C-2 trim question

I have a small level mounted on the gunnel so that we can get the canoe perfectly trim.

Today prior to training, we adjusted the seats so that we were perfectly level.

While we were paddling, I noticed that we were bow light.

Is this correct, or should we adjust the seats so that we will be slightly bow heavy when sitting in the water, thus compensating for the uplift while paddling?

Thanks in advance,


Here in north Carolina
I generally strive for level when running at high cruise. So I trim slightly bow down at rest. I look at the water in the bilges. If it goes level at speed or comes back to me adjust accordingly.

If you are only a little bow light,
leave it alone.

So what you are saying is:
…feed Nanci a big breakfast!



Great !
You say leave it alone, and Baldpaddler says trim it down.

Now I need a tie breaker.



In your Jensen
alittle bow light is alright. In suckwater in your Competition cruiser you really want it a little bow heavy. This is because the suck water will pull down your stern noticiably. I suspect alot has to do with the paddlers. If you don’t mind having the stern working a little more at steering , and the bow working hard at power go stern high. With Steve and I, we went level at cruise. With Pat and me we go bow light since the power she gives is not noticible and she doesn’t do stern paddling…

stay neutral to slightly bow light
anything nose down seems to upset the Jensen’s tracking. When paddling with Vitamin Ray we have almost a fifty pound difference in weight. His shorter than Charlie stature has him fairly far forward to keep his feet planted against the air tank in the Jensen. To trim i must move pretty far front on the slider and then the canoe is wider than i like to be paddling at. So its be trim and reach for the water, or paddle easy and be slightly bow light.

Charlie is right about the ‘suckwater’ bogging down your progress, but i never noticed the stern going deeper in the shallow stuff. His racing canoes may be more prone to that hydrodynamic phenomenon. We just feel like the anchor was dropped when crossing a shallow flat, anything under 3 feet makes it very noticeable. Will try going forward this weekend when we run shallow to bring the bow down and will let you know if it makes a difference. What we did notice when crossing some shallow flats last summer was that we could see the pressure wave below and beside the bow move the weeds and loose debris on the bottom. It first moved away from the canoe and then swept back toward the canoe as the pressure wave passed. Sort of like the old footage of the shock wave from the atomic blasts moving the trees away from the blast and then sucking them back towards the blast violently.

This whole area needs some beer assisted research and collaboration. I know the effects have been known for a long time. Jensen used to have two versions of the USCA cruiser, a deep water version and a shallow water version to handle the very conditions we are discussing. When they went to the radical wing style hulls on the V series racers it didn’t seem to make enough difference to offer two versions. And typically races are not run on shallow water, you just encounter shallow portions.

And if you are racing the baldpaddler, watch what he does to his boat, not what he tells you to do. Just don’t imitate his Carolina half-roll that he performs for the crowd in the tight drops.


And if they horse the boat real hard,
they can check the bow down into the water at the catch, and maybe pull the stern down by lifting with the paddles toward the end of the stroke.

It’s all in the technique.