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Thread: Hou-13

  1. #1
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    Apr 2006
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    NE England
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    Default Hou-13



    Maker's Specs

    Length 13 foot 3 inches
    Width 32 inches
    Depth 12 inches
    Weight 22 Kgs
    Carrying capacity 380 Kgs
    Standard set up, 1 seat, 1 thwart, choice of wood web or plastic seat. This boat can be set up also with 2 seats but beware due to its size this is only a viable option for small adults and children.

    Maker's Write Up

    Our smallest and what we think is the most fun boat in the range. The hou 13 is based on a Peterborough Canoe Company design classic. The guys who originally penned this design wanted a boat that would carry ‘smallish’ loads, be relatively light and easy to portage, but would track well and paddle easily on open water, lakes, rivers and low grade white water. Don’t forget these boats were a mans life line so at times they were also expected to take on harder white water sections when required, but the main aim of the boat was to ‘look after the solo paddler’ and his kit, in the majority of conditions.
    Style, well its basically a ‘baby Prospector’, fine entry on the bow and stern, classic re-curve, moderate tumble home and the classic open canoe look, just like the kids would draw! Complemented by a shallow v hull that gives good initial as well as great secondary stability and assists the solo paddling experience so well.
    The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
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    This is the latest incarnation of a classic boat first introduced by Colin Broadway as (depending on outfitting) the Mobile Adventure Minuet / Majorette. They were then added to the Venture Canoes line-up. You'll find many of each around even today, especially in the East Midlands... though the outfitting varied hugely, meaning maximum beam measurements on second hand boats have been recorded at anything from 29" to 33"

    Many of the original Mobile Adventure versions were set up something like this Venture Ottowa: as solo boats for adults, with a seat fitted just aft of centre...though Venture's published figures suggested this set up should have a 33" beam... where 30" would be a more sensible maximum.


    Here's another "Mobile Adventure" version. Although being paddled solo, it's been fitted out as a Junior Tandem. This means there's a centre yoke rather getting in the way when used solo, but no more so than on any other tandem


    When production shifted to Hou... so rather bonkers outfitting instructions were included. These resulted in an early batch of Hou 13s being outfitted as in this image... with oversized thwarts (reducing in a 32" beam boat) and a solo seat set up at a tandem paddling station


    The error was soon spotted, and seat position was adjusted. IIRC, this was by some 14"... but we (Colin Broadway, Justin from Hou and myself) compared this with the original arrangement from a Mobile Adventure boat at the last English Canoe Symposium we found the seat was still ~10" too far aft, and the thwarts were still oversized by ~ 2" - since when I'm hoping the boats have been coming out as originally intended!

    Late in 2014, Kirstie MacMillan had a review published on the "Unsponsored" blog following a play in Warden’s Gorge on the Tyne Tour which features in this video:


    Having used a fair few of the variants over the years, I'm happy recommending them as a good budget solo boat. They're not substitute for 13' gems like the Flashfire and Felicity... but those are two all-time-classic boats and the Hou is a fraction of the cost of either!

    The only comparable 13' option is a stripped down and re-outfitted Old Town Next as paddled here by Lennart Bal:


    So what are they good for? Mostly lightweight touring at up to 3-4mph, including on open water, lowland rivers and low-volume WW (certainly to grade II). Where will they excel? In the effort needed, especially in headwinds. They've got a wetted surface area when flat that's only possible in a bigger boat when paddling at a standing heel (with one gunwale at the waterline)... and they are low enough in profile to make paddling in F4-F5 winds a LOT easier than in bigger boats.

    For playing around... they'll take anyone from a youngster (or two) to a single 16 stone paddler. For serious tripping, they will certainly work with 12-13 stone plus ~50 lbs of kit... and with a kid each end, they might well take a bit more.

    These will also work OK with an adult and a child... as they're a comparable size to our Flashfire:


    The Hou 13 is heavier than our boat... but being PE, is also as close as you'll get to indestructible. For what lots of folk do... it will offer a good option at a pricepoint which sets it apart from the competition. For me, this makes it the most notable boat in the Hou range.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Merthyr Tydfil South Wales
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    754

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    We have just purchased one for our club as a solo trainer for teenagers, I find it a great boat to handle, fun in grade 2 whitewater and yet easy to paddle on flat water particularly if well edged (I am 5'6" and just under 10 stone), it is light enough to be an easy carry and robust enough to survive the abuse that it will get in a club situation,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Richmond n yorks
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    59

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    According to hou canoes website carry capacity for basic 13 set up is 110 kg. Every commercial supplier and the makers spec on this review site has it down as 380kg. anybody know which is correct.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    West Yorkshire
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricogee View Post
    According to hou canoes website carry capacity for basic 13 set up is 110 kg. Every commercial supplier and the makers spec on this review site has it down as 380kg. anybody know which is correct.
    All boats work best within clear limits.

    You CAN use almost any boat under laden... but if you can't get the hull deep enough in the water to really engage properly, handling is generally compromised (especially in current / wind). As a rule of thumb, things get questionable if we're not down to the 2" waterline for solo use (when we're in the centre of a boat) or down to the 3" waterline when paddling 2-up (when we're working nearer the stems).

    In terms of maximums... a good rule of thumb is the 4" waterline when solo and the 5" waterline when 2-up.

    We don't have waterline displacement figures for the Hou 13... but the figures will not be massively different than they are for the Colden Canoe Flashfire... which is also ~ 13' long and ~ 29" wide.

    Paul Meyer's Displacement figures for the Flashfire are as follows:
    • 2" wl 120 Lbs - 8.5 stone - 55 Kg
    • 3" wl 200 Lbs - 14 stone - 90 Kg
    • 4" wl 280 Lbs - 20 stone - 130 Kg

    Note: that's all DISPLACEMENT - which is includes the weight of the canoe as well as whatever's IN the canoe.

    Now the Hou Canoe website suggests the Hou 13 has a CAPACITY of 110 Kg. Add the 22 Kg weight of the boat and you're up to 132 Kg... which is my very rough and unscientific approximation of the 4" waterline. Given what I know of the contrasting hull shapes, I'd suggest it's a slight underestimate... but that's not a bad guideline.

    Key thing: the boat should be OK with a 16 stone bloke and half-hundredweight of kit... though if you started with that and then chucked in a few extra bits you'd not suddenly find a massive drop off in performance - that's a guide, no more!

    That's about the limit of what we really need to know... but beyond all of that... the industry has a longstanding tradition of listing a 6" Freeboard capacity. This is a completely nonsensical practice, as no one in his/her right mind should be loading a boat so much... but Paul gives that for the Flashfire as 550 Lbs - 250 Kg.

    Bottom line: if you want to put 250 Kg in a Hou Canoe... you'd be WAY better off putting it in one of the bigger models!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    S-o-T, U.K.
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    Mobile Adventure Minuet (aka Hou 13 ... be good to see how their current boats are laid out) ...

    Magic for youngsters and for smaller paddlers ... and for me

    I can take a Minuet to swimming pool sessions far more readily than a larger canoe, it works to introduce canoeing in an environment that is more normally the province of kayaks.

    Set up correctly it's a fast sleek canoe, mine averaged 4mph in a flatwater Hasler competition (Trentham) course with windspeeds that were sufficient that I wasn't going to risk car topping my 16'6" ultralight canoe. A Minuet also won the inaugural Dove Race solo canoe (Jo Sindrey) trophy last year

    As used for the last 2 years as a chase/safety boat on multi-day DofE Gold Expeds.

    I like Minuets

    Last edited by Potty Paddler; 11th-August-2016 at 06:48 PM.
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    West Yorkshire
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    This is the latest incarnation of a classic boat first introduced by Colin Broadway as (depending on outfitting) the Mobile Adventure Minuet / Majorette. They were then added to the Venture Canoes line-up. You'll find many of each around even today, especially in the East Midlands... though the outfitting varied hugely, meaning maximum beam measurements on second hand boats have been recorded at anything from 29" to 33"

    Many of the original Mobile Adventure versions were set up something like this Venture Ottowa: as solo boats for adults, with a seat fitted just aft of centre...though Venture's published figures suggested this set up should have a 33" beam... where 30" would be a more sensible maximum.
    OK - although I've seen an old Venture Ottowa which had been pushed out to 33"... I've concluded this was a punter modification. This screenshot of the classic Venture listing shows how the Ottowa was marketed - and it was as it should have been, with a 29" max beam...


    Whatever misunderstandings led to some early Hou 13s being rather odd (as per the initial, soon to be replaced catalogue photo) didn't come from there, but may in part be explained by the wonderful range of original configurations for boat produced from the same mould when Colin Broadway of Mobile Adventure was running production...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile Adventure
    In my mobile adventure days I produced the minuet which I designed as a double canoe for small youngsters inevitably big blokes came along and liked it because it was small and light, so I was forced to come up with a solo version, but of course that was not good enough, so by a different crafty cut line and slightly different outfitting I came up with the Majorette, out of the same mould! which on flatwater touring worked ok with two 16 stone paddlers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile Adventure
    In fact from the same mould we produced the Minuet Duo, Junior double, 2 seats, yoke, weight 55lbs, the Minuet Solo, Adult solo, single seat & thwart, weight 52 lbs, The Merengue,designed for flatwater freestyle, no seats just two thwarts and the Majorette which was a inch and a half deeper at the centre and two inches wider at the gunnel line in the brochure photo show two paddlers weighing in at over 35 stone, it weighed about 57 lbs. The length, just 13ft 4 inches. Hou Canoes now produce boats from this mould
    Fortunately, the text on the Hou website now accurately reflects the way the boat is set up:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hou Canoe Website
    Dimensions:

    • Length 13 feet and 3 inches
    • Depth 12 inches
    • Width 30 inches
    • Weight 22 Kgs
    • Carrying capacity 110 Kgs

    Standard set up: 1 seat, 1 thwart, choice of wood web or plastic seat.

    This boat can be set up also with 2 seats but beware due to its size this is only a viable option for small adults and children.

    Please contact us if you would like a different set up and we will do what we can to help!
    Aside from the 30" beam measurement, please note the readiness to produce the custom options once offered by Colin... and also the 110 Kg capacity figure. Consider this alongside the 150 Kg capacity figure offered by Venture and bear in mind no hard and fast answers exist here: what's "right" depends what you consider to be "reasonable"!

    Ps. Source for CB Quote: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...1153039&type=3
    Last edited by GregandGinaS; 11th-August-2016 at 10:51 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Wirral
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    One aspect I have noted is its lack of bouyancy when swamped. Working through deep water recuse on flat water. Two small scouts, bouyancy block fitted as per suppliers recommendations, rescuing was a faff as the boat sank lower than I would expect.
    There can be worse obsessions

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