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Poll: Where do you sit when soloing a tripping canoe?

Poll: Where do you sit when soloing a tripping canoe?

  • Stern seat

    Votes: 2 7.1%
  • Bow seat with canoe turned around stern first

    Votes: 10 35.7%
  • Centralized seat

    Votes: 16 57.1%

  • Total voters
    28
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I love my kneeling thwart; well, at least the part of me above my knees. I'm considering replacing it with a seat instead. I could just paddle from the stern (nice and narrow back there) but I'd have to haul an awful lot to trim it. Or paddle it backwards from the bow (a faux pas with an asym I guess).
The easiest way to trim it has been to park my wife up front with gear in the middle. But then that's not solo is it? Or maybe I'm the trim in the stern on her trips? Perspective is everything.
I like that guy in the header. That's how and where I'd most like to sit.
 
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All of my canoes (solos) have center seats. I want the leading edge of that seat about 4 inches aft of the mid point of the canoe. I do have one tandem (an Old Town RX Appalachian) but both seats have been removed in favor of smaller thwarts to maximize room to walk about. It is my poling canoe and only used for day tripping fun. If I find myself needing to sit and paddle, I go to my knees in the strong side bilge, just aft of center. Short or long, wide or narrow, the only paddling position that gives me the control I desire is the mid point of the canoe.
 
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At this point in my life all my solo paddling is done from dedicated solo canoes. I think the last time I paddled solo using a tandem boat was back in high school when all I had was a 15' aluminum canoe. Personally, I don't mind getting my feet wet (or muddy) so I prefer being in the "center" of my craft. I do have one tandem that I would consider using as a solo, sitting in reverse from the bow, but that's still a long ways off as it's my project boat.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I didn't mean to focus on sitting, but rather on your general position in the canoe, whether on a seat, a thwart or Indian-style on your knees.

I've always been a centrist.

My first canoe was a 16' Mad River Explorer, and I almost immediately installed a wide cane middle seat in it along with thigh straps. That's where my young kids sat and where I paddled solo from my knees. My next canoe was a 17' Old Town OTCA, which I have always paddled solo from the middle, kneeling off three rectangular float cushions (like a saddle).

All of my many solo canoes, both whitewater and flatwater, have had centralized saddles or seats.

Centralized seating allows me maximum paddle control over the canoe with strokes in all four paddling quadrants. It's also the position that is the most laterally stable -- i.e., the least tippy -- and that renders the paddler-boat mass most naturally neutral to wind forces.

I do paddle bow seat backwards when I rent tandem canoes when traveling. While that paddling position is quite doable, the decrease in paddle control, balance control and wind control is very noticeable to me, especially since I'm usually paddling empty on day trips in those rental canoes.
 
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I am almost always in a “centralized” seat.


I am not a fan of having bow, stern and “center” seats in a canoe, or at least in a 16-17 footer. Too much storage area is occluded with seats (and thwarts) for packs and tripping gear purposes.

"while Diane, the boys and I are famous for toting along creature comforts – two tents, four chairs, an inflatable raft, a parawing and poles, a roll-a-table"

I see your reasoning
 
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I am not a fan of having bow, stern and “center” seats in a canoe, or at least in a 16-17 footer. Too much storage area is occluded with seats (and thwarts) for packs and tripping gear purposes.

"while Diane, the boys and I are famous for toting along creature comforts – two tents, four chairs, an inflatable raft, a parawing and poles, a roll-a-table"

I see your reasoning

And that was back when the boys shared a tent. Of course on family trips we are in four 16+ foot solo boats, so gear space is not a big problem.

I hadn’t thought about the rubber raft in a while. When the boys were (not even that much) younger they were complete water rats and would spend 8 pruney hours a day in water play and swimming. The inflatable raft was a cheap Coleman thing and when we inevitably busted out the vinyl floor it became a large oval innertube, which may have been even more fun. I spent some time floating around in it myself.

But even on more serious trips I prefer to do without the hull occlusion of extra seats. This is the soloized Penobscot, test packed with gear for a lengthy no-portage trip on the Green. I do have all of the common gear in the Penobscot, including a tarp, poles and sand stakes, toilet & wag bag storage system, fire pan & Fire in a Can, the required extra PFD, 25 liters of water and you know, some plenty of beer.



And two chairs; one for a friend.



That load would have been a tough fit in a 3 seater. Or for that matter in a svelte dedicated solo.
 
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