1 mile in 30 min??

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Feb 13, 2014
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Finally had a windless day yesterday. 2 of us paddled my Discovery 158 6.5 miles in 3 hrs. Seems like a pretty good pace for a canoe. Is that typical? One other thing, the canoe tracked good until we were further out in open water. Then it seemed like we just zig-zagged. Tried the J-stroke and that helped, but maybe I need more practice at it.
 
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Nov 23, 2012
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Western Adirondacks
Finally had a windless day yesterday. 2 of us paddled my Discovery 158 6.5 miles in 3 hrs. Seems like a pretty good pace for a canoe. Is that typical? One other thing, the canoe tracked good until we were further out in open water. Then it seemed like we just zig-zagged. Tried the J-stroke and that helped, but maybe I need more practice at it.
Nothing wrong with whatever speed you paddle if you are enjoying the experience and the company. But a reasonably competent paddler if simply moving along from point to point with J-stroke or with some combination of other strokes, would typically easily paddle along at around 3mph. More accomplished paddlers, depending on boat design and desire to expend a fair amount of energy, would travel closer to 4.5-5mph. Marathon paddlers training on a long day in a stock canoe expect to maintain closer to 5.5-6mph, +/- depending on the specific boat and training goals.
 
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Aug 22, 2013
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Red Lake, Ontario
Solo I'm good for about 4-5km/h but not for hours on end. A 15 km day solo is plenty for me, but that includes plenty of portaging too. I like to slow the pace and be steady rather than huffing and puffing and missing out on the surroundings. The pace that is normal is what pace you enjoy. Have fun don't try to meet some sort of imaginary bar. And as yknpdlr says, it depends on conditions. Wind. Hull design. Stroke choice. Paddle style. Uphill or down hill.
 
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That's kinda slow for two paddlers in a tandem even a short tandem. Theoretical hull speed increases with length. A 16 foot canoe ought to be able to do 6 mph with two strong paddlers with good technique. But not for long. 2mph is a good overall planning speed for lake to lake travel as it covers the slower speed on doubling portages.

Don't worry, it will increase as the stern paddler gets more proficient at not following the gunwale. There should be NO sweeping action in the stern. And the stroke ought to end with a J at or BEFORE your hip..not in back of you. The stern paddler starts at the gunwale but the J is done a good foot off the hull. If you sweep in the stern you have to undo it with more J. A more forward stroke eliminates a need for a lot of j strokes.

Steering yaw is always the fault of the stern paddler. Study John Winters ( canoe designer ) to find out more about the pivot point and why the bow paddler has little influence. He has done the scientific studies. Bow paddlers being closer to the pivot point can never compensate for a poor stern paddling technique.

I am not arguing. I've been dabbling since 1963 and finally learned in 1996 how to paddle properly. Part of that involved understanding some hydrodynamics and vector forces. As no man or woman exists in a vacuum, I claim no credit. Everyone has a canoe mentor.

I have been lucky to have very many notable ones.
 
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One thing not mentioned yet is that a strong bow paddler will really help move things along. Assuming your correction stroke is working (sounds like it might need more practice if you were zig zagging), a good bow paddler can concentrate totally on forward movement. If you get stuck with a lillydipper (canoe term for someone who very delicately places one third of the paddle blade in the water and gently moves it back a few inches), your speed will suffer. Yesterday, my wife and i took my barge out, 20 feet long, 44 inches across, and paddled 14 k (around 8.5 miles) in a little over 2 hours. She's French Canadian, so it's in her blood, and although she's still learning, she's certainly no lilly dipper.

If the person in your bow is a buddy of yours, you can correct this by yelling at him "paddle harder you little girl". If the person in your bow is your wife, you can correct this by paddling harder yourself and keeping your mouth shut.

Have fun!
 
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Good point memaquay. Good marriage advice too.

Sometimes your bow paddler can cause problems and slow you down. There is one person I paddle with who somehow paddles with a yaw and sends the canoe all willy nilly all over the place. As a stern paddler you are constantly battling this and really really impedes the speed not to mention sends your stress level to points where it should never be while out paddling, especially when following the above advice and keeping your mouth shut. Every correction stroke actually slows you down.
 
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Lower Saranac Lake, Adirondacks
As a tandem paddlecraft's speed increases, it's functional rotational center, the loci of all forces on the hull moves forward to just behind the bow station. A bow paddler, who's stroke averages maybe about two feet from that rotational center.,\ Failure to use a vertical shaft or stroking along the rail will result is offside sweeping forces turning the bow towards the stern's side, but the moment is small, and the bow's aft blade carry so limited by the hull that the bow cannot induce yaw without doing something obvious and heroic, like a draw or cross draw.

The stern, on the other hand, has an eight to ten foot moment arm from stroke center to the Loci, so it doesn't take much to torque the stern off course. The sterns sins are often multiple; failure to employ a vertical paddleshaft, stroking along the rail not parallel to the keel and carrying the blade past his body. Any or all three result in sweeping forces which turn the canoe onside towards the bow's paddle side. The J corrects for all those inadvertent sins, but it's better not to torque the hull of course in the first place.
 
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Maybe with all the zig zaging you actually traveled farther than you think. That would up your average speed. Don't worry about it, you and your paddle partner will fall into a groove at some point. My son and I can paddle efficiently and cover good ground. My wife and I, no. She's not interested in canoeing anyway and I'm just glad to do something together so I try to bite my tongue. We take short scenic day trips when we go together so she can do what she likes, photogaphy. She tier's out easy so I paddle her back to the truck.
 
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As a tandem paddlecraft's speed increases, it's functional rotational center, the loci of all forces on the hull moves forward to just behind the bow station. A bow paddler, who's stroke averages maybe about two feet from that rotational center.,\ Failure to use a vertical shaft or stroking along the rail will result is offside sweeping forces turning the bow towards the stern's side, but the moment is small, and the bow's aft blade carry so limited by the hull that the bow cannot induce yaw without doing something obvious and heroic, like a draw or cross draw.

The stern, on the other hand, has an eight to ten foot moment arm from stroke center to the Loci, so it doesn't take much to torque the stern off course. The sterns sins are often multiple; failure to employ a vertical paddleshaft, stroking along the rail not parallel to the keel and carrying the blade past his body. Any or all three result in sweeping forces which turn the canoe onside towards the bow's paddle side. The J corrects for all those inadvertent sins, but it's better not to torque the hull of course in the first place.

I'm not a fan of the J stroke and seldom use it. Mainly use the Canadian stroke or modified Indian Stroke. It's only one paddler that causes this, anybody else not an issue. Even another stern paddler remarked on this phenomenom. I would love to find out what the cause is and correct this person because it is easier to tell them to take the paddle out of the water and solo paddle. It's hard to judge from teh back of the canoe all the angles the paddle is on but I am suspicious that the paddle is traveling through the water like / instead of I if you know what I mean.
 
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Jan 31, 2013
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Middle of the Florida paddling paradise
Going to sound a bit different here than most. Your speed was great for not being out on the water that much lately building up skill/muscle, being relatively new, and not using bent shafts in a Jean Jensen racing canoe. :eek: How was your boat trimmed? That can make a difference in speed. Just take your time to learn and use the whole stroke of the paddle. If this is your speed of canoeing and having a good time with the wife then so be it. It is the perfect speed.:eek:

We had the complete opposite problem last Saturday. Had to slow down to make a five mile trip take 3 hours. The current was pushing us. Strange for you to here this but a two mile per hour current is really rare here in central Florida any thing faster is unheard of. This current was faster than that. We were doing 22 minute miles just being lazy.
 
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Feb 13, 2014
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minnesota
We had the complete opposite problem last Saturday. Had to slow down to make a five mile trip take 3 hours. The current was pushing us. Strange for you to here this but a two mile per hour current is really rare here in central Florida any thing faster is unheard of. This current was faster than that. We were doing 22 minute miles just being lazy.

Wouldnt want to go too fast I guess. Finish up too soon, go home, and wish I was still on the water? NOT!!! Next time I'm gonna see if it can take an hour to go a mile. Too much fun and relaxing spending time with the ducks and weed beds. Hurrying is for people who'd rather be at work.
 
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Jan 31, 2013
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Middle of the Florida paddling paradise
We found this little side canal an spent some time there. Could not spend the whole day. Had to get off the spring run before the crowds came and ruined everything. Also had to make it back to the spring head to see the mermaids. So Meopilite would agree with you most of the time we had a very tight scheduled. Most times can find some thing to slow us down.
 
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