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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fun In A Small Package

Michael Hodgson Special To Outdoors

Product: Tupelo solo touring canoe

Description: A 30-pound, 10-foot, 6-inch canoe made of R-Light royalex and designed to carry loads up to 180 pounds while maintaining a 5-inch freeboard (the amount of canoe/boat above the water). Available with aluminum or white ash gunwales.

Pro: Because this boat is so small and light, it is possible to easily carry it over one shoulder, making access to paddling locations you might have thought impossible to reach now relatively easy. It’s the ideal boating scenario for a single person, an apartment dweller, small-car owner, or as a second craft for the cabin. Since it is so small, the Tupelo is unbelievably easy to store, tote and paddle. Tracks through the water almost effortlessly and turns on a dime. Made of royalex, the Tupelo is very durable, very light, and also floats, even if filled with water.

Con: Dagger’s catalogue says this boat “is stable and easy to use by the entire family.” I don’t completely agree. Since the boat is so small it performs rather like a kayak, meaning it tips side-to-side easily, which is useful if you have boating experience and know how to use the tip to aid in maneuvering the boat. Once you learn to work with the boat, you will discover that it won’t just flip over, but instead reaches a second point of stability on edge with its gunwales just above the waterline - a performance feature that is a blessing once you learn to use it. Mad River distributes a device made by Voyager called SeaWing Safety Sponsons, which are 40 inches long by 6 inches in diameter, torpedoshaped tubes that strap on either side of your craft, in this case, the Tupelo. The Suggested Retail is $60 for vinyl or $85 for nylon (I would choose nylon myself). By strapping these high on the boat, you will minimize water drag and still enjoy wonderful stability in rough water, when using the boat for fishing or when a young or inexperienced paddler is learning the ropes.

Comments: What a great little play boat! It’s a hoot and a holler to paddle and play around in. With the SeaWings added to the package, you have a versatile and easy-to-use and store boat ideal for those who want to enjoy the pleasures of boating without the strains of carrying or storing the darn thing.

Suggested Retail: $525 with aluminum gunwales; $675 with white ash gunwales. Company: Dagger Canoe Company Inc., P.O. Box 1500, Harriman,TN 37748; 615 882-0404

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