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Name: PEACE

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Thought I would update my review of the Solitude as I now have three years of use in all kinds of water; lakes, rivers and streams. I have spent over 100 days paddling this canoe. I have come to really appreciate the versatility of this canoe. It is fast enough that I use it to go upstream in a large river and maneuverable enough that I can catch eddies. Initially the secondary stability felt tender to me, but as I get more experienced that is no longer a concern. In fact I now paddle most of the time with the seat at the highest level, which is 11 inches off the bottom. In fact my butt is almost level with the gunwhale. The solitude I have is the ultralight kevlar version and is starting to show some wear on the hull but that is to be expected as I have maneuvered through some very rocky rivers. Not what I would recommend for the boat, but so far only the outer S glass has been scraped with nothing coming through to the kevlar.

I still would prefer a slightly narrower distance at the gunwhales for more efficient paddling. I am almost 100% bent shaft user and sit and switch. Also use a two bladed paddle (220cm) when going upriver. The boat will fly. The seat also slides and this is a great feature when handling wind and wave action. I do find the seat slides much too easily, maybe because I use a lot of leg push when I paddle. I have purchased clamps that I put on the slide rail, they are easy to adjust and prevent the seat from moving back further than I want while paddling.

All in all a real good canoe. Great for day trips and playing around, Great for fishing as it is very stable and I find that since I have become a much better paddler that I have no problem keeping up with my friends in 14-15 foot kayaks.

I have only 8 hours in the kayak in rough lake water so this is a preliminary review. The Fjord is a deep kayak with excellent primary and good secondary stability. With the reverse hard chines, I find the kayak turns very easy with little lean. It is a kayak that is easy to hold on edge, but I didn't find a point that is firmed right up. If you take the kayak to the point of lean where the water line is above the hull/deck joint the kayak becomes unstable quickly.

The seat and back band were very comfortable for me. As I mentioned it is a deep kayak, too deep to lay back on the back deck. That doesn't bother me as I don't know how to roll but would be a factor for others.

I have the kevlar version, with skeg, and it weighs 45 lbs. Very easy to carry and load as it is nicely balanced. Very nice kayak with generally good construction though not as neat and smooth inside as some others that I looked at. It does not leak into the bulkheads after repeated immersion, the kajak sport covers work good. I am 5'9" and 175 lbs and find the cockpit large and comfortable. I am 60 yrs of age and not particularly flexible but can get into the kayak by sitting seat first and drawing my legs in.

I paddled in windy conditions with lots of boat and sea doo traffic creating confusing waves. The kayak is very stable, tracks well. The skeg works well, however I found no need to use it as a slight lean brought the kayak around. Very little weathercocking which surprized me a little as it is a fairly deep craft.

My overall view is that this is a good kayak for conditions where you want enough capacity to take on a load and want very good maneuverability. I found the speed alright, I would say about the same as a CD Gulfstream which I have paddled quite a bit. In fact, despite the difference in hull design I found these two kayaks had a lot of similarity in handling, for me anyway.

This kayak is about two inches deeper than the Ellesmere or Pakesso, which it is said to be designed as the intermediate size of these two kayaks. Overall, I really like it so far, It will give me many hours and miles of satisfaction.

I have only 7 hours in my kevlar Fjord, and offer this review as preliminary to additional time spent in the kayak. I paddled an hour on flatwater and 6 hours on a lake with 20 mph winds and extreme choppiness due to motor boat and seadoo traffic.

I purchased the Fjord as a workout and primarily day use boat. It has very good primary stability with the shallow arch hull and what they call reverse hard chines. In the lake situation I found the kayak was very comfortable in conflicting wave action. It did not weathercock very much, a little lean looked after that. The skeg also worked well and the new and unique "dial" used by Boreal to adjust skeg depth worked very well.

The maneuverability is interesting with the reverse hard chines. The folks at Boreals factory told me that a lean of 15degrees is all that is required to turn, and I believe they are correct.They told me that edging to the point where the hull and deck join, and you have gone too far. This is the easiest turning kayak I have paddled at this length with a slight lean. Very good secondary stability, will stay on edge with little effort though there is not a point that it firms up. Stability got very nervous once I reached the point of angle when the water reached the edge of the cockpit coaming, it took aggressive sculling brace to stay upright.

The Fjord is a fairly deep kayak with lots of foot room. The depth and high rounded deck in front of the cockpit gave me a very dry ride. The seat and back support are comfortable.

Some slight nit picking. The foot braces are not evenly installed. I felt that I could not get them even and when I measured with a tape, sure enough, the foot brace sliders were not the same distance from the seat. The result is only about a half inch difference, but I did notice it.

Finally, I am a bit dissapointed that the dealer cut into the gel coat when taking off the wrapping. This is not a fault of Boreal Design, but does speak to lack of care on the dealers part. In comparison to other kayaks, I found the Fjord somewhat similar in handling to the CD Gulfstream.

I did talk via phone and e-mailed Boreal Design prior to purchasing the Fjord and they were very helpfull. Also returned my e-mail within 2 days.

I purchased the ultralight Solitude with sliding bucket seat, which can also be set at three heights. I have used it on large lakes, with considerable wave action due to wind and boat traffic and in these circumstances the canoe was great. This canoe has very high initial stability and fair secondary. I would prefer to be able to get it closer to the rails before it gets so tender. Wind doesn't bother this canoe very much at all, due to the low bow and stern height (16" and 14"), no rocker. I have taken on some water over the back when going with heavy waves. Great canoe for fishing and touring. It weighs 42 lbs. which is pretty heavy for an ultralight. I mainly use a sit and switch style of paddling and it is plenty wide for that type of paddling (28 1/2 inch gunwale width). I would prefer it about two inches narrower. All in all a good canoe, very well made, very comfortable.