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Merlin solo canoe design in today's market

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Unclewhoo, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. Unclewhoo

    Unclewhoo Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I have heard the best solo canoe design out there is the Merlin. Is there a canoe out there being built by a company that replicates the Merlin? i like Wenonah and Souris River there a design similar to the Merlin?
  2. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Best? Best for whom? Best for what? Whitewater playboat? Touring? Fishing? Camp utility? Racer? And construction -- composite? Stripper? Wood/canvas?
    From whom did you hear that it was "best"? Do you trust that source? Why did that source deem it "best"?

    No one can answer that question without a good deal more information about you and what you want. What are you looking for in a canoe. Further, do you want to build a boat, or buy one off the shelf? From whom did you hear that it was "best"? Do you trust that source? Why do you like Wenonah and Souris River? Have you compared the specs of their boats to the specs of Merlin? Presumably you do not like all of what you see -- what don't you like?

    Googling "Merlin" I find < > and a review at < > This Merlin is a boat to be built from plans that are free. The review compares it to the Bell Canoe Works' Merlin II: "The specs are similar to the Merlin 2 except the Merlin has no Rocker and is 6 inches longer." Those are pretty significant-seeming differences.

    Hornbeck Boats is highly regarded for composite boats, and a few of their "Classic" models sized for solo paddling have made appearances at Assembly in the last few years, and their owners are very happy with them.
  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I'll echo Greg's questioning the definition of "the best." When I'm doing some river cleanup work for my local forest preserve, I'll take a 17 or 18 foot aluminum or Royalex boat any day, over a Merlin. On the other hand, if I was going solo, and wanted to put a lot of miles behind me quickly, while carrying a lot of gear, I'd take a Merlin over a Grumman or Royalex boat. Although, for that purpose, I'd much rather take my time, and enjoy a wooden canoe.
  4. OP

    Unclewhoo Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The canoe I am looking for should accommodate 7 day wilderness trips with heavy loads that tracks well over large lakes. I want to buy it off the shelf.

    Merlin Canoe Dimensions:
    Rocker: Bow/Stern 1 / ½ in
    Overall Length 16 ft

    Beam at Gunwales 26½ in
    Maximum Beam 29 in
    3 in Waterline 27 in
    Sheer Bow 16 in
    Amidships Depth 12 in
    Sheer Stern 14½ in
    Approx Weight 40 lbs

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