Solo Boat

You don't know which boat you should build to suit your personal needs? Please post your questions here and our many contributors will surely have some good advice.
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:01 am

Solo Boat

Post by PineandHide » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:47 pm

I bought Canoecraft, finished it in a week, and am now making my way through Kayakcraft.
I've got some time this summer to fit a build in, but am having a bit of trouble deciding what to build.

I have an old St. Maurice 14' river canoe.
My paddling will be almost entirely on lakes.
I'd like something that tracks well.
The primary lake is usually fairly windy.
I tip the scales at ~300lbs.
Sitting is essential, as kneeling causes me to lose feeling in my feet and legs, even while being supported by the seat.
My parents live on a small lake which is where the boat will be used most of the time for short paddles, but I'd like the option to do some tripping with it.
If it is an entirely solo boat, I'm ok with that as that's how it will be used 99% of the time, but not against having a tandem and paddling in reverse.
I'd like to loft plans from the book, but it's not a big issue of mine.

My first choice was the Freedom 15, but being an asymmetrical tandem design, I'm not sure how well it will paddle solo from the stern, or in reverse from the bow? I know I can ballast the bow, but being as it will mostly be used for quick paddles, having to load ballast every time I want to take it out doesn't seem practical.

My second thought was the Bob's Special 15'. It seems to be large enough and has good primary stability so should handle sitting well. Lower ends reduce the effect of the wind that is common on the lake.

Other thought was the Ranger 15'. While I don't know the model of the St. Maurice that I have, I feel this would be a slightly larger version of it. The rocker combined with the wind of the lake makes for some interesting times when the gusts come along. While it's not a bad boat, I don't think I want a slightly larger version, but maybe my thinking is wrong.

I'm leaning towards the Bob's, but wanted to know what the thoughts were on the Freedom for solo, or if there were any other designs I should be looking at for a solo boat?

User avatar
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Solo Boat

Post by Cruiser » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:20 pm

Welcome to the forum.

Yours is the same question we all face when we decide to build our own .. you will likely get several points of view and in the end, have to decide what makes the most sense to you ... with that my $.02

For my first build, I initially was trying to find a tandem/solo boat and finally came to the realization that I didn't want to compromise the solo aspect, just to be able to occasionally tandem trip. So that shifted my thinking to a boat for each purpose, with the solo being first.

I picked the Freedom Solo and built it in the 16'3" configuration and I don't think I could have made a better selection to suit my needs. It's fast, tracks great, handles waves/weather well and has a solid load capacity. Like you, my knees are not a fan of kneeling for long, so I lowered the seat a bit and that increases the stability a bunch. I also added a set of foot braces which I think are almost a necessity on a solo.

I have the build posted here, but the recent PB crap, broke all the links .... I also did a detailed post for lofting the molds from tables. I can fix those if they are of interest to you.


User avatar
Patricks Dad
Posts: 1378
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:11 pm
Location: Warrenville, Illinois

Re: Solo Boat

Post by Patricks Dad » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:42 pm

I'm a fan of the Freedom Solo as well. I built the Freedom 15 before the Freedom Solo. As you note, the Freedom 15 is an asymmetric design and doesn't lend itself well to reverse paddling it solo. The Freedom Solo on the other hand has excellent lines and performs very well. It trips very well.
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618

Post Reply