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Thread: Which length Ally?

  1. #1
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    Default Which length Ally?

    Hello everyone, after much research I've decided to replace my old 16ft Venture Prospector with an Ally foldable, a DR model. This is mainly because the folding aspect would be a great benefit to me for storage and transport, also I've been watching every programme Lars Monsen has made on NRK.tv which has demonstrated just how good these canoes are. The question is though, whether to get a 15 DR or a 16.5 DR. About 70% of my paddling is solo and with a light load, day tripping with a small bag, dog and fishing gear. There will be times however when there's 2 of us, 2 largish 100 litre bags and the dog, on water such as Scottish rivers, Lochs and Estuaries. I've never had a problem paddling my 16ft venture solo, although it is rather heavy off the water. I've done much research and have found that 15 DR's are popular for solo, but can't find much about using them tandem with a load and vice versa I can't find much about soloing a 16.5 DR. Mr Monsen seems to use both sizes in his films but mainly a 15, although that's always solo.
    Has anyone got some experience of either paddling a 15 DR tandem with a decent load or alternatively a 16.5 DR solo unloaded, (I could always use water bags as ballast). I would prefer the 16.5 but only if it were manageable solo. Of course the obvious answer is to get both, but neither funds or the wife will allow that! Many thanks in advance, Nick.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default

    Mal grey will reply i guess soon enough.

    IN the mean while. I think both options can be done I have a 16.5 and paddle it solo and tadnem. and a friend does the same in his 15. both happy. I would go for the 15. getting a good tandem on a renting place is always easier teh a good solo..
    Propper writing in English. How do you do that? with dyslexia, bad hand eye coordination, ect. and in a foreign language.
    Sorry for all the mistakes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    I have a 15DR, fantastic piece of kit. I almost always paddle solo though, so can't really give you much advice from personal tandem use, though Big Al and I found it fine for a day trip off Knoydart.

    Fred and Kelly (scoutmaster and philosophist) have had a 15 for many years, and they have tripped in it for proper wilderness trips perfectly happily. They travel fairly light, but not unduly so.

    I've never paddled the 16.5, but one of the good things about the Ally is that you can move the seats to wherever you need them, so setting up for solo should be easy enough.

    The capacity of the 15 pretty good, and it has plenty of freeboard.

    I guess what I'm saying is that either will do the job. I'd probably go with the 15' if the tandem use is occasional.

  4. #4
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    I have sometimes paddled my 16.5DR solo and it paddled fine. Might be a bit more of a handful in strong winds, but a bit of extra weight would no doubt help.

    I just thought I'd add (in case you are buying second hand) that I can't move the seats in my 16.5 DR. It has the bench seats built into the stations, rather than the 'tractor' seats, which I think Mal has. Maybe I should get some tractor seats; if they can be set up anywhere, that would be handy—though I quite like the bench seats as you can slide to whichever side of the boat you are paddling on. I imagine the tractor seat leaves you rather distant from the edge of the boat if you move it to the centre? When paddling solo, I usually simply paddle 'backwards' sitting on the bow seat and place some weight up front to trim the boat—though I have been known at times to just kneel in the middle of the boat, or use a drybag or bailer as a saddle. How easy you find this depends on how used to it you are (can be hard on the knees and ankles if not, but its how the Indians paddled their canoes).

    Also worth keeping Pakcanoes in mind. In my experience they are easier and quicker to set up than the Ally, thanks to the use of inflatable components. Set-up aside, both boats are very pleasant to paddle. In fact if you have plans to construct your Ally canoe before each trip, I'd recommend trying out constructing one before you commit to the purchase. They can be recalcitrant bu**ers. (Like wrestling a set of metal snakes.) Great once built though!
    Last edited by idc; 19th-May-2019 at 08:44 AM. Reason: added info about Pakcanoe

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    I just thought I'd add (in case you are buying second hand) that I can't move the seats in my 16.5 DR. It has the bench seats built into the stations, rather than the 'tractor' seats, which I think Mal has. Maybe I should get some tractor seats; if they can be set up anywhere, that would be handy—though I quite like the bench seats as you can slide to whichever side of the boat you are paddling on. I imagine the tractor seat leaves you rather distant from the edge of the boat if you move it to the centre? When paddling solo, I usually simply paddle 'backwards' sitting on the bow seat and place some weight up front to trim the boat—though I have been known at times to just kneel in the middle of the boat, or use a drybag or bailer as a saddle. How easy you find this depends on how used to it you are (can be hard on the knees and ankles if not, but its how the Indians paddled their canoes).
    Good point, the "tractor" seats do limit your ability to slide to one side heeling the boat when solo. They do make for excellent connectivity on the occasional grade 2 moving water stuff though!
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  6. #6
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    Question for you OP, or anyone else-
    does anyone know where I can find decent english subtitled Monsen shows?

  7. #7
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    Apr 2019
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    Thanks for the answers guys, I'm thinking now the 15' would be the best, a bit smaller for transporting in the car and we could just travel light when 2 up. I'll order one from Arts-outdoors, they've got 10% off at the moment and only 12.95 euros to post! I've found a load of info on the web about Ally's, loads of videos come up from a "kano tur" search, they certainly are very popular expedition boats. I think I'll be fine with the tractor seat, I'm not into canoe dance and the dog doesn't really like the boat heeled over, jumps in and swims off. I'm already planning trips, got 2 weeks in the Highlands coming up this summer so it should get lots of use. I'll get some Boeshield T 9 as well as I'll be mainly in the salt down here and I've read that the aluminium rods and connecting springs will corrode if not protected and rinsed off.
    Many thanks,
    Nick

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy View Post
    Question for you OP, or anyone else-
    does anyone know where I can find decent english subtitled Monsen shows?
    Hi Andy, most of his films are on youtube, but only Nordkalotten 365 and Across Canada have English subtitles, but the picture quality is poor. Much better quality and with series that aren't on YouTube is NRK.tv, but only has Norwegian subtitles.
    I emailed NRK.tv to ask if they could put English subtitles up and they mailed back, NO! I've watched them all with subtitles and typed it into Google translate which is a slow way, but with that and watching some "learn Norwegian" videos on YouTube I am starting to be able to understand the subtitles without having to translate, can't do it without subtitles, he talks to fast. But I think his films are so good that they are highly entertaining even without being able to understand what he is saying.
    I have contacted Lars via his Facebook page several times and so far he's got back every time, there is a new series coming out later this year "Monsen, Monsen og Mattis" 2 where they travel in Alaska in a couple of Gumotex inflatable canoes. Ha det, god tur, Nick.

  9. #9
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    the highlands
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    Thanks Nick, I actually found that if I watch Nordkalotten on NRK.tv using chrome and click the translate Norwegian tab it translates the subtitles as it goes. But for some reason the others aren't avaliable outside Norway. Shame, its great telly.
    Got to say, My Mrs thinks I'm daft on watching his films, but actually learning Norwegian- thats really going the extra 1.6km.
    Enjoy the boat, I've got my eye on one myself but can't justify it just yet. They look great, I think the only place I've paddled that I would be a bit nervous of one would be Loch Ba, the rocks just below the surface are like razors.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS View Post
    I've been watching every programme Lars Monsen has made on NRK.tv which has demonstrated just how good these canoes are. Nick.
    I hadn't come across these - thanks. I watched on an Android tablet and got some great subtitle translations 'so this expedition has great tummy tickling' for example.

    Sent from my Lenovo TB3-X70F using Tapatalk

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