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Boat Insider


EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY. PHOTO: KAYDI PYETTE


THE BULLDOG


TURNS OUT, THE BULLDOG is the best boat I’d never paddled. I see Composite Creations owner, designer and builder Andy Phillips at shows and on our


local rivers. We reviewed his tandem


Double Dog way back in 2009 (www.rapidmedia. com/0632) and the kids Splash in 2014 (www. rapidmedia.com/0633), but never his flagship solo playboat, until now. I need to be careful to not burn up my word


count telling you about all the Bulldog’s innovative features. First of all, Phillips comes


from the


aeronautical industry, an expert in composites. We first met when he was delivering a set of floats he built for my neighbor’s Cessna 185 airplane. Consequently Composite


Instead, Phillips blends carbon Creations’ canoes


aren’t ABS or polyethylene like Esquif, Blackfly or Silverbirch.


fiber, Kevlar and S glass—a weave like fiberglass cloth but with more fibers per square inch—held together with epoxy resins. What this means is that you get a rigid and durable hull with a custom paint job or sexy clear coat. The Bulldog is available in two models. New for


2016 you can get a Bulldog in which you install your own airbags as per normal for solo canoe outfitting. Or you can get the standard version—which I think should be called the premium version—Bulldog with integrated tanks and water rails. Water rails are new for 2016. They divert water splashed onto the composite decks out through little drain holes just below the integrated gunwales. You can get


52 | RAPID


COMPOSITE CREATIONS’ SHORT, BOXY, TOUGH AND PLAYFUL BREED OF OPEN CANOE


either model with a foam bulkhead or a Mike Yee Outfitting pedestal, pads and straps set up. I prefer the latter. I like boats as light as possible. I like clean,


technical rivers and work hard to keep my boat dry. I preferred the new Bulldog with traditional bags. The tanked Bulldog stays drier but is five or so pounds heavier. Also, with my long legs there wasn’t enough room in the cockpit. Normal-sized people running bigger water will surely enjoy integrated tanks. You get to pick. The Bulldog looks tough with its hard edges,


sharp angles and flat sections. It reminds me of my old ‘91 Isuzu Trooper. Unlike my Trooper, that boxy feeling goes away once you’re behind the wheel. And, unlike the Trooper the Bulldog is fun. I was lapping a short section of class III when my


buddy Adrian shouted over. “Stop trying to build momentum. It’s a two-stroke boat,” he said. He’d jumped in one of our testers the day before. He’s right. The Bulldog is at top speed in just two


strokes. Noodle over to just before the eddyline and with two strokes you’re out and on your way. Have a lot of flatwater to cover? Suck it up, Buttercup, you ain’t getting there any faster. My favorite Bulldog move is rocketing toward


eddies and planing across the eddylines before engaging the hard chines for a smooth carving finish. The Bulldog shines on tight technical runs. You can snap it around or make mid-stream corrections with quick offside tilts and subtle


twitches of your hips. This same edge control works on waves. With


so much rocker neither the bow or stern lock into waves, so you can keep carving back and forth all day long. It spins on the smallest of foam piles and once looking downriver the Bulldog is the most predictable boat to back surf I’ve ever paddled. When I read on websites


that boats can


be enjoyed by an “entry level paddler or a pro paddler” I like to put entry level paddlers in them and measure their enjoyment. I’d raise the bar on the Bulldog from entry level


to competent intermediates comfortable steering from the bow. Which is fine—I think a completely customized Bulldog is something you should earn. But don’t wait as long as I did. Put in a few years on the river in bigger, heavier solo canoes and then you’ll be ready to appreciate whatever configuration or custom paint job your little heart desires. SCOTT MACGREGOR


COMPOSITE CREATIONS BULLDOG LENGTH:10’ WIDTH:26” WEIGHT: 44-48 LBS CAPACITY: UP TO 225 LBS MATERIAL: KEVLAR/CARBON/S-GLASS PRICE: $3,460 WWW.COMPOSITECREATIONS.CA


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