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Canadian Canoe Routes

Which boat to use for this 8km run?
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Author:  Prospector16 [ May 22nd, 2019, 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Which boat to use for this 8km run?

Here near Ottawa I want to run the Kemptville Creek from Oxford Mills to Kemptville about 8km. I've been haggling for weeks with 2 experienced guys to take me down the first time but they just can't find time when I'm free. One of them just ran it last weekend and I was not free, and I asked him whether he thought it would be fine for a couple of guys who have never run it and also who have no moving water experience.

It is class 1 at best, report from last week is that there were a few spots with a 1 foot drop but nothing too serious. Both of those guys think it would be fine for me and a buddy - both with a fair bit of flat water but no moving water experience.

Should we be OK to run that? I'm pretty confident.

My main question is about which boat to take. I have 2 x Royalex prospector 16. One is Nova Craft with about a 36" beam, and the other is Trailhead with about a 33" beam. Otherwise close to identical except the Tralhead has the typical kevlar skid plates front and back.

Should I take the wider beam with no skid plates, or narrower with skid plates?

Author:  rab [ May 22nd, 2019, 3:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which boat to use for this 8km run?

Don't over think this. Take the boat you feel most comfortable with. I assume you are putting in at Oxford Station? Most of the Creek is pretty/very mellow. I can't think of any drops on the river. One rapid, after a bridge, at this level will be quite boney.

I've paddled the creek twice, both times at high water. If you can keep your boat pointed in a straight line you'll be fine.
have fun,

Author:  Prospector16 [ May 22nd, 2019, 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which boat to use for this 8km run?

Sweet thanks for the encouragement!

Now that I live in the area I'm excited to make this an annual event and hopefully start running it every weekend until it is too dry.

I am inclined to take the one with skid plates but I've actually only paddled it once last summer now that I think of it and that's when I discovered that I'd had it for 2 years and didn't realize I was a bit narrower than the other one :-) It does handle basically like the other one though.

Author:  Prospector16 [ May 28th, 2019, 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which boat to use for this 8km run?

Well it is in the books now as they say, it was a fun paddle! About 80% flat water but moving flat water so you did not have to paddle hard to make progress. It took us about an hour from leaving my place in Kemptville and portaging into my back yard just under the Prescott St Bridge. It was about 45 minutes before the duck race started so I was happy :-)
Overall it was an easy paddle though we definitely threw my Royalex Nova Craft up against 4 or 5 boulders that were not seen until we were right upon them. I went with it because I have used it more than all the other ones combined and know it well, though because my buddy was 20 lbs heavier he did stern and as it turned out he doesn't even know the J stroke so we would have been better with me in back and the emergency barrel clipped in right in front of me to make up the difference.

It was a fun paddle with 4 or 5 big 1 foot dips and 7 or 8 different sets of rapids varying in length that probably vary according to the flow level of the river. We both found it a good combination of easy and hard for our skill level on moving water. As someone said here "if you can point a canoe forward you can do it" and I think that is correct, though it will help to watch some videos on reading a river and figuring it out from there. I have to admit that was the fun part of being in the bow. My Royalex has a few good dents that were not there before .

Took about an hour round trip and was really fun. I would strongly recommend trying it if you have a good solid base in flat water and watch a few videos on reading a river you can definitely do it. That's basically what I just did :-)

I went with the Royalex with wider beam and no skid plates because that is the only one I bought new and I bought it with the bit of money my father was able to leave to us mainly in the small value of his house. It left me about $10K and I spend 9 of the 10 on that canoe and a bunch of camping and fishing gear aside from that. So taking that canoe to me is sort of like taking my father on an adventure :-)

Other canoe types I'd take down here are the basalt innegra ones, though at higher water levels I think any canoe would be fine and that's what the locals tell me too. 2 weeks ago it would not have been any more difficult than today but it would have been deeper and so fewer rocks to hit.

Just under the Hurd St bridge is an island and you could go either way but unfortunately we chose the wrong way which resulted in one of the bigger bruises on the side of my Royalex.

Go LEFT if you come there in the next week or so. Right was OK but not as clear as left. I called it before we got there actually but my buddy's inability to steer from behind was an issue.

The other up side I guess is that I was able to practice a few bow strokes that I don't often get to try, and I was able to learn how to steer the canoe reasonably well using a couple of basic bow draws on both sides. So it was a a good learning experience.

And as an early 50s "old guy" I found I was able to kneel in the bow for substantially longer periods of time than I can in the back without foam pads to kneel on. I did most of the rapids parts kneeling and could have gone on all day it was working well. The bow seat on the Nova Craft may not leave much leg room when sitting, but it was really roomy while kneeling and gave me great support and also gave me really excellent control of the craft.

Also discovered quite a lot of wild foraging options that I'll be going back to visit with my teenager this weekend.

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