Argosy in 30# kevlar but it has a $2000 price tag.

Bell has the Yellowstone in kevlar at 29# but I'm sure the price is the same.

Both these boats are about 14'.

I think it might be tough to locate a used version of one of those boats.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:41 AM   #15
NatalieS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John P View Post
I believe that a boat that has enough size and strength to allow a high seat will end up weighing over 30lb. If that's too much, you'd better plan to sit low and use a kayak paddle. If the seat on a Hornbeck could be placed high, I'd worry about the stability. Of course, it's always warm there in Florida, right?

If you can tolerate 30+lb, and you don't need super high performance, there's the Old Town Pack or the Mohawk Solo 13, both under $1K. Not glamorous, but they do work.
Ooh I like the solo 13. If I could find one of those in teal I might be convinced to deal with the extra pounds.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:47 AM   #16
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Ooh I like the solo 13. If I could find one of those in teal I might be convinced to deal with the extra pounds.
O cr..ud. or. I sold one(teal Solo 13) last year to someone who I didnt think would be using it. He might have sold it.

You could put up a Wanted to Buy on paddling.net. I will be coming sorta South in January if you found anything. Sorta South means South Carolina.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:57 AM   #17
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NatalieS- I understand you are looking at canoes that are light weight but thought I would share this site with you. I know not in the price range you are looking for. Its a row boat built off the guideboat style from the adirondaks. They are sturdy and can carry a good sized load. Has a flat bottom with a raised seat.

www.adirondack-guide-boat.com/packboats.html
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:57 AM   #18
Rich Lockwood
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I own one

I have had a boat for 2 years that sounds perfect for what you want. It,s a 11'6" Savage River Wee Lassie with a seat hung from the gunnels. I have the "heavy duty" layup and it weighs 15#. I bought it to replace a Hornbeck because I wanted to sit and kneel and use a single blade. I have used in on many ADK pack boat trips. To my knowledge this may be the only boat avalible like this. I wiegh 175# and haul a 30# pack,so it should handle your weight requirments easily.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:36 AM   #19
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NatalieS,
That boat in my photo was built by me...it is a DY Special, designed by David Yost.
At nearly 17 feet, it's a bit long for your needs, but it does weigh on 31 Lbs, strippers can be quite lightweight and yet very sturdy.
My cost to build it was about $500.
I am assuming you can walk upright, so you already have sufficient skills to build your own boat, it's really not too difficult.
Hope you find what your looking for...
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:46 AM   #20
NatalieS
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Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post
O cr..ud. or. I sold one(teal Solo 13) last year to someone who I didnt think would be using it. He might have sold it.
I could put up a Wanted to Buy on paddling.net. I will be coming sorta South in January if you found anything. Sorta South means South Carolina.
I'll keep my eye out on paddling.net, thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhomer View Post
NatalieS- I understand you are looking at canoes that are light weight but thought I would share this site with you. I know not in the price range you are looking for. Its a row boat built off the guideboat style from the adirondaks. They are sturdy and can carry a good sized load. Has a flat bottom with a raised seat.
www.adirondack-guide-boat.com/packboats.html
That is indeed a cool little boat but not quite what I need. I'm not sure that boat could negotiate the mangrove trails we have down here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Lockwood View Post
I have had a boat for 2 years that sounds perfect for what you want. It,s a 11'6" Savage River Wee Lassie with a seat hung from the gunnels. I have the "heavy duty" layup and it weighs 15#. I bought it to replace a Hornbeck because I wanted to sit and kneel and use a single blade. I have used in on many ADK pack boat trips. To my knowledge this may be the only boat avalible like this. I wiegh 175# and haul a 30# pack,so it should handle your weight requirments easily.
Turtle
Turtle, I would love to see pictures of your Savage River with the modified seat. Do you have any on the forum?

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NatalieS,
That boat in my photo was built by me...it is a DY Special, designed by David Yost.
At nearly 17 feet, it's a bit long for your needs, but it does weigh on 31 Lbs, strippers can be quite lightweight and yet very sturdy.
My cost to build it was about $500.
I am assuming you can walk upright, so you already have sufficient skills to build your own boat, it's really not too difficult.
Hope you find what your looking for...
It's a really pretty boat. I don't know the first thing about building a strip canoe! I've heard it's easy to do but I'm pretty limited on indoor space and don't have a garage. I might have to read up about the process, it sounds so cool.
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