The Solo is easy to maneuver and glides efficiently with a single or double bladed paddle. Only 44 pounds, yet it has a generous carrying capacity.
Whether you're out tackling a rushing stream or a glass-calm lake, a first timer or professional outfitter, a Grumman versatile double-ender is the right choice. Its wide beam and low profile gives stability and reduced wind resistance. And the double-ender is available in various light and standard weight models, 13 to 18 feet. A 17 ft. heavy-duty version is built specifically for camps and outfitters. Choose standard or shallow draft keels built to meet the needs of flat water canoeists or whitewater challengers.
What I wanted: A light boat, easy to lift , cartop, portage; low (no) - maintenance; reasonably stable (not "tender", decent tracking); no UV exposure issues (a cartopping concern here in the Arizona Sonoran Desert}; a little cargo capacity (backpacking size/weight camp kit, small cooler). Scott Morris at Grumman went far out of his way to help me find one of the few remaining "lightweight" versions (0.040/44lb./ out of production) in a dealer's inventory, and to ship it to me in AZ. It's been from about 1,200 ' above sea level at AZ''s Saguaro Lake, to about 9,000" (?) at Yellowstone, and Jenny Lake at the base of the Tetons, agile with either single or double-blade paddles, exceeding every requirement with every delightful deployment --- what's not to like?
I bought the Grumman Solo canoe about a year ago. I wanted something that was more durable than fiberglass and Kevlar and would last me a lifetime. No fading of plastic or wearing of the keel in fiberglass or Kevlar. I can carry it by myself. It is very stable and glides through the water easily. The Solo has surpassed all of my expectations. I love it!
The best thing about this boat is that it lives in the back of my pick-up, so its always ready to launch, gets loaded and unloaded half as many times as other canoes, and hits the water just about every day. After all, time on the water matters most to a fisherman.
I have added the following: one Down East rod holder; heavy duty ergonomic floor mats to quiet the hull and give traction to my feet or knees; and a six pound mushroom anchor which holds it anywhere, regardless of wind. I keep the anchor in a bag between my legs and sit on it to lower my center of gravity when drifting and casting for wipers, a hybrid of the striped bass and white bass, which is my primary target. These can also be caught trolling, hence the rod-holder.
The canoe is big enough to hold three rods, large net, tackle box, shoulder bag for sundries, and anchor. As far as paddling goes, I love it, although I am not out to win races or run rapids. Driving it around Kansas in my old red tuck does not make me look chic, but it sure makes me look iconic, and all who know boats, especially outdoorsmen, view it with fondness.
Two things about this little boat are very important: it will get you back home in a storm, and it tracks nicely to windward. Other than that, when you hook into a wiper, its a mighty fine ride.
I think the only solo boat that compares to it is the Mad River Serenade, which I love. But, I love my aluminum. I love my Grumman. And I love the 400 bucks in my pocket. I personally think this is one of the top solo canoes on the market. It's not so narrow that you need to say your hail marys everytime you get into it, like some other more narrow flat water boats. I think, for what I want-flat water and some streams, with canoe camping and day tripping, this boat on the top of my 19 yr old Volvo is a beautiful sight.
I love my Grumman and would love to get a new Grumman solo. As far as I am concerned, you can't go wrong with a Grumman. ('Paddle Harder!...I hear banjo music!')