Canoe with a kayak paddle

So I decided to take my Merlin II out and try it with a kayak paddle. I have read about it but never given it a go. The paddle is a 240 cm Aqua-Bound Stingray. It was a very different experience - faster, more likely to push myself, didn’t need all those years of canoeing skills. I got back after a couple of hours and thought it was fun, but was a little suprised that I had accumulated a half inch of water in the boat from water that dripped off of the paddle blade. As I was bringing the paddle blade forward after each stroke I dripped a bit in the boat. A few thousand drips add up. By my estimate I would probably need to paddle 18 hours before actually swamping.

So what am I doing wrong? A little water is not a problem if you are just out fooling around in boats but sometimes it is nice to stay dry.


What did you do wrong.
What you did wrong… Used a kayak paddle in a canoe…

Install drip cups on the paddle…

double blade paddle in canoe
First, some semantics are in order. You were using a double blade paddle in a canoe, not a “kayak” paddle. If used in a kayak, it is propelling a kayak, if used in a canoe, it is propelling a canoe. The paddle hasn’t changed in either use. There is a 150 year history of westerners using double blade paddles in canoes. Probably no one else gives a shit about the semantics, but I feel better for having said it.

More to the point of your post, the only way to stay totally dry using a double blade paddle is to have the front of the canoe covered with a deck. The deck can be hard (Bell Rob style, or soft (Cooke covers style). Drip rings may help a little, but are not a solution.

I have been paddling canoes with double blades since the 70’s. In warm weather I just leave a sponge in front of the seat and squeeze it out every 15 minutes or so. In cold weather I do the sponge trick and also wear long waterproof pants. Accept the drip and work on accommodating it or use a single blade (some use a single blade in kayaks). I’m sure many posts will redirect you to use single blades, but I favor double blade paddles in both canoes and kayaks…


What Dave said…nature of the beast
I have noticed that I get less water in the boat when I paddle with double bent shaft than straight shaft???

Mechanics maybe?

I used kayak paddles exclusively in my solo canoe when I was learning. Other than the post prescribing a sponge be placed forward of seat (which works well)the other trick is to keep the angle of the stroke lower. In my kayak I like to use a shorter paddle and a high angle stroke close to the hull. In the canoe this leads to too much water so a longer paddle and low angle is way to go for me. I use a 240 in my solo canoe.

Charlie Wilson of Placid Boatworks sells pak canoes and they use double blade paddles. Don’t know if the style of blade will have an affect as well.

Presently I just use my ZRE medium bentshaft paddle and sit/switch when I want to go fast. The kayak paddle gives me a .5 mph increase in speed but it’s not worth the drip mess IMHO.

The drip goes with the double paddle.
I haven’t found a way to prevent it. For now, I’ve chosen to stay dry and use a single blade. I’ve decided that I prefer the mechanics of a high angle stroke in the canoe as well as the kayak and that results in a lot of water being dumped on my feet when using a double blade unless the deck is covered in that area.

My longest double blade is a 240cm carbon Camano and it’s too much blade for me in a 240cm length in any of my solo canoes and still doesn’t keep all the water out of the boat. The 230cm AT Xception feels better mechanically, but dumps more water in the boat. I haven’t tried a paddle longer than 240cm.

Amen to that


Buy a longer double-bladed canoe paddle
Spring Creek Outfitters sells a 9 foot double bladed canoe paddle at a reasonable price. I’ve used it with my solo and it works fine having minimal drip. link is below:

MerlinII and double blading
I have a Bending Branches Breeze Twilight and there isnt much drippage in my Merlin II . It has drip cups but I think the shape of the paddle may have something to do with wetness or lack thereof.

How long is your Breeze Twilight?


– Last Updated: Jul-09-08 10:51 PM EST –

I am short torsoed. If you are taller you might require more to avoid the dreaded wettage. And I have no idea if this paddle comes in a 250. I got it with an employee discount..Money talks.

I use a very low angle stroke. I use a 230 in other tripping solos. The MerlinII is kind of fat. and flat bottomed but I wont go

Low angle stroke, that explains it.
That’s why you don’t get a lot of drips.

I use
A Aquabound Manta ray high angle 250cm paddle in my Merlin and Osprey while kneeling and it works great.250 is too long for my Wee Lassie and it cocks when paddleing.I prefer a single blade,but always take my dubble for wind,tired or in a hurry.


Folks, it is a WATER sport!!
Are you kidding me? Ya’ll are concerned (crying?) about a little bit of WATER dripping in your boat?

What time do you serve tea and crimpets on the river?

That would be…
Tea & “crumpet”(a small round cake of rich, unsweetened batter, cooked on a griddle and usually split & buttered before serving).

If you want to use tea & crumpet as a put down; it is always good form to spell crumpet “correctly”.



good work bob

I stand corrected

– Last Updated: Jul-10-08 10:49 AM EST –

I blame it on my poor upbringing! Mea culpa! I was wrong on not one but two accounts. Must have been from eating too many TastyKake Butterscotch Krimpets. Sheesh! I didn't even spell Krimpets (crimpets) correctly. Thank goodness I didn't post this on the wrong forum, too!! Oh the horrors!!

While we're at it, how was/is my grammar? Is that your job too or is that somebody else's job?


A little water?
You must be a low angle paddler too.

Kayakers vs Canoers and Water Drips

– Last Updated: Jul-10-08 4:35 PM EST –

Kayakers who spend the whole day with their butt submerged in a puddle of water cannot be expected to appreciate how nice it is to go paddling in cool or cold weather wearing clothes that are actually suitable for all sorts of other activities. Multipurpose clothing that gets you through a day of being outside without ever being soaking wet or forcing you to put up with that funky-neoprene stink is just one of the perks of being a canoer. Don't knock it until you've tried it. Canoers COULD complain about how kaykers typically say they "can't do that" regarding trips that involve multiple activities because their wet suits and flimsy "booties" aren't suitable for any degree of hiking or overland bushwacking, just like some kayakers think canoers are wimps or "missing the point" if they'd prefer to keep their pants dry. You say "Folks, it's a water sport" but I think it would be more accurate to say "It's two different sports", and apply different standards accordingly. Believe me, I'd have no trouble making you desperately wish you weren't wearing your "watersport" clothing if you went paddling/hiking in some of the places I do, but that's also why you'll never hear me claim that I can use a flatwater canoe and flatwater clothing to paddle whitewater or open water. Unless a person paddling a canoe on flatwater does such a thing, I think it's best to return the favor and not apply your standards to them.

Of course, the obvious answer to the original question is "Why NOT make use of those years of canoeing experience that makes it possible to ENJOY using a single-blade paddle, and then remain dry"? In actual fact, every person I've met who has enough experience to be really good with a single-blade paddle has lost all desire to use a double while canoeing, so the whole tone of that question was a surprise to me.

Well actually…

I actually got a laugh out of your comic tea & crumpet reference.

I got another at your reaction to my post.

You appear to be able to make comic references towards others, better than you receive them.

Not the first time “paddle drip” has been the subject of a thread, and surely won’t be the last. So what!