Strap Yoke Variation

Glenn MacGrady

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(Possible duplicate of my last post, which some can't see.)

A different question about a strap yoke.

For the solo portage lift, you need to be able to grab the yoke to lift and rotate the the canoe off your thighs and to put the canoe back down on your thighs. Can you do this with sufficient grip, leverage, safety and efficiency with a strap yoke on a 60 lb. canoe?

 
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For the solo portage lift, you need to be able to grab the yoke to lift and rotate the the canoe off your thighs and to put the canoe back down on your thighs. Can you do this with a strap yoke on a 60 lb. canoe?

Glenn, can you do that maneuver with a 60lb canoe these days with sufficient grip, leverage, safety and efficiency? I barely can, or barely could last time I tried with a rigid yoke, and it was neither fluid nor elegant. Doing so when a launch necessitated using a strap yoke was exponentially more awkward, and I’d rather not try that action again.

With no other strap yoke users responding I will give you my take. I rarely put canoes on my shoulders using that (proper) method. I have a blown L2/L3 and have suffered back problems for nearly 40 years, sometimes bent over lateral-shift sideways in pure agony.

Most all of our canoes are Royalex boats in the 60lb range or above; I am not risking crippling myself at the start of a trip for the sake of showmanship. Or at the end of a trip when I need to drive home.

I walk a few feet in front of the yoke, grab opposite gunwales, lift & turn the canoe over my head, letting half the weight rest on the ground, and walk back under the yoke. That action sacrifices the stern deck plate to scrapes and scratches. I have yet to replace a deck plate, vinyl or wood, from years of that abuse, but I could. I looked at The Back Store’s products on-line and they carried no replacement L2/L3 vertebrae.

Even the stern deck plate on the FreeFIRE is a bit scarred from that action.

PB130055 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That is one reason I built those deck plates so damn thick, with a bit of nose overhang, and screwed them to the wales top-mounted; eventually, when needed, I can easily take them off, file down the scars, stain and oil and reattach them. Not yet though; they have years of life and abuse left.


That said, I have tried that lift with a strap yoke, somewhat successfully with some of our lighter weight (still 50lb) canoes when the flip-and-walk-back method would have been more awkward.

It’s not great; the webbing, no matter how taut you connect it, is still flexible and makes for an awkward hand grasp at the start of the motion. Unlike a rigid thwart the webbing is going to move and flex, both down and sideways fore/aft.

Somewhat” successfully; I shattered two cheap (Mohawk) side release buckle on heavier strap yoked hulls mid-way through that maneuver, fortunately before they were directly overhead. I managed to throw both hulls to the side and only got clonked by the gunwales with one. I won’t use side release buckles, even good quality Nexus buckles, again, at least not on canoes over 45- 50lbs.

I’ll opt for two large D-rings, a cam buckle or a roll pin buckle such as Willie used. But, I have never used a roll pin buckle, and have concerns about how easy it is to release the webbing from the buckle.

a friend is trying out the adjustable roll buckle pin Glenn suggested

I am waiting to hear how easy it is to unbuckle the webbing after a bounce-tightening walk beneath the strap yoke, but like that idea better than using two D-rings.

Paging Mr. Will Derness, Mr. Will Derness to the courtesy telephone. How does the roll pin buckle do in freeing the strap yoke after a bouncy portage? The double D-rings are tricky, you need to leave some slack to get the webbing free. I know a cam strap is a piece of cake to release no matter how tightly connected.

Glenn, if your desire is to instruct your offspring and son-in-law in the proper way to hoist a canoe from the ground to their shoulders I think a clamp-on yoke, much as I dislike them, sized for the center sheerline, would make a far better demonstration.

(Possible duplicate of my last post, which some can't see.)

Can’t see some older threads unless logged on, which is a shame for site visitors looking for information.
 
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I've been using the seat belt strap-yoke variation with my 46 lb Shearwater for over 15 years. It's great and a real quickie for short portages.
But with the sides flexing when walking I find it good for short portages only as the bouncing gets quite bad.
Now that my new-to-me 32 pound Shearwater really likes to flex when I'm walking the flex is way too pronounced.
So how do I adapt this super handy strap-yoke so it doesn't flex so badly.
I've already had to remove the buttons on my baseball caps and toques!
Thanks Ted
 
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I've been using the seat belt strap-yoke variation with my 46 lb Shearwater for over 15 years. It's great and a real quickie for short portages.
But with the sides flexing when walking I find it good for short portages only as the bouncing gets quite bad.
Now that my new-to-me 32 pound Shearwater really likes to flex when I'm walking the flex is way too pronounced.
So how do I adapt this super handy strap-yoke so it doesn't flex so badly.

Ted, more tight more bounce, less tight less bounce?

Maybe, it may not make much difference with a thin walled canoe. But using the double D-rings as a connection I have to leave a little slack in the webbing, if pulled taut it is a nightmare to get the webbing free from the D-rings, and I have noticed that there is less trampoline action with a little slack in the webbing.
 
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This is near necroposting, reviving a long dormant thread, but a friend is trying out the adjustable roll buckle pin Glenn suggested below



I am waiting to hear how easy it is to unbuckle the webbing after a bounce-tightening walk beneath the strap yoke, but like that idea better than using two D-rings.

Of course I still have a bunch of naked 2” SS D-rings. . . . .

I've been quite pleased with the stainless adjustable webbing slider. Slightly lighter than 2 Drings, it performs admirably. Very easy to tighten, very easy to disengage, holds firmly when carrying. My demands on this piece of hardware have been light. The canoe is 42 pounds and perhaps my longest carry has been 200 yards. My sense is it would perform well on a heavier canoe and over longer distances, but I haven't tested these conditions.
 
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Thanks Mike.
I"ve always thought that tighter was better, but now thinking about it, that's more of a drum effect.
My 2" military grade ladder lock buckle never failed me on my older 46 pounder so that's what I'll try in the spring, just not as tight.
Cheers Ted
 
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I"ve always thought that tighter was better, but now thinking about it, that's more of a drum effect.
My 2" military grade ladder lock buckle never failed me on my older 46 pounder so that's what I'll try in the spring, just not as tight.

Spring hell, inquiring minds want to know now.

Get that canoe out, put a little slack in the strap yoke and hop around in the back yard. The neighbors probably already think you are nuts.
 
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I considered purchasing a solo canoe and think that a strap yoke would be efficient so I made a prototype and tested it on my tandem canoe. I based my design on the military LC-2 Y harness suspenders . With 3 points of attachment I felt it was comfortable enough to use in place of a solid detachable yoke. Because I don't own a solo boat I never took the time to thoroughly develop or test it. It is compact, lightweight, quick to deploy and comfortable. The only issue that concerns me is that that it interferes when wearing a tall backpack.
 

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If you want a really secure side release buckle look out for an ITW GT Cobra buckle. It's a plastic version of the Austrialpin parachute harness buckle
itw-gt-cobra-buckle.jpg
 
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I love the concept of the strap carry, but in practice, I've found a solid carry thwart preferable. Perhaps this is true in my current fleet because the only boat lacking a permanently mounted carry thwart has a tractor seat, with the frame of the tractor seat occupying the same space my head would occupy with a carry strap. I use a removable, hi-rise carry thwart with that one.
View attachment 74980

Hello Chip! Is that high rise portage system something you made and if so, can you explain what you did? - The quote function did not copy the photo. But I think the attachment will show it.

I need something similar for the 13' Mohawk. The built in portage strap works great, except that I can't hold my head up; there isn't room under the hull. So the stern hangs low and bangs the ground from time to time.

Thanks!
 
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“I've been quite pleased with the stainless adjustable webbing slider. Slightly lighter than 2 Drings, it performs admirably. Very easy to tighten, very easy to disengage, holds firmly when carrying. My demands on this piece of hardware have been light. The canoe is 42 pounds and perhaps my longest carry has been 200 yards. My sense is it would perform well on a heavier canoe and over longer distances, but I haven't tested these conditions.”

Perhaps a classic case of YMMV. Although the webbing slider was easy to tighten and disengage, and held firmly when shouldering the canoe, it did not work worth a damn when left tightened in place while car topping.

Without the pressure of a shouldered canoe the webbing wiggled loose through the slider almost immediately, within a mile of home on smoothly paved roads. I tried snugging the webbing uber tight; the good news is that was was still easy to disengage. So easy that it again came loose within a mile of home, with the webbing uh-oh whappity whapping against the cap roof.

Ok, I can fix that. I added a ladder lock to the webbing strap, so the bitter end of the webbing first goes through the webbing slider, then back through the ladder lock. That works to hold the webbing yoke in place during transport, but created other issues.

Instead of a quick and easy pass through and tighten I had now two tensioners to diddle with at a launch or take out, defeating the quick and easy aspect of a webbing yoke. And to pass the bitter end of the webbing through the ladder lock I needed to leave sufficient slack in the webbing, making it droopy enough that my noggin was damn close to the inside of the canoe.

For my purposes I’m calling the knurled webbing slider a fail.

I have purchased what I think will work, quickly, efficiently and reliably. Mentioned as a possible solution elsewhere in this thread, stainless steel cam buckles.

https://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Duty-S...1/2+stainless+steel+cam+buckle,aps,228&sr=8-8

316 stainless 1 ½” cam buckles because I have a roll of 1 ½” heavy duty poly webbing used when webbing canoe seats. I need to replace the webbing slider on a canoe, but I have confidence this solution will work.
 
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Hello Chip! Is that high rise portage system something you made and if so, can you explain what you did? - The quote function did not copy the photo. But I think the attachment will show it.

I need something similar for the 13' Mohawk. The built in portage strap works great, except that I can't hold my head up; there isn't room under the hull. So the stern hangs low and bangs the ground from time to time.

Thanks!
The high rise yoke started off as a yoke that had a sculpted, foam pad glued onto the wooden yoke. In the photo, you can see there are two layers of foam: the sculpted yoke pad plus a layer of 3" closed-cell foam. I separated the sculpted pad from the wood yoke then used contact cement to glue in the additional layer of foam. Contact cement proved inadequate. There's not much bearing surface and and the height of the stack provided enough prying leverage to peel the foam and wood apart. I rebuilt it with the addition of webbing strap reinforcement, which has held everything together thus far.
Yoke-tower.jpeg
 
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What if you ran a 1" strap through adjacent slots of the scuppered gunnels and crossed them in the middle, forming a slight X ? Or, you could get creative with the straps placement, forming a sideways K of sorts, the narrowing in the middle a bit more comfortable for over the shoulder placement. Slip on padding.
Solid gunnels are a different kettle of fish. And I wouldn't trust buckles.
I like the 'K' idea
 
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