Best design for solo and tandem 1-3 day trips

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Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:05 am

Best design for solo and tandem 1-3 day trips

Post by djramo » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:44 am

Here's what I want to use my canoe for. Sometimes solo, sometimes tandem, 1-3 day trips on northern michigan rivers, such as the Ausable. Can Bob's special handle 2 - 200lb. paddlers and a couple days of gear? On the flip side can the prospector be handled by a solo novice paddler? Anyone take a Bob's Special on a couple day trip with two big guys and around 80 lbs. of gear (500lbs. total). Any advice appreciated.
Thanks, Dave

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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:37 pm
Location: georgia

pushing comfortable limits

Post by sedges » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:07 am

I have much experience with the prospector both loaded to the limit tandem and solo.

First I would say the Bobs Special is too small for your tandem needs. The Prospector is at the limit. If you are traveling rivers you are going to be dealing with shoals and sandbars and other shallow features. Loading a boat to the maximum in that situation means you are going to bumping bottom way more often than you care to because your draft will be 6-7 inches or more. You would have much more enjoyment out of a larger canoe in river situations. The Nomad 17 or especially the Freedom 17/9 would serve you well.

Also, while the prospector is known for its capacity, it will feel small and vulnerable with two large people unless you are skilled AND used to paddling together. My partner and I pushed 430 and carried 120 of gear on a 10 day BWCA trip. The prospector did it with grace, but took a beating getting near shore at camps and portages because of the draft at that load. It was also at the point of getting uncomfortable in big waves. We built a canoe very much like the Freedom 17/9, actually a little bigger, and really enjoy the seaworthiness of that style of hull.

Unfortunately, neither of those are going to be very much fun as solo. My strong suggestion, to get the most pleasure out of you paddling(and that is what its all about) build the tandem that meets your needs well and build a dedicated solo.

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