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Thread: Voyageur Paddles

  1. #1

    Default Voyageur Paddles

    Itís probably too late to ask, but here goes:

    Iím in the middle of carving a one piece Voyageur paddle out of black walnut.

    I had very good results from this wood with a 1 piece Algonquin paddle I carved Ė The indigenous American pioneers of canoeing. I decided it appropriate to have another classically styled paddle representing the Western pioneers of open boating in the form of a Voyageur paddle. (Iíve also got a sugar island style paddle so my paddle bag is actually becoming quite multi cultural!)

    My question is: Does anyone out there use a voyageur and what are the thoughts and comments on the performance of these paddles?
    Just add wheat, barley, hops and a boat.

  2. #2
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    They suck; I stopped making them. Also the Voyagers did not use that style of paddle.

    They tend to flutter in the water but are dead easy to make.
    Lloyd

    I never pay attention to anything by "experts". I calculate everything myself.
    Richard Feynman.

    www.senseaboutscience.org

  3. #3
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    Default That's what ai like !

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    They suck; I stopped making them. Also the Voyagers did not use that style of paddle.

    They tend to flutter in the water but are dead easy to make.
    Don't beat around the bush Just say what you think,

    Lloyd, I look forward to each of your posts as I know you will say what you really feel !

    Always a pleasure to see hear from you.
    PS Have you tried a Helman Canoe, if so did you like it ?

    Regards Bruce

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    Never heard of them? Over here Helmans is a type of mayonnaise. From their website they look good enough though.
    Lloyd

    I never pay attention to anything by "experts". I calculate everything myself.
    Richard Feynman.

    www.senseaboutscience.org

  5. #5
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    Default

    It'll be right, trust me, I'm a Yorkshireman.



    ::>>> I'd rather be lucky, than good.

  6. #6

    Default

    I'm with Lloyd - they SUCK!

  7. #7
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    Default

    I presume you are talking about the Grey Owl Voyageur ???

    >> http://www.greyowlpaddles.com/pages/recreational.html

    This is a name Grey Owl Paddles have given to one of their Paddles, not the style Paddle that the Voyaguers used.

    I have a couple of Grey Owl Voyaguer Paddles which I find good for going in straight lines, but not good when maneuvering as I think it is too wide and displace too much water when trying to turn (for me anyway) you need a delicate touch to make a turn smoothly.
    I also carry an ottertail which I prefer most of the time, as it's narrower and does things a lot slower.
    It'll be right, trust me, I'm a Yorkshireman.



    ::>>> I'd rather be lucky, than good.

  8. #8

    Default Hmmmm

    Cheers for a reasonable response bothyman.

    You're right: The Grey Owl is very wide and more suited to a white water paddle.

    The so called Voyageur I'm carving is a deep water paddle. So a bit longer than you would normally use and if anything is most similar to an ottertail or Algonquin. It has very straight (but tapering) blade edges with very pointed shoulders. Anyone had experience of these?

    Just add wheat, barley, hops and a boat.

  9. #9
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    That is the paddle I thought you were talking about. I made a bunch of them in the early days from plans in a library book.

    Sort of like a noisy finicky otter tail. Of the bunch I made most were given away to people who liked them for looks the rest broke.

    Only paddle I ever had that failed consistently. Not sure why? But they were early attempts.

    They are worth a try if you get to try it for free but don't spend money on one or spend the time to make one unless you get the wood for free and do not value your time.
    Lloyd

    I never pay attention to anything by "experts". I calculate everything myself.
    Richard Feynman.

    www.senseaboutscience.org

  10. #10
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    Default

    I have a Northwest Voyageur paddle and it's my favourite paddle. It all depends on the paddle....
    PWC
    ___________________________________
    Know less, carry more - you're in a canoe !

  11. #11
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    Grey Owl still do a classic “Voyageur”-style paddle in Black Cherry, they call it the Sagamore: http://www.greyowlpaddles.com/pages/traditional.html

    I have had one in my hands for a very short while, first impression; very small blade and rather some flex but great for classic-style paddling. I thought that my Chieftain had sharp edges but that Sagamore looks like you can cut bread with it.

    I think that if you’ll keep it in line with this design, you’ll end up with a great paddle, I personally wouldn’t mind a bit bigger blade-surface thou.
    Last edited by Koen; 20th-February-2009 at 09:46 AM.

  12. #12
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    I just made a real Voyager style paddle for a client and it looks a lot more like the sagamore that Koen mentioned. I just have to wait until Saturday to oil it and post it.

    I am not sure where the square sided "voyager paddle" came from? It is not really like any of the native paddles I am familiar with and the voyagers certainly did not use them.

    Probably it was something invented in the 1900's because it was so easy to trace and cut out. If you are a sit and switch paddler though you may like this blade because the water drops off it and does not run up the shaft much so maybe it was invented by a guy that did not like cold hands.
    Lloyd

    I never pay attention to anything by "experts". I calculate everything myself.
    Richard Feynman.

    www.senseaboutscience.org

  13. #13
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    Default

    Hi heltor
    I have made a few of the type you are making and find them fery nice to use in lakes and deep water. I have made mine quite long and find it very usefull when paddling solo the long reach makes it much easier to control the canoe. One mistake I made on the first one was not to make the blade thin or sharp enough ,it needs to be thin and sharp edged to have that nice feel to it. but its not for polling off rocks! so carry one for that .
    Good luck I hope it turns out great.
    Thats the good thing about making paddles if its not sucessful just make another one. You learn as you go

  14. #14
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    I have made about 18 paddles so far this month and have been doing if for years. I still occasionally screw up too.

    The trick is learning how to salvage the botched ones and turn them into something usable.

    Like the man says it is a constant learning experience
    Lloyd

    I never pay attention to anything by "experts". I calculate everything myself.
    Richard Feynman.

    www.senseaboutscience.org

  15. #15

    Default Casual Review

    I never got round to leaving any feedback on my voyageur paddle I carved out of Black Walnut:

    It was one of the easier paddles Iíve carved due to the straight tapering sides and of course it is very nice to look at Ė There arenít many around and I constantly get lots of interest from other paddlers.

    Performance wise: I love this paddle on longer trips which is almost surprising as itís a reassuringly heavy paddle, but I think thatís down to itís very long, very thin, ďlow gearedĒ design. No chance of my beer elbow being affected after a long day on the water! In deep water itís very powerful and you get loads of control out the back of strokes and under the boat. There is absolutely no flutter at all which was a slight worry looking at some of the feedback here. Itís perfect for a bit of canoe ballet without taking the paddle out the water. There are only a couple of downsides so far: You canít use it in shallow, rocky rapids without quickly undoing all my hard graft. Itís also not that quiet on the slice back to the beginning of a ďSilent StrokeĒ. Although the blade is quite thin I took the decision to keep the straight sides squared off to retain the typical look of these paddles. Not a problem Ė I can always switch paddles if I need to be quiet.

    All in all I can see this paddle fast becoming one of my top sticks. Iíll post some pictures soon when I get round to it if anyoneís interestedÖ.hc
    Just add wheat, barley, hops and a boat.

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