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Under rated boats...

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:41 am
by Sir Adam
I was thinking of all the boats in the collection today, and all the discussion over the years of the "best" boat (here, Facebook, other forums, etc...).

Admittedly it very much depends on what you are looking for - two of my long term favorite boats are the Shaggy Sith and Frachella designed Viper C1. Both great river running boats that play well. But you are all mostly familiar with them.

So what other gems are out there? The Hornet is a decent boat. As is the Descender. Folks are picking up on the Storm Chaser these days.

But the boat the sticks out in my mind as a "great" boat that no one ever mentions is the Millbrook Amoeba. Front and side surfs far better than you'd expect, FAST, and responsive. You won't squirt it (too high volume), and as much as that is generally what I've leaned to in the past I've come to appreciate some volume when surfing.

So - two questions: How else has paddled an amoeba, and what did you think?


What other "under rated" boats can you think of (doesn't have to be C1, just a Boat)?

Re: Under rated boats...

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:59 pm
by Roy
How about an under-acknowledged boat?

I believe if one could do a design DNA test on all North American hard-chined, asymetrical-rockered, C-1 and OC1 hull shapes...there would be lots of Max II DNA in them. The designers of the Frachella Viper, Twister, and Defiant will flat-out tell you they snagged cross sections from either the Cuda or the Bat. As far as the other hard-chined boats, the link might not be stated, but...

I don't have any idea about how the European designers came to hard chines.

I have never seen a Prijon Sanna K-1...said to be the start of the Max II cut, paste, grind job. Here's some pics: ... ybo-307392

As an aside, the Max II is a great, fast, comfortable river-runner for those who need a full 70 cm boat. Surfs great on large low-angle waves.

There seems to be two versions. I am pretty sure the original was tweaked by Apple...lowering the deck a bit and adding to the stern rocker. I have owned both versions...but, I never had them in the same place, side-by-side.


Re: Under rated boats...

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:51 am
by Kelly-Rand
I'll throw in the Arguemax C2 as an un-rated boat. There are so few of these around but it was my first C2 experience and I was hooked. Only paddled it a few times as my partner and I live 600 miles apart, but the hard chines made it very predictable.
Outfitting the Arguemax
Surfing the North Branch
This was at the 2004 Armada and our first time in the boat. I think I heard the boat was a stretched Batmax. It was narrow enough that I could roll it without my partners help other than tucking up to the deck. We only paddled it a few more times before getting a larger boat, a Valley Mill Patriot that was not as much fun. It was rock solid but just didn't have that snappy feel. Until recently, Storm Giant, US made recreational C2's were only available as hand me downs. I know there are still racing hulls that can be made to order, but it is a big commitment for most occasional C2 teams.

Re: Under rated boats...

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:42 pm
by clt_capt
The Gemini C2 is definitely one of those under-rated boats - one of the first center hole C2s.

The ends were pretty fragile, but if you trimmed a foot off each end, they made great river runners.

I was also a big fan of the Triumph C2 (Fritz and Lecky Haller) - it was a follow-on to the Argumax with enough volume to river run, but could still pivot.

Also a huge fan of pretty much anything Franky Hubbard designed

Re: Under rated boats...

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:37 am
by Mike W.
My top two are the Viper and Sith. Neither are under rated. The Sith is my favorite for surfing. I've been asked if it was designed for my local wave.

The Viper is fast, surf's well on the river and ocean, plus I can stern squirt it on flatwater. It's my go to boat for big, scary stuff.

How many Amoebas have been built? I tried Adam's at an armada and really liked it. It's faster that I thought it would be, but I couldn't stern squirt it. The short length should make it surf the waves that the Viper won't fit on.

Re: Under rated boats...

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:29 pm
by mkoeppe
My husband and I had great fun in our Gemini V C2. We borrowed the mold from Steve Chamberlain with Philadelphia Canoe Club. Built the boat ourselves with Wilmington Trail Club paddlers in 1985. I've attached some pictures. We had a lot of fun in the boat for several years. Swimmers on the Yough, Tohickon slalom 1992, Ender at Calamity Rock 1985

Re: Under rated boats...

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:47 am
by Kelly-Rand
Oh, so much fun can be had in a C2.
The Gemini is a nice looking boat. Sharpe edged without much vertical chine.

Re: Under rated boats...

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:48 pm
by poetry_heckler
I just took my new-to-me Descender out for a spin on the Mongaup yesterday and it was fast and fun and everyone thought I was some kind of time traveller. It was my first time in a C1, ever, and I am finding it hard to walk normally the day after. I got a foam roller and some edibles, so I think I'll be okay.

My experience being very limited, I can't weigh in on how underrated anything is. Being on a river is underrated. Any river.

I'd like to try other boats. How would I go about finding an Amoeba for a test drive? Looks like a good cruiser.

Re: Under rated boats...

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:32 am
by Kelly-Rand
A picture of a Descender would be nice.

As for the Amoeba, I don't think very many were made. I only know of two, one in Glen Falls and the other in Concord NH. You could contact Millbrook boats and see if Kaz knows of any others, and he would know.