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Thread: Hello from Lincolnshire!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lincolnshire
    Posts
    3

    Default Hello from Lincolnshire!

    Hello! Great forum - have really enjoyed reading lots of posts already.

    Am 2 years into owning a nova craft prospector 16 sp (34kg) Now can get the two dogs in it and two adults. On holiday on Coniston at the moment and finding it blows right across the lake in the wind so wondering about getting a different canoe. Think might also be hampered by low weight as I sit at the front and donít paddle due to health problems and am 50kg. The dogs are in the middle and weigh 30kg combined. And my wife sits at the back and paddles all of us. She is 65kg. It goes fine in quiet weather but if we are struck by wind or currents it gets really tricky.

    Would love any advice about one person paddling a loaded canoe? And any tips for a different canoe that might be better suited?

    thanks for reading!

    S

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    22,704

    Default

    Hello and Welcome!

    Nice canoe. You're definitely on the light side as a crew, which will be a factor in how prone to wind issues you are. Adding some ballast in terms of a few bags, will help. I'd also note its been fairly windy in the Lakes over the last few days (was on Windermere on Sunday), and any open canoe with relatively inexperienced paddlers in will have been affected.

    Prospectors are a bit wind-prone, but I happily paddle one solo, and have done in up to about Force 5 on open water. Its all about TRIM. The weight needs to be positioned according to the wind. If its a headwind, you need to be slightly bow heavy. A tail wind is better slightly stern heavy. The canoe tents to pivot like a weather vane around the heaviest end. Side winds need pretty even weight distribution. You sound as if you'll be bow-light, so any wind coming vaguely from the front or angled from that direction will tend to spin the bows round away from it. Move some bags right to the bow in front of you (you can take a spare dry bag and fill it with water to do this).

    Not having an active paddle at the front of the canoe is going to make a massive difference too and is possibly the biggest factor here. A stern paddler without any power at the front will find it significantly harder than a solo paddler near to the centre of the canoe. With you being light, you could try "reversing" the canoe. This will bring her closer to the centre, on the front seat but facing the other direction, with you in the stern seat which is now the bows (confusing, eh?!). I do this when paddling solo with younger kids who have less power (or inclination!). Again, you can use bags (or dogs!) to trim the canoe level.
    One other option could be the addition of a little electric trolling motor clamped to a "plank" across the canoe - you paddle stern and control this, you wife paddles in the front (trimmed accordingly)? They're silent and would help you maintain momentum which you need to aid steering.

    Whilst I would stick with what you've got and learn more about trim and techniques, yes, other canoes may be better in wind. Prospectors have slightly raised prows, and enough "rocker" to allow them to turn, the combination making them more prone to the wind pushing them around. They are designed to be paddled with a load on board down a flowing river, that was their job, so are worse when light. Things like Novacraft Pals, Mad River Reflections and others are more of a "straight line" open water canoe with lower sides/bows etc. Though when the waves get up, you might be glad of the Prospectors higher sides! Personally I like a Prospector even on open water for how well those high bows and the rocker work in waves, but would always have a reasonable amount of weight in one on open water.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Buckland, Gloucestershire
    Posts
    808

    Default

    Welcome, to you, your dogs and your wife. She must be a formidable 65kgs-worth of lady, to be your only 'engine'!

    The main issue appears to be how the canoe handles, with only one paddler, if there is any kind of wind.. so that seems to the driving force behind wanting to change. If you stick with Nova Craft, the PAL has almost a cult following around here. It's 16ft, much lighter and a little narrower than the SP3, so it should be an easier paddle for your wife. It'll be easier to paddle in wind because it is low-sided compared to a prospector, which can be a handful in any kind of wind. People report that the sides are not too low in small waves and you're not a heavy crew, so I wouldn't worry about water coming over the sides, unless you fancy a kamikaze ride down the Spey!!! There's a nice used PAL for sale right now on the Forum (not very local to you though).

    Thinking outside of the box - maybe you could also have your canoe outfitted for sailing. Might make things enjoyable in a wind instead of a chore. Other people will have more knowledge than me about canoe sailing - and whether or not it's a sensible idea in your circumstances... paddling AND handling a sail might be too much for one small-ish person... maybe you're able to handle a small sail?

    I'm guessing from your location that you might know Norfolk Marine - I think they are the main importer for Nova Craft and not too far from you - they might have some boats to demo.
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    Last edited by Duck Feet; 4th-September-2019 at 10:48 AM.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lincolnshire
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Hi Mal,

    thanks for the detailed reply - much appreciated!. We have gone out again today on Coniston and taken some water as weight at the bow end where I sit and had the dogs spread throughout the boat rather than together towards the stern, and even those small changes made a massive difference. Went much better :0) it is even windier today so I really get what you are saying about the importance of weight in the boat. And my wife plotted a route taking more into account how the wind was going to push us.

    You make a good point about the high sides as the dogs each are prone to suddenly leaning with their feet on the edge and with the high sides, even when they both do this on the same side, the gunwales stay well clear of the water. And I’m guessing with lower sides this would be more prone to heeling over when they do this. Although the foxhound stayed well within the boat today after an unauthorised jump off the SUP yesterday that fell well short of the side and left him completely dunked . His short swim seems to have encouraged him to just sit and enjoy the ride. Even lying down at one point! Not so for the little beagle who is like a jack in the box popping up to the left and the right and not sitting still for more than 30secs. The more trips we do the more bustling she gets!

    Got our first white tipped waves today!

    Good tip tip about the motor, nice to have this as a thought in the back of my mind in case my wife runs out of power at some point in the future!

    Off out again this afternoon, last of a wonderful week on Coniston and will try with some additional water weight and try moving it from front to back depending on which way up the lake / wind we are going.

    So far this is a great improvement and brilliant to have a solution that doesn’t need necessarily a new boat! Not buying a new boat means more weeks away enjoying the trips out on the boat :0)

    Thank you!
    S

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lincolnshire
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Hi Duck Feet

    thanks for the reply. My wife definitely liked being described as formidable! And got me out of a bit of hot water from being a scaredy cat yesterday when we were getting pulled backwards in the current down the little river at the bottom of Coniston!

    have looked into the PAL which looks like a good option. I am wondering though if the lower sides is a trade off with stability with dogs leaning on the side? Or is that more to do with the width and how flat the bottom of the boat is? The lower weight of some of the lighter boats is attractive as when we go at home getting the 34kg in and out the river on her own can be tricky for my wife. Not sure if this makes a boat more susceptible to wind as well? Seems like there might be trade offs with quite a few of the options. We have the 16ft at the bottom but would get a 14ft if we got another one.

    Love the sail idea. I had a lot of happy times sailing when I was a kid and can imagine it’d be awesome to fly down the lake with a sail up!

    Thanks for the tips - have looked on the Norfolk marine website - got some nice paddles from there :0)

    thanks again,

    S

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    874

    Default

    The canoe tends to pivot like a weather vane around the heaviest end.
    This point of Mal's is the key. It's worth some experimenting. If you put the boat side on to the wind and let it drift, does it go sideways or does it turn? Whichever end turns away from the wind needs more weight (or less weight at the other end!). Moving weight along the boat to reach this balance is called trimming.

    You can be a bit more subtle in using this to your advantage. If you're paddling across the wind, and your wife's strongest paddling side is the left, you can trim the boat so that the wind is turning it slightly left - then she can do plain forward strokes and not have to do prys or J-strokes. Or, if she doesn't have a favoured paddling side, approach from the other end of the problem; if the wind is turning the boat slightly one way, she should switch to paddle on that side. If that doesn't stop it going downwind, trim the weight forward.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wetherby
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    I think it has all been said: trim, and trying to get the solo paddler as close to the centre of the boat as possible. The SP3 is a good boat for two adults and dogs and as Mal says I wouldn't be in a hurry to change it. Chris is also correct, paddle on the downwind side of the boat. The power stroke tends to push the bow up into the wind, which then blows it back again reducing the requirement for steering strokes.
    "Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!" said Piglet, feeling him.Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.

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