Recommended OC1 for northwest (Portland, Oregon)?

Hey everyone,

New to OC1. Been paddling on OC2 and OC6. Wanting very much to get an OC1 eventually but my knowledge on what makes a good boat for this area is limited. I am 6'3" about 180lbs. Spend most of my time paddling on the Willamette river and occasionally the Columbia. Flat water in the winter but can have some decent current (this year it was particularly quick); choppy from boat traffic and or wind in the summer. But I'm not hitting surf swells or the like. I have heard good things about Kaimana for this area but also the Stingray and the Hurricane. Really when it comes to OC1 I am not informed enough. Its a bit premature as I don't have the finances currently for a kanu at any rate but I'd rather be informed before I have them. I know a lot is personal preference but opinions and experience can be good teachers. Any help is appreciated and if there is anyone in the Portland area who is willing to let me try a kanu it would be greatly appreciated.


Matuka Joe

Submitted by Matuka Joe on Mon, 03/06/2006 - 12:00am

Lots of good boats for the NorthWest. I bought a Kaimana for myself in the NorthEast and love it. Hurricane is a fast flat stuff boat. Huki has a new boat called the V1-X that would be good too. As you said the StingRay is a good multipurpose boat too. Any of these boats are good, it just depends on your preference for what you feel is comfortable and you can move best based on your weight/skill and water conditions you want to use the boat in.

Try and demo paddle the boats as much as possible and you will find one that just feels best for yourself. That is what I did and the Kaimana just felt good to paddle all round for me so that is what I bought. You may find a different boat best for you.

Good Luck....Aloha

#1 Tue, 03/07/2006 - 7:09am

I think for the price a sea-lion is unbeatable. I got a carbon one for $1200 and it was probably the fastest flat water canoe i've ever been on. I've driven by the Columbia and that thing has a nice wind chop going through-- i'm not sure how the sea-lion will do in there, but i think it would be great on the willamette. It's also a sit inside boat and comes with a spray skirt-- so you can stay a lot warmer while paddling it. Those other boats are also really good too in the flat-- just make sure that you don't overlook the sea-lion (could be C-lion.. i'm not sure)

#2 Tue, 03/07/2006 - 12:25pm

I've paddled in Columbia a couple of times and it can kick up quite a "storm". Therefore, I would recommend looking at boats that are good at going both down wind and upwind (in Columbia it seems like there are only two ways to go - upwind nay and downwind nay. Stingray is slug upwind and would be expansive since the only good ones are made in Hawaii. The boats I would recommend for you are C-Lion, Hukis, maybe a Hurricane and Kaku Kaimana.

I agree with Luke, C-Lions are solid boats with good performance in the flats and with experienced are competitive downwind boats too. They now come in two versions 1) cockpit style sit-in and 2) sit on top style, like most other oc-1s.

Hukis are great boats and are fantastic quality wise. I would recommend looking at the new V1-X. It has more volume then its flat water cousin V1-Z. Very good boats.

Hurricane are good for smaller paddlers but I've seen bigger guys paddle then too. Also, you will be able to test paddle a Hurricane from a dealer in Bend, Oregon (40 mins from Portland). The positive thing with the Hurricane is that you will be able to sell later if you're wont to move onto something bigger. Hurricane is very popular boat.

The same guy from Bend will also have Tigers and maybe a Kaimana which you will be able to try. But they will be more expansive than the other boats or... maybe not. Worth a try though

Hope this helps.

#3 Wed, 03/08/2006 - 8:58am

Not sure about Tiger's boats but my Kaimana was less than all of these boats in full-carbon. Last Sept it sold for 2850$ full carbon + Tax/shipping (there are no additional options for this boat) It cost me considerably less than what Hukis and Hurricanes are being sold for up here. Nowadays with the carbon shortage most of the boats are within the same price range. $3000 plus based on options and construction. Bottom line pick a boat that is built well and works well for you.

#4 Wed, 03/08/2006 - 11:24am

thanks everyone,

This is what I was looking for. I didnt want to overlook any boats. I looked at the C-Lion online and will add it to my wish list of hoping to paddle before I make any decisions. Of course that list keeps growing but I was a bit surprised to hear no positive comments on the Stingray. No worries of course just interesting.

With the chop and winds on the Willamette and Columbia (often cross winds on the Willy) plus my own desire in a boat I am still kind of hoping for that 4wd so to speak do everything boat. Of course no one tool can do it all.

Now I just have to find the time and persons to let me paddle the Kaimana, Huki, C-Lion, Hurricane,etc, etc... :) A person in Portland I greatly trust for OC paddling says the same thing. Guess that's how it is for all such activities (in my experience anyway).

One question though for those that recommended the C-lion. I am not used to seeing such flat horizontal iako. Any positives or negatives with this boat as a consequence?


"never mistake activity for action"

#5 Wed, 03/08/2006 - 7:59pm

Finding an all around canoe can be a chore, as the conditions on the Columbia (as I'm sure you know) can vary widely. If your like me, once you become comfortable on an OC-1, you may find yourself heading upstream to surf the Gorge. Do that a couple of times and your hooked. However, many canoes that are good in the flats don't handle the surf as quite as well. I've been loosely shopping for a canoe that is better suited for Gorge like conditions than what I have now. If you're strapped for finances, you might consider a good used canoe.

As far as flat iakos, they may look different, but I never found them to really affect the performance of the canoe. Many of Tiger's canoes have used totally horizontal iakos, including the popular Makia. I'll just echo the other advice and say to try as many different canoes (in as many different conditions) as you can and pick the canoe most comfortable to you.

#6 Fri, 03/10/2006 - 5:43am

Matuka Joe,
Let me give you some helpful advice you haven't heard yet. I recommend buying a peice of crap boat as your first one, doesn't matter what type of boat it is. It will be cheap and you will feel like you made good use of the boat. If you go out on a search trying to find the perfect boat for you and the conditions, you will never be happy, especially if it is your first boat.

#7 Fri, 03/10/2006 - 12:19pm

Bakersoar makes a good point. I have seen some good deals on new models like Kaimanas and Pegasus boats for just over 2000$ in the south. You would just have to add shipping to where you are. Even better find a good used OC locally.

#8 Sat, 03/11/2006 - 4:42am

Very good call as well. Thanks. Still want to get out and paddle a few boats though before I even try to find a used. Might as well have a used boat that I am comfortable with.


#9 Sat, 03/11/2006 - 10:14am

My first OC-1 was a huki V-1Z, and it does fine in both flats and on waves. I am a very heavy paddler, and even though it doesn't have the volume of the V1-X, it still manages to float my fat butt just fine. I probably would be a bit faster on a higher volume boat such as the V1-X, so I may sell my V1-Z at some point and go for the X, which is nearly as fast as the Z, but an even better performer on waves. Plus the higher volume may keep me a bit more out of the water, possibly making up for some of the shorter length compared to the V1-Z in terms of forward speed.

When I say I am a heavy paddler, I mean it. I weigh in at around 220lbs when I'm "light" and 245lbs when I'm heavy. Have also paddled the makias and a stingray. The stringray seems to be a higher volume boat than my V1-Z, and does really well on the flats. The one I paddled was a few years old, but still was holding together well and plenty fast. Yeah, ride a few boats, and also try to ride in some different conditions, such as up in the wind and waves of the gorge, and on flats. I love both types of paddling, flat water and wave surfing, so a boat that isn't the best on either, but good on both is really what I am shooting for. The V1-X seems to be a boat like that, from the ones I've seen paddled up here.

#10 Tue, 02/27/2007 - 11:12am

Paddled a Stingray in past, now paddle a Huki V1X. While both canoes have their respective merits, the Stingray has lots of volume and the new OC canoes like fuse are getting rave reviews, I must say I really love the V1X. This is a cold water environment, we have flats on the ponds and we have good swell and a good deal of chop in our ocean. The V1X shines through it all and is comfortable to paddle wearing thermal protection which may be an issue for you in Northwestern US. Very agile and extremely fun to paddle especially in any rough stuff, although I am a small to medium build. For me durability is a huge issue since we have rocks everywhere. Too many rocks. The V1X has held up very well despite some bumps and scrapes I've had it through. I also really like the iako attachment system on it and the fact you can get hatches for storage (another safety plus in a coldwater environment).

#11 Wed, 02/28/2007 - 9:35am

YES YES YES. Another one of these "which oc1 is best." Wow I am sooo surprised that no one has ripped this thread. It's actually a little dissapointing....


#12 Wed, 02/28/2007 - 10:16am

Easy there poops! This thread has the added component of asking for local knowledge as well as canoe info....

Now, take a deep breath and repeat after me, " It is OK to be a novice". " It is OK to be curious about different designs", " It is OK to hear different peoples opinions".....

OHmmmmmmm, OHmmmmmmm,

Keep on smiling!

#13 Wed, 02/28/2007 - 10:35am

...Actually I am probably below "novice" level, I don't even race since there are no other outrigger paddlers anywhere on this island. I paddle since I simply love outrigger canoes. Just trying to offer some help and feedback to a fellow paddler who asked about different designs and makers. I'm always smiling, especially when I'm paddling.

#14 Wed, 02/28/2007 - 2:34pm

Matuka Joe,
I paddle up in Seattle but grew up paddling mostly oc6 on Oahu. I'm 5'11" 220ish and I find the Huki to be a fine all-around boat-I'm probably pretty slow no matter what I ride. I generally agree with the try everything but take what's available school and I find the Huki to be both versatile and durable, and I think it's pretty easy to get one.I like what Luke had to say about c-lion-might want to check that out. The only thing I'd steer clear of would be the really downwind specific high volume models, unless you can afford the quiver theory. See you at the Multnomah race on the 24th! P.S. Don't listen to the Mid-Packers...

#15 Wed, 02/28/2007 - 6:34pm

For our N/West waters I would go with a Hurricane as long as your not over say 190 lbs. The hurricane is fast in the flats ,much faster than most I have tried ( Huki,Fuze,C-lion,Fushion,and a few others ) .I just sold mine for a Pegasus and haven't spent too much time on it yet to give an opinion and they aren't very common up here in BC

Can't go wrong with the Hurricane and it riggs easy where as the new Pegasus is a nitemare .....the fit is so tight it won't go together or come apart w/o a great deal of effort .

Have never been a fan of the C-lion but they are fairly fast in the flat water compared to most

#16 Fri, 03/02/2007 - 8:23am

Ok what the HECK?!? I posted this thread it seems like EONS ago and now its been brought back up? Why the heck did people do that?!? (Note my initial post date was 3/6/2006!!! Happy anniversary to me)

Thanks for the current input guys btw even though yes this type of thread is repetative. I currently paddle with an outrigger team now - back when I posted this I was thinking of crossing over from dragonboating (don't hate me cause I used the db word). And did get to use a Hurricane for a race in FL shortly after.

Anyway been runnin' around on our club's Stingrays lately. Still lookin at a few different boats but will be quite a bit before I can even afford to buy.

Aloha nui and lets just ignore this retread thread. (unless of course someone finds it useful then please read away) :)

"Never mistake activity for action"

#17 Sun, 03/04/2007 - 9:22pm

rudderless... btw goto's profile video is the best music video ever!

#18 Sat, 04/19/2008 - 4:57pm

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