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Correct way to paddle a canoe when alone

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by JSRIII, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. JSRIII

    JSRIII Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Good morning all,

    I was taught and have always been under the impression that when paddling a canoe alone you sat in the front seat facing the stern. However, in reading many of the threads here with pictures showing folks on the water paddling alone it appears that many sit/kneel in the middle of the canoe.

    Is there a right or wrong way to paddle alone or is it just a matter of personal preference?

    I assume this may also vary if your canoe is loaded with gear or if it is just you.
     
  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Probably the best way is to kneel with the canoe heeled over to your strong side. Kneeling is very uncomfortable for me... My legs fall asleep.
    Sitting on the front seat backwards works depending on thwart placement and seat height. Sometimes some forward weight will help to trim it better when passing facing the stern.
     
  3. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Your choice, whatever works for you. You do want the front end very slightly lighter than the stern. Proper balance and trim can make the paddling much easier and more efficient. Sitting on the bow seat and paddling the canoe backwards often puts the front end light. Some folks put a 40 pound pack in front of them for balance, or maybe a 5 gallon water jug. Since the middle of the canoe is the widest part, some folks have trouble achieving proper vertical paddle entry while sitting in the middle, so prefer sitting further back. I kneel most of the time, but another solution to the proper balance problem is with an adjustable seat, such as the attachment. This leather 'sling seat' came from Tom Seavy at Azland Traditions. With an open gunwale canoe you simply thread the straps between inwale & outwale, over the inwales, at the place where balance is achieved with your weight. I still kneel, putting only a portion of my weight on the leather. For a closed gunwale canoe I built the wooden blocks you see, which clip over the gunwales and will slide forward/back to wherever I need it. I would be cautious about putting much weight on this arrangement unless there was a thwart or something near to support the gunwales, keeping them spread as far apart as th STH72342 RESIZE.jpg ey are supposed to be.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    JSRIII

    JSRIII Curious about Wooden Canoes

    As a carpenter zooming in on 69 years of age, the kneeling part is probably not going to work for me. My knees got used up years ago. The getting up from the kneeling part is also probably not on the agenda. Since I have wood work to do, striping of varnish, canvas to apply, fill and paint, this is not something that I will probably be worrying about this season. It was just after viewing many of the great photographs shown here that the question came to mind. Besides, visiting here and chatting is way more fun than watching another chick movie with my wife for the umpteenth time.
     
  5. Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek Have dog, will paddle

    You are thinking about this ALL wrong.... I sat through Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, The Equalizer 2, and John Wick 3 and I now have a nicely reconditioned 1957 Johnson Outboard motor perfectly suited for the my Old Town square stern project and a wheel-able set of canoe cradles for my "efforts." :) [http://wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/old-town-canoe-serial-number-181359.16330/page-2#post-82952]

    Rumor has it that wives come in very handy when it comes to canoe restoration... http://wcha.org/forums/index.php?th...-in-the-middle-of-the-canoe.16309/#post-82632

    Fire up that DVD player and make a batch of popcorn....
     
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Or of course you could do like Omar did - sit/kneel near the front and let the rest of the canoe "weather vane" behind in the wind.

    Dan
     
  7. OP
    OP
    JSRIII

    JSRIII Curious about Wooden Canoes

    You are thinking about this ALL wrong.... I sat through Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, The Equalizer 2, and John Wick 3 and I now have a nicely reconditioned 1957 Johnson Outboard motor perfectly suited for the my Old Town square stern project and a wheel-able set of canoe cradles for my "efforts."

    I could watch those movies but if I have to watch Diane Keaton in another movie I think I am going to scream.....Unfortunately my bride has absolutely NO interest in working on a canoe or helping me with any outdoor projects. In her defense she does have COPD so this heat and humidity that we are going through is tough for her.
     
  8. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I gotta ask, what does watching movies have to do with working on a canoe?

    Dan

    "I sat through Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, The Equalizer 2, and John Wick 3"
     

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