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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I went for a three hour paddle today, the first paddle of the season. I paddled up a (very) little set of rapids an hour or two up river, and also had to fight the wind on the way back. I was about 10 minutes late getting back in spite of my best efforts to make time.

Observations: those canoeing muscles don't get used much skiing, and my canoe is still a big heavy barge.
post #2 of 11
What kind of canoe? There are things in the plus and things in the minus column for all boats.

My new "pride of my fleet" showed it's bad side on a windy day during a solo paddle on a big lake. A Mad River kevlar .... great on quite water or streams, but it became a pig wrasslin contest when the wind got gusty.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
It's a huge Coleman fisherman's canoe. I don't think they make that exact model anymore. It has three seats, one acting as the middle thwart. You cannot kneel with your legs under the seats as there are mini-coolers in the seats, as well as cup-holders and fishing rod holders. It is made of either polypropylene or polyethylene. At least it doesn't easily get holes in it when you scrape it against the rocks. It can hold about 850 lbs, has lots of free-board, and weighs 85 lbs dry.

Yesterday fighting the wind, I had to sit front of centre so the wind would not spin me around. I can usually get the angle right so that I hardly have to j-stroke in most strong winds, but not yesterday.

Having Dom Perignon taste and a Molson Export budget, I had been holding out for a good canoe (like a Swift Kippawa), but when I saw this Coleman on sale I couldn't resist. It's got me out on a couple of trips that I still would be waiting for otherwise. I've wanted to go canoe tripping for decades, but always had one excuse or another. It's not the fastest canoe on the lake, and it is a little more exercise than needed on portages, but it works.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Yuki
What kind of canoe?
Found a pic on the net. This looks like it...
post #5 of 11
For solo trips in a boat like that especially on windy days, try to get your hands on a set of fol-boat paddles. A double paddle will increase speed and make fighting a cross wind much easier. Kayak paddles are too short and the fol-boats are just the right length.

Wanna make rapid time .... cheat and use two sets, one for the bow and stern paddler!

Screw being a purist ... what works is what counts!

One drawback to that seat configuration is the seats, as you mentioned, in heavy chop or rough water, I like to be on my knees to keep the CG low in the boat. I'd look into some of those bags for baseball gear, the slightly oversize ones to carry bats and gloves. If you pack odds and ends, and put the stuff in double trash bags, it will slide under and low and give a bit of added flotation. I am a firm believer in keeping the CG as low as I can and lash everything in with a few bungees.

post #6 of 11
Are you seriously thinking of taking that canoe on a portage type trip? Whoo, you must be very strong guy! Usually, wherever you are going, there will be a canoe rental shop somewhat nearby. Seriously, think about renting if you have portages to do. New 3 person kevlar boats should rent for about $35-40/day with paddles. Weight #40 pounds. Aluminum ones less $, still only about 50-55 lbs. Versus 85-100 for your tank. But if minimal portaging, I guess you could lug that thing across.

I didn't see any portage yoke on your canoe. Have you actually portaged it, if you are going on a portage trip? If not, and you are planning on using it, I would strongly urge you to practice in your driveway with a portage set up. That may be enough to convince you to go with a lighter weight set up, or you are just way more burley than me! :-) (which is not difficult to be!) Just trying to give options that will make it easier for you, your canoe is great for non portaging activity, IMO, and makes my back and shoulders cringe!!!
post #7 of 11
You are right ... and he paddled that "lake freighter" up a set of rapids.

Note the flat bottom and straight lines ... no rocker ... hard to do quick changes in fast water when you need to.

You're a better man that I Gunga Din ...
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas.

My first trip with it was on the St. Lawrence, down stream, and down wind http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/on/lawren/index_e.asp.

My second trip to the Massasauga Park, http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/mass.html
included a few portages, but none more than half a kilometer, and not solo; my then 17 year-old daughter took half the weight. I have solo-portaged it to and from the car. Not only is it heavy, it's very awkward.

We are going to the same area again this summer with a friend (and another canoe) who's never been canoe tripping before. We will be two to carry the canoe, I would rather make two trips than knock myself out.

I got to paddle and portage 45 lb Kevlar canoe on a group trip last summer. I do know what I'm missing. The lack of maneuverability isn't too much of a hardship going UP stream. You don't wrap your boat around a rock; you just sometimes have to take another stab at it when you miss your mark. The hardest thing about going up rapids is resisting the temptation to pole off the bottom when it gets shallow. I can't always manage it, especially if I'm using a cheap paddles. What's a fol-boat paddle?
post #9 of 11

Ok, so I spelled it wrong! They are a portable kayak company that has been in business forever. When I looked at the web site, the paddles have changed quite a bit as the world marches on. Now they appear to be a plastic blade and alu shaft ... my oldies are all lightweight ash and have seen about twenty years of service. The current price of a set is $50 and they come in different lengths. My paddles measure about 120 inches total (unjoined).

They have nice drip rings to prevent water from running down the shaft as you change sides stroke to stroke. They are fine on open water (feel the need for speed), and wider rivers. When approaching a rough spot just use a conventional paddle when you are doing fast manuvering among rocks .... a good quality extra paddle is a must anyway. If you lose or break a paddle, a wad of duct tape will give you a pretty comfy hand grip in a pinch. With a floboat as your back up you always have in essence two spare paddles.

The "oldies" have an aluminum strip to protect the blade ... sometimes you see them at flea markets.
post #10 of 11
Rent the kevlar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or if allowed, look at buying a set of portage wheels for your barge/canoe!

If they are allowed on the portages/in th park, they are nice, about $70-100 for a good set with pneumatic tires. You could portage that thing and a pack in the canoe very easily, given the portages are not mountain ranges, and you are not bushwacking. Or be smart and when you get to the portage, say "I'll take that heavy pack, you two deal with that light weight canoe"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be smart portage monkey, not dumb portage monkey!!!!

Have fun, (after portaging ,if you take that canoe!)

Really, I am not giving you hassle for taking that canoe, as it will be fine in the water!!! I canoe and portage a lot and just can't fathom carrying that thing farther than the car to the lake with lots of help!
post #11 of 11
Wenonah makes really great canoes. We have a solo (17 1/2 ft Voyager) and a triple (20 ft Minnesota 3), both kevlar. Both are easy to portage and glide beautifully in the water. I recommend their boats highly. They are a joy to paddle.
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