I just got a Reflection 15 for $75. It needs lots of TLC. Can someone with a vinyl gunneled Reflection 15 tell me what the center to center bolt dimension is at the carry yoke? The previous owner removed the yoke and added a center seat. Both end caps were broken off, amazingly Blue Mountain Outfitters near Harrisburg Pa had 2 new original Dagger end caps.
Dagger listed a maximum beam of 34" for the Reflection 15 and Dagger usually measured that at the molded hull. So that would be the measurement from outside edge to outside edge of hull at center, not including the width of the inwales. The hull is asymmetrical but not so much that the maximum beam should not be at the yoke position. You should be able to find a piece of scrap wood 3 feet long. Use it to jack the hull out at center and trim it until you get a beam measurement of 34". Your yoke length will be slightly less than the length of that stick.
If you have existing holes in the inwales where the yoke was and need to buy a new yoke, cut it to that length and use the existing bolt holes as templates to determine the angles at which to drill holes in the ends of your new yoke. Drill these holes so that there is a very slight gap between the ends of the yoke and the sides of the hull.
Nice find. It’s a great hull. One of the few tandems that actually does pretty well paddled solo from that center seat. Mine has the center seat but was also drilled for a carry yoke. I’ll measure it and get back to you.
My carry yoke is 32" long, spot on. When I checked this morning I was thinking about length, not center to center bolt dimension. I will check that this afternoon and post back.
Full disclosure, my 1989 Reflection (15’ was the only option for a few years) shipped from the factory with three seats and no carry yoke. The original owner had the dealer drill and install this carry yoke, which fits quite snugly between the vinyl gunwales when the non-carry thwart was installed in the rear set of holes for the center seat. I re-installed a center seat and moved the thwart ahead of midships to its stock position. I’ve never checked to see if the carry yoke was installed dead center (it balances well) or if the holes were equidistant from the bow stem.
Be aware that the center to center bolt hole dimension may not be identical even for the same model of canoe from the same manufacturer. There is usually a bit of variation in actual beam dimensions between different canoes and the manufacturer’s specs often round the figures a bit. This is not a big deal, because up to an inch variation in beam is not likely to have any effect on the handling of your boat.
Also, when the canoes are trimmed, holes are drilled through the inwales and then through the thwarts and yokes for the machine screws. The angle of these holes may not be precisely identical between two boats, or even between one side of a yoke and the other. If there are existing holes in the inwales, I would use those as templates to judge the appropriate angle to drill the holes in the ends of your yoke, which will very likely not be precisely perpendicular in alignment.
Also when you cut your yoke, take a close look at the inside of the hull where the yoke will go. Very often, the sides of the hull will not be precisely vertical at this location, so you may want to trim off the ends of your new yoke at an angle other than square.
I would go ahead and trim your yoke to 32", then secure it to the gunwales at the appropriate position with C clamps placing a thin shim between each end of the yoke and the hull, so as to allow a bit of clearance once the yoke is installed. Alternatively, you could omit the shims, drill your holes, and then plan to sand the ends of the yoke down a bit to provide a precise fit. Drill your holes starting with a bit smaller than required and after checking the alignment, remove the yoke from the boat and enlarge the holes using a bit that will provide the appropriate final size for your mounting holes. Most canoe makers install thwarts and yokes using #10 stainless machine screws with either 24 or 32 threads per inch. You will want the holes in your yoke very slightly larger because you will want to oil or varnish the interior of those holes, as well as the ends of your yoke before final installation. The oil or varnish will cause the ash to swell a bit and the holes will become slightly smaller in diameter.
Excellent advice above. Mine has hole centers 30.5” apart. YMMV.
Thanks for the input. I’ll make a caliper from scrap wood to measure the width.