help w/ loon 138


need help to figure out weather i’m off center with my loon 138 going solo. having trouble tracking straight and wondering if i have too much weight too far forward? I removed the rear seat and have the forward seat as aft as possible.

240 lbs w/ 25 more in fishing gear ect.

I know it’s a barge but belive it should track straighter than it does. Only been out in it a dozen times but i learn fast.

Should i fool with changing the seat position or just practice paddling?

thanks for the input…jeff in pa

You Need A Good Windy Day
Say 10-20 MPH wind. Most boats will “weathercock” a bit, i.e. turn into the wind. If the weathercocking is really bad, move the seat back until you can manage to keep going down wind with corrective strokes. If you move the seat too far back, the boat will want “leecock”, i.e. turn down wind, making it hard to turn into the wind. Now, you have to adjust the seat forward.

Where you place the gear can also affect “cocking” though not too much if you have your seat in a good place.

Right now, it could be the “trim” of you boat that you’re struggling with and/or also you stroking technique as well.

A day in the wind will help you figure out the trim and then you can work on the stroking. Make sure you test in place with bail outs. Don’t head straight into wide open water that you can’t back in on.


Do like we do in the canoe
Put the yak on a flat level surface and then using a black marker or a piece of black electrical tape,put a mark on one side near the bow, and another near the stern (a little above the water line), and both at the exact same height.

Get out in the water and sit in the yak and then have someone check to see if you are bow heavy, bow light, or even.

You will be able to tell right away if you are too heavy in the bow, and that is a sure way to keep the boat from tracking properly. You will wander all oover the place.

Back a month or so ago, I teamed up (at the last minute) with one of the better paddlers in the area to do a C-2 canoe race.

He is a big guy and took the bow while (I much lighter) was in the stern. We made the mistake of waiting until we were on the starting line to have someone check us for trim and they said we looked like something out of a cartoon with the bow way low in the water and the stern just about out of it.

He put the front seat all the way forward and I had mine all the way back, but we still were in sad shape.

For the whole five mile race, all we did was zig and zag, and do sweeps and corrective strokes and instead of finishing up with the fast guys were way back near the end.

Never stop learning!



Weight and list
Sounds like you are using a 138T as a solo. I use a 138 solo. Should be the same hull shape. Besides paying attention to how you load from front to back watch the side loading. When I paddle with my dog I notice the difference when he sits sidesaddle and leans against the cockpit rim. Can’t paddle straight. Make sure that you are not listing to one side. It will screw up your tracking.


Same boat
similar experience. I’m about 185 lbs instead of your weight. I also removed the rear seat and use my 138T solo, with the front seat slid all the way back. I have experienced problems in my boat when it was bow-heavy…it didn’t track well. I have not had those problems when I’m alone with the seat slid back, however. Could it be that your legs outweigh my legs relative to our respective torso weights so that in the same position your center of gravity is further forward than mine? Or is your gear making the difference?

If your boat still tracks badly with your gear aft of the seat, and assuming your hull is straight and not deformed somehow, and that you are not somehow leaning the boat right or left somehow as you paddle, I suggest this:

Relocate the rails that the seat slides on towards the rear. It will mean drilling or melting 4 more holes in the deck.

Better be sure that the boat is capable of tracking straight…use ballast like milk jugs full of water to experiment with various trims.

I’ve had good experience with my Loon, and would recommend it to a friend, but if you can’t make yours work for you because of the hull itself or the way you paddle, I’d have to say sell it and get another boat. Let me know how it works out for you. We share more than the same model boat.

Jeff (in Hackensack)

I had one once
and had trouble keeping it straight. After a particularly frustrating day I flipped it over and sighted the keel line. About a 2" curve in the keel. OT took it back no comment. I replaced it with a Castine and paid the difference.