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Thread: Seagoing canoe help

  1. #1

    Default Seagoing canoe help

    Hi all
    most of the threads on here are about paddling rivers canals and lakes,so my question is.

    Do open canoes have any seagoing capability and if so what make/type of canoe would be suitable.

    What are the problems re: currents etc

    I would add that I am not talking about deepsea fishing but just coastal waters within sight of land.

    Thanks in advance
    All the best
    GS
    If at first you dont succeed ,pay someone who knows what they are doing

  2. #2
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    I Don't know but I am going for it in West Wales, in my new Mohawk, in two weeks time.

    I will just stick the flotation bags in and see what happens

    With the Mad River set up you can fit front and rear/ bow and stern, raised covers. The design of these look as if to push away water coming over the bow.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    ...
    Do open canoes have any seagoing capability and if so what make/type of canoe would be suitable.

    What are the problems re: currents etc
    ...
    You have all of the standard issues of any small craft at sea - can you read a chart - interpret a tidal diamond table - get good local weather forecasts - all the usual stuff.

    Really its about assessing the conditions - in fair weather with good sea conditions and small currents you could have some fun. - you get an off-shore F4 and five knots of tide - it could easily be terminal.

    Either of - the traditional sea kayak OR the more modern sit-on-top is a much better bet as an open water boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougR View Post
    You have all of the standard issues of any small craft at sea - can you read a chart - interpret a tidal diamond table - get good local weather forecasts - all the usual stuff.

    Really its about assessing the conditions - in fair weather with good sea conditions and small currents you could have some fun. - you get an off-shore F4 and five knots of tide - it could easily be terminal.

    Either of - the traditional sea kayak OR the more modern sit-on-top is a much better bet as an open water boat.

    I will second the need to read charts, tide tables, weather forecasts fully etc.

    From my first comment I am not a novice either inshore or offshore through sailing and owning decent sailing craft over the years,and knowledge is safety.

    For me my day in the sea will be close to shore, in fact very close to shore

    You are sure to gain some knowledgeable responses with this thread and they will all be worth there weight in gold


    Sean
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    I can only echo DougR's comments.
    Dabbling in an enclosed sheltered bay is one thing, but venture out and things can change dramatically very quickly.
    Don't underestimate things like winds, tides and swell. It worries me when I see so many people buying inflatables these days and paddling off like they're experienced mariners.

    I'd say another "must have" is the ability to self rescue. Get hit by a few waves and you can be swamped or capsized. Can you comfortably deal with that? Can you deal with that in a squall? Weather conditions seem to be getting more and more unpredicatble and localised.

    Don't get me wrong, in the right conditions (& in the right hands) it can be very enjoyable, but sea paddling is a different kettle of fish.(!)
    I did a 4*Sea Kayak course and found it invaluable. I was surprised at what I didn't know/understand.

    Take care and take a friend or two
    LD

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    Open Canoes can go in the sea safely - I've paddled mine 3 miles offshore, in exceptional conditions. However, the window of conditions in which it is safe to take a canoe into the sea is much, much smaller than that for a SOT or sea kayak. This means that as well as there being a smaller number of days when you'll find the weather suitable, you also run a higher risk of going out in ok conditions and having the weather change to the point where it's unsafe.

    There are two main issues with open boats in the sea. The first is the effect that the wind has on them, which could mean you find yourself being blown away from shore. The second is the speed. In a kayak you can go faster and accelerate more, this means you're in a much better position to go against currents or punch through surf. In a poor sea state you can end up being a bit of a sitting duck in a canoe, while a kayak will be fine.

    If your primary interest is in sea paddling I'd recommend looking at one of the more "serious" sit on tops. I've got an Ocean Kayak Prowler Elite 4.5. It's a great boat - it has the right balance between being fast and being stable, and is much more like a sea kayak than the more beach oriented SOTs. It's also got rod holders and you can get all sorts of accessories for fishing.
    'Of all the paths you choose in life, make sure some of them are wet'

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    Forgot to say, it looks like a few of us will be paddling in Dorset at the end of September for a weekend (with SOTs), so if you've got one by then or can borrow a demo boat from a shop for the weekend it might be a good chance to try it out If you do get a SOT kayak a book by Derek Hairon called Sit On Top Kayak is a good buy, as it talks about rescue etc specifically for SOTs.

    For general info look at sea kayaking books, as most of the info will apply to SOTs, canoes etc. Franco Ferrero's new Sea Kayak Navigation book is good too. Thinking about it if you're after books just get along to Pesda Press, who do good technical and guide books (they have a south west sea kayaking guide and a Wales sea kayaking guide, along with the other books I've mentioned).
    'Of all the paths you choose in life, make sure some of them are wet'

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    What Amelia says about a smaller window of opportunity is so true. I've tried to get out on the sea several times with my open but each time I've been beaten by high winds and/or rough waves. If I had my kayak instead of canoe then I'd of got a paddle. I think its a matter of the right tool for the job.

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    It also depends on where you’ll live (and paddle!!). Our coast is not very open boat-friendly because off fast tides, high winds and many shallow banks in front off the coast what causes random breaker-lines all around. About the only things a open canoe can not deal with are breaking waves and too much wind and we have plenty off both off those.

    We had some fun with a open canoe in the surf some time ago but really every single breaker was enough to swamp it completely (and it was extra filled with airbags!!), we had fun playing around but there was not really anything that day that you’ll name serious canoeing .

    On the other hand, some coast-lines and estuaries are very nice to paddle any canoe, if you’re good enough to give it a try, you’ll definitely know yourself what your intended coastline is like and what you can and can’t do overthere. If still in doubt, first get propper training!!!!!

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    http://www.clippercanoes.com/boat_sp...p?model_id=113

    The Sea Clipper was designed exclusively for Clipper Canoes by Eugene Jensen. Wilderness tripping and ocean canoeing were the driving force behind this design. The length and freeboard of the Sea Clipper make it ideal for large lakes and ocean touring. The bow helps keep the Sea Clipper tracking straight while the rocker and full stern provide control. The speed that has been built into the Sea Clipper provides an added element of safety for when conditions get rough and you need to get to shore quickly. With a load capacity of 1,000+ lbs, it will carry all you need for extended trips into the wilderness, or allow you to bring the whole family for an afternoon of canoeing.
    For trips into remote destinations in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, an option is available where all of the seats, thwarts and the yoke can be made removable so that a 176" Tripper can be nested inside the Sea Clipper. They fit snuggly together and can save money for trips that require a float plane. Call for details and prices.
    Lloyd

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  11. #11
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    I like paddling on the sea, there is something special about looking out across the waves to a distant horizon and the sky feels closer and larger.
    So you'll not be surprised if I think an open canoe, with good preparation and in favourable conditions, can be paddled safely on the sea.
    I aim to do the following;
    Have a look at the shore at high and low tide beforehand. A high tide can cover all sorts of potential trouble, and the whole place is likely to look very different.
    Check out the times of high and low water, in many places you can buy a local booklet giving the times for the whole year or the information can usually be found on the internet.
    Find out how fast the tide runs at different times and in which direction. A tidal atlas gives a good overview for coastal paddling but you can't beat local knowledge.
    If going further than in front of the launch point/beach I have a chart with me for the area and carry it in the canoe in a waterproof case, Ortlieb make a good one. (Also a waterproof light on my pfd, a whistle, if coastal paddling then a waterproof vhf on my pfd, a compass, (good reason to buy toffees/fudge/chocolate raisins) and the usual water, food, sponge, bailer and change of clothes.
    A chat with someone who is familiar with the sea thereabouts is valuable. Tell them what your planning to do and ask if they know of any areas to stay clear of. They might say 'my lobster pots'!, but they may tell you the tide runs alot faster or that their is more broken water in one or more places.
    Don't underestimate the canoes ability to ride the waves from all directions so long as you keep your weight low and centred. I'm most likely to cause the canoe to tip by some exaggerated lean or paddle stroke, left to their own devices I've found canoes usually ride even quite large waves.
    If you paddle with the wind onshore then you and the canoe are likely to be blown ashore if all goes wrong, which of course is preferable to crossing to other countries (unless like me you want to but thats for another day).
    I think a time when you are most likely to ship water/capsize is as you launch or when coming ashore. A canoe doesn't happily ride waves whilst touching the bottom at any point, it will broach, be turned sideways and tip. So assuming it's not a mill pond, walk the canoe clear of the wave break then climb in. When returning use the paddle to sound the depth, thereby judge when to step out and walk the canoe through the wave break.
    A reason for having a look at the shore at high and low water beforehand is to see what's on the bottom and if there is a place, ideally sheltered from the wind, for launching and recovering.
    Let someone know what your doing each time. Start close to shore on the best of days and build up experience. Go regularly of possible to build confidence.
    Sounds like alot of planning, but I was at an unfamiliar place recently and it took one visit the evening before, I chatted to a local boatman and a fisherman, had a good look at a map on display, read the notice which displayed the times for the tides and had a good look around the shore and the water.
    Is paddling on the sea more risky than a river, canal or lake, depends, an offshore wind on a lake or a loch can make for a distant shore, a river or a canal can have steep sides, and they can all have very cold water and often there are few others around. I think the sea is more obviously risky, and therefore I take more care.
    That's my two penny worth, enjoy, take care and look forward to seeing the bloggs.

  12. #12

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    An old question..that's been addressed and answered more than once on SoTP.

    I do 90% of my paddling on the sea, solo. There's nothing wrong with that at all, as long as you pick your time. Tides and weather are the main problem, but both are predictable - to a degree. Local variations entail your having to be be a good waterman, learn to read the water - as you would on a river, loch or eeven a canal.

    having spent 40 odd years fishing, sailing, rowing, surfing and just being on the sea, it no longer fazes me... unlike a river which I find to be an unruly, unpredictable beast, requiring a lot of forethought, guides and tea breaks.
    Obscured by Clouds

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    Especially tea breaks ...

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    I too spend over 75% of my time paddling my open on the sea. I have faced quite entertaining winds and waves and some exposed crossing. I have managed to swamp my open and had to bail for grim death all solo. My risk assessment is always dynamic meaning that I spend as much time as possible assessing my performance the weather and the trends of the prevailing conditions. Listen to local advice and then have fun.

    Canoes have paddled the worlds oceans for 1000's of years. Only in our arrogance do we think that we are the masters of the sea. Polynesians don't think twice paddling through a break in the reef to another small island in the middle of the largest ocean in the world yet we get stressed paddling an open with airbags and dry suits. We carry mobiles VHfs' and flares yet many still see us as reckless. Poppycock.

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    Don't know about specific canoes but there's plenty here, that paddle on the sea and tidal stretches.

    TGB
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    Default Seagoing canoe help

    Lots of good advice given. In the right conditions - there's the rub - you cannot beat a coastal paddle; pull up onto a beach light a fire; caves to look at, rock arches to paddle through. Wildlife galore etc etc.

    Please inform the coastguard - they may well give local advice and weather.

    Even on a flat calm day always keep looking out to sea so as not to be taken by surprise.

    Mention has been made of West Wales - my waters - where you can be taken by surprise, if near Fishguard, of huge swells caused by the ferries.

    If in doubt you have the fairly sheltered waters of the Cleddau estuary above the road bridge.

    Happy to give advice send PM

    Bob Andrews

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    At the risk of repeating myself, see my reply here http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...174#post134174

    The wind and tide are you friends.....

    Nick

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    There is an entire class of canoe specifically tailored to big open water - with currents, waves and thousands of sea miles down to leeward.

    Clicky Linky this is the racing version but Wharam's "Melanesia" is sort of similar....

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