Peregrine (Falcon Series) Description
A two model sized series of solo touring canoes designed for lake country travel. Agility and tracking are blended in these canoes, which are capable of covering long distances with heavy personal loads in many types of water conditions. They paddle easily, covering the same daily mileage as tandem canoes. Innovative above water-line shapes give these canoes increased final stability without sacrificing seaworthiness or comfort. Note the load capacity variations of the two canoes. The Kestrel is the smaller hull and has less wetted surface than the Peregrine allowing it to maintain equal hull speed with a lighter, less strong paddler. The assumption is that the total load will also be less. These are safe, seaworthy, comfortable canoes that will reward appreciative paddlers with outstanding performance.
Read and submit reviews for the Peregrine (Falcon Series).
Peregrine (Falcon Series) Specs and Features
- Seating Configuration: Solo
- Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
- Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
- Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Hemlock Canoe Works
Peregrine (Falcon Series) Reviews
I bought the Peregrine…
I bought the Peregrine without a test paddle, something I was more than a little worried about but given the history of the design and knowing a few canoes of similar design I decided to go for it. Prior to this canoe, I've owned three Bell Magic's, a Mad River Independence, a Mad River Traveler, and Bell Morningstar. I currently also own a Swift Keewaydin 16 tandem. I had strongly considered buying another Magic as I do love the way they handle but don't love the aesthetics. Despite my changing my mind a few times on what options I wanted, Dave Curtis built the boat exactly as I had finally had settled on. I had two other canoes built from different manufactures where that was not the case. I met one of Dave's employees in Erie, PA to pick up the canoe which saved me six hours of driving. Unfortunately, the canoe was slightly damaged along the way. So, Dave rebuilt the canoe for me and the construction is rock solid, there appears to be zero flex in the hull and even tying it down on my car is a different experience from my past canoes. I use rope and do not over tighten my tie down. But, I don't think it really matters with the Hemlock build unless you use some type of lever you're not going to hurt this canoe. It's nice not having to worry about it. It also has the best woodwork I've ever seen. The slotted straight-grained ash gunwales and walnut decks are incredible.
The Peregrine has great secondary stability to the point where I really had to force the rail down to the water to test it. I find it a little tender when the rail is right on the water but that is likely a function of my stiff hips and the fact that the canoe is leaned over quite a bit when placed in this position (my dog is usually pressed hard against the side of the canoe when heeled over). I'm still learning about the Peregrine’s handling after having paddled it for only a few months. A feeling of stability is important to me because my 45-pound dog rides along with me. My dog often moves side to side, dips her head over for a drink and stands up and moves around even in waves. I’ve not had any problems with her moving around and shifting her weight, I do have to react to her movements to counterbalance sudden shifts but it has not been a challenge. The Peregrine also handles her weight well as she moves from being close to me to being closer toward the front thwart. Only when she rests on the front thwart do I have to lean back to adjust for her weight being too far forward.
I especially enjoy paddling when the wind is blowing in the mid twenty miles per hour range and the Peregrine handles winds in this range well when paddled into the wind. I found control strokes were needed only when paddling downwind when we would take the wind on a quarter. My downwind experience could be more challenging with my dog adding a little weight to the bow as she sits in front of me. So, my downwind experience may not be representative of the boat in general.
I’m very pleased with my Peregrine in Premium+ layup, it is light and fast. I typically use a bent shaft paddle and kneel and switch. My typical cruising pace by GPS is about 4 mph with my dog and about 4.5 mph without my dog.
I bought the Peregrine…
I bought the Peregrine without a test paddle, something I was more than a little worried about but given the history of the design and knowing the many canoes of similar design I decided to go for it. Prior to this canoe, I've owned three Bell Magic's, a Mad River Independence, a Mad River Traveler, and Bell Morningstar. I currently also own a Swift Keewaydin 16 tandem. I had strongly considered buying another Magic as I do love the way they handle but don't love the aesthetics. Despite my changing my mind a few times on what options I wanted, Dave built the boat I finally had settled on. I had two other canoes built from different manufactures where that was not the case.
I met one of Dave's employees in Erie, PA to pick up the canoe which saved me six hours of driving. Unfortunately the canoe was damaged along the way. So, I'll have to make the eight hour round drive again to pick up the replacement canoe. I'm not excited about having to make the long drive but the silver lining is that I am changing the layup from Premium Plus to Premium Lite. I found that the Premium Plus is really built way stronger than I should ever need. It's construction is rock solid, there appears to be zero flex in the hull and even tying it down on my car is a different experience from my past canoes. I use rope and do not over tighten my tie down. But, I don't think it really matters with the Hemlock build unless you use some type of lever you're not going to hurt this canoe. It's nice not having to worry about it. It also has the best woodwork I've ever seen outside my 1980's built MR Indy. The ash gunwales and walnut decks are incredible. There are a few minor blemishes in the carbon Kevlar fabric but I think that's understandable in a hand layup.
The Peregrine has great secondary stability to the point where I really had to force the rail down to the water to test it. I find it a little tender when the rail is right on the water but that is likely a function of my stiff hips and the fact that the canoe is leaned over quite a bit when placed in this position. I'm still learning about the canoe and will update the review after my first loaded wilderness trip later this summer. It is a very dog friendly canoe.
Just got back from a week…
Although it may be useful to…
I didn't spend much time shopping around for solo boats because Hemlock is so close to me and I could paddle them as often as I wanted at demo nights. My first time in a Peregrine I had no interest in even buying a solo canoe. I took it out just to go out for a paddle with someone else who was in a Kestrel. I was a bit underwhelmed by my first paddle in the boat but I quickly learned it wasn't the boats fault. I wasn't very proficient with a solo stroke or heeling a narrow boat so I found it a bit hard to get good speed and turn. That said, I spent a good two hours out in it and never felt compromised. I got around where I needed to go and was able to switch between kneeling and sitting. I had been in this boat for a short time before this and also paddled the Eaglet solo, a larger and wider boat than the Peregrine.
After a month or two I began to get the urge to seriously consider buying a solo canoe. I'd paddled my tandem solo and felt more comfortable doing so. The attraction was a lighter and sleeker hull that I could use on long carries without as much effort.
When continuing my testing, I decided maybe I should try a Kestrel. This was based on my lukewarm feeling for the Peregrine based on earlier paddles. I am a bit large for a Kestrel, weighing in at an average of 200lbs and standing 5'-1O". Dave assured me that larger paddlers than myself could handle the small boat no problem. After my first test with the Kestrel I was in love. The boat did everything I wanted it to! It turned, accelerated fast and handled wind and waves with ease. Because of my lack of experience in a solo boat I was urged by others to keep trying the Kestrel or consider a Peregrine for extra stability.
My next test day I soon found out why. I found it difficult to maneuver myself around the cockpit of the smaller craft and soon found myself in the water! It was then I decided to give the Peregrine another look.
I soon found that I had come a ways in terms of my stroke and confidence in a solo boat and the Peregrine seemed to do everything very well. I also found I could be quite aggressive with moving about in the cockpit and switching between sitting and kneeling with no concerns of falling in... this was an added bonus.
Another day of testing with the Peregrine and I decided I would buy one. It is a very good beginners boat I would say. When you are a bit green it won't bite you too hard and it rewards you when you push it a little farther. I thought the boat was slow at first but it is actually rather quick as has a sick glide. It is, as others have said, secretly fast.
All in all, an awesome solo boat for any ability level and for those who are larger and/or want to carry a big load. Not quite the sports car that the Kestrel is, but a sleek cruiser none-the-less. I opted to pick up a new-old-stock Kevlar hybrid weighing in at 33lbs that Dave had listed on his website.
I have had my Peregrine for 2…
I have now had my Peregrine…
My Peregrine is a 2008 model in the expedition layup. I bought it for extended trips that might involve dropping the canoe by accident on sharp rock and lining for portage-less areas. I needed something tougher than a Kevlar only layup.
It is pleasant to be able to cruise at 4 mph effortlessly. Leaned to the rail, it turns almost in its own length. I used it on the Noble Hammock water trail in Florida which has a couple of hundred turns on itself in two miles.
A couple of complaints. The stern is sticky. When the boat started to swing off downwind on the Gulf of Mexico, it took some sharp stern draws to kick it back in line... Weighting forward helped but the paddle reach is therefore father. Peregrine could probably use some more stern rocker.
Mine is a two tone boat. The tape that delineates the white from the green came off with the first rub against a rock. Frankly I would rather dispense with the tape. However the delineation of white and green is far from straight and has a uncomfortable wave in it. I would not reorder a two tone color combo, but the white bottom does hide scratches.
Flipping the hull over reveals there is a small hog in the keelline. In theory that should affect performance but all it does is make me not worry about scratches in the boat. Its not a perfect boat so I will wilderness trip without worrying about ruining it.
I have the Ed's bucket seat. Its well worth the price.
The Peregrine that I own is a…
I've paddled this canoe on small rivers, canals, ponds and large lakes. It handles all these conditions without any problems. I've had it loaded with gear and a dog and it still paddles fine. I haven't had it out on a large lake with sizeable waves yet. It is a good dog boat especially if the dog can sit just in front of the paddler.
I paddled a Merlin II previously and the Peregrine seems to have better initial stability and tracks better. If I get tired of kneeling I can sit and still feel stable. I use a Zaveral paddle and am able to use the hit and switch method for speed or just paddle on one side with a modified J stroke. This is a very versatile boat that paddles well with or without a load. It is heavier than the Merlin but much more durable so I really can't complain.
I have spent 30 years…
That was one year and hundreds of paddled miles ago. In that time I have learned that I really am good at this and lament not having jumped to a dedicated solo years ago. Mine is about 34lbs. and performs as advertised, (a great lake tripper). I am 5'-8" 162lbs. and prefer kneeling with a single blade straight shaft paddle. On a recent lake trip carrying 65lbs. of gear I was surprised to have covered 13 miles in 4 hours of casual paddling. This included a portage around a dam and several stops because fellow paddlers wanted to admire my canoe. The same trip had miles of wilderness river with hairpin turns, log jams, and beaver dams all negotiated without difficulty. This canoe has performed beyond my expectations, secretively fast, maneuverable enough, and light. I would give it a 10 if I believed perfection by humans was possible.