Most Recent Reviews
I recently purchased the Magic Solo canoe in the Starlight/aluminum layup. It is a 16 footer, very very light. I paddle it with a kayak paddle as I have recently switched from several 17 foot kayaks to the canoe. Years ago I was a hit and switch marathon canoe racer. Single blade canoe blades just don't do it for me anymore. Kayak paddles are faster and track better. So this boat is quite fast. With a kayak paddle I accomplished a 95 minute 9 miler on an Ohio River race with kayak paddle. Tracking was great. Despite its ultralight layup there was no oil canning of the hull. The boat easily went through the tumultuous wake at the start with the wake of all the boats taking off, and later a speeding police boat racing upriver for a rescue. My butt was fine the first 45 minutes on the cane seat but became uncomfortable the last 45 minutes such that I was squirming to keep comfortable but I had this same problem in my different kayaks as I paddle about an hour a day 4 days a week. But in the canoe there was more space to allow for more leg positions. I'm thinking about trying to briefly intermittently kneel to get off my butt at times. The salesman said this boat could easily handle a dog which is another reason I switched from kayak to canoe. That's my next test for this boat. So I'm quite happy with the Magic. Why? It is very light, fast, a good tracker with a kayak paddle and narrow enough with tumblehome so that the kayak paddle is very efficient, and stable through motorboat wake.
I'm offering a review of the Osprey Standard by Pygmy Boats. It's from a stitch and glue plywood kit. I don't know the individual who built mine as I got mine off a guy in Charleston, SC, thru eBay and he had had it lying in his porch for 5-6 yrs after buying it off another fellow. I don't think it was ever used because the surface was nearly flawless. It's not quite 16' long and < 50 lbs. It's fairly easy to lift on and off my RAV-4 where I keep it. I haul it upside-down on Malone Seawings so I don't need a cockpit cover. Afterall if it's not on the car it's not going to be used. I use mine about 5 days a week for 3-6 miles a paddle. I paddle deep rivers and lakes so I'm not interested in whitewater or ocean surfing. I'm what Brian Shulz of Cape Falcon boats (see his LPB video) almost disparagingly calls a "fitness paddler". Yes, I put my feet to the foot braces, raise the knees and crank out 5+ mph. Performance-wise this boat tracks and tracks and tracks. And without a rudder or keg. And it's pretty fast, too. And it's very stable. My local river carries coal and oil barges and fast ski boats which at times stir up almost ocean type waves and the Osprey has no difficulty staying afloat- it just comfortably bobs in the water with the barge wake. I can get in and out easily from a beach by stepping over and into it or at dockside by simply stepping down into it. Since it tracks so well it doesn't make sharp turns. Less sharp turns are accomplished fairly easily by leaning. But I prefer tracking over turning so it suits my style.