Canoe Tune Up

My wife and I currently paddle a Weenonah Aurora. I belive it is Royalex Lite. We can start in the front of the group and always wind up at the rear. After looking at my friends Old Town Appalachian (which I was told to be close in specs) I notice our bottom is much flatter, wide and plyable. His gunnels are also narrower and the rear seat is forward.

I guess my question is: Can it be tuned by moving the seat? Narrowing the thwarts and neck yoke? Will that get rid of some of the bounce in the bottom and streamline it as well.

I am also working on paddling technique. Paddle length, etc. It seems I dip to low and with the seat back further the thrust from the paddle extends past the rear and turns the canoe.

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

couple of thoughts

– Last Updated: Jul-30-10 11:39 AM EST –

The Old Town Appalacian should not be a faster canoe then the Wenonah Aurora, the Appy is primarily a WW boat that sacrifices speed for volume, flare and maneuverability. I would work on technique. There are lots of good resources out there and here as well. I'll leave those suggestions to others.

The "bounce" you are experiencing, or oil canning, will not be lessened by pulling in the thwarts and yoke. I had a Spirit II, which is basically the same boat only longer, and I know what you are referring to. I solved it, when I cared to, by placing a plastic bucket upside down under the yoke. I padded and built up the space between the bucket and floor and yoke with 1" minicell foam. I used to do it sometimes for WW when I wanted to maintain maximum rocker for maneuverability. It may lessen your waterline width somewhat.

Moving the rear seat forward, the Appy has the seat more forward for WW maneuverability and to allow it to better "rock" in the center in waves. I don't think it helps speed.

I'm sure others will add to this. It's an interesting post. Thanks.

Some thoughts
Many wide bottom, tandem royalex canoes oil-can. I don’t let that bother me in my Spirit II. I know hard knock encounters with rocks will be on the skid plates instead of impacts peeling royalex layers midship. I was recently paddling an Old Town Guide that had worse oil-canning than my Spirit II. If the oil-canning bothers you, brace to the bottom off the middle thwart like Clarion did. But I doubt that it will make a noticeable difference in your speed.

My suggestion is next time you are out with your friend with the Appy, trade boats with him for a ways. Then you and your wife can broaden your paddling experience with a different boat. Then get back in your Aurora and fine tune your paddling strokes. A faster cadence rate is the surest way to increase your speed. A responsible group of paddlers will never travel faster than the slowest boat. Right now that might be you, but you will get better, and then it will be your turn to wait for the slower paddlers.