Read reviews for the Peregrine (Falcon Series) by Hemlock Canoe Works as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
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.
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.
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.
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.