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Another question...

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Ray Kepler, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. Ray Kepler

    Ray Kepler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    So I finally got my canoe on the water! Three years in the making and it held water! Thanks to all for the many bits of advice.
    I discovered a couple of things:
    1. the stern seat is a bit high for my liking. I’d like to lower it. I assume I can find appropriate hardware from OT.
    2. I need a portage yoke. This boat has gained weight! I’d bet it’s at 90 pounds by now. (16 foot Guide with about 3 gallons of finish and epoxy). Both thwarts are nowhere near the center. Should I just replace the bow thwart with a yoke near the center, or the stern one? And is there a rule of thumb as to where to get place it? Several inches back from center? Any help would be appreciated. (In the picture the roll of wrapping paper is at the center).

    Attached Files:

  2. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Congrat's Ray,

    Yes, you might find longer bolts from OT or maybe one of the Pro's offering parts. Then just get and cut some 5/8 or 3/4 dowel to the length you want.

    The yoke, this is my opinion (from a MN boy who bases all canoeing decisions on paddling in the BWCA).
    All canoes need a portage yoke, period.
    Said yoke should be made of wood and have 2 comfortable and fitted pads. The yoke should have some "spring" in it to reduce shock load on the shoulders.
    The yoke should be positioned in at the center, ie, balance point of the canoe, or maybe just a "tush" rearward.
    The canoe should balance close to even on the shoulders without needing to touch it.

  3. OP
    Ray Kepler

    Ray Kepler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Dan. Any idea type of wood OT uses for the yokes? Kinda looks like ash.
  4. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I would guess ash but don't really know.
  5. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Generally carry thwarts are made from a good piece of ash but you should try to match the rest of the wood. You could have birch or oak but most likely ash.
    Here's an easy option: Portage Yoke (
    Personally I am just as happy with a straight thwart as a "carry thwart" but I always put a piece of pipe insulation over the thwart and wrap a towel around the back of my shoulders for longer carries.
  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    If you watch EBay for a little while, a vintage portage yoke is likely to show up.
    Robt. Ross has a vintage yoke for $300, which is about $250 too much IMHO.
    Also saw that some clown had an ash yoke on Ebay for $144. Ya gotta wonder about some of those sellers.
    Ed’s are nice yokes. So are Essex Industries.
    I’ve been buying some stuff from Essex. They employ developmentally handicapped people.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
    MGC likes this.
  7. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    If you have any wood processing capability, yokes are easy to make.
    The last couple I made were of cherry.
    MGC likes this.
  8. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Times two for Essex...good quality and prices. For the Old Town Royalex canoes I have owned I've replaced the original splined/caned Old Town seats with premade seats from Essex. If and when they fail again I'll replace them again. Splined cane seats are a PITA.
  9. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    A center thwart to match the existing and a pair of Jeanne Bourquin yoke pads would work for me.
    MGC likes this.
  10. OP
    Ray Kepler

    Ray Kepler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks guys. I made my own yoke and have decided to look for mounting gear to clamp the yoke temporarily as I move the thing around.

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