Canoe Carry Weight?

-- Last Updated: Aug-19-11 9:59 AM EST --

I have a chance to buy a nice MN II , Kevlar , Flex Core, Wood Trim, It will weigh about 56-58 lbs, 15 pounds more than my Escape Skin Coat, Foam Core, With this be a significant weight gain on the portages?

Have to laugh at your question

– Last Updated: Aug-19-11 10:29 AM EST –

I just came back from the Adirondacks where people were doing carries (Portages) with canoes weighting less than 15 pounds. On the way home I stopped in at Placid Boat Works and talked to Joe about ordering a Rapidfire for next spring. Heck I'm looking at the cobra rails instead of wood to save 2-3 pounds on a boat that weights 23-25 pounds. And you're asking about using a canoe that weights 15 pounds more then another one. For a total of around 58 pounds.

Bottom line it comes down to how many carries (portages) there are where you're going to be paddling and if the carries are cart friendly or not.

It would be for me.

– Last Updated: Aug-19-11 10:54 AM EST –

I've done very little "real" portaging, but I often carry my boats to landings that are kind of far from a road. I can carry my Mohawk Odyssey 14, which I think is about 46 or 48 pounds, pretty comfortably for a quarter mile or so, not even using a yoke. However, my Nova Craft Supernova supposedly weighs 58 pounds (though I usually use it with float bags, and I'm not sure what they weigh), and it takes a lot more heft to get it onto my shoulders, and I start feeling the crunch in a much shorter distance, again with no yoke. The funny thing is, the Supernova is a lot harder to carry than my guide-boat, which should weigh about 7 pounds more, so maybe balance is an issue (the Supernova is not well-balanced for seat-carry portages while the guide-boat is), or maybe the Supernova is a lot heavier than advertized. In any case, two things are true. First, a good yoke that fits you well is a great equalizer, lessening the effect of some additional weight. Second, everyone is different, and what's easy for some to carry will not be for others. I suppose another thing to consider is whether you'll be carrying a pack of gear at the same time.

It will probably be noticable
When I first did trips in the Minnesota north woods and southern Ontario many moons ago it was with a 17’ aluminum canoe that weighed about 70 lbs or a little more.

When I bought a Mad River Kevlar Explorer back in the 1970s (advertised weight 54 lbs but probably realistic weight more like 56-57 lbs) the 15 lb weight savings was quite dramatic.

Times have changed a bit. Although 56 lbs still weighs 56 lbs, that has become “heavy” for a tandem canoe to some folks.

You will certainly notice the additional weight on longer portages but I personally wouldn’t consider that weight onerous for a boat of outstanding quality (which the MN II is). But everyone has a different tolerance for weight.

MN II is a lot more boat than the Escape

I’ll second
the call on the yoke. A good comfy yoke is key, maybe more so than a few extra pounds of canoe. 15 extra pounds will be noticable, but if you are of average size and strength, I think a 58 lbs is plenty portagable. Unless maybe you are planning to do lots of remote pond hopping where you’re carrying the boat as much or more than paddling. But a MNII would be an unusual choice for that type of canoeing, so I assume that’s not what you’re doing.

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About 15 lbs.
It all depends on you. Not bragging, but I am good at carrying weight (though bad at running), so for me anything under about 75lbs is pretty comfortable, provided the right yoke. Some people find even 50lbs to be challenging, and some can carry 200.

Depends on how far you are portaging

To me a boat of that weight starts to gain pounds after a couple hundred yards!

Jack L

Part of the reason I’m even considering buying this canoe is that used canoes, especially a MN II , are hard to come by in decent shape. I found one nearby for $1000. So I’m trying to do a cost/weight analysis…

Length and terrain features of your portages, your physical condition, strength, maybe age, how bad you need the extra room, etc, will all factor in.

In general, I’d say 15 lbs. is a big difference for most of us.

That’s roughly two full gallon jugs of water.

Split the difference.
I am guessing the only reason you would be using the Minn2 would be that two adults will be on the trip. No need for a solo carry…58lbs/2=29lbs. Sound better?

Canoe Weight
It will feel heavier but it is not impossible. Make sure you add some really good comfortable yoke pads. I find the hardest part is getting the boat on my sholders. Portaging is not a problem. This is comming from a guy with a 21 lb pack boat too. When I think about the portages I did with aluminium Grumans and rolalex Old Towns (without yolk pads), a 50+ lb kevlar tandem seems easy.

That sounds nice but in practice
can be very difficult especially going up rock faces as in some areas in Canada.

the good yolk pads. Once it is up you can go for miles( I have ) Using a good back pack (33 pounds ) and a wood boat(43 pounds ) I spent ten days in Algoinquin Provincial Park. I never felt the weight was excessive. Of course I had someone else carry my paddle(9 oz.) soas not to be burdened…