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paddler position in tandem and boat responsiveness

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    paddler position in tandem and boat responsiveness

    As some of you know I have a reflection 15. It has a dedicated center seat, slanted downward for said use when kneeling.

    While paddling tandem today and yesterday, I noticed it tracked better than it did in the solo seat. I do like how a skulling draw works in the center seat, but I'm not sure if this would work as well in the stern seat.. or if I'd need to sit reversed in the bow. If I'm far off the center pivot point of the boat, would this be made more difficult? Same for other draws and pry strokes?
    This boat does not have a good place for a yoke due to the center seat. I really want to put in an ash yoke.. but the seat is in the way. Maybe the center seat is doing more harm than good?
    Last edited by Chansta; 12-27-2019, 06:24 PM.

    #2
    If you are sitting in the centre of the boat, a sculling draw will pull the centre of the boat toward the paddle; the canoe will side slip. If you are sitting in the stern, a sculling draw will pull the stern toward the paddle; the canoe will pivot. If this is what you want, then the sculling draw is effective.

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      #3
      If you're not going to use the canoe for solo paddling, then you can ditch the center seat and put in a thwart.

      If you do want to paddle solo, however, the best position is a seat that's 6"-8" aft of center. That's because of two reasons.

      First, it puts your center of gravity approximately over the canoe's pivot point, which allows you to maintain proper trim and execute turns more efficiently and with more stroke choices.

      Second, and more specifically, you can reach all four paddling "quadrants" of the canoe for dynamic and static strokes from the center seat position: the on-side bow quarter, the off-side bow quarter, the on-side stern quarter, and the off-side stern quarter. Any type of draw stroke -- straight pull draw, sculling draw, or static draw (while canoe is moving forward) -- if done properly, will move the canoe directly sideways (sideslip) without yawing the bow left or right. If you did these draw strokes in the stern quarter (from a center seat or stern seat), you would yaw the bow to the off-side.

      Similarly, there are various strokes for each of the four quarters that will move and turn the canoe in various ways -- all of which are variations of the forward stroke, draw stroke, pry stroke (also called a wedge or jam when done in the bow quarters), sweep stroke, reverse stroke, and the running high and low braces. All of these strokes and their changing lingo can be learned in instructional courses.

      If one can't paddle a canoe solo almost arrow-straight, without any bow yaw to the left of right, that means the stroke technique needs improvement. I began paddling solo at 8 years old and was about 38 before I could do an effortless and efficient solo forward correction stroke, which for me is a combination of C-stroke, pitch stroke and Canadian stroke. Of course, I never took instruction. If I had, I could have learned proper technique in about 50 hours.

      Dedicated solo canoes with center seats don't have portage thwarts for the very reason that it would interfere with the properly situated paddling station. Soloists use clamp-on portage thwarts. They can work for tandem canoes, too.

      Here's Bill Mason's classic demonstration of basic flat water canoe strokes while kneeling in the center of a 16' tandem canoe. While these strokes are just the basic ones, in my experience more than 90% of the people who paddle solo canoes don't know them all, which causes many to resort to double paddles. More advanced strokes and maneuvers are needed for whitewater.

      https://www.nfb.ca/film/path_of_the_paddle_solo_basic/

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        #4
        A tandem load also pushes the ends of the canoe further into the water so it "tracks better" or maybe more specifically it doesn't skid on top of the water as easily as it does with a light solo load. Both of my tandems have additional center seats for solo use and for me they are ideal for that purpose. If you want a yoke you can get a detachable yoke...or here's another option.

        https://www.edscanoe.com/yokecane-center-seat.html

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          #5
          I have a Dagger Reflection 17 and Dagger Reflection 15 which does not have a center seat. I bought it new with a yoke. I’ve never paddled it from center, for whatever that’s worth.

          barry
          My canoe can beat up your kayak.

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            #6
            Thanks, all. Yes, I do have a detachable yoke, I just find it a pain and it's tougher to find the proper place to clamp it down as compared to my solo boat. It sometimes slips off. Perhaps I need better technique with it.

            As for side slipping: yes..that's what I want it do do when performing the sculling draw from center seat. Although, I don't use this boat in rapids. Chiefly, I use it for docking.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by gumpus View Post
              A tandem load also pushes the ends of the canoe further into the water so it "tracks better" or maybe more specifically it doesn't skid on top of the water as easily as it does with a light solo load. Both of my tandems have additional center seats for solo use and for me they are ideal for that purpose. If you want a yoke you can get a detachable yoke...or here's another option.

              https://www.edscanoe.com/yokecane-center-seat.html

              That is exactly what I'm going to do for this canoe. That is bloody brilliant! Thank you!

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