Whitesell Piranha

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lostriverghoat
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Whitesell Piranha

Post by lostriverghoat » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:50 am

I am picking up a Whitesell Piranha In the morning. I was wondering if any one has a review on it solo and/or tandem. It was a good deal and I figured it would get me and kids started. Last question angled seat or kneeling thwart vs saddle for up to class III. I am going to have the gas and the time mainly for the Tuckasegee or lake for now. so outfitting for those for now.
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Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:48 am

I have an old composite Piranha hull, made by Clipper, in the early '80s, which I am currently converting to tandem. Somewhere in the past is a thread where I also asked about whether it would make a good tandem boat. The response was pretty enthusiastic from those who had tried it.

Plans are to put in a 3-way saddle system, so it can go solo or tandem. If I ever get it finished, I will post pix.

Years ago -- many years ago -- many many years ago, it was my first-ever solo boat. By today's standards, at 14'+, it's a bit big for a playboat, but still FUN! It would probably make a great tripper, with lotsa room for gear.

The hull is interesting -- round chines, with significant bulges amidships, both sides. Being white, when upside down, mine looks like a beluga whale.

It surfs well, but best when heeled right over to the wales, thus engaging the bulge.

Congratulations! You've got a keeper! :D

Rick
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Post by philcanoe » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:03 am

    • saddle
    ^~^~^ different strokes ~ for different folks ^~^~^

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    KNeal
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    Post by KNeal » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:59 pm

    I believe the Whitesell Piranha was the tandem boat of choice for running big whitewater (before the Caption came out). The rounded hull may feel squirrelly at first, but it is actually a really stable boat. No opinion about outfitting. Enjoy the boat. Glad to read you are raising your kids the right way. :D
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    lostriverghoat
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    Post by lostriverghoat » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:16 am

    Image

    Image

    I'm a Happy Camper!
    I need to put on a small patch, re-outfit it and get it wet. She needs a little love (deck plates are flap-in) but she not to needy. My Crew is excited! And thats whats got me pumped.
    Thanks for the responses.

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    Jim Michaud
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    Post by Jim Michaud » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:30 am

    I don't think that it would make a great boat for lake paddling with your kids. Due to the rounded hull it has no initial stability so it's very unstable if you try to sit on top of the saddle or on a thwart. It's a very forgiving boat in big rapids though, even when it's full of water.

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    Post by lostriverghoat » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:55 pm

    Yes it's not a lake canoe, The lake is to get the trim right and get them in the boat then I will take them on a stream, I have the Little Tenn and Tuck right by me. Thanks for you input.
    My kids are small and they probably will be along for the ride for most of next season(one at the time).

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    Post by pblanc » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:31 pm

    I think it will be a very good boat for your purposes. It is a high volume hull with a blunt water entry so it won't be terribly fast but that won't matter if you have a bit of current.

    It does make an excellent river tripping boat and I have set mine up largely for that purpose.

    I have reoutfitted mine now, but when I got it it had the original Perception rotomolded saddle as is shown in the photo. Unlike Jim, I did not find that it lacked initial stability. I used it for a number of day trips on the Buffalo River in the Arkansas Ozarks and on the Current River in the Missouri Ozarks paddling it unloaded, and I would frequently sit up on the upper part of the saddle with my legs stretched out in front of me. I never felt as if I was going to go over.

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    Post by PAC » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:26 pm

    I have a Mohawk Scamp that I was told was a very simular (if not the same) design for the Whitesell Piranha.

    It was a third hand boat to me and was first used by me to race down river when my son 10 or so. I also found it to be a good boat to run class III and III+ with him as he got older.

    Good boat...

    A bit wet and sluggish but not a pig. Used a Perception saddle for me and a simple (easy to evacute pedestal for him) with straps. I used the saddle to help me have more control over the boat. The child set up was for comfort, ease of exit and to make him feel like the rest of the racers.

    Enjoy it you'll have fun!
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    Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:43 am

    To enlarge on some of my prev. comments:

    I also had a Scamp, around the same time I bought the composite Piranha. The composite model was MUCH superior. I think Clipper tweaked the hull a little. Regardless, the composite hull (Kevlar-Duraflex) is still rockin' 30 years later.

    The Piranha's primary stability wasn't a problem, despite the rounded hull. This is attributable to the bulges amidships. And the secondary stability was superb.

    But it will feel weird if you're used to an edgy boat (Viper, Ocoee, etc.) LEAN the boat -- you'll love it!

    The Perception saddle makes a wonderful boat anchor. Mini-cell makes a wonderful saddle. :roll:

    Have fun!

    Rick
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    my sons

    Post by mattm » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:54 am

    my sons first OC. It was like it had training wheels. He could get side surfing and stay dry while the rest of us had issues. We ended up converting to tandem, and 420 pounds of us have a fun time in the boat.
    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/25 ... 6337RkjwOF

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    so glad for Krylon, ABS and acetone.Squirt, sail, paddle and pole.

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    Post by canoemid » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:01 pm

    This should be a great boat for your purposes. The kids will have a great time. I paddled a Scamp on the Tuck back in the early 90s. Very stable. Saw a Whitesell on the Ocoee while rafting with some friends this past weekend. Raft guide never heard of it.

    Whiitesell was so stable that Nolan put me in one to demo at the Nanty falls just after I had started solo paddling. Zipped down the falls and felt like I could have run any line. The boat boosted confidence. Just had to get used to leaning it.

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    Re: Whitesell Piranha

    Post by Michael VBaaren » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:22 pm

    Hey, does anyone here know if there is such a thing as a kevlar piranha solo canoe made by clipper? Saw an add, but no photo, and I've never heard of one before, nor can I find it anywhere on Clipper's site.

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    Re: Whitesell Piranha

    Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:29 am

    Michael VBaaren wrote:Hey, does anyone here know if there is such a thing as a kevlar piranha solo canoe made by clipper? Saw an add, but no photo, and I've never heard of one before, nor can I find it anywhere on Clipper's site.
    Yes! (As per my previous comment -- second in this thread.) Clipper made a composite Piranha (and, I believe, changed the name to "Challenger") in the early '80s. It was my first solo boat. I also had a Scamp, but liked the composite hull much better.

    You won't find it on Clipper's web-site, or brochure, as it's no longer a current model. But I don't doubt they still have the mould, and would dust it off on a special order.

    As mentioned in another recent thread, I've recently converted mine to tandem -- it's not quite a Caption or a Vertige-X, but it's quite easy and fun to paddle.

    PM me for additional pix.

    Rick

    Here's a shot of it's inaugural tandem run on the Cowichan.
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    Yukon
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    Re: Whitesell Piranha

    Post by Yukon » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:33 am

    I think the Clipper Merganser is much better Tandem than a Tandem Whitesell.
    Canoe Instructor and full time canoe fanatic.

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