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Rockstar

by Bell Canoe Works

Reviews

I bought this canoe 3 years ago. I like the Bell Rockstar…

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I bought this canoe 3 years ago. I like the Bell Rockstar a lot. The only small issue I have with it is one which I'm sure every Royalex canoe has, which is that it marks easily. Performance-wise though the Rockstar is great. It is easily maneuvered and yet travels along quickly enough. I think it a pretty much go everywhere boat.

My Rockstar is Blackgold with aluminum trim. It is solid & well…

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My Rockstar is Blackgold with aluminum trim. It is solid & well constructed. The thwarts & drops are made of walnut while the handles are ash with ABS end caps. Seat is cane. No yoke. It is very stiff.

Dimensions: Length 15'6", L/W ratio 6.2, max width 31", gunwale width 27", Rocker 2.5" bow & 1.5" stern, 32 lbs.

This solo canoe is an excellent choice for those taking canoe trips with variable terrain; lakes, rivers, portages. When fully loaded with 300 lbs the canoe handles well, but realize that because it is an all-around-performer, that it's not the nimblest, nor most maneuverable, or straightest tracking. However, it is definitely a "Jack-of-all-trades" able to adequately handle lakes, rivers, & mild whitewater. Those using this boat on larger, windy lakes should consider using a cover, though. It's also easily portaged with a removable yoke.
One of the best solo tripping boats out there!

My Royalex Bell Rockstar is my favorite canoe to use paddling small…

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My Royalex Bell Rockstar is my favorite canoe to use paddling small streams and casual paddling. It tracks great and turns easily. Unless you have small feet, it is difficult to kneel under the standard seat. Initial stability is somewhat tipsy sitting, so I did lower the seat about 1.5 inches. Carries my hound and some overnight gear and never get a drop over the bow or side.

I purchased a Bell RockStar in the Kevlight Material 32#. I…

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I purchased a Bell RockStar in the Kevlight Material 32#. I bought it for it's Capacity and Rocker. It is deeper than a Magic, and I wanted that feature, and a little wider. I took my 65# lab Molly with me on a 7 day 6 night solo in the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park in Ontario. It had Plenty of room for my CCS Explorer Pak, My CCS Rucksack and Molly rode in the front. It is a true joy to paddle.
I am actually contemplating the same canoe in Royalex for the river.

I purchased a Rockstar in Blackgold with full wood trim about 7…

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I purchased a Rockstar in Blackgold with full wood trim about 7 months ago. I like a narrow paddling station so cut the thwarts down to narrow beam by about 2" (25" at gunnel). This made initial stability a bit tippy but secondary was still very good. I also lowered the seat about 2" which increased overall stability. Boat handled beautifully in all conditions on flatwater, I am not into whitewater anymore but expect it would do fine up to class III with experienced paddler and added flotation. Because I paddle most of the time with a 60# golden retriever who gets real excited seeing fish/game I decided to make another big change to the boat. I relocated seat aft about 18" from stock, retd width to normal and added a portage yoke at center. Now I have an even narrower paddling station, better balance with dog more forward, carrying yoke and because dog is in a narrower section of boat less effect when dog gets excited. I also like the big deck space now open to fishing gear and other stuff. Only negative to this change is when heading into the wind there is less leverage from the aft paddling location. I can overcome this by switching to a kayak paddle. I call this my "after-burner".

I love the look of the all-wood trim but have already found maintenance to be a bit of a chore. Besides oiling the wood I have had to re-tighten screws several times.

I have owned several Bell and Wenonah solo canoes over the years and truly believe the Rockstar is the best one.

I purchased the Rockstar in Royalex a month and a half ago…

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I purchased the Rockstar in Royalex a month and a half ago. Before I sat down to write the review I wanted to get some time in the boat and compare the initial impressions to what I feel about it now.

So far I am very happy with my purchase. I'm 6' 3" and 275 lbs. Not a small person. The Rockstar gave me plenty of room for my gear and the dog (a 65 lb Golden Retriever) when she goes along. The canoe was a bit unstable for me at first since I came from a tandem paddling background. As I became more familiar with it I used it on lakes and small rivers with little difficulty. It tracks well on lakes and is maneuverable and quick on the small rivers. The Royalex layup is very sound with no oil-canning under load.

Despite some rough water on the lakes there has not been one drop of water coming in. Secondary stability is excellent. The seat seems made for a sitting position only in that there was not enough room under it to fit my legs. However since I don't have the best knees for kneeling this has not been much of an issue.

It did take some time for me to get used to the difference in paddle strokes required to keep the canoe on track but after a lesson and more practice I'm comfortable with using my standard J-stroke and the other strokes I've used in the past with a little variation for the position in the canoe. I added the Bell foot braces and tug-eyes to both ends for a bit of customizing. Both have come in handy when on a short trip I took recently.

As for a recommendation I would give it a hearty two thumbs up. It paddles very well, tracks great and turns easily. It handles 350 lb loads with ease and is very stable. It's a quality canoe that I won't soon part with.

I bought the kevlar layup for its sheer carrying capacity, and generous…

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I bought the kevlar layup for its sheer carrying capacity, and generous freeboard. At 6'4" 200+ lbs, I find the high mounted seat more comfortable vs. the lower mounted designs such as the Merlin II. The higher seat does not seem to affect stability. Of course unloaded with gobs of freeboard and generous rocker, the boat can be a handful in windy conditions, but settles nicely when loaded and is much less wind sensitive. I have a Cooke Cover coming which should improve it's performance in the wind as well. Stays dry in sizeable (2' plus) waves. If you need a solo boat that can haul most anything, and still handle quite nimbly, the Rockstar won't disappoint.