Canoe trim question

Most of the paddling I do is just me in the boat. I have been taking Reina(46 #) paddling recently in the Voyager. Until last night, she sat behind me and everything felt fine.5 or 6 trips.

I put her in the bow last night. The seat in the Voyager is adjustable , so I slid it back to try to compensate for her weight.We had a nice little breeze from the back,slightly quartering.The Voyager was up to it’s old trick of doing it’s best to turn into the wind; a battle most of the way down the lake.

How do I improve this assuming the dog stays in the front?

As soon as we turned into the wind,it became a different boat.Quick, responsive,almost feels like it wants to fly.

Wow! A dog in a Voyager
It must be a very sedate dog, or else you’re expremely accomplished.

My experience with a Prism (especially) and a Vagabond is that they’re tricky to paddle with a following wind. In such a wind I try to trim toward the stern. You seem to have attempted that, but with a dog in the bow that may weigh more than the boat (depending on what it’s constructed of), you’re still going to be “down by the bow” because of the limited sliding range for the seat in these boats.

When a following wind becomes too much bother, I try to “head up” a bit toward the wind so it’s coming from nearer the beam. This typically involves a few zigs and zags, but it’s less frustrating. (This might not help in a very narrow waterway.) Also, you might consider packing a cooler, loading it to 30-40 pounds, and using that to help get the trim you need.

canoe trim…
For canoe trim… stay away from the faux fir stuff… it’s really nasty when it gets wet…

You gotta peg the stern more.

– Last Updated: Sep-14-08 2:16 PM EST –

Since dicing the dog is not possible you have to take something and tuck the dog really near you.

I have a heck of a time with my Merlin II and the dog in the bow in stern winds. Its a 70 lb golden and she wont sit when the boat is wet. Its almost always raining. She cant tuck under the front thwart close to me..she is too big.

Finally I gave up in two foot seas and 30 kmh winds and paddled backward bow into the wind.

She is a very disciplined dog and
stays seated most of the time. Yesterday, she sneezed hard twice and almost thew herself out of the boat.

It doesn’t take much for a Voyager to feel like it is about to toss you, but I haven’t been (yet).I had the seat lowered 2", which really helps.otherwise, my butt was very close to the gunnel and the CG was way too high,but I am 6’5" with a high CG to start with.

If our active, rambunctious little
Swedish Vallhund (about 30 lbs) were in the Prism with me, I’d give us about 5 minutes before we’d both be swimming. And the Prism is more forgiving than your boat – speaking in relative terms. My Wenonah solos just don’t much like being tipped. You can kneel in the canoes with web seats (if kneeling is your thing), and that would help. But that’s not an option with a sliding bucket seat. And it would only perceptively help with the trim, which is your issue.

I’d put the dog in the stern. That would present some problems with trim in a headwind. But moderate headwinds are less troublesome for the paddler (e.g., me) than tailwinds. It seems this would be better than what you’re trying to do now.

Easy, Don’t paddle. Sail
No problem. With the wind at your back, put up a downwind sail, and let nature do the rest!

I’m with guideboatguy…
…I’d stay away from rocks. But the idea is right on. A 40 litre drybag filled about 2/3 of the way and placed in the stern (I’d clip it to the stern carrying thwart) should help a lot. And it’ll let you keep the dog in the bow. It may not be perfect; that Voyageur will alwayys be a bit squirrelly (and darned fast). Paddle On!

I never paddle my Voyager empty

– Last Updated: Sep-15-08 12:34 PM EST –

Perhaps a jug of water in the stearn to counter the dogs weight would help. The Voyager does a lot better loaded down anyways.

I have two 5 gallon bottles. I used to always fill one about 2/3 full and put it about midway back to put a little weight in the stearn. I had a line tied to it so I could adjust the position a bit while under way when I started experimenting with it.

After some more camping trips with the Voyager loaded with gear, I now use two jugs when day paddling. A full one in the stearn nearly all the way back and about 3-4 gallons in the other midway between the foot brace and the front float tank. Makes the voyager handle much better.

I have paddled my Advantage with my Basset Hound in the stearn and everything went fine. I haven't tried taking him in the Voyager mostly because of the extreme tumblehome. OK, mostly because I don't want to swim at unexpected times.

These days we take the dog along when we paddle the tandem which he loves to go in (Bell Northwoods).

The dog has a very low center of gravity and doesn't move around too much. I used to paddle with my Jack Russell in all my solo canoes (Voyager, Advantage and a Shockwave at the time). He was all over the place, front, back, one side, the other side. He was light enough he was never a problem where the Basset would have us doing a carnival ride if he was excitable.

Get a second dog
or a small dry bag with 5#± weight, clipped with a short teather to the stern thwart. It won’t take much weight if the bag is way back at the stern and the dog is close to CL. The short teather will allow the bag to fall free if you do dump, making it easier to right the boat. Just keep it short enough to avoid entanglement.

Consider a pad to keep the dog out ou the bilge water. At a home center or building supply house buy something known as roll vent. It is a roofing ridge vent product. It’s an expanded plastic mesh, wrapped in a polyester cloth. Very light weight and yet ridged enough to support the dog without collapsing. The product is about 10" wide x 3/4" thick. Cut two pieces each 3’ ± long and tape them together edgewise (on one face only) with duct tape. Taped in this manner, it will conform to the curve of the hull and will be easier to store.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom paddles and cedar strip canoes

Why not put a cat in with the dog
and you can quickly learn some rough water canoe handling technique !



I always hoist in a dead dog, beaver,
etc., when I have trim problems. They stay where they are put, and float free if I swamp.

We can always depend on well thought
out replies from experienced smart-#%$@*&!

This morning I put Reina back behind me. The conditions were about the same but the boat handled much better. Thanks for all the helpful ??? advice.

I actually thought about
suggesting a second dog, since this canoiest obviously wants to take his dog with him. But I decided it would appear I was trying to be facetious (I’m not).

Downwind sailing
really isn’t always a piece of cake – unless you’re captain of a square-rigger. Spinnakers take a lot of skill and experience to use effectively, and “spinnaker-lite” sails are big, cumbersome and present some of the problems posed by the real thing, but without the effectiveness of an actual spinnaker.

Sailing with a following wind, for the recreational sailor, presents the very real possibility of one of a sailor’s worst nightmares – an unintentional jibe. These, when they occur, can injure crewmembers and damage the boat.

Ditto kayamedic…but also…have you thought about adding a float-bag or two…? One up front will kill anykind of catch… Plead guilty cuz of ignorance…have never paddled a voyager…sooo…just guessing.


I have a cover for the boat which

– Last Updated: Sep-15-08 11:28 PM EST –

eliminates most windage issues ,but the dog is too tall. My other choice is to put her in the Rapidfire or the Malecite.;jsessionid=abcFJmSAU57Y8g7jDmPXr