Reviews for Starfire Canoe by Bell Canoe Works
Based On: 2 Reviews
08-08-2001Submitted by: no name
It took about 8yrs.of looking,test paddling,to find a boat that has a broad enough range of capabillites to to get me to buy another boat.The 1st time I saw the STARFIRE I knew I had to try it,and wasn't disapointed. I am an ACA TANDEM CANOE INSTRUCTOR but do most of my paddling solo,love canoe camping,and wild rivers.Trying to find a boat that can be paddled tandem or solo,carry a campers load,have good hull speed,the abillity to turn easily but still track straight,run whitewater while staying dry is not an easy thing to do. I have done all of this and have never been disapointed. I ordered the boat in BLACK GOLD layup(Kevlar& carbon fiber)setup as a combination boat (3 seats)so it could be paddled both tandem and solo,I also ordered 2 extra thwarts to replace the bow&stearn seats when being used as a solo camper. While the boat itself is wonderfull my experience with the company was NOT!The boat was ordered through a local dealer that gave me a very good price and went out of his way to be helpfull.The dealer called Bell in my presence on a speaker phone to place the order it was early spring and delivery was promised in 4-6 weeks.Plenty of time to get used to the boat and take a couple of weekend trips before my planned vacation on Canada's White River in Sept.after many calls wondering where the boat was it finnaly arrived less than 1week before my trip.I was less than impressed after waiting more than 2 months longer than it was to take I expected a custom ordered boat to be perfect SUPRISE! The extra thwarts that were ordered didn't come with it,the local dealer fitted an old set so I could use the boat for my trip.The gell coat had several imperfections such as waves,bubbles,and specks of red and blue under the clear gell coat,nothing that would harm the boat but would make it a blem if it were on a dealers floor.The boat would have been sent back if I hadn't wanted it so badly for the trip.When the extra seats were removed for the trip it became apparent that only the surfaces of the wood that were clearly visible had any oil on them the back side of the seat supports that weren't visible were bone dry,all the wood on the boat took at least 3 coats of oil after the trip.When the extra thwarts finally did arrive they were made of ASH not WALLNUT as they were to be and were the wrong size even though Bell had been given the exact demensions from the old set fitted by the dealer it took an additional 2 months to get the proper ones. I tell anyone who asks about the boat,I do get many admiring inquries,that the boat is wonderfull now that its the way it should have come and not to belive anything Bell has to say about delivery dates.
08-03-2000Submitted by: Stan
Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
My Starfire is set up solo only and tips the scale at an actual 41 pounds [in white gold lay up.] Great river tripper for a larger paddler. I am 6' and 225 pounds. I have also paddled it several flat water miles, but I believe there are better pure flat water boats. It turns very easily yet tracks fine if I do my part. Good hull speed is a given. I suppose I am most impressed with its stable feel. I can easily run it as far as I like heeled to within an inch or so of the rail where it firms up very solidly. Only reason I give it a 9 is because we all know every canoe is a compromise! No boat I have ever met can match the workmanship of a Bell.
100,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!