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Thread: Finally got a canoe, need advice on vests, paddles etc.

  1. #1
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    Default Finally got a canoe, need advice on vests, paddles etc.

    Got an Old Town Penobscot 164 which I'm hoping will make a good general purpose canoe for family use and fishing.

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    Something nice or something that can take abuse. Always a tough call. I like wood paddles, but get that sick feeling when I hit the gravel with the tip. There are several types of handles, find what fits your hand the best. I alway carry an alum. paddle as a spare. You can start with the alum. and upgrade latter. The alum. cost a lot less.

    Don't go cheap on the life jacket. I wear mine all the time when I'm on the water. If it doesn't fit well you won't wear it. Spend some time trying on what all the stores carry. Sit down and play stroke. How does it feel? I carry a knife and whistle on the outside and a small surv. kit in one of the pockets. Make sure yours has a place for such things.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    If you have to cheap out on the paddle, go aluminum rather than wood. Very few things more irritating than being splashed on every stroke by a cheap, heavy, blunt edged wooden paddle.

    That said, a good wooden paddle is a joy to use. What you are looking for is light weight, fine edges and of course a good fit in the hand. The tip should be fiberglass or plastic for pushing off of rocks. I'd avoid the bent shaft models unless you expect to be doing most your canoeing in larger lakes.

    I own some fair to decent ones by Bending Branches and Grey Owl and my wife has a great paddle made by WhiskeyJack Paddles. Bell makes some very nice models and there are a bunch of other makers. The more expensive paddles will usually have a better finish and hold up longer. May or may not be an issue depending on how much you use it.

    If you ever plan on doing river canoeing, I'd recomend purchasing a throw bag. Some friends of ours are very thankful that I did.

    Good choice on a canoe. Have fun out there.

    Yk

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    So far the only river I have any thought of going down is the Little Susitna though once I learn more about other rivers I may find there are others that interest me.

    Ooh, some of those paddles are simply mouth watering. Love the Bending Branches Espresso Plus Paddle and the Whiskey Reballion is a mighty fine looking paddle. For now I'll probably just get 3 cheap paddles or even pick some up used but will definately have to get myself one of those when I can.

  5. #5

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    I agree, don't got cheap on the life vests. I bought an Extrasport last year and it is comfortable for all day paddling. Try 'em all on and go with what fits best.

    Great choice in a canoe. I had my mind made up last year to buy a 16' Penobscot until I got a deal I couldn't pass up on a Mad River Lamoille.

    Have fun,

    Jeff

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I'd like to give you a little advice on the penobscot model canoe.
    I have the 17 ft. Penobsot model and It's seen alot of water. It will feel tippy at first but dont be alarmed. It is a very narrow canoe that is built to give you good speed with a paddle. Keep the kids sitting a little low in this canoe and don't let them reach over the side. People panic when they feel the boat shift and others may capsize you. Although the boat is narrow and semi-round on bottom.......this is what gives you amazing secondary stability. Intial Stability is something that flat bottom canoes have, but initial stability isnt good for big waves because the flat bottom wants to follow the contour of the big waves (little control). Your Penobscot will stay level when waves hit your canoe and you will be able to lean into them and manipulate the canoe to stay level. With that said.....I've muscled through 8 miles of Lake Louise in the middle of the night through 2ft. waves and heavy wind in the middle of October. I had to kneel (lower center of gravity) and lean into the waves all while attempting to keep the canoe hitting the waves at an angle while the wind would turn me broadside to the waves. Secondary stability is a good thing but will take some getting used to. Your canoe has some moderate rocker which means that the bow and the keel rise up about an inch or two from the center of the canoe. This will help you to turn the canoe quicker, much quicker than my freighters with a keel. Keep in mind.....this canoe is made for paddling so don't attach side motor mounts or outboard motors to this canoe. good luck.

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    mainer_in_ak,
    Having studied boat design theory a bit I've read quite a bit about initial and secondary stability and have to say yours was one of the most straightforeward consise explinations of it I have run across. Most people assume high initial stability is better since they FEEL safer with it not realising it actually limits them and may cause safety concerns in more serious water. There's an excelent book on the subject called "Seaworthiness : The Forgotten Factor" by Czeslaw A. Marchaj.

    I didn't know enough about canoes to know this one was low initial high secondary, sure appreciate the warning and am excited to know it has a bit more potential than I had necessarily expected.

    Not really planning to take the kids anywhere in it, with them I'll probably stick to splashing around in the shallows.

    I'd kind of like to go down the little Su from about Welch road if it can safely be run from that far up (I used to live off Welch).

    LOL, just got home from helping a friend run 3000gallons of water and found I had left this up unsent.

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    Default L Louise

    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    With that said.....I've muscled through 8 miles of Lake Louise in the middle of the night through 2ft. waves and heavy wind in the middle of October. I had to kneel (lower center of gravity) and lean into the waves all while attempting to keep the canoe hitting the waves at an angle while the wind would turn me broadside to the waves.
    I've done this too, but not at night. Most every afternoon there and then it picks up to that level. In my 18' Scott I took the waves differently than you did. Likely for the exact reasons you said too, about other canoes. I sat up normally, ran at 1/3 throttle and never once believed I would tip, and I did not at all. I did bail all the way nonstop.

    I tacked so that anytime I was going against the waves I went 90 degrees (straight) against them. With hundreds of pounds of gear and 300# of rocks for ballast way far forward a good bit of the time my stuff was airborne - every wave - yet tethered by lanyards and bungees. I did a small bit of damage to the front seat from all that tossing weight that will be repaired any week, now that its so nice out here.

    Tough stuff.

  9. #9
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    Your talking of all that water onboard reminds me of when I worked up at Crater Lake running the tours. Even though it's in a culdera the lake regularly picks up to 4foot whitecaps. With the 40' boat I was operating I could keep the passengers dry if I wanted to but it was alot more work so if they were a rude bunch they got wet and I really mean wet.

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