Alumiunm + flatwater + wind=

NOT GOOD THINGS. I went for a trip today…

and the last 2-3 miles was flat water bayou with no current, except for the wind blowing against me. The canoe in question is an Osagian 17. Love it for the creeks, cus its a tank, flat water not so much. So,im still looking for another canoe,and which would help in the glide depoartment? Width, Hull shape, or material? And which is more important and why?

Still had a great time!

Any big canoe with a light load is going to be a handful in wind. There’s a lot of hull area exposed to the wind and not much in the water.

A hull sized for your weight will help.

Lots are worse
Most of my canoes would be worse going into the wind, as they are lighter and have more rocker.

As mentioned, a smaller or more loaded canoe will go better than a big empty one. A deck makes a big difference, too, so you might look at some sort of kayak or kayak/canoe hybrid. On the other hand, you could just work harder and save the cash.

It’s not “aluminum”

– Last Updated: Jul-20-11 11:15 AM EST –

or any other material, it's hull shape and size that matters. All materials glide pretty much the same (provided hull shape is the same). For open flat water my preference would be a hybrid (decked canoe) - they have lower freeboard because of deck, and as a result - less wind resistance. Many hybrids are also narrower than a typical open canoe, which helps both with glide (without wind) and with wind resistance. Narrow hybrids are tippier than traditional wide canoe, so this is a trade-off. They won't capsize easily when you sit, though you will likley HAVE to sit in most hybrids, rather than kneeling.

too big a craft for the horsepower you
supply…thats all.

Its not about the material… Its about the large volume of sail you have…also the large amount of skin surface friction you have to overcome.

Solo canoes are much quicker in the wind…but also generally narrower and somewhat shorter(less skin). Spray covers also reduce the effects of wind.

a couple thoughts…

– Last Updated: Jul-20-11 11:50 AM EST –

Looks like a fun trip. I liked your write up.

A couple ideas I have that could improve your flatwater performance (if you already did this, I apologize, its just not aparent in your OP or piece). You might try adjusting your trim by paddling the canoe backwards with your son (assuming that's your son) in the stern seat facing front and you in the bow seat closer to the canoe's center. Or you could add balast by filling a 5 gal jug with river water. Or both. Ordinarily, you'll want the weight about even. But going into a stiff wind, having the front more weighted down helps a lot. You might also try changing up your paddling technique. For me, I find when I really need to turn on the juice to fight wind and/or current, I do better sit n' switching than j-stroking. Once you can built up a little momentum, the paddling get easier overall.

As far as getting a different canoe that is speciallized for flatwater, oh boy - lots and lots of choices out there. I think on the extremes you have, on the one hand, racing-style hulls and on the other hand, prospector/tripping-style hulls. The racing hulls are long, low, lean with minimal (or no) rocker and very sharp entry lines. They track like a missile and slice through the water like a knife, but will take on a lot of water in rough conditions due to low freeboard and are difficult to turn because due to the minimal rocker. And they don't carry a lot because they are so narrow and low. Think sports car. Prospector or tripper hulls are designed to work well on either flatwater or rivers. They have high ends, big capacity, lots of rocker for maneuverability, more width for stability. They are significantly more maneuverable and seaworthy than racing canoes, but also significantly slower in calm water and require better correction strokes to go straight. They can carry lots of stuff. Think pickup truck. Most flatwater canoes fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, with some more like the racers (sports sedan) and some more like the trippers (station wago). Material wise, composites like kevlar and fiberglass are suited to the racer-style since they can be shaped into sharper entry lines. Plastics are more suited to the trippinng style where the sharp end is less important, but durability for river travel is desired.

Soooo, if you want a better flatwater canoe than your current rig, you're probably looking for a boat with lower ends, sharper entry, less rocker, a shallow-arc or v-shaped hull, and a center width somewhere in the mid-30 inches. And you can find a canoe like that in any material.

I said earlier that they don’t affect glide or wind resistance, - yes. But there is more to materials than durability. Generally, durability decreases aluminum --> heavy glass/Royalex --> light Kevlar layup. And so does the weight. This is generally, without going into different types of layups or wear or repairability. Ex, you can ding aluminum hull easier than other hulls, but it takes more to puncture it and so on.

Anyway, to the OP: if you have to cartop it alone or lift and portage, - pay attention to weight too.

“look to the palindrome”

true that
I was trying to keep my post pithy. Maybe not successfully. But yeah, materials is a very involved topic. Most of the OEMs have good web articles on the pros and cons of different materials in different layups. Probably a fair generalization is that wood and composites are best for flat water, plastics and alum are best for moving water. But good canoes for all types of paddling can be found in any material.

I did those suggestions
I had taken the thwart out behind the front seat to I could paddle “backwards”. And yes that was my son sitting in the rear seat facing backwards as well. I figured a narrower boat would help as well as something with shallower ends than my prospector styled. The canoe was trimmed properly. It didn’t help that the last 3 miles were further than I have ever paddled. My cut off is normally about 12 miles. I know that’s short but about all my muscles will allow. Our speed only stoped about .5 mph. But I just hate the wind.