Ranger vs. Freedom 15' vs Freedom 17'

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woodnmusic
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Ranger vs. Freedom 15' vs Freedom 17'

Post by woodnmusic » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:40 pm

I'm looking to build my first canoe. Primarily I want to use it to go out on the lake while my family (wife & 3 young kids) are camping or for day trips on gentle rivers. I would also like to be able to canoe solo, and will be in effect with little kids at times.

I was thinking a 15' boat for ease of carrying and storage. I like the Haiwatha design and that I can use a double paddle, but I'm concerned about the stability number that has been given.

I also like the look of the Freedom boats and am wondering if they paddle well solo and/or solo with a double paddle. If the family ever does tripping it will be when the kids are old enough to have a second canoe so I'm not sure that I need the Freedom 17', but I'm open to thoughts on building the bigger boat.

The Ranger also looks like a good all around boat...

I appreciate any thoughts experienced builders/ canoe enthusiast can give!

Thanks.

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Cruiser
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Re: Ranger vs. Freedom 15' vs Freedom 17'

Post by Cruiser » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:19 pm

I went through the same thought process when I was deciding to build .... I wanted to solo sometimes, but still be able to tandem.

After a lot of research, i finally reached the conclusion, that you have to build the boat for your primary purpose, I didn't find a single design that does both without compromise. In my case I figured I would solo most, so I built the Freedom 15 Solo ( in 16' version) and am absolutely in love with the boat. I am just finishing up striping my second boat which is Kipawa (tandem) ... so the short story so I decided I needed a boat for each purpose .. the only decision then was which one first.

I am thinking hard about a Freedom 17 after the Kipawa, simply because the solo is such a well designed craft, I really want to see what the "big brother" is like. I had picked the Kipawa long before the Freedom was built, simply because I love that boat and have spent a lot of hours in the design.

Also, make sure you visit the project directories section here, there is a whole lot of great pics/notes about most of the designs .. there may even be one close to where you live, then you could go see them.



Brian

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woodnmusic
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Re: Ranger vs. Freedom 15' vs Freedom 17'

Post by woodnmusic » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:10 pm

Brian thanks for your thoughts on building a canoe for your primary purpose, which will be to go out on lakes or small sections of rivers at state parks where we camp. I hadn't really thought about building a second one later on...but with three kiddos I'll eventually need a second one anyway when they are teenagers :o)

I'm leaning toward the Freedom 15' currently. I read a blog of someone who extended it to 16' so he had a little more room.....

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Cruiser
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Re: Ranger vs. Freedom 15' vs Freedom 17'

Post by Cruiser » Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:04 pm

I stretched my Freedom Solo to 16', but of course that was covered by the plans. Stretching them just involves changing the station spacing a little bit, so that the total is what you want it to be.


Brian

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Ranger vs. Freedom 15' vs Freedom 17'

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:54 am

I always opt for the bigger boat. More capacity, and stability.
Nothing worse than too many people in a small boat, and then tipping it over, especially in cold water.
Besides the bigger boat can always be handled by one person, but two people in a small boat can be scary.

Just my two cents worth.

Good luck !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Ranger vs. Freedom 15' vs Freedom 17'

Post by Patricks Dad » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:09 pm

Given a choice between the Freedom 15 and the Freedom 17, I'd pick the Freedom 17. I've built the Freedom 15 and the Freedom Solo (15'). You will find the Freedom 17 to be much faster than the Freedom 15. The Freedom Solo won't be appropriate for a group. The Freedom 15 has plenty of capacity but its a bit wide effort my tastes and hence a bit slow. I love the canoe and it hangs over my bed (I smile every morning when I wake up) but I'd rather paddle a longer boat.

You could also consider the Redbird (or other symmetric hull design) if you want to paddle solo. I paddle the Redbird sitting backwards in the bow seat. This approach requires less weight to be placed in the front because the seat is closer to the middle of the canoe. It's also prettier than any of the Freedom designs (in my opinion).
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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