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Question re: Canoe modification MR Trail Blazer

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Last year on a whim I bought a 14 foot Mad River Canoe. I can't find much information on it but I did find a couple reviews here.
Anyways, I love at how light it is compared to my 16 foot fiberglass but that's where the love ends.
It feels a bit tippy and is very slow. If you read the review, the poster stated he shortened the seats & yoke to make it more of a rounded bottom.
He said it improved it quite a bit.
Anyways, my question from the pros here is would it be a good idea to try? While I say "tippy" I do trust it assuming my dog doesn't make any sudden movements to a side I'm leaning on : )
 
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37”s is quite wide. If cutting a few inches rounds the flat bottom I would say that it will be very tippy if it feels a bit now.

Dropping the seat may help? If you can make some changes that can be temporary it may be worth a shot. Just a piece lumber for a yoke/thwart and a temporary seat.

Good luck!
 
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I gotcha. So before doing anything crazy maybe get some 2x2's & just test it first.
I don't want to call it tippy, but it definitely has a LOT more side to side action over my fiberglass 16 (I don't think that thing would tip ever)
I want to like it but it's just SOOO much slower than my fiberglass.
 
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I have pulled in the gunwales on several canoes, mostly 16’ RX tandems I was soloizing, so that the gunwale width at center was reduced a bit for easier paddle strokes.

I can confirm that reducing the gunwale width at center by two or even three inches did nothing to the hull speed except for making paddle strokes easier, did little to the waterline and nothing perceptible to the rocker. The length to waterline ratio was little changed, it just got easier to plant a paddle blade.

That center gunwale width reduction tapers to nothing towards either stem. The most noticeable hull shape change is to increase the curve of the chines and adding a touch of tumblehome to a slab sided hull. Starting with a flatter bottomed canoe, where the transition from the bottom to the sides is already abrupt, pulling in the gunwales does put additional stress on the material at the chines, and I wouldn’t draw the gunwales in more than two or three inches at most.

I drew in the gunwales on a composite canoe with flared sides by 4”; that produced too much stress on the chines and there was some resultant cracking that needed repair after a few hard use trips. Even with a Royalex canoe the material at the chines shouldn’t be overly forced into a tighter curve.

Drawing in the gunwales by two or three inches at center is unlikely to make the canoe any faster in the theoretical length-to-waterline ratio aspect. Maybe easier to get a proper paddle stroke in the water, which maybe why the person who reduced the gunwale width on his Trailblazer pronounced it faster. It is still going to be a short, wide, flat bottomed canoe.

On a canoe with vinyl gunwales and a wide flat inwale the bottoms of the wales will become slightly canted \ / instead of --- ---, which may require some custom shaping of the brightwork near center to fit flat and flush under the inwales.

Cheeseandbeans is correct, lowering the seat, even by one inch, can make a “tippy” canoe feel much more stable.
 
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FWIW specification wise the Mad River “Trailblazer” was a special edition tie in with the Chevy Trailblazer. MRC wasn’t designing a new canoe and making a new mold just for a briefly offered commemorative canoe, so the Trailblazer was simply a rebadged Tahoe 14, one of Mad River’s “Sporting canoes”.

Specs:

Shape - Slight rocker, symmetrical, shallow arch

6” freeboard capacity – 1000 lbs

Weight – 55 to 56lbs (I think MRC made both a regular Royalex and Royalex-lite version of the Tahoe 14)

Length – 14’

Gunwale width – 37 ¼”

6” waterline width – 35 ½”

Center depth – 14 ¼”

Bow & stern height – 21”
 
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Thank you so much Mike. I even emailed MRC & asked what style canoe the trailblazer was rebadged from. Of course they never responded. :rolleyes:
Sounds like I will just leave it be. It's not horrible as I still enjoy using it, but it cannot compete with my oddball French Canadian canoe I found : )
 
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