"best" tripping boats?

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"best" tripping boats?

Post by Sir Adam » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:50 am

I'm curious what everyone believes are the "best" multi-day tripping OC2's. Mixed whitewater and flatwater, so it is a tough ask for a boat (maneuverable but not too much of a pig on flat water). I've read that the Blue Hole Cumberland / Evergreen Starburst is one of the best in a few places, but I suspect there are other favorites as well - what are your experiences?

Thank you ahead of time for any and all thoughts. I'm doing more multi-day tripping with the family these days than class IV / V boating with friends, but I'd like to do a few easy WW trips with the kids too now that they may be old enough (Petawawa next year perhaps...).

So far I've come up with potentially the AC / DC (that I'm very familiar with) and the Echo Starlight (Starburst remake) (I've been very impressed with the Echoee).
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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by billhay4 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:47 pm

I've got a Pocket Canyon that is a fine multi-day boat. I've only paddled it solo, but it is a two person boat. If carrying space is a concern, you could consider the Canyon itself.
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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by milkman » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:54 pm

You might want to check out the Old Town Appalachian. It's a good tripper with up to class III whitewater capabilities.

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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by old and in the way » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:17 pm

Mad River Explorer
"As long as there are young men with the light of adventure in their eyes or a touch of wildness in their souls, rapids will be run." -Sigurd Olson

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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by Sir Adam » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:52 am

old and in the way wrote:Mad River Explorer


Ha! Somehow I knew you'd say that...

Looks like they are bringing it out in T-Formex....
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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by Peter K. » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:32 pm

My "normal" favourite is the Esquif Canyon --which is one of the several Blue Hole successors. It has a blunter bow than the Starburst which is based on the same hull which makes it dryer, although it tracks marginally worse. Both boats usually need some resetting of factory fittings. For some reason, Starburst bow seats are inevitably too far forward and you have to buy to new (wider) seat to move it a couple of inches back. The Canyon thwarts end up being too close together for barrels if you have a decent yoke -- but thwarts are cheaper to move than a seat.

However, for long trips in the North I really like the 17' Trailhead Prospector. Lots of room for gear and enough rocker to make it easy to manoeuvre.

I also like the 17' Pakboat because you can actually get it to places you want to go as excess luggage instead of freight. The handling characteristics are different from hardshell boats in that they caterpillar over big standing waves and torque into eddies. However, they will get you where you want to go.

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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by Dr John » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:52 pm

The Explorer, Appalachian and Canyon are all good choices, but my choice would be the Swift Dumoine, or the Yukon if you have a really big load. I've had a Dumoine for years. It's done everything that I ask with style (well except for an ill fated trip down Zoar Gap last year, but that wasn't the boat's fault). It can haul a big load, it's surprisingly fast on flats and it has the rocker and flair to handle Class III well. A good team can really maneuver it well, too. You can lean it to the rails and bring it back up, plus it gets more stable with a load. From the specs you might expect that it's not a great flat water performer but it's really easy to paddle. In fact, I have a flat water trip planned in the Adirondacks this year and I'll take the Swift. If you can find one, you deserve to give it a try.

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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by Sir Adam » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:40 am

Thank you all for the ideas- more (fun) research to do:)

I'm leaning towards getting a more WW "friendly" boat; I have a wonderful 18' tandem tripping canoe already. If it was a little tougher layup, or my paddling partner was a little bigger (she'll be 9 next year:) ) I'd just use what we have and stay off the III's.

It sounds like the Starburst and it's derivations are one route to go, and the 17' boats (Dumoine, etc...) another. Hopefully the opportunity will appear to paddle a few different boats.

Has anyone here had any experience with the Starlight yet? I find the concept intriguing (and the price a little frightening, but I've been able to justify some great boats the past couple of years (still far cheaper than a Disney vacation, and last far longer:) ))
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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by DougB » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:16 am

Ive tripped with Dumoines Explorers and Prospecters too but have to agree with the Starburst and Canyon as the preferred. Both have a good combination of capacity, maneuverability and speed. Between these two I have slight preference for the Starburst as it somehow feels faster. Like Peter pointed out, the bow seat in the later models was too far forward. I had to move my last one back about 2".

I have done all my ww trips in solo boats the last 10 years. As I look to move back to tandem tripping I am considering the Starlight as well. I took my son down the local river in my Royalex Starburst last weekend and had forgotten how brutally heavy it is. Not as tough as I used to be.

For anyone interested I may be selling a like new outfitted Evergreen Starburst in the next months.

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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by wildwaterc2 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:14 pm

I can't think of a better all around hull shape than the Blue Hole Starburst for what you are describing. I'd not heard of a Starlight before but it sounds great.

I have quite a few miles in a Dagger Legend also - the Starburst is faster and I like it a lot better, but there are a lot of Legend's out there and they are not unreasonable for what you are describing.

I've never paddled a Wenonah Cascade but that might be interesting also. CanoeColorado shows them in composite also. http://www.canoecolorado.net/canoes.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by milkman » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:17 pm

For whitewater trips of a week or more, I use my Dagger Legend unless there are a lot of Class IV rapids, in which case I take my Dagger Dimension. The Legend is great for Class I-III, and I've also run Class IV rapids in it. It has enough rocker and a bulbous bow to handle most rapids, plus it's got a lot of width throughout its length. This width enables it to carry much more gear than the Dimension.

Rivers I've done in the Legend include high water runs of the Deso-Gray section of the Green and Yampa/Green, plus normal level runs of the Owyhee, Tatshenshini/Alsek, and Nahanni (starting at the Moose Ponds). Portaging the boat (85 pounds) 3/4 miles around Virginia Falls wasn't much fun, so if you're going to do lake to lake portages, I'd factor that in my decision on any boat.

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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by Rand C1 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:20 pm

Souris River Quetico 17. I mean if your expedition traveling and you got a run some WW with a loaded boat.
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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by Old_Guy » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:57 am

I can't vote for just one canoe, but my choices would be a vote for either Old Town Appalachian for up to class 2+, more rapid river waters than lakes. Or an Old Town Tripper for up to class 2, expecting more flat water and wind than all day on the river with rapids. The choice would depend on how much rapids, flat water, and wind you would expect on your trip.

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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by Sir Adam » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:15 am

Thank you for all the replies - I greatly appreciate it.

We're just back from the Bow trip (Moose River) out of Jackman, ME. Pretty much all flatwater (and boney rips... low water right now:( ). The 5 of us (4 plus the dog:) ) had a great time though. Given how much our daughter enjoyed the quick water sections (and our annual Hudson Whitewater Derby racing) I'll be planning some river trips for next year I suspect.

And for the curious: http://www.echopaddles.com/echoee/starlight/
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Re: "best" tripping boats?

Post by wildwaterc2 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:03 pm

Aside about the hull name - are you sure that it was really sold as the Blue Hole Cumberland? I've seen that written and repeated multiple places but never seen actual documentation of that. I have several catalogs from Blue Hole that advertise it as the Blue Hole Starburst, and saw many Blue Hole Starbursts on the river when I was a beginning whitewater paddler in the 80s. But I've never seen a Blue Hole Cumberland.

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