keel tube flex, Pelican Canoe

I am having an issue with my Pelican Navigator canoe, the keel tube is flexing at the ends, often times catching the front paddlers foot. Is there or should there be something other than the brace in the middle of the canoe to hold this tube in place? If not can I take it out without comprimising the boat?

Coleman Canoes
Coleman makes great coolers; canoes, not so much. Why any company would purchase the manufacturing rights for such a boat is an open question. Why anyone would buy one of the canoes is another. Get out of that boat before it holds someone’s foot in the air and their head underwater after a capsize!

Whatever successor hull you get will almost inevitably paddle better and be safer.

Flexing Clarification

– Last Updated: Jun-26-09 3:42 PM EST –

I don't believe the reinforcing tube is flexing at the ends. I expect that the tube is actually remaining straight, at least at any point other than the location of the central vertical strut (it may well be bending at that location). As the bottom of the hull flexes upward near the boat's center, it lifts the tube, and since the tube is not anchored down at the ends, and because the ends of the hull won't bulge upward as much as the middle, the ends of the tube are lifted away from the hull, being relieved of stress in the process rather than bending. Anchoring those ends down, either by attaching them to the hull or by preventing their upward movement by means of vertical struts under the seats, will actually reduce the amount of hull uplift at the center of the boat, besides just keeping the ends of the tube within the slot where they belong.


– Last Updated: Jun-26-09 3:58 PM EST –

... Guideboatguy, isn't the tube held down by the seats as well? It's been a long time since I sat in one of those things or even had one next to me, so I'd have to take your word on it.

If that is already the case, …
… that makes the situation a bit more complicated. I haven’t seen one up close in a long time either.

not braced at seats
There are no supports extending down from the seats to the tube. any arguments against using epoxy? If not what kind would you recommend?

Pelican Keelson
The original design of the coleman Ram-X canoe used multiple braces from the thwarts and seats to brace the keelson and keep the hull from distorting upward under load. As shown on the Pelican, you navigator now has rotomolded plastic seats which do not have a tubular support running down to the keelson, or seat bases that extend down to the keelson.

A long time ago Wenonah offered a hull layup called center rib. It had a molded rib running the length of the hull like your tubular keelson. To stiffen the hull and yet let it flex in whitewater usage, the center rib was connnected to the thwarts with spring loaded shock absorbers. A couple of these running from the seats to the keelson would be ideal for your problem. They would stiffen the hull and yet give if you ran up onto something. Any rigid connection between the seats and keelson would need to be designed so that if you did run up onto something the support would not become a spear projecting upward into the bottom of the paddler sitting on that seat. A large block of rigid foam could be shaped to provide a center pedestal under the seat, providing the support and some extra floatation, while being a non lethal support.

There have been instances of serious injury from broken keelsons. You have already seen the potential for injury.

I would not try to glue the keelson to the hull, not much sticks to the Ram-x plastic. A couple big headed poprivets thru the hull up into the keelson might help, but the plastic might tear around the rivet heads under a big load. Probably the safest route would be props under the seats as mentioned above.

And if you are planning much canoeing in the future, find a better canoe, we don’t want to see you on the injured list.