Settling into the seat and back band after the carry to St Regis Pond, you allow yourself a grin. "Just like Nessmuk, 125 years ago," except he was a 100 pounder. You're twice his size with a week's gear aboard. The little pack canoe, SpitFire, ran as seakindly as a cork across the blow on Upper St Regis, and toted across the seven carries like a shoulder bag, hiked up on one shoulder, the rail on your pack strap.
Solo canoes designed for use with double-blade paddles were popular during the first blossom of recreational canoeing at the turn of the century. The double-blade paddler almost doubles the single-blade user's stroke-per-minute rate and increases speed. Double-blades allow smaller paddlers to keep up with, and even outrun, skilled single-blade users. Beginning paddlers can easily drive a canoe or kayak in a straight line with a double-blade paddle.
The difference between double-blade canoes and kayaks is deck and weight. The choice between the two should be made according to the water paddled. Fresh water, especially here in the Adirondacks and in places like the Boundary Waters, often requires portages and open topped canoes are lighter than decked boats. They are also easier to load with gear, and easier to enter. High sides keep waves out, and on fresh water, a leeward shore can usually be found for protection from storms.
Kayaks are designed for open water where portaging is not a factor. As hull weight is unimportant, kayaks are decked to stay dry. They require spray skirts, complex entry and egress procedures and special skills, such as the ability to perform an Eskimo roll.
SpitFire is our redesign of the classic Adirondack pack canoe, shouldered to improve dryness and to allow more efficient, more vertical, strokes. The paddler sits slightly off the canoe bottom for great stability - just as in a kayak - and paddles with a double-blade paddle. Spitfire is larger and more efficient than the Rushton originals, increasing speed and stability, and adjusting for today's larger paddlers. Differential shear, differential rocker, asymmetrical hull shape and shouldered cross-section combine to make SpitFire the most sophisticated pack canoe ever designed. SpitFire is fun and functional for paddlers of all sizes and skill levels; loaded with tripping gear or day paddling. Easy to paddle and carry, SpitFIRE is fun for both kids and adults; a new Adirondack classic.
Your choice of seat and boat color. Foot braces, backband and foam velcro thwart pad are standard on all SpitFires.
Length: oa 12', wl 11'6"
Length/width ratio: 5.8
6" freeboard 480#
4" wl 250#
3" wl 170#
2" wl 100#
Shear: Bow 17"
Rocker: bow 1.5", stern 1"
Beam: Rails 24"
3" wl 24"