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Canadian Canoe Routes

Need Solo Paddling Advice
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Author:  Alltogethermorris [ March 23rd, 2017, 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Need Solo Paddling Advice

Hello fellow canoeists
I am hoping to do my first solo canoe trip this summer.
I'm seeking some advice on the best way to paddle my canoe.
It's a Swift Algonquin 16 Kevlar Fusion.
I've heard when paddling solo it's best to sit in the bow and paddle the canoe backwards.
Alternatively I've also heard one can put their pack in the bow, which would help to keep the boat stable, and paddle the canoe the regular way from the stern.
It will be a short trip, 3 days two nights, probably in the Kawartha Highlands, with likely only one or two portages, each way.
Any advice as to the actual paddling would be greatly appreciated.

Author:  recped [ March 23rd, 2017, 4:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

It's a symmetrical hull so you want to turn it around and paddle from the bow seat.

Paddling from the stern seat no matter how you load up the boat will be a miserable experience in even a light breeze.

Author:  WWGOD? [ March 23rd, 2017, 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

I mostly agree with recped but in a very gentle wind, provided you pay attention, you can paddle from the stern seat no problems.

While, if I am solo, I now use a solo canoe, I've paddled a tandem from the stern many many times. I prefer it because the stern seat is typically farther back in the canoe so the canoe is narrower when paddling from the stern.

Of course, I am always reminded of the solo canoeist I saw in Algonquin years ago - he was paddling from the stern, clearly did not know what he was doing, and was going against the wind...and paddled an entire lake going backwards because he could not get his canoe turned around.

Author:  Sam82 [ March 24th, 2017, 12:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

Never seen anything good come from paddling solo in the stern. Not many easier ways to spot a newb...

Author:  Eddy Turn [ March 24th, 2017, 7:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

Paddling from the bow, making it new stern, puts you closer to the center of the boat, where it's easier to control. Put your packs in front to keep boat level, which is usually desirable. If you are paddling against strong wind move gear further towards the bow so it sits lower in the water. Paddling down wind move the gear closer to the yoke so the front of the canoe sits higher.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ March 24th, 2017, 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

Backwards from the bow seat. Packs as far forward as possible

Author:  Alltogethermorris [ March 24th, 2017, 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

Thanks all for your responses! Exactly what I was looking for.

Author:  Donomemee [ March 31st, 2017, 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

Another good tip passed to me, when paddling around WITHOUT your gear, say fishing from camp have an extra dry bag ( 20L ) that you can fill with water and put it in the other end for ballast. Adjust weight with amount of water filled, dump when not using.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ March 31st, 2017, 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

The absolute best is to have a kneeling thwart in back of the yoke and paddle Canadian Style..Then you have control of bow and stern and do not need rocks. Omer Stringer was the Algonquin guide responsible for developing this technique . He has the Canoeists Manual which you might still be be able to buy in Algonquin. He got real tired of rocks!

However I assumed that the OP wanted to sit

Author:  Stan [ May 13th, 2017, 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

Learn from the master......

Author:  Ghost [ May 13th, 2017, 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Solo Paddling Advice

Count me in on sitting backwards in the bow seat for symmetrical canoes.
If you have a one way only canoe, you will have to kneel further forward from the rear seat, and think about installing a kneeling thwart.

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