Best Options for mixed tripping boat?

Just ordered a Slocan from Hellman canoes and trying to sort out how I want to outfit it. It will be my one and only go anywhere boat- River, Lake, Ocean. My focus is rivers to class 3 and (in the future) long tripping up North. I’ve decided on ling eyelets, D Rings for packs, lacing D’s along gunwales (for floats), and thigh D’s with knee pads. I am trying to sort out if I still need a foot brace and sliding box seat to ensure bracing while sitting or if kneeling can fill that niche to a certain degree.

Also, skid plates installed on a new boat? Or am I better off to wait until the areas show wear? I plan to get the duralight layup.

I’ve decided against a spray deck as they are expensive and I have little experience with their necessity.


Skip the skid plates. Duraflex is
wear resistant and easily repaired.

Kneeling is always most secure, but if your butt, hips, knees, and feet are properly braced, the sitting position can offer a lot of security and control. Kind of like a ww kayak but with a high seat.

I was just checking out the Slocan
on the Hellman site. Just one minor reservation. They state a capacity of “up to 1200 pounds” which is really not realistic. Based on the boat’s good depth and full ends, and its overall size, I think that it should not be loaded beyond about 650 pounds if it is to retain its good handling characteristics and not risk swamping.

I think Hellman may have used the old, and illogical, 6" freeboard rule to get the 1200 pound capacity. Smart paddlers don’t go out on big lakes or down wavy rivers with only 6" of freeboard.