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Thread: Hou-14

  1. #1
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    Default Hou-14



    Maker's Specs


    Length 14 foot 11 inches
    Width 36 inches
    Depth 12 inches
    Weight 26Kgs
    Carrying Capacity 390 Kgs
    Standard Set up, 2 seats, I yolk, choice of wood web or plastic seat. This boat can be set up as a solo bot as well.

    Maker's Write Up

    This is the bigger brother to the hou-13, a touch longer and with a higher load carrying capability. Again a derivative from the great Peterborough Canoe Company this boat was designed as the next boat up in a mans ‘quiver’! It will carry a touch more load, track a little quicker and in reality be a touch more of a ‘multi tasking’ boat. As it’s a little longer and a little deeper you will see a bit of a drier ride in the bouncy stuff and a touch more forward speed. Again this shape was designed as an all rounder as is the hou-13 so it will paddle well on the open water and flat river days too.
    Style, again it has it in heaps!! This boat is more of a ‘stretched baby Prospector’ if that makes sense!? Fine entry, shallow v hull provides good initial and secondary stability whilst a touch more length makes a noticeable difference, especially when paddling solo. If you want a great all round solo boat that wont give you too much trouble on a windy day, and allow you reasonable load capacity when you need it, be that for the dog, over night gear or a friend then this is the boat for you! Simply put, a fantastic 1/2 person boat.
    The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Broadway
    The Hou 14 started life as the Rhapsody by Mobile Adventure, I described it thus:

    "The Rhapsody is a modernised traditional 'Canadian' design, re curved bow and stern, plenty of tumblehome in the sides with an added sharp bow entry for ease of forward paddling. More at home on flat to light whitewater or crossing lakes, this shallow canoe at only 15ft long has a surprising carrying capacity and its low gunnels makes this an efficient canoe on windy days.

    When I produced it it was 35" wide at the Yoke and 12.5" deep at the yoke. Saying all that I still have an original, set up as a solo boat and I use it running Grade 3 rivers and mostly stay dry.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/open...61392637373233

  3. #3
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    Has anyone had any experience of this canoe or know where I can try one out? I am in the market for a 'cheapish' canoe for mainly open water paddling and gentle rivers, weight is an issue. I was intent on purchasing another Apache 16 but the reduced size of this grabbed my attention.
    Leone_blanco

  4. #4
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    Default

    I know a couple of people who use them very happily for just the sort of paddling you describe. Hopefully one of them, BaldManJump or Freeway, will be along soon enough to comment.

    From what I remember of my brief go in one, tracked nicely, but was agile enough to turn when needed, if not as easily as a heeled Prospector. Certainly nice and light for the price.

  5. #5
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    Hi there,

    Probably similar weight to the Apache. I would say it heels over better - i find the Hou 'kicks back' where as the Apache had less and the gunnels would more easily dip under water... a moving labrador was a consideration for me! Tracks well, perhaps turning is a trade, but not to the point of detriment.
    Both reasonably low freeboard, ok for flat, but a consideration for tandem/ loading up for camping.
    Shout if you have any specific questions (you'd be welcome to try, but maybe not geographically convenient?)

    Cheers
    If I could only paddle like a doggie oughta paddle

  6. #6
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    thanks for the offer Baldman Jump, I've spoken with Stu @ Apache and as always his sense prevailed so ordering another 16' from him
    Leone_blanco

  7. #7
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    Default

    Good stuff.... that's the easy bit done. But the trickier part.....What colour??!!!
    If I could only paddle like a doggie oughta paddle

  8. #8
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    Oh it has to be black, with a sand coloured float coat on the inside. ��
    Leone_blanco

  9. #9
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    Jan 2010
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    Merthyr Tydfil South Wales
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    Just bought 2 Hou 14s for the cub as youth tandem trainers, they are easy to paddle and control for smaller paddlers and seem well finished, I have taken one out solo using the traditional reversed seat position and found it easy to handle straight when kept level but easy to turn on an edge, I can also load it on my van roof solo, an ideal club boat.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2011
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    I do think these are lovely boats, especially for smaller paddlers, however is it just me or do they have little inherent buoyancy. Even with flotation blocks, when doing a deep water rescue with a single adult paddler, and a tandem rescue with two larger scouts the boat sinks when swamped. Has anyone found the same?
    There can be worse obsessions

  11. #11
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    All smaller boats will sink to a degree when loaded up, I don’t feel the Hou boats are any different in that respect, remember one litre of buoyancy block will only support just under 1Kg of load so if someone of 60Kgs is in a swamped boat and largely above the water you will need a good 70 litres of buoyancy to keep the boat above water.

  12. #12
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    Manufacturers generally ensure an empty boat will not disappear without trace if swamped... but if you want ANY boat to support occupants when swamped, even for the few moments it takes to climb through the swamped boat to a rescue boat, additional flotation is generally necessary.

    That said... the better option is generally to have a reliable strategy for self rescue... perhaps along these lines:



    See also the recently created thread here.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2011
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    Thanks, I don't have a problem with my venture p15 or legend 15 but they are bigger boats and I tend to favour big air bags. Like many of the forum, deep water rescues is something we practice, I was suprised at how deep it sank. Although the mock rescue was successful. The HOU was purchased by a scout troop has the standard flotation blocks supplied by a great number of canoe vendors, should they do a better job at advising customers?
    There can be worse obsessions

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    Thanks, I don't have a problem with my venture p15 or legend 15 but they are bigger boats
    Not significantly - the Hou 14 is only 1" short of 15' long!

    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    I was surprised at how deep it sank
    Most comparable boats will basically float at pretty much the same level. Even with industry-standard flotation blocks / bags it's generally possible in almost ANY boat to get waves coming in over one gunwale and out over the other.

    Fortunately, a curl rescue is pretty straightforward with any boat that's not sunk out of sight....



    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    The HOU was purchased by a scout troop has the standard flotation blocks supplied by a great number of canoe vendors, should they do a better job at advising customers?
    You could make a case for an industry-wide recommendation that canoeists think of the responsibility they are taking on when deciding to launch a canoe. E.g. Recommend end users:
    • Ensure they understand the environments into which they venture in order to recognise key hazards;
    • Develop sufficient understanding of their own capacities and limitations to avoid major misjudgements;
    • Have strategies for handling unforeseen developments...

    Key thing: strategies MAY involve additional flotation... but need not!

    Ps. Most manufacturers work through retailers, and any good retailer will encourage consideration of outfitting

  15. #15
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    Good morning Sal.
    Many canoe building materials are not naturally buoyant. The GRP canoes that I build won't float unaided....which is why we include buoyancy as standard.
    The wider issue is clouded by an exemption to boat construction regulations. All boats are required to do such things as not sink when swamped and, in the smaller cases, be self rescuable.
    However, there's an exclusion specifically for canoes, kayaks, gondolas and pedelos.
    So, legally, we as manufacturers aren't required to think about these things.....but there's a good argument to say that we should.
    As I said, we include buoyancy....and my eldest likes to make sure it's well tested. Self rescue is something we're working on....it's difficult in narrow hulls.
    Theres some RYA reading on the matter here: http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollection...sion%20(3).pdf

    Cheers,
    Robert.
    Last edited by rbm109; 20th-June-2016 at 06:56 AM. Reason: Over excited typing

  16. #16
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    Thanks folks for your responses. Greg, I tend to favour curl or scoop rescues, however there was a bit of fishing around for the boat and this was on flat water. Robert, I agree that composite boats don't float we have a lovely Apache at the club however it makes me think that we need to increase buoyancy in the boat.

    Greg, I think your suggestion regarding industry wide recommendations is a good idea, and something to think about. The seasoned paddler is aware of the issues and will fit out accordingly ( and plan for the worst) however those entering our wonderful world may not be. I will reflect further...
    There can be worse obsessions

  17. #17
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    I rec'd a PM this week asking for my views on the Hou14 now I have owned it for a year or so.....

    Firstly - I do classify myself as a professional picnicker rather than canoeist! For me, it's just about a relaxing day out, so these are my views based on flat water paddling (Canals, Thames, River Wey and a little bit of tidal water like the Hamble).

    As stated above and elsewhere, the stability of the boat is completely inspiring, both secondary and primary. Quite happy jumping in and out, standing up, moving about, moving dog and wriggly bow paddler.

    I bought this canoe, because it sat between the 2 canoes I owned previously (and had to consolidate to one when my daughter decided she wanted her own canoe!) - A Mad River Explorer 14TT and an Apache 16. Obviously 2 quite different boats and whilst there is obviously compromise in some areas, I am well pleased with the Hou for it’s all round ability.

    It’s just a nice fun boat to paddle – responsive enough without being ‘twitchy’. Tracks well, but can spin it easy enough (particulary when heeled). Nice and stable for beginners, but got enough about it that you can ‘grow’ into and wont feel like a tub as soon as you’ve got a bit of experience.

    Weight – no idea – about the same as the Apache, a fair bit lighter than the MR.
    Obviously we always want lighter… but for the money, I’m not going to complain here.

    Freeboard – mixed feelings here. It is certainly shallower than the Explorer and ‘Prospector’ type boats. This means a lower profile making it better on windy days, and also helps keep that weight down.

    The obvious compromise will be load carrying ability. Solo, dog and camping kit (No kitchen sink) – fine. Would it take two adults, a dog, and camping kit for a weekend? Probably not. (let’s remember that this is a 14 and half foot boat here, so maybe that’s a bit of a harsh criticism).

    For me, it’s a great solo (tripping), occasional tandem (day) boat. I’m just over 15 stone and my bow paddlers have always been a fair bit less than that. Not sure how it would be with 2 similar sized folks – plus the dog (25kg) – plus rations.

    I would be interested in others thoughts/experiences here? (I note the 390kg quoted load capacity quoted in the specs - but this is obviously different to real life and still be able to handle a boat that does not handle like a complete pig )

    Overall, very pleased with the boat and a great little all-rounder. Whilst I can see myself getting something bigger for some tandem tripping, that would be additional and I can see this still getting enough use to maintain its place at Chez Baldman.

    So that’s my thoughts a year on – how are others getting on with theirs??

    Cheers BMJ
    If I could only paddle like a doggie oughta paddle

  18. Default

    Hi all.
    After reading the reviews and reports, we went out and bought a HOU 14 from Anthony at Border Kayaks in Longtown.
    We chose it for flat water, canal, and gentle river use, mainly tandem plus small dog, occasionally solo plus small dog.
    We have paddled it a few times now on river and canal, and it is exactly as we expected - stable, big enough for our needs, and not bad in a wind - although we'll comment more on this in September after we've done some more open water.
    It tracks nicely, seems pretty quick on the water, and turns quite well.
    Various injuries sustained over the years have taken their toll, however it is not too difficult to load and unload on top of our RTT which sits on our pickup cap.
    Really pleased with the boat, it ticks all the boxes for us.....

  19. #19

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    Hi all

    I am new to this site and in the market for a canoe. I have found the site very useful so far.

    I have been looking at the Hou 14 as a light weight canoe for mainly tandem use on lakes, canals and gentle rivers (not looking to go above grade 1) but was advised by one of the instructors at my local marina not to take two people on Derwent Water in the Lake District in a Hou 14. I am tall but combined weight with my wife is not above 150kg.

    Do you think this is good advice?

    I have tried the Hou prospector on Derwent Water with no problems, but found the weight out of the water difficult to manage.

  20. #20
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    I think the Hou 14 is generally intended to be a solo boat with occasional tandem. If you intend to paddle tandem then a 16ft boat would be more suitable. If weight is an issue as you're looking to paddle mainly lakes look at composite boats.

    There are a couple of demo days coming up over the next few weeks so why not go along at try some boats. 22nd Sept at Devils bridge, 6th October at Killington lake

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

  21. #21
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    Hi there!

    As a Hou 14 owner, I don't think the issue is the combined weight of the paddlers, more the low free board, fine entry nose and reduced rocker. I took my 14 down the canoe chutes on the Medway and when you hit rough water the 14 is much more likely to submarine than something like a Prospector, which has much more volume in the bow.

    I disappeared under the wave, the Prospectors rode over it. Derwent Water can throw up some big/steep waves if the weather turns suddenly (which isn't uncommon).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeuncommon View Post
    Hi all

    I am new to this site and in the market for a canoe. I have found the site very useful so far.

    I have been looking at the Hou 14 as a light weight canoe for mainly tandem use on lakes, canals and gentle rivers (not looking to go above grade 1) but was advised by one of the instructors at my local marina not to take two people on Derwent Water in the Lake District in a Hou 14. I am tall but combined weight with my wife is not above 150kg.

    Do you think this is good advice?

    I have tried the Hou prospector on Derwent Water with no problems, but found the weight out of the water difficult to manage.

  22. #22
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    Hello and welcome to the forum. As Jamie says there is an open day on the 6th October at Killington Lake. As well as the full Hou range, Fyne Boat Kits will be there and so will we.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...Canoe-Demo-Day
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

    http://apachecanoes.com

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