Canoe length and charter flights

Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
68
Hello all,

I have wanted to buy a big flat water tripper for some time.

Chick and I rented a few (Champlain, Minn. II, Northwoods, etc) for these base camping trips that seem to become more frequent. We both liked the Champlain so figured we would go that route. 18' seemed fine to me, but then I look at some other big boats from Clipper and Wenonah (Itasca) and think 18'6'" or 19' could be even better.

If I ever wanted to do a fly in trip with what ever canoe we settle on, how do the dimensions impact the cost? It is more no doubt, but what would a comparison be between flying in a 17' canoe and a 18' or 19' hull? At some point you probably need a larger plane. Can you strap an 18' or 19' hull on the pontoon of a Cessna?
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
68
Similar question for Via Rail. More length cost more I am sure - is there a flat rate to a certain length and then the price scaled based on length?
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
1,998
Location
Connecticut
The easiest way to get an accurate answer would be to contact a wilderness plane charter company and ask them.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
20
I like big boats too! With all my brood and livestock, I’d wished I’d gone with the 20’ Mac to squeeze them all in for a few years.
I’ve never had an issue tying my 18’6 Mackenzie or 18’ prospector on to a beaver or otters pontoons, no pilot has ever asked or even blinked an eye at the BBC’s. Not sure about the Cessna tho, aren’t any around my parts that are certified for external loads.
The norm is a straight up tie on charge, no matter the length.

Via has an 18’ max length.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
338
Location
Hogtown
I'm sure you can get at least an 18' on a Beaver, there would be no difference in cost as most operators have a flat rate for the tie-on.

What does change is the total payload capacity, external loads are usually calculated at 3 times actual weight (maybe 2 times in some cases). This means that a 90lb monster is going to count as 270lbs which is about 25% of the total payload capacity for a Beaver DHC-2, add in a couple of "hefty" paddlers and the amount left for gear starts to become an issue. This is especially true for long flights where additional fuel may need to be carried.

I recall one flight where we hit the max (two nested solo boats) and were told to start dumping excess gear (food actually). We pulled out "spare" chocolate bars and had to give up my fruit supply (substantial). The cool part was that although we managed to get down to the max payload the pilot surprised us when we landed, seems he surreptitiously hid my big bag of apples, oranges and chocolate bars in the cargo area while we were not looking!
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2012
Messages
310
Location
Illinois
When we fly with two canoes on an Otter the pilot does have a preference of which side the longer one goes on. The last time we got dropped off the pilot and helper then strapped a Lund Boat to the struts for the trip back. I think the pilot had asked the outpost cabin owner for permission to land at his dock. The owner said if he wanted the smashed up Lund he could take it with him.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
68
Thank you for the replies everyone.

ViaRail does have that 18' length. This will be a defining factor for me - won't look for anything longer.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
338
Location
Hogtown
In a "standard" boxcar 18 feet is just about the length available at each end of the boxcar without blocking the sliding doors. Without stacking boats you can generally put 6 canoes in a boxcar and the door area will remain clear. Stack them 3 high and you can get 18 canoes in a boxcar.

For ocean containers especially the smaller 20' ones often used in the arctic you can jam in 9 boats up to 18' each.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
167
Location
Clayton NY
In a "standard" boxcar 18 feet is just about the length available at each end of the boxcar without blocking the sliding doors. Without stacking boats you can generally put 6 canoes in a boxcar and the door area will remain clear. Stack them 3 high and you can get 18 canoes in a boxcar.

For ocean containers especially the smaller 20' ones often used in the arctic you can jam in 9 boats up to 18' each.

Good to know for when I take a big group to the Artic.
 
Top