Torn about kit choice- Solace 18 vs Coho

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by eriktheviking, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. eriktheviking

    eriktheviking Paddler

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    It is getting cold now in central BC so aside from skiing this winter, I was planning to build another stitch and glue kayak. I want a boat to use on ocean tours (up to a week or so) so it is really for general paddling. Right now I am completely undecided between the Waters Dancing Solace 18EX (18'3" long, 22" beam) and the Pygmy Coho (17'6" 23" beam). Having already done a Waters Dancing boat, I did like some features of their kit (the puzzle joints, seat design and pre-cut hatches). The cost is not much of a factor since after adding in a better seat for the Coho, even with our newly enlarged Cdn $ they come out pretty close. I have paddled a Coho and liked it, but only have seen a Solace 18 on a car rack. I would be particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has paddled both, or at least has experience with the Solace 18. My main hesitation is about stability with the slightly narrower beam, and there is not comparable data I can find to help decide. If it makes a difference, I am a bigger-sized guy but the standard Coho looks OK from that perspective (as opposed to the HV version).
     
  2. kelly t

    kelly t Paddler

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    pm sent
     
  3. Pvl

    Pvl New Member

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    I have exactly the same question. Does any one have any comments.......Coho or Solace? Building comments and boat handeling comments welcome. thanks
     
  4. eriktheviking

    eriktheviking Paddler

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    Having now built the Solace (17 foot version) I would say that the Solace is a strong tracker- a bit of a handful to turn as I don't use a rudder. A very good fast boat though. I only paddled the Coho for a 20 minute demo so hard to compare, but it is easier to turn, and also is wider (23" vs 22" for the Solace). The Coho felt easy to paddle right away, the Solace was a bit twitchy for the first few outings. I would guess the Coho can carry more (annoyingly neither boatmaker publish DDP figures). Right now I use the Solace as a fast day tripper, and my One Oceans Cape Ann for overnight and longer trips.
     
  5. Pvl

    Pvl New Member

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    Thanks...how was the building of the solace. Do you know anything about the waters dancing lighting17? Would a rudder make a dif ob your solace or is it hull designing that makes it harder to turn?
     
  6. eriktheviking

    eriktheviking Paddler

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    I have never seen the Lightning 17. The Solace EX 17 does not much rocker, and it has multiple panels on the hull (more than the Coho or Lightning) so little chine which makes it a hard tracker, and leaned turns don't have much effect. A rudder would aid in making it turn more effectively for sure. For me, I am happy with doing sweep strokes for course corrections. I mostly paddle on interior lakes, so don't have to deal with complex currents found on the coast. My other critique of the Solace is that the rear deck is nearly flat, which makes sealing the rear hatch with regular straps difficult (hard to apply sufficient downward force) compared to more peaked decks. I added half-round dowels on the hatch under the straps to get a bit more downward pressure.