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Thread: Bi-blades (kayak) and open canoe

  1. #1
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    Default Bi-blades (kayak) and open canoe

    I've just got back from a day solo on the Dochart system (the Lochs and interconnecting river sections etc). For various I won't bore you with I was in a 17' tandem, along with the dog. It was fairly windy so I ended up using bi-blades (kayak paddle to the uninformed) as it was the only effective means of controlling such a big boat (Spirit II) in the more powerful gusts. I had intended doing the whole trip poling, but it just wasn't working.

    I have been in several situations over the last couple of years when my bi-blade set up has saved the day for me (it is a cutomised canoe pole form Lendal using the Padloc system: it can be used as a pole or as a kayak paddle, giving a choice of 2 lengths and of course for a sailing rig).

    Anyway, I am aware that bi-blade are quite common over the pond, and was wondering who else uses them here?

    I really only use them on flat water, or on flat sections of rivers. Once I hit anything technical it is back to one blade...............I cannot paddle with two in WW for some reason.

    I prefer a single blade, but recognise that when solo it often is just not up to the job, no matter how hard I work at it. When solo tripping I carry these as a back up and for safety reason. I was once stuck on an island, or rather would have been without bi-blades. I tried to get off with one and couldn't get going in the direction I needed to go.

    The purist might regard it as cheating: maybe they just stop paddling when the wind gets beyond a certain level?

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default Two blades bad, one blade good?

    Can't see the problem tenboats1. Seems to me that innovation is not achieved by travelling down the same tracks as everyone else. Innovators are the ones who get off the train and wander around in the undergrowth. Sure they may get lost sometimes but at others they discover wonderful new things that benefit the rest of us who are still on the train.

    I am really interested in your hybrid bi-blade though - more details please.
    Despite the high cost of living, it remains quite popular.

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    When I was reading the reviews of the Pack I saw that a lot were using twin bladed paddles. My plan was, and still is, to get a long twin blade paddle that breaks down to four pieces but I have not got round to it yet. Not sure how long it would need to be.

    On my Coleman Journey I had fitted oar locks so that I could row if the weather was tough and it was certainly an effective solution. I suppose I could do the same on the Pack but a twin blade paddle seems and easier solution. Only thing is I do not like that fact you get so wet using a twin blade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandemar
    Can't see the problem tenboats1. Seems to me that innovation is not achieved by travelling down the same tracks as everyone else. Innovators are the ones who get off the train and wander around in the undergrowth. Sure they may get lost sometimes but at others they discover wonderful new things that benefit the rest of us who are still on the train.

    I am really interested in your hybrid bi-blade though - more details please.
    When fully assembled the pole looks just like an ordinary 12' canoe pole. However, in addition to the standard centre joint there are 2 padloc joints as well. This allow the end sections to be removed and paddle blades fitted. If you use both halves of the pole (without the end sections) you get a very long kayak paddle: this can be used solo on a wide tandem, or standing, which I tend to do a lot of. If you only use one half of the pole, end section removed and paddle blades fitted, you get a more conventional length of kayak blade, used for narrow solo boats. The feather is ajustable by dint of using different holes. I use the pole conventionally for poling and split equally for a sailing rig. However, the pole could be split long/short, which is how I use it for setting up the tarp. With the addition of tee handles you can form 2 single blades. i haven't pursued this as I prefer the proper thing, however, if you were travelling light you could carry a T handle instead of a full single blade.

    This was made to my spec at great expense. I have now refinded the dimensions a little and will be ordering Mk2 shortly, when funds permit.

    Hope that helps!

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    Mk2 arriving today, though I have thought of some Mk3 modifications already! Fortunately I will be able to do these myself as Lendal always take ages (but the quality is good so I don't mind).

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1
    Mk2 arriving today, though I have thought of some Mk3 modifications already! Fortunately I will be able to do these myself as Lendal always take ages (but the quality is good so I don't mind).
    So are we watching for Mk1 to appear in the classifieds now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly
    So are we watching for Mk1 to appear in the classifieds now?
    not likely, I'm keping this 'secret weapon' to myself!!

    (It's spoken for actually, good news travels fast)

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    I purchased a Bell solo canoe last year and have been considering a double blade paddle. I am kind of a traditionalist, so this has been a hard decision, but I've been caught in bad winds a couple of times and in the Bell it has been hard to make headway with a single paddle.

    PG

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    I've been looking at Bell solo canoes lately Pierre. I'm always keen to hear about them. At the risk of sending this thread off at a tangent, which one did you go for?

    OK just picked up the thread over in Gear, and I guess you're talking about the Magic. I follow from there!
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


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    Okay, so assuming I do not want to sell my soul for a Tenboats special edition pole where do I get a sturdy take apart double paddle. I guess I am looking for a long one but have no idea what long is for a double paddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly
    Okay, so assuming I do not want to sell my soul for a Tenboats special edition pole where do I get a sturdy take apart double paddle. I guess I am looking for a long one but have no idea what long is for a double paddle.
    I'd have a look at some of the Sea Boat paddles.
    You'll get them upto about 2300mm in length.

    Sea Boat Paddles
    Split paddles

    (nb: both links are to Kayaksandpaddles in Plymouth - other suppliers will carry stuff too of course - but their site is handy, plus they are only ~45 minutes down the road from me ).

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    With the Pack being a wide boat you might need to go wider /longer than a stock sea paddle. I'll check mine.

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    I'm currently using a 61" shaft, 101" overall, no feather.

    I have used longer which is nice for standing, but too flexible for effecient paddling.

    My sea paddle is 88" I think.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

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    Meant to say, last week I got a 91" / 2.3m take apart double blade paddle. This is as a safety backup for iffy conditions.

    Gave it a quick try at the weekend. Firstly, yes it will do the job. Secondly I do not like it, not one bit. You get wet. Bloody thing drips on you at every stroke.

    So it will stay for emergencies but will not be used unless needed or practicing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly
    Meant to say, last week I got a 91" / 2.3m take apart double blade paddle. This is as a safety backup for iffy conditions.

    Gave it a quick try at the weekend. Firstly, yes it will do the job. Secondly I do not like it, not one bit. You get wet. Bloody thing drips on you at every stroke.

    So it will stay for emergencies but will not be used unless needed or practicing.

    Ok, I'd be the first to admit that I might well have imagined this, but can one not get some sort of big O-ring type of arrangement (more like a flat washer I guess), that sits on the shaft, down towards the paddle blade, which kinda stops the dripping?

    ... or did I imagine it after all ?

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    You can get them, but I've never found them to work that well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey_pork
    Ok, I'd be the first to admit that I might well have imagined this, but can one not get some sort of big O-ring type of arrangement (more like a flat washer I guess), that sits on the shaft, down towards the paddle blade, which kinda stops the dripping?

    ... or did I imagine it after all ?
    No they come as standard. That is what the water drips off of onto me

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly
    No they come as standard. That is what the water drips off of onto me
    Ah, I see ... That's somewhat ironic then, I'd imagined that the water ran back along the shaft and off onto you, not off the drip ring [onto you].



    I wonder if there is something about the way they have to be used in a canoe (on account of the depth of the boat) that means they pick up more water than one might ordinarily expect (compared against their use in a kayak) ?

    I'm trying to recall what my Schlegel kayak paddle was like (in the kayak) ... I tend to think it did make for quite a wet experience, now as I think about it.

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    Might have something to do with the profile of the blade: my Lendal blades are not too bad in terms of dripping water, but I have used others that are. If they have ribs that pick up and hold water they will be wet.

    Drip rings work to a certain extent, try sliding them along the shaft to find the best place ( as near to the water as possible, but not dipping into it).

    A flat 'lazy' paddling action helps too, but you need a longer paddle for that cf a more upright and dynamic action.

    At the end of the day bi blades are a get out of that item of kit..........you won't mind the drips when you really need them!
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1
    At the end of the day bi blades are a get out of that item of kit..........you won't mind the drips when you really need them!
    My thoughts exactly.

  21. #21

    Default Using kayak paddles

    Do many of you use kayak paddles in your canoes. It seems easier when it is windy, but then I come from a two blade background. A, i chickening out or is it a valid technoque - Any thoughts?

  22. #22

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    I saw this twin blade paddle technique used on Windermere last summer and my first reaction was "that's cheating" prefering to battle against a headwind by sitting in the bow and using a combination of J and C strokes. However, I just finished reading a copy of 'Woodcraft and Camping' by 'Nessmuk' written in 1920 and he regularly used a kayak paddle to propell various open canoes so I think I may just give it a try.

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    Default Safety First

    I was out on Lough Erne with some friends on a camping trip and we got caught out in a force 4 to 5 headwind. We had to cross a long open section to get back to our cars and the boats were fully laden with camping gear. One of our party had been suffering from seasickness and the group decision was to put her in the front of my boat as I was the most experienced paddler.


    I watched each of the other boats head out from where we sheltered behind an island into the open water. They were getting blown all over the place.
    So I strapped two paddles together with bungies and Velcro to make a double bladed paddle.
    We were the fastest across the bay and made it into the marina safely. One of the other boats came in shortly after us but the rest were scattered along the opposite shore.
    I believe the old saying “Any port in a storm” so if double bladed paddles are what it takes to keep you safe then go for it!!

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    Default Bi-blades (kayak) and open canoe

    This subject was covered in depth recently, with the above title, in the General Forum.

    Happy Reading.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

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    oops - missed it - sorry!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1
    This subject was covered in depth recently, with the above title, in the General Forum.

    Happy Reading.
    Ive merged the two threads which will cause some confusion no doubt

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