It's really hard to compare boats!

About a month ago I took the J200 out on the Merrimack on a perfect morning. Almost no wind and just a hint of current.

I paddled it about 6 miles up and 6 miles back and was disapointed that it took me 2 hours each way. I thought sure I could push that boat faster than 3 mph!

This morning I thought I’d try the same paddle in the Osprey. Conditions were similar except that the river was lower and I never saw a hint of current. I knocked a half hour off the run each way.

So can I really paddle the Osprey 12 miles at 4 mph and the J200 only 3mph? Did the minimal current slow me down that much? I’d have thought I’d get it back on the down stream run.

Did the flu I was fighting when I ran it in the J200 make that much difference? I was pooped when I got home but didn’t feel bad paddling.

Guess I’ll have to try it again in the J boat.

It sure is hard comparing boats!


Based on design, how should they
have performed for you under the same conditions? I don’t even know what a j200 is.

Paddling with a flu?
My guess is your flu is the answer, but you shoulda been able to figure that one out? I’ve got a J-200 and they go like stink, 3 miles per is crawling. Was it trimmed out properly also?

Speaking from my experience as a
mediocre sculler, when one first gets in a really fast boat, sometimes it is hard to upgrade one’s catch, in speed and quality, to extract the boat’s capabilities. A really fast boat seems to kind of run out ahead of you, and then acts like a dog anxious for you to get in gear and keep up.

How long have you been paddling the
J boat ?

In my estimation it takes a long time to get proficient and fast in one.

I honestly think it is the hardest canoe to get good at.

But with that said the good racers are speed demons in them.

Stay with it and I’ll bet you will improve.

Easy for me to say. I am giving mine to my daughter.

I think I can paddle her little Wenonah Sandpiper faster then the J-191.



Me and the J-200
The J boat is completely different from the whitewater and touring canoes I usually paddle. I’ve had it out about half a dozen times now for a few hours at a time.

I’m most likely a bit stern heavy but havn’t got anybody outside the boat to tell me for sure.

The boat is pretty old and well used/abused. That long straight keel line and super light construction make me wonder if it might be a little hogbacked when I’m in it. But most likely it’s just that I’ve never paddled an unrockered boat before.

Lastly I can’t sit comfortably so I kneel on a pedastal. I made it the same height as the tractor seat was. I have no idea how that might affect my speed.

Thanks all,


I can’t speak to the J boat issue
but I’m impressed you can single blade the Osprey 4 mph, so I’m thinking that its not your stroke that’s slowing the J boat down, must be something else.

On a recent thread we talked about how current speed going up or downstream would affect boat speed, and we really didn’t get any firm conclusions. I’ve decided the best way to tell is to do what you did, paddle upstream for a while then turn and paddle downstream to the starting point, then take the average speed. I did this yesterday with my Dagger Sojourn and averaged 4 mph.

That’s an aproximate speed
The road along the river measures 6 miles one way from where I start to where I turn around. Distance on the water should be pretty close but I don’t have any way to accuratly measure that.

I have not entered the gps age so take my guestimates as just that.


gps is a wonderful tool but learning
curve is pretty much straight up for us old timers. I have just learned how to use my Garmin GPS and yesterday I left it on the truck bumper at the take out and somewhere on the way home I lost it and my cell phone. They were both in Aquapac dry packs and clipped together. Bummer. A buddy is selling me a Megellan for low bucks, so now my learnign curve starts all over again, but I do have a leg up from the other one. I’m thrilled with the gps though, absolute wonderful tool.

Change that to slightly bow heavy…
and watch the speed come up! I find a great way to trim my J is to put a bit of H2o inside the hull when I paddle. At rest, the H2o will slowly flow forward and puddle in the bow, but as I paddle… it will slowly move back towards the center of the hull. I find it fastest in most conditions this way. And honestly, I have to wonder how you can paddle that boat kneeling! Totally wrong set-up! Actually I have the graphite bulkhead behind the seat, so knelling isn’t even possible. I can’t get any power to the hull UNLESS I utilize the foot brace, which I tend to set-up with a slightly knee high adjustment. I also found it benificial to shim up the rear of the seat tubes at least 1/2 of an inch, so the seat rails are sloped forward. I’ve done the same in my Advantage and the resulting body position is much improved. A fun, fast hull! Stick with it and you jst might love the thing? It does SUCK on lakes with good wind and boat chop, though!

the Osprey’s hull is better designed to

– Last Updated: Jul-06-07 1:20 AM EST –

move through moving water than the flatwater hull is.
It's all about hull-shape, water density, momentum and gravity....during your stroke and after your stroke.
Ditto on g2d's...

I need a stronger motor
I took the J-200 back to the same place this morning. I used Stickman’s suggestion to trim the boat slightly bow heavy

Trying to really stay focused and paddling hard

(for me at least) I made the turn around (roughly 6 miles) in 1.5 hrs. So at least I can drive it that far at the same pace as the Osprey.

The breeze picked up pretty good as I reached the turn around and I stopped to put out a camp fire someone left burning so I can’t say I could maintain that pace for the full 12. I felt as though I was working harder in the J boat than in the Osprey.

All of this is making me think Mr. Winters is right. The big long boats may well be faster but only if you have the horsepower to drive them.