hull speed & water displacement

I have never properly introduced myself to this board. I am a new paddler and recently purchased

my first canoe.I just want to say before I get into my topic that I am glad this board exists.

I used the archives extensively to help me

decide on my canoe purchase and I appreciate the

wealth of useful information that has been posted.

I am a a fairly small paddler who paddles a 16’1/2 solo canoe.Would I increase my speed

if more weight was displaced in the hull?

I have noticed (my wife took some pictures of me paddling.) that my hull rides high in the water due to my weight.I this affecting the

efficiency of the hull? Any answers or suggestions would be appreciated for this newbie!


I would say no.
more weight puts more hull in the water. Thus more drag. Now more weight should help controlling the boat , if its too high in the water. But, mostly on windy days and such.

Not more weight
If you want speed it’s more a matter of form. I long narrow boat with limited wetted surface is fast. A wide short boat with a lot of wetted surface is slow.

Personally I don’t worry about speed. I am there to enjoy being on the water.

longer, lighter, narrower and balanced from bow to stern yes, but heavier no.



Canoe Design Articles
Here is a link to some of John Winters’ articles. His explainations are pretty understandable even to non-engineering types.

BTW, what boat did you get?

Thanks everybody!
I appreciate everyones help. I usually don’t

worry too much about maximizing the efficiancy of my boat’s hull but I recently did my first race. it was an 8 miler down the Chattahoochee river in Georgia in metro Atlanta. It was something I look forward to doing again next year.I did notice that people

in all different kinds of kayaks & canoes had no problem passing me I think leaving me in their wake was more like it. I figured it must be one of two things either my paddling technique is pretty bad or my boat is a bad fit for someone my size. I figure I need to work on my forward stroke. I did notice that muscles that should have been very sore were not and my arms felt like they were going to fall off. I thought maybe because my boat rides so high in the water that I was wasting more energy trying to keep it straight. I thought mayvbe adding more weight would make it more efficient, but as mentioned above it is only going to make it track better. To answer Clarion’s question i paddle a wenonah Solo

plus again thanks for everyones input.

Have wife take some photos or describe how the boat sits in the water stationary. If the bow and stern are sitting even to each other, then that’s good. IF one if further out than other, need to adjust. Also, splash water in the boat while in it and if water is even from bow to stern, then boat is level and trim. Other issue is how much of the hull is in the water: if super light, maybe only the center of the boat contacts the water. IF a flat long hull line, then most of the waterline is being effective if in the water.

In a way, it sounds like it’s time to talk to other experienced canoers and have them critique your stroke and efficiency. Then, work on the speed and power needed. Stroke first, speed and power come next.

optimal streamline
While more weight is not a good idea if you want to win races, a

canoe that is too big (or too lightly loaded)

is indeed not the most efficient,

because it just may not reach the optimal waterline shape

for speed . Choosing a smaller canoe may be the solution.

Solo Plus
If you want to be competitive in races, you’ll need to find something to use besides the Solo Plus. It is a nice boat, and pretty efficient for a small tandem, but it isn’t efficient enough to be competitive as a solo race boat, even in the recreational classes.

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, and I think most folks don’t, keep your eyes open for a used older racing design. You occasionally see them for sale for under $500. They might need a little cosmetic work, and they are no longer competitive with the pure racing hulls, but they are a great way to be somewhat competitive in the recreational classes.

Why don’t you get
in touch with the lake Lanier Canoe Club. Connie Hagler can hook you up with one of the local racers Like Bill Sapp. They can help you fine tune your stroke. It just takes seat time and alittle practice.


local canoe gods
john pinyerd, of the usa wildwater canoe team, does a variety of stroke clinics and may do some private lessons. if you post on the yahoo roswell canoe and kayak club group page, you will eventually be able to get in touch with john, or another excellent canoe paddler, like bill sapp or larry castillo.

i’m in atlanta, but exclusively double blade i’m afraid.

glad you enjoyed the race.


Thanks for the info alfope
I had a brief ecncounter with John Pinyard before the race started. I had set down my boat with my gear and decided to find a bathroom before the race.When I came back to my boat there was a very strange combination of carbon fibre, duct taper & foam canoe with John Pinyard’s name emblazoned on the side of the craft leaning against my boat. I had never heard of the guy but found out pretty quickly this was someone who has made an attempt at making a living racing

canoes and was quite good at it too.I didin’t talk to John and he eventually moved his canoe further up the path. I think he ended up

placing 2nd in the open solo category.