View topic - Sanity check on a clipper Caribou S + seat question

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PostPosted: August 19th, 2018, 10:41 pm 
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Joined: August 17th, 2018, 9:24 pm
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Hi all,

This is my first post although I have been watching the forum for a little bit now. So here is a quick presentation. 40+ guy currently living in Vancouver. I have moderate experience paddling 6 persons racing Polynesian outrigger canoes both on lagoons (kind of flat water but with tides : )), and on the ocean (pretty sure this does not translate in whitewater experience at all).
I have been interested to get into canoeing since I moved in Vancouver, so here I am.

I plan to do mostly flat water and eventually class I river. Trips will be mostly day trips and a couple of overnight / 2 night trips during the summer (I am full of good intentions to lot lot of tripping but I know that reality will be something else).
Also, I will probably be mostly solo with potentially the dog and one of the kid from time to time.

So, to do this, I am planning to grab a Clipper Caribou S http://www.clippercanoes.com/caribou-s/
This doesn't see to be a popular canoe but it seems to fit my requirements the best and I would like to go with Clipper since I live close to them).

I was also looking at the Tripper S http://www.clippercanoes.com/tripper-s/. It's bigger, so will be probably more comfortable when (if ) I have a kid, but it is heavier, more expensive and I am thinking that I won't need the extra space that often. On the plus side, it's a more popular canoe, so you can find some second hand like that one https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/van/boa/d/canoe-clipper-tripper/6662706272.html (but I do not like the repair behind the bow flotation box).

There is also a Nova Trapper 12' in Royalex available, https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rds/boa/d/solo-canoe-nova-craft-trapper/6672000331.html , but this seems to be a really small platform if you want to go " far" / overnight.

Does anyone has any comment on those boats?


And to finish I have a question, my understanding is that a webbed seat vs a bucket seat is more a matter of personal preferences than anything else. Can someone confirm please?

Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 12:40 am 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1076
Location: Burns Lake, BC
I haven't paddled either of these boats.
I have paddled a Bell Magic, a Clipper Solitude, and a 14 and 16' Clipper Prospectors with our two dogs.

By far the most comfortable for paddling with dogs is the 16' Prospector paddled backwards from the bow seat.
I have bench seats so I can trim the boat accordingly for our two.
Second is the Solitude with the high tractor seat and dog between your legs. A light gear offset in the stern is needed.

For tripping, the weight of the gear allows us to each have a dog in our boat.
I trip with "my" dog up front in my Magic but the only way that's possible is with a heavy gear offset in the stern.
My wife does the same with "her" dog in her Solitude.

So I say, at least try out a 16 Prospector.
Way more dog friendly than any dedicated solo and way more multi-use.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 5:54 am 
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Joined: May 5th, 2015, 2:14 pm
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Location: London, ON
Re: bucket seat - if planning to solo and tandem paddle, the webbed seats are likely better as it's not great to sit backwards on the bucket seat.

Also, open ocean outrigger racing!!! Awesome.

Cheers
Marko


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 7:50 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
The Clipper S seems reasonable..

Anything under 14 feet is very limited. You will not put a dog nor a kid in it too,

Be aware that those that paddle tandems solo . They are usually guys with the horsepower to overcome skin friction in the water. Also able to handle wind.. Its harder much harder to handle wind solo with a Prospector paddled backward from the bow seat UNLESS you have gear in it or the dog or the kid.. And neither is helping you paddle.

Paddling backwards from the bow seat is fine for open water paddling but the steering you get is like steering a shopping cart as you push it backward from the front through a grocery store. Try that in a crowded store!


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 10:15 am 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
Don't be too scared by the standard advice to do what's normal.
Solid paddling skills can overcome darn near everything and open up quite a few new doors as well.

A prospector will help you become a much better paddler.
You will learn to paddle from any position in the canoe with or without a payload.

But ya... it is a step away from dedicated solo.

Also, learning to drive anything backwards will translate into better forward handling as well... even shopping carts.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 12:41 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
You can paddle a tandem Canadian Style ..

I can paddle a Prospector enough to gain instructor Lakewater Cert at Paddle Canada. But To paddle one in wind on a trip is not much fun.

That is unless it was loaded with the gold ore it was designed to carry.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 8:44 pm 
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Joined: August 17th, 2018, 9:24 pm
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Hey guys,

Thanks for the answers.
I get it, a prospector will be the most versatile and can do -almost- everything.

However, I think it will be too big for me : beginner level + will mostly be solo. I really like the Caribou S shorter length, lighter width and and narrower beam.
This is why I was planing for a solo option knowing it's limited and upgrade to a Prospector / Tripper if the kids / dog get really into it.

Cheers,

T.

PS: Regarding outrigger paddling. Yes it's awesome, no I was not on the map (you have to train 5 to 7 days a week if you want to as the top guys seems to live on the water and train all the time!). Lagoon and open water are very different but both great (and sometimes a bit scary...). If you ever go to Tahiti, I highly encourage you to try to engage any paddler you might come across. If you stay in one of the inland hotel, lurk around the waterfront a little away from the tourists zone, you WILL find a Vaa'a store not far from the water (either totally beat-up or shining like a diamond). Speaking French helps a lot.


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2018, 11:13 am 
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Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
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Location: Back to Winnipeg
I just paddled a little 2-night, flatwater solo trip in my 14' ww tandem playboat - I certainly recommend a bench seat over a ww saddle for tripping!

For trips like this, I'm looking for something like a 15' Nova Craft Bob Special - good for solo tripping, and good for kids.

Your boat choice aside, you might want to check these canoe people in the Lower Mainland:

http://beavercanoeclub.org/

Pat.

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Learning to paddle is like learning a language:
It's easy to learn the basics, but will you be understood in a strong wind?


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2018, 11:33 am 
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
My buddy has the Clipper caribou. He's a big guy, 225, carries big loads and flies down the lake in the thing. He uses a kayak paddle and easily out-distances us in tandems. He's pretty happy with it, although it is his first dedicated solo, he always paddled tandems backward before.

Just a note on the prospector paddled backward...when I was young, I could make it work, but a couple of years ago, we had a kid go home sick on a trip, and I went from my dedicated solo to a Nova Craft 16 foot prospector. We were averaging about 25 k a day, and by the end of three days, I was beat, dogging it way behind the pack. If you want a solo boat, a dedicated solo is the way to go. If you want a tandem that is sometimes a solo, well then maybe look at other options.


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2018, 10:33 pm 
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yarnellboat wrote:
I certainly recommend a bench seat over a ww saddle for tripping!


Why? Just easier to move around since there is not back rest ?


yarnellboat wrote:
you might want to check these canoe people in the Lower Mainland:

http://beavercanoeclub.org/

Pat.


I am trying to contact them. I sent them an email five days ago (no phone number or anything else on their website), but I am still waiting for an answer.
They are probably all enjoying summer paddling somewhere (I am jealous :D ).

RHaslam wrote:
My buddy has the Clipper caribou....

Thank you for the info, this is a good news for me : )
He is not around Vancouver by any chance?
I didn't use a double paddle since I was a kid (in another century :roll: ), can be fun to give it a try. I am of average height (1m80) so I will have to check that the beam is not too large for me to be able to do that.

Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 8:35 am 
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Joined: September 30th, 2008, 9:52 pm
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Location: Winnipeg
If possible rent/borrow the Clipper(s) and NC. At least one of the retailers here will let you borrow a boat or have some option to try before buy - see if that is possible. Take your child, dog, a barrel/pack of stuff along - mix and match, spend a reasonable amount of time paddling about (even if it is in a little pond).

You don't mention the age of your child or the size of your dog (or how active). The Caribou is 15+ long but a little narrow if you are used to a tandem boat. It might feel a little sketchy with an active dog/child. Children tend to grow so that might be a consideration since it looks like you will want to use the canoe into the future.

I like having a dedicated solo canoe but it can be limiting as your child (children?) grow and you want to take them out and have them paddle with you. In the end if you really like paddling you might end up with more than one canoe.

The Caribou has 2" rocker and 20" of height (bow & stern). Tripper-S is longer but the bow/stern are not as high (it has an asymmetric hull but the specification don't provide the rocker differential).

I am not a fan of tractor seats but that is more personal preference. With the tractor seats I like having a foot brace. The tripper-S has a solo thwart which some people don't like as it is not really for sitting on but kneeling - if you have bad knees/ankles this can be an issue.


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 11:07 am 
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Location: Back to Winnipeg
Hi Tereva,

You're probably right about the BCC leaders being out paddling! Assuming you e-mailed the membership director or pres, they should eventually get back to you. Poke around the webpages and newsletter and you should find info on a Sept meeting, or possibly upcoming trips and other contacts.

If you're interested in meeting some people and checking out ww canoes, on Sept 15-16 there is a slalom race on the Chilliwack River. More info on this old forum: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/paddlenet/

The core membership/leadership/schedule of the club has usually been focused on ww river trips, but I'm not sure if its current make-up. There certainly are lots of people who own different types of canoes and do all sorts of tripping too.

For the paddling your talking about I prefer bench seats. They offer the most flexibility for facing forward or backward, and also for shifting your weight around to one gunwale or the other.

My legs are still stiff from the little trip I did kneeling in a ww saddle - which means you're seated quite low and kneeling the whole time. It's very hard on your knees and ankles - puts your lower legs to sleep. It also uses different leg muscles to help control the boat in a wind etc., I woke up at night with leg cramps in weird places and I'm still stiff! Much nicer to not be kneeling so low the whole time and to be able to shift your weight around. (A kneeling thwart could be hard on the legs too, but at least you'd sitting higher and could shift around more. I don't see these very often.)

The gap in my fleet now is a 14-15' canoe that can be used as a solo tripper or a small tandem (e.g. NC Bob Special, Old Town Camper). For solo I just have ww playboats or a big 18' family canoe, neither of which are good for solo tripping on lakes.

P.

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Learning to paddle is like learning a language:
It's easy to learn the basics, but will you be understood in a strong wind?


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 11:09 am 
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On Aug 26th looks like the BCC has a trip planned for a day paddle on False Creek in downtown Vancouver. You might want to check that out to get a feel for that crowd, and to ask questions about boats and the club. P.

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Learning to paddle is like learning a language:
It's easy to learn the basics, but will you be understood in a strong wind?


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 11:50 am 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Tereva wrote:
I get it, a prospector will be the most versatile and can do -almost- everything.

However, I think it will be too big for me : beginner level + will mostly be solo. I really like the Caribou S shorter length, lighter width and and narrower beam.

This is why I was planing for a solo option knowing it's limited and upgrade to a Prospector / Tripper if the kids / dog get really into it.


A Prospector hull is a fine and time honored design. I expect I will offend some die hard Prospector fans, but it is not the be-all, end-all, do-all of canoe design. No canoe is. A Prospector shines in carrying a load in moving water. It is not, to take one example, a lake-in-the-wind solo. A tandem Prospector is overlarge for many solo paddlers, unless they are loaded with picks and shovels, a dressed moose or over-wintering trapping gear and victuals.

“Mostly solo”. I wish I remembered the exact boat buying advice offered by a long-time canoe designer, but it went something like “Buy a canoe designed for what you realistically intend to do most of the time”.

Unspoken in that advice is to ignore future fantastzing “Maybe I’ll paddle Class 3 someday, or want to take the kid”. That is a different canoe. In the future that different canoe will not be an upgrade, it will be a second (third, etc) canoe, designed for a specific purpose.

The Caribou S seems like a good solo canoe choice that would work with a small dog. Maybe not so much to accommodate a growing kid.


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 6:12 pm 
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Hey tereva, it matters how big you are, how big your dog is, and whether you seriously want to be able to take another small person. In my experience almost any solo can handle a dog up to 60-70 pounds. One thing I see on the Caribou is that it is rated average for agility so it may be more of a traveling boat than a playful river boat. Also...a kid will throw off the trim of the boat big time. Hopefully you can go test paddle some of their boats if Clipper is nearby. Tractor seats are comfy but they are made for sitting, not kneeling. Some people sit, others kneel. Kneeling lowers your center of gravity and gives max boat control. You can see with the sliding tractor seat in the front of the Tripper S it would be hard to kneel. I'd like to paddle a Tripper S, that boat looks good to me. Cheers.


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