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 Post subject: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: June 19th, 2020, 9:16 am 
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
I have never paid too much attention to how fast we travel. We may be paddling out the key river to the bay and I was trying to figure out how long it will take not counting the effects of a headwind. Loaded canoes, obviously, 2 older adults---competent paddlers,. Any guesses/estimates?

thx

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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: June 19th, 2020, 10:30 am 
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wotrock, it is 13 km. from the marina at Hwy 69 to G'Bay. Given the factors you mention, it'll get done in two and a half to three hours. Another thing to consider is the weekend boat traffic on a long, narrow stretch of water with nowhere to hide.

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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: June 19th, 2020, 1:52 pm 
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Tx---we plan to go mid-week

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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: June 19th, 2020, 4:57 pm 
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Wotrock, I haven't gone into the bay via Key River, but have often entered from Britt. Pro's: wider passage going out, and less bother from motorboats (albeit much busier on wknds). The trip from the put-in out to the bay is pretty short and not unpleasant, and you're into Black Bay in less than 2 hours paddling. "Ice Cream on the Rocks" in Britt charges a fee for launching and for parking. Black Bay is within day-trip distance of Champlain Island and the Churchills. Is there, by some remote stroke of luck, free parking available somewhere at Key River? I, for one, would like to access the bay at least once during my lifetime without paying parking fees. On drive-by's Key River has always looked packed with vehicles and power boats. Anyway, you might consider Britt if you haven't already considered it.
Martin


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: June 20th, 2020, 12:23 pm 
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Good suggestion but we have gone out from Britt a couple of times already and have explored that area quite a bit. The last time we paddled up the inlet on a Sun aft against a headwind with some very inconsiderate boaters.It was the worst paddle ever!

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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: June 21st, 2020, 9:28 am 
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Novice paddlers can do about 5km/h if that helps you at all. Went on a short trip with my 10 year old a few days ago and that's about what our speed was.


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: July 4th, 2020, 2:44 pm 
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Years ago John Winters told me the physics of displacement hulls places maximum (efficient) hull speed at 6 km/hr. Exponentially greater amounts of energy are required for anything faster than that. Factor in wind, waves, hull shape and paddling technique, pauses to take a drink or look at things and actual forward motion is typically slower than that ('cept maybe with that rarety for canoeists.... a tailwind!).


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: July 4th, 2020, 3:30 pm 
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Max comfortable hull speed is dependent on all of those factors including hull length. In general, the longer the hull in the water, the faster you can go, but that quickly becomes limited by frictional drag with a longer wetted hull surface. The practical limit has been explained like this.... a boat moving through the water generates a wave of a certain wavelength depending on speed. At a critical speed (there is an empirical formula for that) you are essentially paddling in the trough of your own wave. any faster requires you to climb out of that wave trough, requiring a huge amount of power to get uphill over the crest.
From my experience, recreational paddlers will move comfortably at around 3mph (5kph). Amateur recreational racers will aim to cruise while training with moderate energy in a C2 (tandem canoe) at around 5-5.5mph (8-9kph), up to 6-6.5mph (9.5-10kph) in an average not-too-long race.

Wind is almost always a problem. A moderate headwind will almost always cause a .5mph drop in forward speed. It is not just wind friction that is the problem. Any size to the waves increases wetted hull surface, which increases water drag friction. Even a tail wind is not necessarily as good as you might feel. If it causes waves of more than a few inches, it will have a slowing effect. A cross or quartering wind is almost as bad as a headwind due to constant direction control sapping forward motion power.


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: July 6th, 2020, 5:04 pm 
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Thanx Nessmuk, I guess I got my miles and kilometers mixed up.... displacement hull max speed should read 6 miles/hr....


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling speeds
PostPosted: July 12th, 2020, 5:48 pm 
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nessmuk wrote:
...From my experience, recreational paddlers will move comfortably at around 3mph (5kph). ...
Wind is almost always a problem. A moderate headwind will almost always cause a .5mph drop in forward speed.

All these factors mentioned are true, and focus on the effects on the canoe. However, wind has an effect on the paddler behaviour as well. I have seen average paddler speed increase with a light to moderate headwind. You see, when we've got a bit of headwind we buckle down and get to work. If it's calm or there's a tailwind, we lolligag and we're content to drift a while. No one likes to lose ground, so in a headwind there are fewer breaks and paddlers aren't likely to sit for long while they drift back in the direction that they just came from. The quantity of wind (and associated waves) is key, it can't be too much to be demoralizing or seriously impede progress.
Cheers,
Bryan

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