Solo portage yoke

Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,820
Location
Schenectady, NY
Mr. Gavia,
That looks great! I was toying with a similar idea, but you nailed it!!
I was wishing for a similar solution, but for tandem carrying. On trips, we generally have full packs, and can rest the seat frames on our packs.
But on day trips, without full packs, we have to carry the boat on our heads, supported by the seats, padded by our PFD's.

Your removable yoke solves all of those issues.

Have you used it yet? It sure looks to be a perfect solution.
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,002
Location
Connecticut
Nice work. I'm curious about a couple of things.

Why did you reject the idea of a traditional clamp-on-gunwales yoke?

What do you do with the yoke when paddling? The clamp-on-on gunwales type can simply be moved forward or astern and remain clamped on the gunwales at an angle.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thanks for the kudos, folks. It turns out I made it too long. So today I put more holes in the yoke end to create different balance points and cut off the excess length.

Stripperguy, I don't understand about putting the seats on your pack or head. Do you do a two-person carry? Either your boat is awfully heavy or the center-thwart-portage-yoke idea hasn't reached your part of the country yet.

Glenn, I've used a clamp-on-gunwales yoke and found it less than useful because it slipped on the gunwales. I finally glued some expanded rubber (the kind used on bar shelves for glasses) to the plastic clamps, and that helped. I still had to crank down the clamps to the max, which was a nuisance. I could have repositioned the clamps on the gunwales, but that would have meant more dinking around with the thing, which by now had a lot of friction, including it getting in the way of a pack and/or the map.
Also, the clamp type has a limited width range, unless you're willing to have the ends protrude on a narrower boat, which I'm not.

I've experimented with various solutions and I suspect this will be the easiest to use, next to the bracketed arrangement that I left on my Mad River Independence when I sold it. One of the brackets is shown in the 5th-last picture on this page:
http://codabone.net/canoeing/canoes/indy.htm
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
While I appreciate Gavia presenting his well made portage system, I think its quite heavy and I think I like Bryan Hansels better.. There is a little less fiddly clamping involved if clamping avoidance is your priority. It seems lighter too.

No aluminum needed

http://www.paddlinglight.com/articles/solo-canoe-yoke-plans/

I've been using a clamp on solo yoke for some 22 years now. It does slide on vinyl gunwales and a couple of short bolt heads on the bottom of the rails at the edges of the clamp act as keepers to prevent sliding.My Argosy is the only boat I have with vinyl rails. I like the clamp on as mine (from the early 90s) has slots in the yoke some two inches long on each side allowing for use on all my solos; four inches adjustment in width is possible. The one thing I dislike is that the metal L shaped clamp on the bottom is hard on infused gunwales and I am going to have to make rubber feet for Cobra sox protection( on my RapidFire..my problem child) . The other is that when you put the yoke on you have to have it square otherwise the boat is imbalanced and quite literally a PAIN to portage. After years I kind of have the spot eyeballed just fine but it takes time.

The yoke is under two lbs with CVCA pads. It stores about anywhere and I can put a spray cover on the boat. That is one of my concerns about Gavia's yoke.. how will it store in the canoe?

Mine is similar to this but without that awful foam pad.

http://www.amazon.com/Harmony-Universal-Solo-Canoe-Superior/dp/B0047H28HU/ref=pd_sxp_f_i

I use the CVCA pads

http://www.shop.northwestcanoe.com/CVCA-Yoke-Pads-772320.htm

Anyway you got me thinking about finally doing something to make carrying a pack canoe (Rapid Fire) traditionally easier.. So far the best I have come up with is to have two paddles run from thwart in back of the seat to thwart in front of the seat. Its a sit on the bottom like a kayak but it needs some elevation to keep my head from banging on the floor mounted seat.

Your style of yoke wouldnt work as there is no seat to brace against.. Gotta do more thinking... I have used the Grade VI fabric belt on yoke and its not built up enough.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Nice work!
When I'm carrying my solo with out my frame pack,I put a slit big pool noodle on the front seat crosspiece and fasten a tump to the seat to keep the seat from sliding off my shoulders.
Turtle
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,820
Location
Schenectady, NY
Thanks for the kudos, folks. It turns out I made it too long. So today I put more holes in the yoke end to create different balance points and cut off the excess length.

Stripperguy, I don't understand about putting the seats on your pack or head. Do you do a two-person carry? Either your boat is awfully heavy or the center-thwart-portage-yoke idea hasn't reached your part of the country yet.
Gavia,

I have many boats and some paddling partners. When going tandem, we often travel where there are no trails, not even a foot path. Carrying tandem, with full packs is easy enough, even if there are no trails.
When we paddle tandem day trips though, we lose the opportunity to rest the boat on our packs. We typically rest the seat on our heads, OK for shorter romps, but pretty tiring for carries over a mile, and especially so when bushwhacking.
My tandem stripper is kind of heavy at 40 lbs, but does have a center thwart. I solo carry it when paddling with MDB, but always tandem carry when going with the guys.

And YC, I haven't seen that sort of attachment in your link, wish I had thought of that, very clever and deceptively simple.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
3,460
I still go with simplicity for my solo's. I drill a hole at the neutral balance spot on each inwale and attach a regular yoke with a bolt and wing nuts. Very light, very simple. I guess most people just don't want to drill holes in their gunwales.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
I still go with simplicity for my solo's. I drill a hole at the neutral balance spot on each inwale and attach a regular yoke with a bolt and wing nuts. Very light, very simple. I guess most people just don't want to drill holes in their gunwales.


I don't mind. I just never thought of that. How do you avoid scattering bolts and wing nuts across the boreal? I'd need six extra of each
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
3,460
I always carry a couple of extra, but believe it or not, I've never lost one. Because you are attaching on the inwale, if it falls off while applying, it almost always falls into the canoe.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
197
Location
Genesee Valley, Western NY

Solo canoe carry yoke

There are things I load within in the canoe on a portage (paddle, PFD, bailer etc.). Sometimes I carry a spare paddle, other times I don't. I have dried my laundry by hanging it from a thwart. The location and weight of cargo items is not consistent and a balance point can move inches fore or aft. I also find that terrain, wind or my mood may dictate whether the bow wants to be slightly heavy or light. Adjustability or finding the sweet spot is crucial for my style of carry.

I carry with my arms down. Pitch is controlled by a dingle line attached at bow and stern that passes through my right hand. Yaw is induced through upper body rotation; this requires a keyed fit between shoulder and yoke. I achieve that by customizing the contour of a minicell pad to engage with my physique and the shoulder straps on my pack. Roll is not a directional force I care to direct but should it occur I want the ability of a quick separation from the canoe.

My yokes are dedicated to the canoe of use. This makes them easy to install, just rotate within the inwales and tighten the knobs, no width adjustment to fiddle with. A small piece of rubber gasket material cemented to the yoke at the contact point with the gunwale prevents slippage. The fulcrum of the wooden clamp is sized to give uniform, parallel pressure to the inwale, maximizing strength and eliminating scaring.
https://picasaweb.google.com/114267878012874538920/AdirondacksDismalHawkPonds#5740605979928950994

Yoke stowed for travel, weight is 21 ounces.
https://picasaweb.google.com/114267878012874538920/PepperboxPondHopping#5875977051270177122

Although keyed to my shoulders much of the weight rides on the top of my pack thus transferred to my hips.
https://picasaweb.google.com/114267878012874538920/CranberryLowsLilaLTLLowsOswegatchieFigureEight#5643730451254651090






 
G

Guest

Guest
For me,there ae 4 types of carrys,
1-on wheels either to the putin or long smooth carrys when going heavy= cart.
2- Short day trip carrys without camping gear=noodle n and tump.
3-Long full gear carrys for a long distance=frame pack with brackets.
4- short carrys to the putin or only a few yards nothing.
Each has a different solution.
turtle
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,002
Location
Connecticut
The issue I see with a clamp-on-seat yoke is that the seat has to be in a particular position for the balance point to be correct -- and some paddlers may not like the solo seat that far forward. Plus, there would seem to be no way to adjust the yoke attachment point fore or aft as the balance point of the carried canoe may change for things you stuff inside the hull, such as paddles, ropes or dangling things. This also means the clamp-on-seat yoke may work only on one canoe and not on others. Finally, I don't see it working on sliding solo seats.

I've used the same clamp-on-gunwales portage yoke on all my solo canoes for 30 years. It has metal clamps with rubber on the clamp jaws. It slips only trivially. I can use it on all my different solos, regardless of where the fixed or sliding seats are positioned, and I can fine tune the balance point.

Finally, and this is just a personal thing, I don't like the yoke in front of me when paddling. I always attach the yoke to the gunwales behind me at an angle, and often use it as an extra thwart there to tie gear.

I'm not writing any of this as a comment on Gavia's personal choice for himself or his obvious craftsmanship, but just as general yoke information for future readers who may be deciding on what style of yoke to buy or make.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
Glen do I have the correct visual? After removing the yoke at the end of the carry you move it back behind you and reattach it?

I am not commenting on Gavia's craftsmanship and thought as one particular way is not the right way.. Particularly if you go with infused gunwales you need alternative methods and his is a good one.
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,002
Location
Connecticut
Glen do I have the correct visual? After removing the yoke at the end of the carry you move it back behind you and reattach it?

Yes, usually. It takes less than a minute to reposition the yoke. I like to put it in back because I don't like the aesthetics of looking at it's asymmetrical angle in front of me. Sometimes I might just jam it next to my pack.

I was wondering about Gavia's float-ability requirement. I'm sure my yoke floats with it's wood and foam, but since I also usually keep it attached to the gunwales, that's another reason not to worry about float-ability.

As you can see, my yoke only has 3/8" foam on the ash, not C-pads like those from Chosen Valley. The pads probably wouldn't deter me from attaching the yoke behind me per my custom.

I got my yoke in 1984 when I bought my first solo canoe from Mike Galt in Tampa, an orange Lotus Caper. It's lasted all this time and looks as good as new.

IMGP0102.JPG

IMGP0097.JPG
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
You and I both have essentially the same yoke. I think it was commonly found in shops in the '80's and 90's. The metal clamps that folks ( including me on occasion) find slip seem to behave much better with several coats of Plasti Dip. The grip is pretty solid on wooden gunwales ( which I insist on on my portage boats)

If Gavia made Bourquin type pads they have foam in them..hence his yoke will float pretty.
 
Top