Ignorance is Bliss

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As the title says I may never experience what it's like to paddle a homemade canoe made from stripped cedar planks of the Abughangee mountains but I believe I found a keeper canoe.
As soon as I put it in I could tell the difference. It sat on the water like a feather instead of a bath tub.
As soon as I started out I almost started singing "Oh Canada" (it's a Canadian made canoe eh) It was light & fast. Very easy to paddle. If I wanted speed I could do it, but even a casual stroke kept me moving at a nice pace. It tracked very well (has a keel) however, I will admit, it did turn a little slow. (Purists may want to skip this next comment) I found if I did a wide sweeping stroke with my kayak paddle it helped me turn a bit quicker. It was pretty stable even with a moving dog. I did rock it side-to-side and it seemed fine.
The wooden seats were a big pain-in-the-butt (lol) but I found if I put my knees down & put my weight on them not only was it more comfortable but it made it easier to paddle & control the boat.
I was even able to lift the boat & carry it too the water. Loading was equally as easy as I just backed down to the water edge & slid it on the back of the truck.

I did want to take a moment to again thank everyone here for their patience with me in the last couple weeks. You've all been helpful. I realize I have a long way to go to be as hardcore as you guys (and gals). I look forward to reading the forum and learning on the way.
 

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I'm happy to hear that you love your new canoe. It really does look to be in "like new" condition. Your dog seems to like it too. There are lots of seat pads on the market and I often use the inexpensive pad shown that's made to keep a hunter's butt warm in the winter. Come this winter you may want to lightly sand (150 grit) and oil or varnish that center thwart and maybe the seats...the thwart looks a little dry but all the wood will last forever with just a little help.
image.jpeg
 
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Yeah. It's odd. It's never seen the water....but he replaced the center thwart. The seats look dry & worn as well. The bottom is scratch free. It's definitely a mystery.
I would like to get a seat cover and maybe some pads for the knees. It was much more comfortable in that position.
I planned on doing a small 2 hour river run tomorrow but will have 1 more day off after that. I have a home depot card that needs used so I will indeed tend to the wood in the boat.
The dog did like it. The sides were shallower so he could easily lay down & still see out. (the barge he couldn't)
Maybe one day I will buy a real paddle :) I offset my paddles so I am basically doing a J-stroke motion, but with 2 blades. This might be a hard habit to break. Paddling solo it seems like a better use of energy.
 
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Wow!
Looks like you found a gem! And the dog seems very content.

With respect to the seats- my Chestnut Pal has slat seats and they are fine. I'm not a sitter, but rather a kneeler and as a result just rest my weight on the front of seats when paddling.The lower centre of gravity helps with stability and maneuverability.
However, when not paddling I'll sit on the slats and don't mind at all.

Definitely high density foam pads for kneeling- especially in cedar canvas boats. Those ribs turn your kneecaps to cheese pretty quickly!


Bruce
 

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Congrats on the new purchase. One of my first canoes had a keel as well and I did find it hard to turn and poling with it was a real chore but we all need to start somewhere and you will adapt to it as you paddle it more. If you don't like the seats you could always order some from Ed's, https://www.edscanoe.com/ as well as a new carry thwart vs just a regular thwart like you have now. Glad to see you survived the trials and tribulations of purchasing a canoe!

dougd
 
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Ignorance is Bilss?? Ha Ha
You are going to be learning Quebecois French......The canoe parle Francais seulement.. Unless you do it won't obey!!
 
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Congrats on the canoe!

Solo paddling seems frustrating at first, I don't know when it became my only choice for paddling, except to say, after many hours and miles it became 2nd nature.

Canoeing well really is more about the paddler than the canoe, meaning an experienced canoeist can make any boat look like it's perfect, although a perfect boat will not make a paddler perfect, that still takes lots and lots and practice.

Bill Mason was my inspiration, and of course Becky his daughter carried on in his tradition.

Good luck with it!

https://paddlemaking.blogspot.com/2012/03/becky-mason-northwoods-stroke.html?m=1
 
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Ha. I think it may only speak French. It sure wasn't listening yesterday. Found out that : lake + high wind = good times :rolleyes:
As much as it was blowing I was still able to paddle easily even against the wind. This thing is a sportster compared to my last canoe. Those high gusts just pushed it where it wanted though.
I did get some cheap-o knee pads....the kind that strap around your leg. Quickly found out those hurt the legs, but I just rested them on the hull & was fine. Should of been patient & bought those stick on foam pads I seen on Amazon. I think I've been paddling from the wrong seat. though Does it matter? (lol) The dog has more room the way I was doing it.

I would like to find those videos Denise. Will be good winter time viewing. I will challenge your statement though as my last canoe wasn't that great. More like a jon boat than a canoe.
 
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It takes a lot of paddling to find your style and comfort zone in a canoe I kneel like most, use a pad not knee pads.

Most canoe seats are too high! I recently refurbed my 15ft solo to tandem I forgot to adjust the seat height and tilt. Went on a one-day river trip (first time in almost 10 years) I was sore all over 5 days after!

You haven't discovered the world of YouTube?


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Hi,
As Denise noted it may take a while to find your comfort zone but that is one of the unexpected advantages your seats have over the moulded seats or tractor seats- you can seat facing the other way! High density foam pads are easily moved bow to stern, side to side. I'm not a huge fan of the permanently attached kneeling pads ( plus they really spoil the lines of many canoes!)

None of my boats are solos- but I solo paddle them all, usually from the bow seat facing the stern. That puts me closer to the centre of the canoe and allows better maneuverability. One thing to keep in mind is weight- canoes perform best when they are "weighted" especially if that weight is dispersed equally bow to stern so bow doesn't ride too high or stern too high. A canoe will spin like a weathervane in any wind when weight is all at one end. I can't tell how big your dog is but i'm assuming he doesn't match your weight. Try putting additional weight in - trick I learned from Becky Mason is to take an old Dry sack and fill it with lake water just before you get in canoe.

Keels aren't a big deal. Half my canoes have then and after hauling over deaver dams or running shallow gravel rivers I really appreciate them! Protects the canvas and does help with tracking . It does affect the maneuverability to a certain extent but as you get more proficient paddling solo you'll be healing your canoe over to carve turns and you won't notice its effect much.

Just get out there and paddle!

Bruce
 
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I am truly blissful, with the honest, open, smile of the truly ignorant.
"Not all who wander are lost, some truly are."
 
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Instead of creating a new post I thought I'd ask here since it has to do with this canoe:

My question: As posted above I mention it was kind of hard to turn on lake water. However, when I got it on the river it was like a totally different boat. It would turn effortlessly. It would even "stall" in pockets of slower current. It was almost like I was anchored. The river would just flow past me.
Now the question: Why ? :)
 

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Without knowing you're paddling style, skill level, or how long you've actually been paddling, it's pretty hard to help.

giving you all kinds of "how I do, this and how I do that" probably aren't going to help much.

Carving a turn, low and hi brace, reaching c stroke etc.. (everybody has different names for the same types of paddle strokes) but all comes down to how comfortable you are leaning the boat over,. It takes a while to reset that tilt mechanism in our brains but once we realize the more we lean a canoe the they resist flipping, the more daring we get, (why I don't like flat bottom boats or canoes). The same things are true a power boats and sailboats,


Of course anybody can argue from any point of view about sitting, kneeling, even standing in a canoe but most people new to canoeing will not even try to do a three-point position in a canoe (kneeling)

In this he demonstrates also notice he's using his "c" stroke not a j stroke.
https://paddling.com/learn/how-to-do-the-carving-off-side-turn-canoe-stroke/
But I don't consider myself any kind of teacher or instructor so others can take it from here.
 
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As Denise noted there are lots of videos out there that may assist.
Some of my favourites on the basics of solo canoeing- explaining the physics of moving water, shape of the boat, etc.- are https://westwoodoutdoors.ca/category/techniques/

To turn a canoe you need to "carve" or lean the canoe a bit. The amount of carve depends upon specific canoe and paddling, and the degree of turn wanted.
And when you mention "stalling" -are you in the eddy of a river? Crossing an eddy line will put in quiet water out of the current which has good and bad points.

The best thing to do is exactly what you are doing- get out there and paddle! Try different strokes, different sitting positions, different trim and see how the canoe- and you!- respond.

Have fun.
Bruce
 
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I have no skill level. I've literally been on a canoe less than 10 times :) I either sit or kneel and paddle. I still use a kayak paddle. Leaning is still something I don't do.
I was just wondering why it turned so easily on the river but hard on the lake. Just the design of the boat? It is keeled from front to back.
I will have winter to youtube educate myself on different techniques for sure.
 
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When you're on a river the current can help turn the boat. You may want to pick up a straight shaft canoe paddle somewhere along the way. There are turning strokes like the bow rudder and bow draw that may feel more natural to you with a canoe paddle. I think you just need to experiment with different turning strokes.
 
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Fear of falling in getting wet is very hard to get our subconscious to understand. "it's okay" in the right conditions there's nothing to be afraid of. We used to take my prospector in about 4 feet of water on a lake and purposely sink, roll, climb in, etc
 
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Congrats on the new boat!
the difference between your river turns and turning on a lake could simply be that on a river, when you start the turn. you'll have the current pushing you around too, but on a lake there's no current to give a helping hand (that's why eddy turns don't work on lakes).
that canoe looks like an old Laurentian, in which case the seats are mounted perfectly flat. You could switch to a contoured seat with a "rolled" front edge or you could cut a wedge for each side to sit on the mounts and cant the seat up a little at the back, a cedar board and some stainless rod with nylock nuts and washers fit on a gift card nicely! it's painful to sit backwards on a canted seat, so now you have the excuse to add a nice kneeling thwart ;)
The only answer to getting comfortable with your paddling and learning to lean the canoe is practice! take the boat to the nearest beach with fairly shallow water, put on your swimsuit, and try, try, try to get down in the bilge and lean that sucker 'till it flips. After a half dozen attempts (and lots of practice bailing) start carving that boat around while leaning, soon you'll master the skills to carve the hull without getting any water in it, and be able to make the canoe dance :)
 
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