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Thoughts on "AMI" for solo trips

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Ezra Smith, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi all,

    Several years ago I built a 17ft Atkinson traveler that I have used ever since for both solo and tandem trips. After last summer I finally decided that I should build another boat that is a bit smaller, since about 80% of my paddle time is solo and all the weight on portages and freeboard on lakes is less than ideal. Many of these paddles are for the day only, but I try to do at least one 2wk trip a year, which is usually solo.

    A guy down the road sold me the form that he used to build a his 15ft Ami. It draws inspiration from the Chesnut Pal, and is "50-55lbs". I am wondering if there is anyone here who has paddled this much and can give me some feedback on it's use in various situations.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes


    I haven't paddled an Ami, so can't comment, but I'm in the same boat(!) as far as wanting to build a lightweight solo canoe. I've been looking at the 14-15' boats, currently stuck on Jerry Stelmok's Willow Wisp. If I already had a form for the Ami, I would build it in a heartbeat. You can always build another!
    Sorry, no help from me but hopefully someone who has an Ami will chime in.

  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    My experience is that canoes and other small boats feel very personal so you may not like the one that I do and vice versa. I would encourage you to find someone with the canoe you are seeking and take it out for a test paddle to see how it really feels to you. Good luck,

  4. Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Why not ask the guy down the road that you bought the form from for a test paddle?
  5. Blott

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Benson is quite correct. You should find a canoe that suits you; it may not suit someone else. My first venture into wooden canoes was the purchase of a 14' Chestnut Playmate from the 1950's. I had always wanted one and got one and paddled it. But.......... I am no lightweight and the trim was always off and there was more canoe beneath the waterline than above in unequal proportions. I sold it to a friend who weighs as much as my left leg. It suits him and I watch him paddle it far easier than I ever did. I moved on to a 16' Pal which suits me far better and I move it easier than I did in the Playmate.

    15' or 16' is still good for a solo. Sometimes smaller is not always the answer. I would always err on the side of a bit extra capacity.

    in my case reduction in capacity would be good but that is down to beers and pies.

    Good luck in your search.

  6. OP
    Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I did actually test paddle it, and really liked the experience. I just did not have it weighted with gear for a long trip that's all. as you say Brly, I will just build it and can always do something else afterwards. Maybe I will use the set of finished ribs that I snagged on facebook for $15 ;).

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