Seeking advice on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

8:45 p.m. on June 27, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts

This question may be a bit premature as I do not yet have the exact dimensions of the canoe I will be using.

I am planning on using a canoe to access some islands on a large lake, I will be staying 2-3 days and using my regular backpacking gear. I will also be hauling in about 15 lbs. of local split firewood, and may well be hauling out that much trash depending on how much I find during my trip.

Water on the lake can range from dead flat to 3 ft. white caps. I am fairly confident in my abilities to handle a canoe with no load, but I'm asking for any advise, tips, tricks you guys may have for canoeing with a load in possibly rough water.

Thanks

11:19 a.m. on June 29, 2010 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
67 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Couple of question for you trout, is the canoe round bottom or v-ed, this will make a bit of difference but not much, I am assuming it will be just you doing the paddling; this will make a difference as to distributing the weight if you have a second paddler. But for now I am assuming it will be you in a typical 16 foot FG V-ed hull canoe, so if you take the typical position which is about 2 feet up from the stern in a kneeling sitting position this is how I would load my canoe .behind you I would pack in fishing gear and some gallon water jugs and light miscellaneous equipment nothing to reach over the gunwales, from the center of the canoe I would load your wood keeping at least 1 foot BELLOW the gunwales, trap and secure this in to avoid load shift up front I would put your pack and food supplies and any other miscellaneous equipment and again nothing to reach over the gunwales preferable I like to keep the loads at a min of 6 inches below the rails a foot if I can, this keeps your load to low the worst thing you want in a canoe is a high center of gravity and too much weight in the bow and stern, remember every time you take a stroke you are off setting your balance by leaning into and over the side for your stroke, not to mention any wind will catch anything over the rails and could act as a sail and flip you in a gust. I also recommend these steps also, cover your loads in a light trap if you can keeps water off the stuff and will keep a smooth surface so wind cannot catch gear and create the sail effect, put food and clothing in dry bags, if you have enough stow all your gear in dry bags if not thick trash bags doubled up will work. Have fun be safe can’t wait to hear about it and I hope you do not run into the problem I had on my last trip.

R_Ranger

12:16 p.m. on June 29, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Thanks for the reply,

I have two canoes I can borrow / use for this trip.

The first is a 14' with a 38" beam, but has no discernible rocker, to my eyes. Here is a photo:


This is a fiberglass canoe.

The second canoe I can use is at someone Else's house and I don't have a photo yet, but it is a 16' canoe with a medium rocker. I don't remember it being a fiberglass canoe (?) as it's been a while since I used it.

The 14' canoe would be big enough I think, but I'm thinking the other 16' canoe with a medium rocker would be better in rough water should I encounter any out on the lake which does happen in high winds / storms.

I do plan on using a kneeling pad, but the seat in the pictured canoe is right where I would want to be, but maybe I can incorporate a backrest with it, sitting just in front of it (?).

Thanks.

12:23 p.m. on June 29, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

I forgot about this photo of the canoe bottom:


Looks like round bottom with not much rocker if any to me, but I'm not a canoe expert yet.

3:58 p.m. on June 29, 2010 (EDT)
27 reviewer rep
200 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.
5:13 p.m. on June 29, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Thanks yock, that article illustrates how important securing your load is.

Which is more of what I'm wondering about. The canoes I can use do not have lash points or straps, although I can put my gear into dry bags I'm not sure how to secure the load. I have a couple small nets but no way to attach them to the canoe.

12:58 p.m. on June 30, 2010 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
67 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Trout In looking at your picture of the canoe I would do this in tying down your main load (wood), you will need 5 lengths of poly rope or hemp rope your choice I would use poly, run 3 lengths of rope (approximate to length of load plus height plus extra footage to tie) from the front seat stiffeners to the mid- boat stiffener then run 2 lengths of poly in an “X” over this through the same stiffeners, place a trap over this and load your wood, when you are finished fold the trap in such a way as to avoid seams that could catch a breeze, so try to have your seam facing down on a side. Now bring your 3 lengths of rope up and over your load securing at the opposite end the (i.e.) front to back; back to front. Now with your cross ties secure them this will hold your load tight to the boat and keep the load from shifting, the three other lengths will secure your load into the boat. You can use this same tie method to secure your front load also you just will not need as many ropes 2 or 3 should do the trick, just remember this pitch and yaw “left to right” and “up and down” meaning you do not want your load to shift side to side or front to back and to remain in the boat if you (god forbid) turn it or get swamped. The trap is going to hold your load pretty tight together and keep the wood from getting wet, and if you feel you just need that extra bit use some bungee cords and run them from your forward seat to your mid strengthener.

Hope this helps

R_Ranger

2:00 p.m. on June 30, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Thanks rescue ranger,

That definitely gives me something to work with, I appreciate the reply.

Also, what software did you use to draw lines on the photo? I've had a need to do that before but didn't know how.

2:55 p.m. on June 30, 2010 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
67 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

copied your photo into MS powerpoint (2007) used the graphic tools to add the lines then saved as a "other format" and choose "JPEG file interchange format"

Glad I could help

R_Ranger

4:13 p.m. on June 30, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Okay, I don't have MS Powepoint, I do have it's dark cousin 'Open Office' I'll see if it has the same function.

5:40 p.m. on June 30, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.


trouthunter said:

Okay, I don't have MS Powepoint, I do have it's dark cousin 'Open Office' I'll see if it has the same function.

I just tied down this beauty so it would not bite me using Open Office. If I could figure it out anyone could.

5:52 p.m. on June 30, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Haha.... now I have to figure it out!

That's a cool feature, I don't know why I wasn't aware of it before.

10:19 p.m. on June 30, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
908 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Trouthunter, A few things to add to what has been said. Tying in your gear is a great idea. While the "trap" idea will work to a point, the issue is you want your gear to be securely fitted into the canoe in case of an upset. What you don't want, is gear that floats partially free in the swamped canoe. The best system is to glue d rings into the bottom of the boat, about an hour's work, then strap your gear to those. Do not, under any circumstance use hemp or other non floating ropes in a canoe. There is a risk of entrapment. Always use lines that float.

As far as paddle position, since you will be paddling solo in a tandem canoe, do not sit in the stern seat. This is a mistake that many newbies make when trying to paddle a tandem canoe solo. Doing so creates two fundamental problems. The first is that unless you have a lot, and I mean A LOT of weight forward, the canoe will be very bow high. That is dangerous and unwieldy in a headwind. Second, the canoe will be more difficult to control paddled from an extreme end. The solution is to take your symetrical tandem canoe and paddle it from the bow seat facing backwards. This puts you close to the center of the canoe and your strokes will be more effective. Load your canoe so it is only slightly bow high. In a tailwind, this works. If you have a headwind, load the canoe slightly bow low.

You can sit of kneel in the canoe. Kneeling makes it more stable. However, you will probably have to lower the seat slightly to make it more comfortable for kneeling. Just don't lower it too much as there a risk of foot entrapment. 10 3/4 inches measured from the bottom of the canoe to the bottom of the edge of the seat is about ideal, unless you have abnormally large feet. LOL

10:32 p.m. on June 30, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Thanks Erich,

Just to clarify, as far as seating position, are you talking about me me sitting backwards in the canoe....or me turning the whole canoe backwards making the bow the stern?

3:42 a.m. on July 1, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
908 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Trouthunter,

Make the bow the stern. That way, you will be closer to the center of the canoe for better weight distribution when you are paddling solo. This only applies to symmetrical canoes, but from your photos, symmetrical is what you have. The widest point of the canoe is in the middle. Some modern canoes are asymmetrical. In that case the bow is still the bow, but the solo paddler will paddle from near the center, often using a kneeling thwart. You don't need to worry about that.

11:06 a.m. on July 1, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Thank you Erich,

I thought that's what you meant.

I will post some photos as I get the canoe ready, which ever one I choose.

6:02 p.m. on July 1, 2010 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

The direct answer to your question is - in the middle, The ends should be light to make them more responsive. Be aware that if one end sinks lower than the other it will matter in a wind - the lower end will tend to point into a wind. You move your weight around in a canoe, especially paddling on your knees and you can adjust a lot of things in real time by moving your body.

Jim - I just got my first rigid kayak... an old slalom job.

7:59 p.m. on July 1, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Thanks Jim S,

I have paddled around enough to feel fairly confident in wavy / choppy water, but I know hauling a load can be a different ball game.

I don't need any misadventures if I can help it.

10:32 a.m. on July 2, 2010 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
67 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Just remember Pitch and Yaw and keep your main load centered you will do fine

4:41 p.m. on July 2, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
908 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Trouthunter, hauling a load will make the canoe more stable. If I had the choice between the 16 and the 14, the 16 will track better, be faster, but be more susceptible to wind depending on the boat and the load.

4:53 p.m. on July 2, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Erich,

My delimma with the two canoes is that the 14'er seems to have no rocker, while the 16'er has a medium rocker, I was told that a medium rocker is better in rough water.

I don't have to go but half a mile with a load to get to an Island where I'm camping, but that is out on a large open lake. After I make camp, I will do some paddling amongst a group of islands sheltered from the wind.

2:55 a.m. on July 4, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
908 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Trouthunter,


The ability to handle rough water for your purposes, depends very little on rocker. Whitewater boats like my Outrage, often have a lot of rocker, 4 inches or more. The bows and sterns ride the waves easily, but they do not track well. More appropriately in your case, a canoe's ability to handle waves on a lake will depend on the shape of the bow, as well as how a boat is loaded. This is far more important than how much rocker a boat has. As well, the difference in rocker of the two boats will probably be very slight. I am unsure about what you refer to as medium rocker on the 16 and no rocker on the 14. A Chestnut Prospector, a great tripping boat for lakes and rivers, will have around 2- 2 1/2 inches of rocker depending on the variant. However, on windy lakes they can be a handful, both because of their depth, and their rocker. From looking at the photos, if that is the 14 you refer to, while it has fine ends and little rocker, it is also fairly full forward, so will shed most water. More appropriate to ask is how much weight you will have in the boat, gear and you. Then with some rough dimensions(length, depth, beam and bottom shape) I can make a good guess on which I would take. In short, determining a boat's suitability for a particular purpose is based on many factors. As well, long trips have been accomplished in boats that may not have been ideally suited to the task. Let me know dimensions, and I'll be happy to help.

Best,

Erich

1:08 p.m. on July 4, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Okay Erich I will do that, thanks.

I'm relieved to know that rocker does not factor in as much as I thought, because I think the 14' canoe is plenty big for my needs.

After looking at some charts and drawings on the internet I noticed that the 16' canoe is shaped differently than the 14' canoe.

The 16' seems to be narrower, and has more curve along its length, that shape matches the photos of several boats on websites that stated their boats shaped like that had a medium rocker.

I will not be canoeing fast rivers or whitewater, just choppy lakes on occasion.

I will get those dimensions, but it may be a week or so.

12:27 a.m. on July 5, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
908 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Do you know what the makes and models of the canoes are? If they are commonly available(or were) I might know them.

10:02 a.m. on July 10, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,339 reviewer rep
259 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Balance, Trouthunter-san, balance. :)


My best friend and I used 3 sturdy totes, and put the heaviest in the center, and the tried to balance the weight of other two totes frong and back. We used ratchet straps on the cross bars to hold the load. She has a Wenonah Spirit II 17' canoe. It's an amazing canoe...

We took an 8 day low key lake trip in Northern Idaho, and rode on some pretty choppy drink, and our load sat fine, and the canoe paddled sweet.


We have another 8 day trip planned August in Northern Washington...fun times!

4:53 p.m. on July 15, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Thank you guys for all the help.

I have decided to use the 14' canoe, as it is plenty big enough.

Both canoes have been refinished / painted and I have not been able to find the brand or model of either one.

Thanks again.

6:41 p.m. on September 23, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
908 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Trouthunter, how was your trip? Were the load and paddling suggestions helpful?


Erich

6:54 p.m. on September 23, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,478 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

Thanks for asking Erich,

I have had the canoe out a couple times but not with a load yet, I have had to postpone some of my plans. I think I'll be able to go in October, which will be cooler weather anyway I guess.

I'll take some photos and do a trip report.

11:23 p.m. on September 23, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
67 forum posts
Re: Seeking advise on how to distribute my load for a three day trip in my 16' canoe.

The 14' will be much better for soloing. I can't wait to hear about your trip (I have cabin fever - lol)

September 20, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Row trolling boat Newer: Should I get a canoe or a kayak?
All forums: Older: Food for the Littlest Hikers Newer: primus omnifuel