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Name: tncook

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The Combi series are all geared towards dual tandem/solo use. I have two friends who have this boat and have spent a bit of time with it both solo and tandem. The first time I paddled this boat tandem I had just spent a week paddling 17'6" boats on an Algonquin trip. I took a look at this relatively tiny canoe and thought "I have shoes this big." I was surprised at how well this boat responded with me (210lb) in the stern and the owner (130lb) in the bow. The stern seat is almost at the middle of the boat and that helps trim the boat with two adults. Reversing paddling positions my weight brings the bow well into the water.

As a solo the canoe is as responsive as any other of Phils' hulls, just a bit wider than I like in a solo. I hope to get one of my own when I have children. This is a boat that kids can grow with. For two women this would be a hot freestyle tandem.

The middle Blackhawk Combi is a great canoe for most of the Midwest. It lacks the capacity needed in a tripping tandem, but is a great all around canoe that is at home here in Michigan. It is great on lakes of all sizes or on rivers so long as they only contain class I or II whitewater. The boat is small, but fast and responsive.

The 15'8" is not the best solo that Blackhawk made, but solo's better than any other tandem I have tried. As a solo tripper it would really shine. These are great boats that have not been made in some time now. If one pops up for sale you should only test paddle it if you can afford to buy it.

The Sojourn is surprisingly fast for a royalex hull. With a bent shaft it can fly, but I prefer to paddle it with a 'c' stroke. The stability is great. I usually paddle it tipped to the side in the Canadian style. Great boat at a great price. Dagger doesn't make canoes anymore, but you can probably find a Sojourn for 5-6 hundred.

I spent a week with the Winisk this summer in Algonquin and took it on big lakes and little winding creeks. As long as the boat was trim it tracked fine. Was able to reach cruising speed and maintain it easily. Initial stability was good, and secondary was great. Seemed kind of tipsy in the bow but took all of 3 minutes to get used to. Was able to solo this big boat and paddle with the gunnel on the water. Great Canadian canoe. Liked the Swift so much that the same summer I got a Kipawa which was much more suited where I live.

Bought my glass Kipawa and have never regretted it. With me being 210 and my girlfriend at 120, the bow slider makes this boat good for the two of us. The kneeling thwart is great for soloing this boat, and I have done as much solo paddling in it as I have tandem. The diff. rocker makes turning this boat seem like it's a foot shorter. This boat is versatile and I feel that it was a good choice for my first non-aluminum canoe. Next boat, a solo.